Christina Berke: What do you hope this prestigious award will help you do?
Wendell Berry: My side on the issue of land use has not much standing and receives little notice, although most of the land that’s now in use is seriously and dangerously abused. Any notice or prestige that comes to me, I hope, will increase a little the standing of my side.
CB: In your essay/speech “Local Economies to Save the Land and the People” you outline 12 ways to save the people and the land. Most of these center around community and household action. How can we make these relevant and concrete to our youth, or more particularly, college-age students?
WB: The economy that people actually depend upon for food, clothing, and shelter cannot dependably be invented and imposed by corporations in the best interest of the land and the people. People can defend themselves and their places only by making their household and community economies as diverse, coherent, and self-sufficient as possible. Most colleges are not going to teach this. Most professors don’t know it. Young people will have to learn it from parents or other elders or historical examples, and of course from their own reading, observation, and experience.
Read it all at The New School.