Evola: “Capitalism just as subversive as Marxism…”

Capitalism just as subversive as marxism

I have not read much Evola – just a few quotes here and there – but I agree with this. Economics, while important for survival (the word means, literally, “household management” – Greek oikos + nomos), is a means to an end: one which is too-often treated as if it were an end in itself.

The high and ultimate things – religion, e.g., the proper relationship between God and Man, and philosophy, including ethics and morality, e.g., the quest for a right relationship between and among humans, as well as something like Aldo Leopold’s “land ethic” – must come first, and serve as the basis for the practical, instrumental considerations which follow, including economics.

By placing economics at the forefront and letting our values flow from there, I believe, we as a society are currently putting the cart before the horse!

You will note that these “high and ultimate things” are closely interrelated, not separate and distinct: I have spoken and written elsewhere about the importance of re-weaving the connections between and among God, Nature, and Humankind – that is to say, adopting a truly holistic view of the world (cosmos) and our place within it.

Economics has a role in this process, and it is an essential one. But it is or should be a supporting role, not a lead role. An analogy might be architecture, in which support structures such as pillars, arches, etc., are absolutely essential to the construction and support of a building – and which ones are chosen is far from irrelevant! – but they are not the purpose of the building.

This is where we have gone wrong in our treatment of economics, in my opinion, whether capitalist or Marxist in orientation. And this is, I think, the point of the Evola quote, above.

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The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic – and why that’s important

Source: The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic (It’s Not The Gluten) | Real News 24: Breaking Alternative News Source

• Emails from folks with allergic or digestive issues to wheat in the United States experienced no symptoms whatsoever when they tried eating pasta on vacation in Italy.

• Confused parents wondering why wheat consumption sometimes triggered autoimmune reactions in their children but not at other times.

• In my own home, I’ve long pondered why my husband can eat the wheat I prepare at home, but he experiences negative digestive effects eating even a single roll in a restaurant.

There is clearly something going on with wheat that is not well known by the general public. It goes far and beyond organic versus non-organic, gluten or hybridization because even conventional wheat triggers no symptoms for some who eat wheat in other parts of the world…

I have chosen not to focus intensively on either ecological or agricultural issues in this blog, although both are of very intense personal interest to me, because there is so much other “stuff” going on, that when I decided to open The Anglophilic Anglican up to contemporary political commentary, I decided not to dilute the focus too much.

However, one of the premises of this blog is that traditional society, and traditional life-ways – particularly, but not exclusively, those of Western Christendom – are under attack from a variety of quarters, and this is one of them: the industrialization and globalization of agriculture, and the replacement of wise husbandry and stewardship of the land by people who live and work close to that land, and are responsible to their local communities, a hallmark of (most) agriculture since its earliest beginnings in the “Neolithic revolution,” with cynical profiteering by multinational corporations.

Note: it’s not the farmers who are getting filthy rich from the (mis-)use of chemicals or GMOs in agriculture, it’s the producers of those chemicals or GMOs. Most farmers still want to do the right thing, but they’re facing an uphill battle, caught between industry propaganda and the lure of higher yields with less effort. Who loses? We all do:

The farmers, who aside from the moral issues are still usually struggling to make ends meet.

The local community, since the internationalization of agriculture shifts the money-making aspects from Main Street to corporate boardrooms.

The consumer, who as this article makes all-too-clear, are consuming agricultural products – one hesitates to call it “food” – that are making us sick, and in some cases may be slowly killing us.

The environment, which suffers from herbicide, pesticide, and fertilizer run-off, and is at constant risk from the potential escape of genetically modified organisms into the ecosystem.

Meanwhile, the corporate fat-cats get fatter. What’s the answer? Well, there is no easy one. This article makes a good case for avoiding conventional wheat, wherever possible (a real challenge, especially for people on a limited budget), but in general, the less processed, industrialized food we can consume, the better: for our own health, the health of our communities, and the health of our all-important ecosystems. Here is the rule of thumb I try to use, finances allowing, when it comes to the source of my food (in order of preference):

  1.  Local, organic. Obviously, this is the gold standard!
  2. Local, non-organic – but sustainable, if possible. Look for “certified naturally grown,” or at least “IPM (Integrated Pest Management) certified.” In any case, at least local farms have a vested interest in not making their neighbors sick, and often you can actually see how they’re growing their food… some even invite this. Look for those farms.
  3. Non-local, organic. It’s better not to have to eat food that has been shipped for hundreds of miles, for reasons of taste, nutrition, and fuel consumption; but even at that, it’s better to eat food that has been grown organically – even far away – than food that’s been pumped full of chemicals.
  4. Non-local, non-organic – as a last resort, to sustain life, if that’s all you can get (or afford). Try to be as choosy as possible, and if nothing else, at least shop the edges of the supermarket: that’s where the (reasonably) fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, and dairy hang out. Avoid the brightly-packed, but hideously over-processed, “food products” in the center as much as possible.

We are under attack from, as I say, many quarters: political, social, economic, environmental, nutritional, even medical. Globalism and corporatism are the enemies, at least as much as the more obvious ones like Islamic terrorists, and runaway, displacement-level immigration. The more we can stick to healthy, sustainable, local sources – from keeping politics as local as possible (with exceptions like securing national borders), to patronizing the local farmer, local artisan, craftsman, or business, the better. For all of us!

