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Legion. An amalgamated journal.

Preserving the public poise

After some years in the country, during which time I have experienced the satisfactions of working the land, building the soil, and making brown into green, I am beginning to believe that our new world that will open up after the war should be constructed round a repopulated rural America, so that a reasonably large proportion of the population shall participate in the culture of the earth. The trend is often in the opposite direction, even in peace. […] When too large a proportion of the populace is supporting itself by the indiscretions of trade and business and commerce and art and the million schemes of men in cities, then the complexity of society is likely to become so great as to destroy its equilibrium, and it will always be out of balance in some way. But if a considerable portion of the people are occupied wholly or partially in labors that directly supply them with many things that they want, or think they want, whether it be a sweet pea or a sour pickle, then the public poise will be a good deal harder to upset.

E. B. White, One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper Colophon, 1982).

Garrett Dash Nelson

August 12th, 2008 at 11:11 am