Are You Loyal to the Land?

Wendell Berry is and he has been writing about that loyalty for many years. Berry works a small farm in Kentucky and argues that this is the “good life”. Not because he makes any money or because he is at the vanguard of progress. To the contrary, it is because he changes nothing except to improve the land he works.

Berry is not mainstream. He is not even close to mainstream. He cannot understand why people use computers. He  thinks it silly to buy things that you don’t need. He thinks progress is largely a sham.

Do you agree?  Berry is logically consistent and it is difficult to argue with him if you accept his starting point: the main purpose of living is to be a custodian of land. Is it? I admire folks who take on that purpose, but I do not believe it is the overriding purpose for all of us. Nor do I think that humanity would be better off if we all lived that way.

DJ Taylor reviews a collection of his essays for the Guardian.

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