Reflections on the Southern Agrarians and their lessons for us today

eastman-johnson-american-painter-1824-1906-man-with-a-scythe-1868-1340986648_org
Eastman Johnson (American painter, 1824-1906): Man With a Scythe – 1868.

I finally had the opportunity to acquire a book I have long wanted to read: “I’ll Take My Stand: the South and the Agrarian Tradition” by “Twelve Southerners,” a collection of essays written specifically for that publication (called by its authors a “symposium”) and published in 1930. Continue reading “Reflections on the Southern Agrarians and their lessons for us today”

Locally owned businesses can help communities thrive | Grist

Cities where small businesses account for a relatively large share of the economy have stronger social networks and more engaged citizens.

Source: Locally owned businesses can help communities thrive — and survive climate change | Grist

Let’s bracket out the “climate change” part of this, not because the climate isn’t changing – it is – but because intelligent people of good will can disagree on the extent to which those changes are anthropogenic (human-caused) and how much is due to natural cycles over which we have limited or no control. Obsessing over climate change can make enemies out of people who might otherwise be allies. Let’s just focus on doing the right thing, thereby generating positive, synergistic effects that will, in the main, benefit all of us, whether global warming is anthropogenic or not.

Case in point: I first ran across this article back in the dim and distant past (2013…), but the message is no less important, four years later! When I posted it on my Facebook account, I wrote, quoting the article,

“That there’s a connection between the ownership structure of our economy and the vitality of our democracy may sound a bit odd to modern ears. But this was an article of faith among 18th- and 19th-century Americans, who strictly limited the lifespan of corporations and enacted antitrust laws whose express aim was to protect democracy by maintaining an economy of small businesses.” Unfortunately, the bigger-is-better mindset of the 20th century blew this traditional American concept out of the water…

Indeed it did. And sadly so!

Our Founders – preeminently Thomas Jefferson, but others as well – were clear that the United States was intended to be a nation of smallholders: yeoman farmers, shopkeepers, tradesmen. They were staunch defenders of both private property and free enterprise, but having had to deal with the effects of oppression not only by the British Crown but by the East India Company, among others, they were understandably chary of giving corporations too much power. The kind of crony capitalism, corporatism, plutocracy and oligarchy we see today would, I am quite sure, have been anathema to them. Continue reading “Locally owned businesses can help communities thrive | Grist”

Why Did Patrick Henry Oppose the Constitution? – The Imaginative Conservative

To Americans familiar only with Henry’s blazing “Liberty or Death” oration of 1775, it may come as a shock to learn that Henry opposed the adoption of the Constitution.

Source: Why Did Patrick Henry Oppose the Constitution? – The Imaginative Conservative

To Americans familiar only with Henry’s blazing “Liberty or Death” oration of 1775, it may come as a shock to learn that Henry opposed the adoption of the Constitution. Henry always had a flair for the dramatic, but on this occasion, Mother Nature offered him an improbable assist: As he thundered against the dangers of the new centralized government, a howling storm rose outside the Richmond hall. Frightened delegates scurried to take cover.

A memorable scene, to be sure, but how could the man who cried “give me liberty or give me death,” this patriot who penned Virginia’s resolves against the Stamp Act in 1765, not support the Constitution? The answer was pretty simple: Henry thought that the American Revolution was, at root, a rebellion against the coercive power of the British government. In particular, it was a rebellion against unjust British taxes. Henry, therefore, thought it was madness for Americans to place that same kind of consolidated political authority over themselves again…

A most interesting treatment of an era and an episode in American history of which most Americans know little or nothing! I myself knew only parts of this. Of special note is his discussion of the successes, as well as failures, of the American government under the Articles of Confederation – a part of our history which is almost complete terra incognita to many (most) contemporary Americans. Well worth a read!

Nota Bene: I should note that I do not entirely agree with the assertion that “In particular, [the American Revolution] was a rebellion against unjust British taxes.” It was a rebellion against many things, of which taxes were one important one – but only one. Continue reading “Why Did Patrick Henry Oppose the Constitution? – The Imaginative Conservative”

The Plight of the Overworked Nonprofit Employee – The Atlantic

Do mission-driven organizations with tight budgets have any choice but to demand long, unpaid hours of their staffs?

Source: The Plight of the Overworked Nonprofit Employee – The Atlantic

“It is time to revisit the idea that working for the public good should somehow mean requiring the lowest-paid among us to support these efforts by working long hours, many of which are unpaid.”

Amen!!! Why am I doing what I’m doing, instead of historical and/or cultural history interpretation, or sustainable agriculture education? Because I can’t make a living doing those. 😦 People in general tend to value living history sites, parks and nature centers, and educational farms, often highly; but somehow that appreciation doesn’t seem to translate into enough dollars – grant-wise or otherwise – to support them.

Ironically, in 2014, the value of volunteer hours — generally in support of non-profit organizations — reached $23.70/hour. Yet it’s hard to find a paying position at such a site for even half that! Can someone explain to me, please, how we can value our volunteers (wonderful people, all, and absolutely vital to the organizations they support, don’t get me wrong!) more than twice as much as the people who actually work there for their livings? Or to put it another way, why do we value paid staff only half as much as volunteers?

Of course, it’s easy to say “you’re worth such-and-such” when you don’t actually have to pay the person that, and that’s the crux of the matter. If we as a culture really do value natural and cultural history interpretation, and related fields, then we need to figure out how to pay a living wage to those who provide it.