Agrarian Resources

First, we had some good friends respond to the recent articles with some great resources I wanted to pass along.  Keith mentioned, in his response to the Shop Local post, a great book which I am reading now entitled, “The Corporation Problem“, written in 1893 by William W. Cook.  He is dealing, at least in the first portion that I have made it through, with the railroads and the various moral problems they posed in the beginning.  It is a very insightful and thought provoking read based on good foundations.  Although so far I am finding him a little more optimistic than I would expect.  One statement in particular that is humorous in light of some of the recent corporate scandals, is this quote:

“The days of irresponsible, reckless, and dishonest management of corporations are passing away.  These practices have been found to be dangerous, unprofitable, and ruinous.  Honesty towards the government, the people, and the investor is becoming the settled policy of the great corporations.  The integrity as well as talent of America is beginning to assume the control and management of these colossal aggregations of capitol.  Corporations and railroads are being placed in the hands of conservative men, and the great questions of the “Corporate Problem” are not only decreasing in number and intensity, but are being settled largely by the character, honesty, and honor of the men themselves who manage the corporations.”

I have no doubt that he had reason to believe this was the trend in 1893.  But, boy, to depend on the “character, honesty, and honor” of the men in charge of today’s “colossal aggregations of capitol”, would be the ultimate mistake!  But then again, we do that, so maybe this is not so humorous after all!  Anyway, that statement just points to the moral issues he is dealing with in the rest of the book.  His foundations for his argument thus far have proved to be dead on and I’m looking forward to finishing it up.
Next, the Lingo’s forwarded me a link to a book they have been reading that looks just as promising.  It is entitled, “Sex, Economy, Freedom, & Community: Eight Essays” by Wendell Berry.  Looking over the site about Berry, I’m excited about this book and a few other things he has authored.
Of course, all the agrarian talk reminds me of, “I’ll Take My Stand“, that Franklin mentioned in his article.  If you are thinking about agrarian living and have not read through “I’ll Take My Stand”, then that is the best starting place I could think of.  Not because it has a bunch of great agrarian articles, although it does have several, but mostly because it deals with why we need to do this.  Written in the 1920’s, the collection of essays by the various writers, takes on the issues we are still dealing with today; education, industrialism, politics, the arts, etc….  If only we had taken them to heart just think of where we’d be today!
Lastly, the thing I was actually going to post, is this link to free articles at Acres USA.  There are too many great topics to mention.  Check them out when you need some light reading in between the other three books!

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