Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Sage of Kentucky

The American Conservative has an article on Wendell Berry as modern agrarian. (Via Joshua Snyder.)
Patrick Deneen’s essay, “Wendell Berry and Democratic Self-Governance,” makes a powerful case for understanding Berry as restoring the ground, in deeply Aristotelian ways, for true democratic participation in ruling and being ruled rather than merely casting a vote periodically as part of an abstract social contract. It is true participation because it is local, historically settled, deeply conversant with what is at stake, and well-cultured. Deneen quotes Berry on the cultural conditions for this kind of democracy: “To have a culture, mostly the same people have to live mostly in the same place for a long time. Traditional knowledge is knowledge that has been remembered or recorded, handed down, pondered, corrected, practiced, and refined over a long time.” Good political choices do not come from the consumption of sound bites but from deliberation based on traditional knowledge. (Read entire post.)

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