Agrarians from the Twelve Southerner of I’ll Take My Stand to Wendell Berry identify a fundamental tension between agrarianism and industrialism. According to Berry, these are the only real options, and the differences are profound. “I believe that this contest between industrialism and agrarianism now defines the most fundamental human difference, for it divides not just two nearly opposite concepts of agriculture and land use, but also two nearly opposite ways of understanding ourselves, our fellow creatures, and our world.” Where the model for industrialism is the machine and technological invention, Berry notes that
agrarianism begins with givens: land, plants, animals, weather, hunger, and the birthright knowledge of agriculture. Industrialists are always ready to ignore, sell, or destroy the past in order to gain the entirely unprecedented wealth, comfort, and happiness supposedly to be found in the future. Agrarian farmers know that their very identity depends on their willingness to receive gratefully, use responsibly, and hand down intact an inheritance, both natural and cultural, from the past. Agrarians understand themselves as the users and caretakers of some things they did not make, and of some things that they cannot make.
Read more at Front Porch Republic
[Just noticd that this post at FPR is about two years old. Oh well, it's a pretty good one and worth a revisit. TM]