The Agrarian Foundation (Chrisitian) website/newslettergreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Here's an organization I thought Christian homesteaders might want to know about:
The Agrarian Foundation www.n-i.com/agrarian
Integrates Theology with agrarian (homestead) life. Please post your comments below.
-- Bob in Ohio (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2001
Hey!! I read some of the articles and looked around a bit. Love what I see!!! Now... If we could just get the country to go back to these values.....
If the individuals of this country could go back to extending their hands to their neighbors in help and support (without regard to color, sex, creed, race, religion or handicap)... growing their own food and providing for those in need... working instead of snivelling... honesty instead of gossip and namecalling... integrity instead of selfish hedonism... our country would not be the fascist state it is today, nor on its way to being a fascist dictatorship.
My hat is off to those who TRULY live what is discussed on that page.
-- Sue Diederich (email@example.com), March 02, 2001.
One comment, though..... The "Philosophy of Progress" is a W.A.S.P. invention. NOT PAGAN....
Lets face at least one fact, here.... The Native Americans were farming in this country on the East coast, all the way to the West coast LONG before they ever met a Christian. As were societies the world over.
And, despite the address... NO, I DO NOT worship devils.... I worship God, and God only.
-- Sue Diederich (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2001.
I had a hard time understanding it. What is Landed Property? Maybe I just don't get it. Seems to be a whole lot of rules for just Christian Homesteading. Explain it some more, Bob, would ya?
-- Cindy in Ky (email@example.com), March 02, 2001.
Just a couple of thoughts, One, is that T.Jefferson was not a Christian although he very much wanted a agrarian society, and he did believe in a God,he did not picture himself as a Christian. Second, in one article they seem to promote separatism, if anyone wants too separate from anything they should be allow to, which sounds good on paper but in real life 99% of the time in leads to collapse. Remember before the United States came to be we had 13 sovereign and separate states and the period between 1776 and 1789 was one of almost complete anarchy. New York & New jersey used to shoot it out with each other in the harbor over the right to tax incoming ships. Pennsylvania & new jersey never agreed to a satisfactory border. Then Connecticut & Mass. were at odds over acquiring western territories. The framers of the US Constitution knew that the freedom of the individual would erode without a structured framework of order for society itself. Third, we have to ask the question, Why do we have what we have today as far as pertaining to big-government,super corporations,freedoms and rights being whittle away little by little every day it seems, the answer is because we allow it thats why, most people just don't want to be bother, let someone else handle it. even most countrysider's,homesteader's,Agrarian's,etc. most just want to be left alone to do their thing and damm the rest of us, just let me raise my pigs,and grow my vegetables and the rest of the country can do what they want, well guess what! thats what they did, you left and now they have it and they are running it the way they want. So my advice is if you don't like whats happening, do something about it, and not just hide out in the countryside and wish things away,or separate from the country,etc. because it doesn't work,you want freedom, you have to fight for it everyday of your life, not hide. There are people out there that don't want you to have the lifestyle you want and it is a fact that they are coming for you one way or another, and soon there will be no more place to hide.
-- Tom (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2001.
I am not educated enough to know exactly what is meant by "the Philosophy of Progress." It sounds as though it means that constant technological innovation and economic "expansion" are always good, as in Adam Smith's belief that specialization in work benefits everyone, directly or indirectly. Many people don't seem to notice the limits or trade-offs involved. Take Rush Limbaugh, for example. He seems to bubble over with delight at Amerca's progress. If you're not happy with it, you're just whining. Obviously, Agrarians disagree.
In any case, I just want to point out that it may have been invented by WASPs, but that does not mean that it is consistent with Christian teaching. People don't always represent well what they say they represent. Then again, there are many opinions of what true Christian teaching is. But that is another discussion.
And, too, how can we say that this "philosophy of Progress" was invented only by WASPs and not by pagans also concurrently or in collusion? Can anybody give me a quick history lesson?
The following is meant to be a civil argument: it is argumentative, but in the pursuit of Truth, not in defence of Pride; not meant to be menacing or uncharitable. 1) T. Jefferson was obviously profoundly influenced by Christianity. Though he may have had some unresolved questions or problems with it, his beliefs, values, ethics were undoubtedly compatible. One has to wonder if T. Jefferson were frozen in 1792 and thawed in 2001, what would be his reaction to our culture? I suspect he would be shocked, and after mulling over the errors of our time, would embrace Christianity. That, of course, is pure spectulation. But it serves to help us visualize Jefferson's life and culture in contrast to our own.
