If "economy" means "management of a household" then we have a system of national accounting that bears no resemblance to the national economy whatsoever, for it is not the record of our life at home but the fever chart of our consumption. . . . As our economy has been showing us . . . we have become a nation of fantasists. . . . We think shopping is a patriotic act and a public service. We tolerate fabulous capitalists who think a bet on a debt is an asset. . . . (We need to) remember . . . that our lives depend upon the economics of land use, and that the land-using economies depend, in turn, on the ecosphere. It is a fact that we cannot have life or health or wealth apart from the health of the natural world—of land, water, and air. A further and more demanding fact is that land, water, and air cannot be healthful apart from a healthful human economy, beginning with farming, forestry, and mining. . . .”
I’ve recently re-read Wendell Berry's 2010 collection of essays, What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth (Counterpoint). Berry--a farmer, agrarian champion, societal observer, essayist, poet--is inspirational! He challenges us to think clearly and substantively about what we mean by "economy" and how we, in our “modern world,” have failed to practice an economy that accounts for our life and well-being in our homes—on our planet and in our communities. He challenges our own personal responsibilities to reform our economy and restore a healthy environment. For instance, from “Money Versus Goods” (2009):
What do Berry's words inspire in you as you think about economy and the state of our home? Send us an email! For more excerpts from Berry's collection, click on "Read More" below. . . and be sure to check out Berry's entire book. (Patronize your favorite local, independent bookstore to purchase a copy!) We also invite you to offer inspirational and thought-provoking essays from other southern writers.
Over 70 years ago, Aldo Leopold wrote, "Conservation, viewed in its entirety, is the slow and laborious unfolding of a new relationship between people and land." That unfolding continues in our work.
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