Back to Christ–Back to the Land!

On the Level

Owen Young says:
“We will never have prosperity
as long as there is no balance
between industry
and agriculture.”
The farmer sells
in an open market
and is forced to buy
in a restricted market.
When the farmer gets
a pair of overalls
for a bushel of wheat
the wheat and the overalls
are on the level.
When the farmer
has to give
two bushels of wheat
for a pair of overalls
the wheat and the overalls
are not on the level.
Wheat and overalls
must be on the level.


Lenin said:
“The world cannot be
half industrial
and half agricultural.”
England, Germany,
Japan and America
have become
Soviet Russia
is trying to keep up
with England, Germany,
Japan and America.
When all the world
will be industrialized
every country
will be looking
for foreign markets.
But when every country
will be industrialized
you will not have
foreign markets.

Mechanized Labor

Gandhi says:
“Industrialism is evil.”
Industrialism is evil
because it brings idleness
both to the capitalist class
and the working class.
Idleness does no good
either to the capitalist class
or to the working class.
Creative labor
is what keeps people
out of mischief.
Creative labor
is craft labor.
Mechanized labor
is not creative labor.

No Pleasure in Their Work

Carlyle says:
“He who has found his work,
let him look
for no other blessedness.”
But workmen
cannot find happiness
in mechanized work.
As Charles Devas says,
“The great majority
having to perform
some mechanized operation
which requires little thought
and allows no originality
and which concerns an object
in the transformation of which,
whether previous or subsequent,
they have no part,
cannot take pleasure
in their work.”
As D. Marshall says,
“Previously the workman
fashioned every article
with his own hands,
bringing to bear on it
all the skill of the craft
which was his;
now all of this
is done by the machine.”

Industrialism and Art

Eric Gill says:
“The notion of work
has been separated
from the notion of art.
The notion of the useful
has been separated
from the notion of the beautiful
The artist,
that is to say,
the responsible workman,
has been separated
from all other workmen.
The factory hand
has no responsibility
for what he produces.
He has been reduced
to a sub-human condition
of intellectual irresponsibility.
has released the artist
from the necessity
of making anything useful
has also released the workman
from making anything amusing.”

From a Chinese

A Chinese says:
“I thought I had become Westernized
but now I am becoming repatriated.
The material progress of America
had dazzled me.
I wished while there
to transplant what I saw
to China.
But now that I am home again
I see that our two civilizations
have irreconcilable differences.
Yours is a machine civilization;
ours is a handicraft civilization.
Your people
work in factories;
our people
work in shops.
Your people
produce quantity things
that are alike;
our people
produce quality things
that are different.
What would Western industrialism
do to us?
Our people
would become robots.
Our cultural traditions
would be destroyed.”

Regard for the Soil

Andrew Nelson Lytle says:
“The escape from industrialism
is not in Socialism
or in Sovietism.
The answer lies
in a return to a society
where agriculture is practiced
by most of the people.
It is in fact impossible
for any culture
to be sound and healthy
without a proper respect
and proper regard
for the soil,
no matter
how many urban dwellers
think that their food
comes from groceries
and delicatessens
or their milk from tin cans.
This ignorance
does not release them
from a final dependence
upon the farm.”

Up to Catholics

Ralph Adams Cram says:
“What I propose
is that Catholics
should take up
this back-to-the-land problem
and put it into operation.
Why Catholics?
Because they realize
more clearly than any others
the shortcomings
of the old capitalist
industrial system.
They, better than others,
see the threat
that impends.
They alone understand
that while the family
is the primary social unit,
the community comes next.
And there is
no sound
and righteous
and enduring community
where all its members
are not substantially
of one mind
in matters of the spirit–
that is to say,
of religion.”