Health

The aims of production, profit, efficiency, economic growth, and technological progress imply, as I have said, no social or ecological standards, and in practice they submit to none.  But there is another set of aims that does imply a standard, and these aims are freedom (which is pretty much a synonym for personal and local self-sufficiency), pleasure (that is, our gladness to be alive), and longevity or sustainability (by which we signify our wish that human freedom and pleasure may last).  The standard implied by all of these aims is health.  They depend ultimately and inescapably on the health of nature; the idea that freedom and pleasure can last long in a diseased world is preposterous.  But these good things depend also on the health of human culture, and human culture is to a considerable extent the knowledge of economic and other domestic procedures – that is, ways of work, pleasure, and education – that preserve the health of nature. (201-202)

Wendell Berry | “Conservation and Local Economy” from The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

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