Berry believes the way for people to protect themselves is by developing a local economy, beginning with the idea of a local food economy, which shortens the distance between producers and consumers, to make the local economy benefit the local community, to preserve the livelihoods of local farm families and farm communities, to give consumers influence over the quality of their food, and to preserve the land. In doing so, people begin to see the difference between a local business that shares the fate of the local community and a large absentee corporation that is set up to escape the fate of the local community ruined by corporate malfeasance.
As Berry says, “To be a consumer in the total economy, one must agree to be totally ignorant, totally passive, and totally dependent on distant supplies and self-interested suppliers. From the standpoint of corporations, the corporate economy brings unprecedented economic growth, but from the standpoint of the land and its local populations … [a corporate economy brings] destruction and slavery. Without prosperous local economies, the people have no power and the land no voice.”
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