Monday, February 06, 2006

Wendell's got it pegged folks...

The terms exploitation and nurture, on the other hand, describe a division not only between persons but also within persons.... Let me outline as briefly as I can what seem to me the characteristics of these opposite kinds of mind. I conceive a strip-miner to be a model exploiter, and for a model nurturer, I take the old-fashioned idea or ideal of a farmer.
The exploiter is a specialist, an expert; the nurturer is not. The standard of the exploiter is efficiency; the standard of the nurturer is care. The exploiter’s goal is money, profit; the nurturer’s goal is health—his land’s health, his own, his family’s, his community’s, his country’s…. The exploiter wishes to earn as much as possible by as little work as possible; the nurturer expects, certainly, to have a decent living from his work, but his characteristic wish is to work as well as possible…. The exploiter typically serves an institution or organization; the nurturer serves land, household, community, place. The exploiter thinks in terms of numbers, quantities, “hard facts”; the nurturer in terms of character, condition, quality, kind.
—Wendell Berry, “The Unsettling of America” in The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry (2002), p. 39

7 Comments:

Blogger hcmom said...

hi
I plan to use some of your writings in my classes are "spring boards" for message posters that we will be doing. now lets see if i can remember the user name and password

5:02 PM  
Blogger amanda up north said...

Good plain truth to this...
the farmer is a good example. When reading this, the next example that springs to my mind is the "builder."
Nice to make a comfortable homestead for yourself... Use the land as a place to settle in and do so with respect and blendabiltiy... but the growing problem is the exploitive builders, who clearcut for the profit of the logs, and then develope and build to turnaround and sell, business and profits.
(... and gliness and shame if you ask me!!) You post some thought-provoking stuff here!

6:08 PM  
Blogger MN Justin said...

I think you're right on with the builder example. The "north country" is being cut up and sold off... I remember Blaine writing in his holiday letter something like "the lake country market was unbelievable this year"... like it's just another commodity or something.

My good friend just took a job with TNC in the GR area... his job is to try to secure the woods up there... before it's all fragmented and dashed apart.

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