Sunday, February 28, 2010

The romantic rural past
In part this seems a good libertarian answer to Rod Dreher’s and others’ well-meant crunchiness
As the speakers talked about preserving small-scale farming and the ability of countries like Haiti to grow their own food, I thought about Canada and the fact that I like being able to buy avocados year-round and asked myself it it would make sense to have some government program that ensured that Canada was growing its own food supply even if people were not all that interested in buying only what we can grow in our cold climate and short growing season. Are we trying to impose our notions of community and a nostalgia for what we’ve lost on people in developing countries who would rather have cell phones and TVs than live in a picturesque hut in a traditional village somewhere?
As P.J. O’Rourke wrote in his heyday, I don’t want to be the skinny health-food nut who tries to get in their way.
Homesteading was a form of voluntary poverty and as my grandmother once said in her thick Russian accent, “Being poor is very interesting for a while, but then it becomes very boring.”

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