Quote of the Week: John Crowe Ransom, “I’ll Take My Stand”

He identifies himself with a spot of ground, and this ground carries a good deal of meaning; it defines itself for him as nature. He would till it not too hurriedly and not too mechanically to observe in it the contingency and the infinitude of nature; and so his life acquires its philosophical and even its cosmic consciousness. A man can contemplate and explore, respect and love an object as substantial as a farm of a native province. But he cannot contemplate nor explore, respect not love, a mere turnover, such as an assemblage of ‘natural resources’, a pile of money, a volume of produce, a market, or a credit system. It is into precisely these intangibles that industrialism would translate the farmer’s farm. It means the dehumanisation of his life.

▪ John Crowe Ransom, “Reconstructed but Unregenerate” I’ll Take My Stand (Harper and Brothers, 1930; Louisiana State University Press, 2006) extract from pages 19 to 20.

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