The Tyranny Of Compulsory Schooling
Let me speak to you about dumbness because that is what schools teach best. Old-fashioned dumbness used to be simple ignorance: you didn’t know something, but there were ways to find out if you wanted to. Govemment-controlled schooling didn’t eliminate dumbness — in fact, we now know that people read more fluently before we had forced schooling — but dumbness was transformed.
An Interview With Edward Abbey
But still, when all other means fail, we are morally justified — not merely justified, but morally obligated — to defend that which we love by whatever means are available. If my family, my life, my children were attacked, I wouldn’t hesitate to use violence to defend them. By the same principle, if land I love is being violated, raped, plundered, murdered, and all political means to save it have failed, I feel that sabotage is morally justifiable.
Most western students (I say most, not all), and interpreters of Mahatma Gandhi have understood him in a rather narrow sense. They have seen his non-violence, his Satyagraha and his pacifism in terms of war and resistance. They have ignored a very important section of his philosophy which is about the reconstruction of a peaceful society. War to him was only a by-product of our economic and political systems, a symptom of wrong relationships among human communities. There is no point in resisting war if we do not remove the causes of war.
I’m gouging (laboriously) in a drainage pipe to avoid paying $20 an hour to somebody who knows how to do it right with proper tools. It is hot, I stop often and, being on top of the pup feeder, I can see into adjoining yards the same old mess except for a pretty (sort of) microwave oven, on chrome legs.
Every week, hundreds of farms go out of business. Only half the farms that were viably operating in 1950 exist today. In less than thirty years, three million farms have disappeared. The story of their demise is one of America’s greatest tragedies.
Probably the largest investment anyone of us will make is in our home, whether we rent or build or buy. House building has changed from a master craft to the expensive complexity of big business with its steadily increasing cost to the consumer and inefficient use of natural resources.