In the Unsettling of America, Wendell Berry builds perhaps the most compelling case that technology has been misapplied to agriculture. Industrialization, he argues, is the primary cause of our depopulated farms and rural towns. In 1790, 90 percent of our people were engaged in agriculture. Today, technology and decades of federal policy that deliberately reduced agricultural jobs have shrunk the farm community to less than 1 percent of our population, and our rural population to 17 percent. Our physical separation from natural settings may well be exacerbating an alienation from nature fraught with trouble for our collective health and psyche.
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