Resource Use

Written by Wendell Berry

The industrial economy can define potentiality, even the potentiality of  the living topsoil, o­nly as afund, and thus it must accept impoverishment as the inescapable condition of abundance.  The invariable mode of its relation both to natue and to human culture is that of mining:  withdrawal from a limited fund until that fund is exhausted.  It removes natural fertility and human workmanship from the land, just as it removes nourishment and human workmanship from bread.  Thus the land is reduced to abstract marketable quantities of length and width, and bread to merchandise that is high in money value but low in food value.  "Our bread'" Guy Davenport o­nce said to me, "is more obscene than our movies."

But the industrial use of any resource implies its exhaustion.  It is for this reason that the industrial economy has been accompanied by an ever-increasing hurry of research and exploration, the motive of which is not "free enterprise" or "the spirit of free inquiry," as industrial scientist and apologists would have us believe, but the desperation that naturally and logically accompanies gluttony.

Wendell  Berry, The Art of the Commonplace, p.230.

Designed by Free Joomla Templates