A RURAL MANIFESTO

27 03 2008

From the pen of Michael O’Gorman, founder of Farms Not Arms, 15 theses on the importance of  peace and agri-culture:

 14)   How we live as individuals effects how we behave as a society and a country.  American writers from Thoreau, Emerson and Whitman, to Scott Nearing and Wendell Berry have shown us that our connection to the land is essential to being peaceful people.  Generations of Amish, Mennonites and others have chosen farming as part of a simpler life, without need or capacity for violence.  And a generation of young Americans growing up during the War in Vietnam pushed organic farming as the ultimate statement against a country that had lost its moral center of gravity.  More than ever, in a shrinking world, we need to look at how we farm, how we eat, and how we live as both means and ends in our search for a more peaceful and just world.

 

15)   Farming is life.  It transcends politics.  “And they shall beat their swords into plowshares” is not only one of the world’s oldest anti-war statements it is a real life instruction for a real life activity.   The famous statue at the UN by the same name shows a massive man with massive strength doing a massive job.  As farmers and farm workers, men and women, we have the strength for doing just that.

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