Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Knowledge Without Affection Leads Us Astray Every Time"

For those of us who have read Wendell Berry for decades, who know him as that Henry County farmer with a way with words, it's easy to forget the man is a national treasure. Tom Eblen at the Herald:
The National Endowment for the Humanities chose the Kentucky farmer, poet, essayist, novelist, activist and philosopher to give the 2012 Jefferson Lecture at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. It is the federal government's highest honor for scholarly contributions to the humanities.
Berry, 77, delivered a searing indictment of corporate domination and the industrial economy, saying it has abused the land and people and threatens our survival. You can — and should — watch the video of Berry's lecture and read the full text of his essay, titled "It All Turns on Affection." Both are online at
"Now the two great aims of industrialism — replacement of people by technology and concentration of wealth in the hands of a small plutocracy — seem close to fulfillment," Berry said. "At the same time the failures of industrialism have become too great and too dangerous to deny." Even the term economy has lost its original meaning, which had to do with household management and husbandry, he said. Most economists now "never ask, in their professional oblivion, why we are willing to do permanent ecological and cultural damage 'to strengthen the economy.'" Corporate industrialism, he said, "has failed to sustain the health and stability of human society. Among its characteristic signs are destroyed communities, neighborhoods, families, small businesses and small farms. It has failed just as conspicuously and more dangerously to conserve the wealth and health of nature."
Read the whole thing. Watch the video and read the lecture here.

1 comment:

c u n d gulag said...

In the 1%er's eyes, that's all "Constructive Destruction!"

As they 'destroy' the economy for everyone below them, they get to 'construct' castles, mansions, and sweet, sweet, bank accounts.

After all - THEY'VE EARNED IT!

Especially those who worked so hard to inherit their fortunes!

Oh, all that work they did before the lucky sperm hit the lucky egg!

And then they spent 9 months waiting to pop-out and see how much their nest-egg had grown (by jerking-off the working people).

The destruction of the rest of us is the least we can pay so that the jobs they DO create, go to their relatives, friends, and cronies.

Don't you get it?