But good agriculture is a community enterprise, too. The Amish prosper and net a high percentage of gross, partly because they are good neighbors to one another. The great Amish asset is neighborliness. That’s a religious principle: Love thy neighbor as thyself. But it’s also an economic asset. If you’ve got a neighbor, you’ve got help, and this implies another limit. If you want to have neighbors, you can’t have a limitless growth economy. You have to prefer to have a neighbor rather than to own your neighbor’s farm. There’s a fundamental incompatibility between industrial capitalism and both the ecological and the social principles of good agriculture. The aim of industrialization has always been to replace people with machines or other technology, to make the cost of production as low as possible, to sell the product as high as possible, and to move the wealth into fewer and fewer hands. People talk about “job creation,” as if that had ever been the aim the industrial economy. The original Luddites were right. The aim was to replace people with machines.

Wendell Berry, interviewed here

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