Friday, December 23, 2016

Wendell Berry – On The Failure of Industrialism.

An Excerpt From a the October 22nd, 2016 Annual E.F. Schumacher Lectures in Great Barrington, MA of a conversation between, Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, and Mary Berry.   

Transcribed from the You Tube video available here:  From the 27:26 to 29:34 minute mark.
I think what we’ve got to learn to say, and we’ve got to say it, is that industrialism is failing; it is failing very prominently and visibly in agriculture, as anyone can see who knows anything about agriculture.  But it is failing in general, too.  And it is failing because it proposes and tolerates no limits. 

We started the middle of the last century with the doctrine that there were too many farmers. And that has never been called off – nobody said how many we need to get rid of.  There is a whole story there. 

For example, in the Midwest at one time there was a mill every 12 miles.  And that was for the convenience of the producers, who were never thus more than 6 miles from the mill, which meant they were never beyond the possibility of hauling a load of grain to the mill and getting home again for dinner or supper. 

That’s a very good limit you see – it employed a lot of millers, and it employed a lot of farmers.  And if we were really serious about the importance of jobs, employment, and so on – we would have to take that seriously as an example from the past, irrecoverable.  But if we’d have been Amish, we would have stopped it right there, we would have accepted the limit of the horse – that’s the limit that was involved. 

So we accept no limits, and we do the most we can of everything we do, which is usually either explosive or toxic. 

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