Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wendell Berry on the conservative revolutionaries

The curious thing is that many agriculture specialists and "agri-businessmen" see themselves as conservatives. They look with contempt upon governmental "indulgence" of those who have no more "moral fiber" than to accept "handouts" from the public treasury—but they look with equal contempt upon the most traditional and appropriate means of independence. What do such conservatives wish to conserve? Evidently nothing less than the great corporate blocks of wealth and power, in whose every interest is implied the moral degeneracy and economic dependence of the people. They do not esteem the possibility of a prospering, independent class of small owners because they are, in fact, not conservatives at all, but the most doctrinaire and disruptive of revolutionaries.

Quote from p. 191 of The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture (Sierra Club Books, 1977)

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