Questions and Answers About Agrarianism: Farming, Technology, Environment, Economy
By: David E. Rockett
E-mail: agsteward@gmail.com

1. Doesn't Agrarianism attempt to 'turn-back-the-clock', and make everyone dirt-farmers?
NO! Agrarians do not believe everyone should be a farmer. Yet Agrarians do note the many social and cultural benefits which derive from strong rural farming communities. Modernism and Modernists, however, incessantly denigrate the value of farming and small independent rural communities -- forever portraying them as backward, unprogressive hicks who really should become Modern urbanites.
Agrarians also view teeming populations concentrated in sprawling urban metroplexes as inherently dangerous. Modern cities most assuredly beget a different sort of citizen, and Thomas Jefferson held big cities good only for breeding revolution. The city-dweller is all but completely dependent upon various governments and corporation to meet his most basic needs, while he is also estranged from nature and natural things. This condition easily distorts his perspective or World-View. Life becomes fragmented. Trapped in artificial urban centers, Modernists forget their connections to Creation and that their very lives ultimately depend upon Stewardship of Creation. After all, giant grocery chains and discount distributors do not produce food -- they only move it great distances for profit.

Modernists are thus forgetful of their limitations within Creation and their vision and projects become ambitiously grand in scale. This calls for bigness and power of money interests and government power. Having lost everything but money -- they producing nothing but money. Value is reduced to price and everything is for sale. Modernism has lost its connectedness and wholeness.
The Agrarian vision champions a humility, or as Richard Weaver called it, 'piety' naturally engendered close to Creation in agricultural settings. Thus, Agrarianism offers a superior context for life in all its fullness. True Covenant. Agricultural settings commonly foster real community Localism, Independence from distant suppliers, and a Decentralisation of wealth and power. Rather than 'turning back the clock', Agrarians consider their rejection and repudiation of Modernism more a repentance from the excesses of a dehumanizing Modernism. Returning to wholeness is not 'backwards.' Indeed, repentance from error and humility before Creation is always Progress!
2. Aren't Agrarians really neo-Luddites -- foolishly hostile to science and technological development?
NO! Agrarians delight in the wonder of uncovering the riddles of Creation. However, the technology which often results demands two virtues which Modern man has proven repeatedly to lack -- maturity and responsibility. An Agrarian carefulness before Creation remembers that in all our knowledge there is yet ignorance, mystery and unintelligibility. We know only partly. Thus, we must be wary, both in our scale and pace, in applying what we think we know. Agrarians reject the Modern arrogant and adolescent quest which allows 'Progress' to run callously over the individual, community and tradition.
Thus, Agrarians reject Modernism's impetuous worship of science and technology and the foolish quest for a secular utopia by Darwinian science and technology. Indeed, science and technology's complicity with big-business and big-government has produced a questionable balance sheet of progress so-called. If we debit the costs of two bloody world wars, genocide, totalitarianism and environmental defilement -- the net bottom line betrays a mixed if not dubious value. Contrary to Modernism, there is no salvation for mankind or society in Darwinism or technology.
3. What is the Agrarians view of the Ecology Movement and the Environment?
The environment is God's Creation -- a gift of amazing beauty, resilience and wealth. Agrarians remember that Creation is not altogether comprehended. Contrary to Darwinism, Agrarians hold a mature regard for human ignorance, which demands a cautious Stewardship. Creation mustn't be foolishly exploited and abused. Nor should we take a secular leap of faith, hoping the gods of science and technology will to save us from present abuses. Agrarian stewards seek both to conserve Creation, and to nurture and improve for posterity what has been entrusted to us.
Agrarians reject the aggressive exploitation of Creation by the collusion of big-governments and big-business. Agrarians also reject the anti-human worship of Creation by excessive enviromaniacs. In contrast, Agrarians champion broad and decentralised local ownership of property by families, regulated by Local communities. Agrarians oppose massive concentrations of property ownership, often by absentee corporations and governments. Unlike governments and corporations, families have proven themselves far more responsible and conscientious to cultivate and conserve property they own and occupy.
4. Aren't Agrarians hostile to 'Free-Market Capitalism' and really just moderate Socialists?
Yes, and NO! Agrarians reject unrestrained Libertarianism and Socialism. Agrarians refuse to be trapped in the simplistic dialectic of Libertarianism /Communism, or, Socialism/Capitalism. This limited paradigm has caused great economic confusion the past 120 years. Libertarianism and Socialism are rejected because they are different applications of Darwinism(one individualist, the other collectivist). Both see man as a mature animal alone in the cosmos to do as he individually or collectively pleases. In this, both reject God as the ultimate and real owner of all Creation. And both reject man as God's responsible and accountable steward and husbandman.
There are many reasons to discard the either/or dialectic of Capitalism vs Socialism. Central among these is that it unwittingly cloaks or veils Darwinian Fascism now dominating Western governments and economies. (One GREAT tragedy is the foolishness of many 'conservatives' and Christians who imagine this is 'free-market capitalism' -- which has its own problems!)

Yet the concentration of economic power and control by Central Banks, giant corporations and big-government is unprecedented. All developed world markets are highly regulated by the Central State, International Bankers and Corporations. One need not suppose a devious conspiracy. Men of wealth and ability naturally acquire similar attitudes toward money (greed), power (control), and vision (pride). The utopian vision of a secular City of Man is alive and well in Washington, Brussels and Peking.
The dream to control and manage a wealthy New World Order is a heady vision. Agrarians repudiate this vision for it demands centralised concentrations of wealth and power over men, families and communities. This is an Internationalist tyranny of government regulation, taxation and control. Agrarian localism, within self-sufficient communities is a far superior soci-culture worldview for a happy life and sustainable liberty. Rather than Socialism or Protectionism, to prefer and prosper my neighbors and local community members, and become their profit-center is wisdom.

1 comment:

  1. Rajendra Paul, SeattleMay 13, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    My grandfather "Appa" said<' Best farming, middle tradesman, lowest servant-community administration(government) or private, lower-businessman, lowest-Money lender"
    He said that because farmers live healthy, happy long lives with their family and friends, with little stress. They do not have to lie for any of their living. So they are honest, good, hardowrking.
    All other professions have to lie, steal as part of their way of living. Every trader buys low and sells high, lieing as a way of living. Businessman scale that to a new height based on "selling innovation" as progress and must have modernity.
    Servants have no life except ordained by their private master or government set up a few. They eat, sleep, buy, pay, dress, talk, learn, walk, behave as they are told in school, at work annd in community, obeying rules disrespecting their own
    thought and any sense of self esteem, all the time.

    Money lenders thrive on disaster like a drought and suck bothdownpayment money and property. Would Appa prefer to live in Seattle or Kansas, Mumbai or farm away from Mumbai? These aer teh layers of onion of current thinking ON "ECONOMICS."
    Centralization allows for massive technological creations for subduing opponents inside and outside while employing the followers.

    Now in teh flow of history, however, multiple such centrally planned power houses exist in the world. So the new comparison willfocus on quality fo people living in them, along woth their their creativity and competitiveness, and ability to defend themselves.

    Good life defensible against attacks = good community. Will the honest hardowrking folk soon rise as the best occupation, as my Appa said?

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