Wendell Berry and the “Inverting of the Economic Order”

wendell-berry[2]Wendell Berry has written one very powerful message for the The Progressive (Sept., 2009)  magazine. This article by Berry ( a farmer and writer in Kentucky)  is one that provides unusual clarity into the practical, but also the moral, problems with our economy.  I usually have an aversion to copying material like this, but the message so deserves to be disseminated, I will do it, just this one time…

Read more here.


Filed under Populists, The Economy, The Environment

8 responses to “Wendell Berry and the “Inverting of the Economic Order”

  1. Zippy

    Don’t let it bother you, Iggy.

    – Those who were going to buy the magazine are more likely with free publicity (provided we don’t give away the store), and most weren’t going to do so anyway.

    – Both the Progressive and Wendell Berry exist with the primary goal of getting their ideas out (though of course, economic survival is a big part of it!).

    -The magazine was perfectly free to withhold the content (much of Scientific American is available online, for a price, but they also post material for free).

    In short, they’re adults, and you haven’t “copied” anything.

    All this, and I don’t even have time to read the article now! 😦

  2. Zippy

    . .. oh, you mean you literally copied it. Okay.

    I share your aversion. I doubt Berry would mind, but I would avoid it.

    (puts on Dunce Cap, half-asleep, sits in the corner. . )

  3. It was wrong, but some things are so worth stealing. The linked article testifies to this fact.

  4. jammer5

    Well, stupid me missed this thread 😦 so I’ll post here:
    There is a fascinating book called, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond. I read this book with great interest, as there are parts that correlate with what’s going on in this country today.

    Small nations, and Island nations, that succeed, usually do so because they understand that having a vested interest in their surroundings, and the ultimate constant renewal of same, is paramount to their survival. Nations that fail usually do so because they ignore the fact many resources need constant renewal. Other factors, such as weather, can make or break societies, such as the Anastasi, but when a nation has as much as we have, it’s easy to lose focus on the basics.

    I would recommend the book to anyone interested in the future of this country:

  5. The number one priority for Berry is sustaining the environment, the last priority is the consumer economy – just exactly the opposite of where we are as a culture.

  6. jammer5

    1st paragraph in USA Today’s economic section:

    “WASHINGTON — Americans cut their outstanding credit by a record $21.5 billion in July, damping hopes that a resurgence in consumer spending will juice the economic recovery.”

    Washington thinks that’s bad news, but the fact is the more Americans dive into debt, the better chance the same thing that happened last year will happen all over again. Consumer debt is still almost $2.5 trillion.

    I would bet the farm when Thomas Frank speaks the watermark, he’ll bring that topic up, and applaud Americans bringing their debt down, and seriously urge them to continue on the same road.

    Savings by consumers has gone from a negative 1% to a plus 5% since the crash. Americans are finally getting the idea cash works better than credit. This does not bode well for business, as it relies on credit from consumers. But, in my opinion, so what? We, as a nation, need to curtail the excess consumerism we’ve been addicted to since the fifties. We simply can’t sustain it and hope we can keep this countries resources. See where “keeping up with the Jones” got us.

    I hope we can keep it up.