I’ve been having an exclusionary argument, one that pushes U.S. independence from dependence on other countries. It could be painful, especially for the generations accustomed to being consumers rather than producers, manufacturers, farmers, fishers, teachers and learners of trade. I’m surprised I feel it’s a losing argument.
I’m confronted with particulars about expertise, education, experience, lack of resources, interest. I step back and ask why? Why can’t we stop paving-over good food-producing land and grow things besides buildings? Why do we need so much to be content? Why can’t we be happy with what we produce ourselves, learn to create that which we desire or need, and become craftsmen in demand by our fellow Americans?
When did we stop caring more about this thing I can’t explain? I’d not be devastated to lose all that I own to fire or flood; I’d pick up and start over, regardless if that means I cook in a coffee can and sleep in three layers of clothes to keep warm. So many Americans live in the city with no way to provide for themselves aside from a check, whether earned or supported by charity.
The industrial revolution changed us, how we looked at values, needs, wants. Progress has overtaken us and we’re falling behind for its sake alone. I might be happy to be corrected, but I don’t believe there’s much I can’t live without, there’s a whole Walmart full of things I won’t ever need, and my wants are very, very few. Perhaps, were I believer in reincarnation, I’d come back a full-blown hippie. A rubber-band would do me.