What Is Agrarianism?
By: David Rockett

Several years ago I learned about The Agrarian Foundation and liked what I read at their web site. The organization was headed up by a man named David Rockett. I have linked from this blog to four articles at The Agrarian Foundation web site for a long time. Recently, however,  I learned that the links were no longer working. After some searching I was disappointed to find out that The Agrarian Foundation web site is no longer there. 

I managed to get David Rockett's e-mail (thanks Scott). Mr. Rockett appears to have moved on to other pursuits for now but he gave me permission to post any of his agrarian essays here at The Deliberate Agrarian. I am in the process of trying to get all the essays so I can post them. But I just happened to have a printed-out copy of the shortest of the essays, titled What is Agrarianism?. It's my pleasure to post it here for our consideration.

What is Agrarianism?
By: David Rockett

The winds of Decentralisation are blowing. More than ever before people are seeing the moral bankruptcy of Modern Darwinian Fascism. The Agrarian Vision is challenging Modernism and is making steady progress in stirring old dormant sentiments still alive in small remnants throughout the world. Thousands who'd unwittingly repudiated their heritage for the material trickery of Darwinian Fascism are re-thinking their lives and priorities. Secession and Decentralisation are growing as the machine culture's unquestioned grip weakens. And since history in neither over nor stagnant—we might yet rebuild beyond what was only recently lost. As Yogi says 'It ain't over till it's over".

But what is Agrarianism? We must know, if we are to capture what's been lost. Agrarianism is the social theory which took up the cause of free-holders of property who'd multiplied towards the end of the middleages. Family owned land and property became more broadly distributed, and communities experienced a greater degree of independence. In Colonial America, John Randolph of Roanoke and John Taylor of Caroline were prominent Agrarian advocates with, of course, Thomas Jefferson. By then Agrarians believed the propertylessness and dependency of city populations and factory laborers bode ill for a country. City hoards would become fodder (serfs?) for increasingly wealthy and powerful industrialists. (Jefferson thought cities hotbeds of Revolution.) Prolonged withdrawal from nature was held culturally distorting. Agrarians protested the cultural and philosophical effects of the Enlightenment and French Revolution, which began to reap the effects of their inherently pagan Rationalism. The 1,000-year Christian foundation in Europe was broken. Remnants and traditions lingered through World War 1, after which Europe has seldom thought of itself as Christendom.

In the United States, the 1920s brought the Nashville Agrarians who published I'll Take My Stand in 1930 defending old Agrarian views. (Chesterton and Belloc's Distributism in Britan was similar). It opposed what Northern 'Industrialisation' had done, and continued doing after the war for Southern Independence. Enlightenment Rationalism of the 1700s had birthed a secular Darwinian Industrialism. By the late 1800s, it had crushed all but a remnant of European Christendom holding on in the old South. (Yeah, the South had/has its sinners. I'm talking 'bout the foundations of culture, law, education and morals.)

Darwinian Industrialism won the last 116 years of centralisation. Property, Wealth, and Political Power has been consolidated as Plutocratic elites rule big-cities, big-corporations, big-government, and the United Nations. The Cult of Science and its sister, Technology, has enshrined a pagan 'Philosophy of Progress' and devours all in its path. Most modern families acquiesce to lives of unprecedented dependency upon giant utilities, agribusiness and industrial providers of most every 'need'. The Agrarian vision has all but vanished from the modern mind. The vision which saw thousands of small, independent farming communities, carefully 'husbanding' their own land (Creation), and actively caring for their own people almost vanished. But today fresh Agrarian winds are blowing. Stay tuned.


Nancy said...

That sums it up very well. I appreciate you putting this on here and look forward to reading the others.

Gorges Smythe said...

I haven't done any "agrarian reading" for a few years. Wendall Berry was the last, probably. Maybe it's time again.