Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wendell Berry

Abstraction is the enemy wherever it is found. The abstractions of sustainability can ruin the world just as surely as the abstractions of industrial economics.
Local life may be as much endangered by those who would 'save the planet' as by those would 'conquer the world.' For 'saving the planet' calls for abstract purposes and central powers that cannot know - and thus will destroy - the integrity of local nature and local community.

Proposition number XVII in Out of Your Car, Off Your Horse, an essay in the book, Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community.

I suppose it could be said that Berry's own proposition deals with an abstraction: 'the enemy wherever it is found.' But I wouldn't dare to criticise the great essayist!
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