economy

The market economy must find its place in a higher order of things which is not ruled by supply and demand, free prices, and competition. It must be firmly contained within an all-embracing order of society in which the imperfections and harshness of economic freedom are corrected by law and in which man is not denied conditions of life appropriate to his nature.

There is no denying it: the collectivist state is rooted in the masses (to which professors can belong as well as workers) and it can only exist under conditions which, sociologically speaking, we term spiritual collectivization, that is, conditions of society for which precisely the extreme democratic development is an excellent preparation but which is the direct opposite of the liberal as well as the conservative-aristocratic ideal.

Today we are aware of the high price that had to be paid for it [materi­al progress] and that we will contin­ue to have to pay, and we are by no means still certain that the price is not too high. We distrust the opti­mistic assertion that technology and the machine are complete­ly inno­cent of all this and that the blame rests squarely on man alone who is using them in the wrong way and will just have to learn the right one...The problem of the machine - which happens to be something else than just a highly developed tool - is not merely one of its use, but also one of the machine itself, which, follow­ing its own laws and imposing them on man, extracts its tribute from him.

That, however, does not render the poetry as a failure or as an irrelevance. It only affirms that alternatives to the lethal reductionism of empire require imagination and courage and staying power. In that ancient world, it was required that old Jerusalem be relinquished and new Jerusalem be undertaken. It is no less required now that there be relinquishing and undertaking. Those who act in this way will do so at the behest of the poets who may eventually be seen as Spirit led.

We need to ask not whether it is realistic or practical or viable but whether it is imaginable. We need to ask if our consciousness and imagination have been so assaulted and co-opted by the royal consciousness that we have been robbed of the courage or power to think an alternative thought.

Let us therefore create a new guild of craftsmen without the class-distinctions that raise an arrogant barrier between craftsmen and artists! Let us desire, conceive, and create the new building of the future together. It will combine architecture, sculpture, and painting in a single form, and will one day rise towards the heavens from the hands of a million workers as the crystalline symbol of a new and coming faith.

It is better to catch the idol-maker than to smash each idol.

No serious historian of politics would imagine that he had accounted for the protective tariff of the system of bounties or subsidies, for the monetary and banking laws, for the state of law in regard to corporate privileges and immunities, for the actual status of property rights, for agricultural or for labor policies, until he had gone behind the general claims and the abstract justifications and had identified the specifically interested groups which promoted the specific law.

Alphabet letterpress printing, in which each letter was cast on a separate piece of metal, or type, marked a psychological breakthrough of the first order. It embedded the word itself deeply in the manufacturing process and made it into a kind of commodity. The first assembly lie, a technique of manufacture which in a series of set steps produces identical complex objects made up of replaceable parts, was not one which produced stoves or shoes or weaponry but one which produced the printed book. In the late 1700s, the industrial revolution applied to other manufacturing the replaceable-part techniques which printers had worked with for three hundred years. Despite the assumptions of many semiotic structuralists, it was print, not writing, that effectively reified the word, and, with it, noetic activity.

By contrast with vision, the dissecting sense, sound is thus a unifying sense. A typical visual ideal is clarity and distinctness, a taking apart. The auditory ideal, by contrast, is harmony, a putting together.

Oratory has deep agonistic roots. The development of the vast rhetorical tradition was distinctive of the west and was related, whether as cause or effect or both, to the tendency among the Greeks and their cultural epigoni to maximize oppositions, in the mental as in the extramental world: this by contrast with Indians and Chinese, who programmatically minimized them.

Putting people into homes, though a desirable goal, shouldn’t be our country’s primary objective. Keeping them in their homes should be the ambition.

A proper community, we should remember also, is a commonwealth: a place, a resource, an economy. It answers the needs, practical as well as social and spiritual, of its members - among them the need to need one another. The answer to the present alignment of political power with wealth is the restoration of the identity of community and economy.

And I declare myself free from ignorant love. You easy lovers and forgivers of mankind, stand back! I will love you at a distance, and not because you deserve it. My love must be discriminate or fail to bear its weight.

Can we actually suppose that we are wasting, polluting, and making ugly this beautiful land for the sake of patriotism and the love of God? Perhaps some of us would like to think so, but in fact this destruction is taking place because we have allowed ourselves to believe, and to live, a mated pair of economic lies: that nothing has a value that is not assigned to it by the market; and that the economic life of our communities can safely be handed over to the great corporations.

Connection is health. And what our society does its best to disguise from us is how ordinary, how commonly attainable, health is. We lose our health - and create profitable diseases and dependences - by failing to see the direct connections between living and eating, eating and working, working and loving. In gardening, for instance, one works with the body to feed the body. The work, if it is knowledgeable, makes for excellent food. And it makes one hungry. The work thus makes eating both nourishing and joyful, not consumptive, and keeps the eater from getting fat and weak. This is health, wholeness, a source of delight.

For the true measure of agriculture is not the sophistication of its equipment the size of its income or even the statistics of its productivity but the good health of the land.

It was a country . . . that he and his people had known how to use and abuse, but not how to preserve.

Monsanto doesn't care about feeding the world. We have to think about the wage slavery of migrant workers and salary slavery of those who are desperately unhappy.

Sometimes I knew in all my mind and heart why I had done what I had done, and I welcomed the sacrifice. But there were times too when I lived in a desert and felt no joy and saw no hope and could not remember my old feelings. Then I lived by faith alone, faith without hope.