2) Given time, power tends to consolidate. The colonists knew this and broke away from England. But then they turned around and created a central government a few years later. One has to wonder why. Perhaps they anticipated this happening and wanted to take the opportunity to do it "right" while they had the chance. So they created a government with all sorts of restrictions on it's power, including the right of states to secede.
You say that "99% of the time" separation leads to collapse. What experiences or lessons in history can you point to to demonstrate that? It is a very broad assertion, and not convincing as stated.
I can give you examples of times when seperation leads to success. Look at the trend of big companies getting bigger, especially post-WWII. By the 1960's and 1970's, General Motors and the like were not just in the car manufacturing business, but also in the printing business, the cafeteria business, and so on. The philosophy pursued was to buy the assetts, the means of production, hire the workers, and do everything in-house. They figured out that it wasn't profitable to do it that way, because neither the labor nor the assets were utilized efficiently.
They began selling assets and laying off, and "outsourcing" for peripheral services. Yes, that causes some turmoil for a lot of people, but then a lot of new businesses sprang up to service the needs GM, et al still had, and a better, more dynamic economy of entrepreneurs emerged, with many people better off and production up all around.
Society needs both order and freedom. Personal power and freedom must be ceded to some central authority in order to have order. The questions then arise: What powers shall we cede? To whom shall we cede them? How shall we maintain final authority? and so on...
3)You made more vague unsupported assertions. Is homesteading or creating a small farm town NOT doing something about societal problems? Does it not have any effect? Surely it does. If as a small collection of homesteaders, we own our resources and produce our own goods from them, and govern ourselves, and educate ourselves, then we are taking back the power we formerly gave to Big Agriculture, Big Distribution, Big Government.
We can still vote, protest, organize, lobby, run for office, invest selectively, consume selectively, and so on. We can take society much more on our terms, and create a rich culture. I don't see how that's hiding, wishing, seperating, and failing to fight for freedom. It IS fighting for freedom: first by exercising the responsibility that is neccesary to obtain freedom in the ways I've listed, second by taking back power form those two whom we formerly gave it.
Cindy - "landed property" simply means land and anything attatched to it, grown on it, or raised on it that is useful for production. Please be more specific - what parts do you not understand?
-- Bob in Ohio (email@example.com), March 06, 2001.
Sorry about the typographical errors.
-- Bob in Ohio (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 06, 2001.
My sincere thanks to Bob Blessums for beginning this discussion. No, I don't think T. Jefferson a Christian atall (thought hopeful he might be converted today if "thawed out"! :-))
Secession (Cultural or Political) though certainly 'legal', is NOT always wise or sucessful. It might thrive or flop. My point with TAF is that the Christian religion assums "Communion -- unto Community". This clear inference of Classic Covenantalism is all but impossible within Modern Urban/Suburban social structures.
So, I'm just calling for what most of ya'll already want -- Christian community with some semblence of 'Communitarian-Self-Reliance'. Why should the Flock of Christ be all but completely DEPENDEND upon: 1) Giant Corporation for their basic food sustennace? 2) Government Municiplaities for water and power? I believe with some prayer, careful planning and practice -- we might design and build Real Communties of Substance -- that provide not only a context for Godly liveing and Family life, but ALSO a platform from which to genuinely challenge the lost and dying Modern Paganism. This is not isolation -- this is LIFE!. I'm sincerely yours...
Abjuring The REalm, David E. Rockett Founder, The Agrarian Foundation www.n-i.com/agrarian.
NOTE: The website is a bit sloppy now -- but should look MUCH better in a day or so! Gotta young man helping me.
-- David E. Rockett (email@example.com), March 07, 2001.
Bob, just too many big words that I really can't quite get the grasp of what they are saying. I don't speak in terms of "Liberal, Conservative, Modernisms, Luddies, totalitarianism, etc. Nothing was real clear on what "big corporations" are ok and which were not. I like the technology we have today, the internet, medicine, satalitte, and the like. I understand some big corporations don't act in our best interest, but golly, I wouldn't have time to homestead if I had to figure this all out. I believe in Creation, the Bible, and live my life trying to take care of ourselves as much as we can on being self-sufficient. Really, I DO it. God says I must answer for my own actions, how I loved my neighbor, being an honest person and things along such lines. To me, everyone is free to work hard, buy land and live on it.
