Technology Verses Agrarianism

Whenever agrarianism is discussed, people want to point out the things they enjoy from the industrial revolution, such as air conditioning, automobiles, and medical advancements, without regard to the cost of these advancements. Advancements in technology and enhancements to our living conditions are indeed very nice. But everything has a cost and not all advantages are worth what they cost.
The period prior to and during the industrial revolution was marked by a departure in Biblical thinking in many areas. One area where this departure is evidenced is the loss of an understanding of the Biblical definition of labor and of wealth. One of the fruits of this change is a debt based economy that enslaves the masses. The industrial economy brought a departure from the Biblical family patterns where the father works with his family, which in turn has led to an individualistic approach to life and the destruction of the family.
We’ve all heard it said that ideas have consequences. It is more true to say that theology has consequences and as soon as we depart from using the Bible as the standard for our lives, both personally and as a nation we reap those consequences.
As we look at the history of the United States over the last 200 years we can see the evidences of a nation who turned her back on God’s Word and in its place looked to the wisdom of man. As we watch the disintegrating economy, the destruction of the family, and the ever changing social programs trying to patch the holes in this sinking ship, we must reconcile the fruit we see with the roots from which it sprang.
Agrarianism is not “the” answer. The answer is a true reformation where we lift up the standard of God’s Word and apply it to every decision we make in life…and that is the heart of Vaughnshire. The farm is fun and exciting. More importantly it is teaching us important lessons about work and wealth. In addition, it provides a certain level of independence from our current failing economic system. But the heart is not to see a nation of farmers, the heart is to see a nation turn back to God.
Cities are not the problem anymore than agrarianism is the answer. If we look to the Scriptures we see that God will give us “goodly cities”. But what many fail to see is that biblical cities, and in fact every city up until the 1900s, had a local agrarian foundation. The food was grown nearby and the substances of the earth formed the foundation for the economy. Wealth was found in items like livestock, food, dry goods, etc… Has anyone tried to make a living raising livestock lately?  How about in textiles? Farms are failing at an unprecedented rate because our economy is not based on a “just weight and measure”.  A paper economy is not a just weight or measure and therefore is not Biblical.  True wealth, that is to say Biblical wealth, is found in production and in working with the raw material of the earth.
The distinction between agrarianism and city living in today’s world is that our cities are centers of consumption. With the exception of a few artisans who are producing works from material that is shipped from abroad, skilled labor is gone from the cities. Even our food service industry, is precariously dependent upon a transportation line that brings its raw material from afar. The fact that it is called a “food service industry” should be a hint to us.
Gone is the craftsman who worked in his shop at his home. The transportation he once produced through wood and iron works has long ago been replaced by the automobile factory, which itself is now being removed from our suburbs and relocated overseas. Gone is the butcher who processed meat raised in the nearby fields. He has long since been replaced by a factory farm and corporate processing plants. This is not the result of cities. This is the result of industrialization coupled with unsound economic policies. This is the cost we must consider. The wealth of America is being exported daily. We are importing a substaintial part of our food supply and our raw materials.  So what becomes of us, when the rest of the world rejects the US dollar? Tell me again why we should be dependent upon this so called global economy?  Tell me again, why we need to import anything?
Vaughnshire is not about bashing city life and yelling to everyone the sky is falling. But what we desire very much to do is to raise a standard to which the wise and prudent may rally. If Christians, can rightly assess the times in which we live and put forward Biblical solutions to the problems we face as a culture, then we can effect the outward reformation of ideas, laws, and practices, while we cry out to God for the inward revival of His grace to be poured out upon the hearts of our nation.

1 Comment

  • Vera says:

    Thanks. That’s pretty much what I believe. The trouble are not cities and technology but people’s hearts. If we go back to farming that will not change anything if our hearts are not right.