Freeing ourselves from the corrosive Consumer identity isn’t an individual task, but a call for system change rings hollow if we are afraid of personal change. How can we imagine a world beyond the Consumer if we can’t talk about our experiences of consuming and acknowledge that down-powering will not be easy?
Wendell Berry has written endlessly about the goodness of local work; if, for Berry, the goodness of such work is connected to agrarian virtue, while for Jackson it is connected to ecological necessity, does that make much practical difference?
So long as old Christianity is treated as an aesthetic or an alternative lifestyle or a set of values contending against alienated modernity, it will never be anything more than a therapeutic commodity. But if we allow it to reckon with us, we may find ourselves snared in the grasp of “something real.”
We live in a time of political disruption. In the United States and around the developed world we are seeing nationalist and populist agitation...