Why Free?

Both myself and my courageous publishers, Permanent Publications, have decided to publish a free online version of this book, and the normal paperback version under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license, for three reasons:

Creative Commons License

First, the ideas and practical tools contained within it should be free to whoever may find them useful, and not made falsely scarce by the mechanisms of the monetary economy.

Second, just as actions display our beliefs more honestly than our words, the ways in which ideas and practical tools are shared are at least as important as the words themselves. I wanted the medium to be fully aligned with the message.

Third, I wanted to release it under a Creative Commons licence because it felt fraudulent to have my name on the front of this book. As I said in the acknowledgements page of my last book, what are my words but “an accumulation of all that has come before them – the people I have met, the books I have read, the songs I grew up with, the rivers I’ve swam in, the girls I’ve kissed, the movies I’ve watched, the traditions I’ve learned, the philosophers I’ve studied, the mistakes I’ve made, the violence I’ve seen, the love I’ve witnessed.” The ideas in this book could be no more mine than the piece of the Earth I inhabit.

If you do buy a normal paperback copy of this book, your money is going towards two things – the cost of printing a book in a money-based economy, which is a reality of our Age; and supporting some other work – that of Permanent Publications in the field of Permaculture, and that of myself and others in our efforts to create a fully localised (and land-based) gift economy in the UK. We aim for this to be a resource for others to draw upon, and an example of another way of living on this planet – one in intimate connection with the land under our feet, the myriad forms of life we share it with, and the people of our communities. If you do buy a paperback copy (for yourself or your family and friends), we would like to say a genuine thank you for your kindness in supporting these endeavours.