True, I was trying to find a Christian Community where we would just work hard and be good people, but still live our own separate lives and have our own land with a "common" area shared. We don't all like the same things or believe exactly the same way. Some Christian women would say I'm bad for wearning jeans, and some would say I'm not real because I have a satalite. These things are silly, but they are real. Christian Television is a good thing around the world, brought to us by technology. The wording on the website is just to unclear. What are they against. Much simplier wording would be better. What are the rules inside the Agrarian Community? Nothing was said about those things. Or where they are. I don't want to go protest anywhere. I support organizations that look out for our interest in Washington, and I keep up on the goings on. I have written and phoned my congressman on Christian issues when the need was there. I am a very intelligent person, but the wording here completely escapes me.
I copied and pasted this from the website to give you an example:
2. Aren't Agrarians really neo-Luddites -- foolishly hostile to science and technological development?
NO! Agrarians delight in the wonder of uncovering the riddles of Creation. However, the technology which often results demands two virtues which Modern man has proven repeatedly to lack -- maturity and responsibility. An Agrarian carefulness before Creation remembers that in all our knowledge there is yet ignorance, mystery and unintelligibility. We know only partly. Thus, we must be wary, both in our scale and pace, in applying what we think we know. Agrarians reject the Modern arrogant and adolescent quest which allows 'Progress' to run callously over the individual, community and tradition.
Thus, Agrarians reject Modernism's impetuous worship of science and technology and the foolish quest for a secular utopia by Darwinian science and technology. Indeed, science and technology's complicity with big-business and big-government has produced a questionable balance sheet of progress so-called. If we debit the costs of two bloody world wars, genocide, totalitarianism and environmental defilement -- the net bottom line betrays a mixed if not dubious value. Contrary to Modernism, there is no salvation for mankind or society in Darwinism or technology.
-- Cindy in Ky (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 08, 2001.
Yes, you are doing what Agrarianism proposes many more of us should do. I think you probably have a good perspective on life because you listen to God, in his Word, and in Nature. A person doesn't necessarily need a large vocabulary or a lot of education to do that.
But some persons with large vocabularies and a lot of education are promoting certain ideas. They influence society with their thinking. They influence governments and businesses and universities, and these universities train teachers and the people who write textbooks, run schools, produce movies and radio and t.v. shows, and so on... Many people then go around with those ideas, even thogh they are harmed by them, and they harm others. Sin blinds us to the falsehood of our ideas and the evil of our deeds.
Ideas have consequences. They result in people thinking and doing certain things and trying to make others think and do certain things. So it is worth our while to do battle with words, in the field of ideas, before we end up doing it with weapons, in the field outside the house. And, too, if we must go to battle, we should all know precisely what for, and when to do it, and only after every other means has been exhausted.
These ideas often go by labels which are big words. These big words refer to big ideas or concepts, or systems, or ways of thinking about things or doing things. If you're not accustomed to the terms, then you need to read with a dictionary in hand (but take dictionary definitions with a grain of salt.) Then, it is a lifelong, arduous task to track down what various people said and did, comparing and contrasting, and so on.
Some of us spend our time reading and trying to understand these social and economic theories and such. We study Philosophy, Theology, Sociology, and a host of other "ologies." Then we compare and contrast with what's been written by others in the past, and argue why this or that makes sense based on what St. Thomas Aquinas said, or based on experience working for a big corporation, and so on.
Agrarianism is a term that represents a certain way of thinking and doing. It is defined in part by certain things it takes as Truth: the existence of God, for example. It is also defined in contrast to other things: Totalitarianism, for example.
The section you cut and pasted is from a question-and-answer page. The question is posed by someone using a big word referring to a big concept. The answer is put briefly only by using some big words that refer to big concepts. Again, if you're not familiar with them, you have work ahead in order to understand. In other places, the writing on Agrarianism is more plain.
Now, I have seen many examples of people using big words only to make themselves look smart. Or, since they spent a lot of time around people who do it, they got into a bad habit. I think if we are prone to this problem, then we should make an effort to use plain language.
If you don't see the value in this whole pursuit, or you just don't have time, then this discussion will not appeal to you. I suspect there are others who will be interested.
But I will be glad you are out in the garden still (and not putting widget #224953 in slot #22895903 at some giant factory,) while I am hacking away at this. And I'll wish I were out there too, but I feel it is too important to leave to others. I hope you can appreciate that what I'm doing may contribute to saving your neck when Hillary Clinton tries to take over.
-- Bob in Ohio (email@example.com), March 13, 2001.