All of the words typed in bold italics go into this glossary.
Anarchism: A system without political or economic hierarchy. The abolition of government, private property, and human-on-human exploitation. For a lot more info, go here.
Automaton-think: Based on the concept of “groupthink;” a group of individuals working towards a specific goal take on inhuman (or automaton-like) properties, such as a lack of empathy or complete disregard for the rest of the world; often seen in corporations.
Capitalist: In this context, I mean quite literally the traditional definition of a capitalist: the person who exploits labour (who are paid wages) for profit.
Cash-crops: (As opposed to subsistence crops) Crops grown for a profit.
Consensus: A decision-making process that takes into account each group member’s opinions and utilizes conflict resolution processes to mitigate disagreements.
Cooperative: An enterprise owned and controlled democratically by its workers (see syndicate).
Cover-cropping: The practice of planting a single crop to add nutrients to soil.
Direct democracy: (As opposed to representative democracy) a grassroots form of democracy that places power in the hands of all group members as opposed to just elected representatives of the group. Consensus is a very pure form of direct democracy.
Dissociative: I will use this word frequently, as there are many parallels between individual human psychology and society as a whole. Dissociation is, in short, the inability to sufficiently connect two or more parts of oneself; this can be seen on individual, group, national, global, economic, and anthropological levels. Apathy is a good example, is the “automaton-think” seen in corporations and governments.
EDAP: Energy Descent Action Plan. A strategy to create a community that can thrive after energy descent.
Energy Descent: The time when the availability of cheap energy (e.g. fossil fuels) is dreastically reduced, when the energy available to humans is the exact inverse of what it was during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. More information here.
Environmental justice: A movement begun in the early 1980s that addresses the relationship between race, class, and environmental health.
Exports-based agriculture: Produce grown for long-distance trade and export.
Governance: The act of governing; administering policy and decisions.
Green manure: Like cover crops, a crop grown for the sole purpose of adding nutrients to the soil that a primary crop can use.
Holistic: Very simple definition. Holism is the idea that in order to truly understand a system, you cannot simply analyse its parts. You must understand how it works as a whole as well. This concept is found in such sciences as physiology and ecology.
Integrated pest management: An integrated system for protecting crops from pests, that involves intricate knowledge of pests, their lifecycles, and their interactions with the environment. For more detailed information, go here.
Intercropping: Growing two or more crops together side-by-side, especially crops that would benefit from each other. For more information, go here.
Laissez-faire capitalism: Capitalism without governmental regulation or control.
Liberal: From a left-of-centre political philosophy that advocates such things as tolerance, democracy, equality, and human rights, without moving away from the status quo. Cultural relativism and open-mindedness are two qualities often endorsed by liberals.
Neoliberalism: An economic philosophy that advocates the loosening of trade barriers and regulations (free trade), and the privatization of public sectors. Neoliberalism (and economic liberalism) is based on the idea that if nations were economically interdependent, war would not be feasible.
Peak Oil: The peak in oil extraction efficiency, after which oil extraction and production will decline. This is especially a problem since our culture not only requires steady oil production, but growth in oil production. For more information, go here.
Permaculture: A low external input system of agricultural, economic, and social design that involves traditional knowledge, ethical principles, and designing agricultural systems to mimic ecosystems. For more information, go here.
Possession: Ownership based on use.
Private property: Ownership based on arbitrary legal entitlement.
Resilience: The ability of a system to bounce back after a shock or crisis. Unlike the term sustainability, resilience specifically refers to system health and strength (positive qualities), as opposed to simply a lack of negative impacts. It is also much more applicable to ecosystems, as scholars continue to recognise that ecosystems are never in a state of equilibrium, but rather in a state of constant flux. The measure of a system’s health, therefore, is not based on its ability to stay the same, but rather its ability to handle negative impacts.
Right-Libertarianism (or anarcho-capitalism): An individualistic system based on elimination of the state and promotion of laissez-faire capitalism.
Rotational leadership: A process where a temporary leader for a group is elected, chosen, or naturally emerges, for a specific task. When that task ends, a new leader emerges.
Socialism: A socio-economic system based on equality, worker control of production, and communal cooperation and ownership.
Syndicate: A co-operative enterprise democratically controlled by workers (also collective).
Transition Town: A strategic movement in which a town, citiy, village, or community promotes local resilience against the impending challenges of climate change and Peak Oil.
Trickle-Down Economics: The theory that helping those with higher incomes (through tax cuts, subsidies, etc.) will indirectly help those below.
Zero-tillage: A way of growing crops without tilling the soil that involves such things as crop rotations and cover crops. It reduces the amount of fuel used in agriculture as well as the amount of labour. It also keeps the soil more firm, preventing erosion, and requiring less irrigation.