Lincoln wishes to promote Jeffersonian virtues by Hamiltonian means. In a Jeffersonian vein, Lincoln wants to encourage small, independent operations that free people from dependence on “the man.”
Wendell Berry pleads with us to see that true joy and fulfillment— the very motivations at the heart of Huck Finn and Christopher McCandless—are to be found not in escape and isolation, but in willing membership and participation in community life.
Was the experience of “community” in an Ohio town during Ervin’s lifetime fundamentally more compelling and authentic than has been possible after the post-war economic boom? Or should Ervin’s passion for organizing and social service be seen as an attempt to compensate for an actual fragility of communal life?
The conservationist recognizes that the society we live in, as much as the natural world we live in, was given to us as a gift with the demand that we pass it on to future generations, and therefore it is neither easily discarded nor above reproach.