"America" appreciates WB
Sanders interviewed

Pollan interviewed

The Rumpus Interview With Michael Pollan - The Rumpus.net.

Rumpus: Okay, then. Let’s try to tackle economy and morality and then maybe link that up to a conversation about Nature narratives. I think we can use Wendell Berry as a starting point, since we’ve talked about him from time to time and he so often calls attention to economic and moral systems and the language of things. I recently reread his essay “Imagination in Place” in which he argues against referring to land as “capital” and the people who work it as “labor.” To get us started, could you talk about whether you share that view?

Pollan: I haven’t really thought about those particular words. I mean, “capital” and “labor” are usually thought of as terms that come from the tradition of Adam Smith and Karl Marx and are really creations of the industrial age, although “capital” was tied to the word “cattle” originally. Cattle was the first form of capital. You know, Berry’s point is that we should not be taking these metaphors of machines, these industrial metaphors, and applying them to biological systems. And he says that you get into trouble when you do. To the extent that those words are reflective of our tendency to look at land and see a factory or a potential factory and to see the farmer as a laborer rather than as someone who’s a member of a biotic community or a steward—yeah, I think there’s a lot of truth to what he’s saying. I think these words do influence the way we see things and the metaphors really do matter. READ MORE ...


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