The Agrarian Standard | Wendell Berry

Recently, I was working on a piece for The Nature of Cities blog, and wanted to re-read something that Wendell Berry had said about the agrarian culture; I found the 2002 Orion Magazine essay in which he reflects on the 25th year of publication of The Unsettling of America. I think the paragraph below is enormously descriptive of the tension that those of us involved in creating an alternative agrarian world work and live in:
To the corporate and political and academic servants of global industrialism, the small family farm and the small farming community are not known, not imaginable, and therefore unthinkable, except as damaging stereotypes. The people of “the cutting edge” in science, business, education, and politics have no patience with the local love, local loyalty, and local knowledge that make people truly native to their places and therefore good caretakers of their places. This is why one of the primary principles in industrialism has always been to get the worker away from home. From the beginning it has been destructive of home employment and home economies. The economic function of the household has been increasingly the consumption of purchased goods. Under industrialism, the farm too has become increasingly consumptive, and farms fail as the costs of consumption overpower the income from production.

The Agrarian Standard | Wendell Berry | Orion Magazine.


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