It is no coincidence that the decline of our liberty, wealth and independence coincides with the decline of agriculture in the American republic. Those who ponder the loss of their freedom, the inability to make ends meet and growing influence of internationalism and creeping socialism would be wise to notice the crumbling barns and empty fields around them.
From the very beginning, America’s founders realized that a strong and decentralized agriculture was essential for the maintenance of a free and independent republic. The reasons being many.
Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. they are the most vigorous, the most independant, the most virtuous, & they are tied to their country & wedded to it’s liberty & interests by the most lasting bands. ~ Thomas Jefferson
Agriculture … is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals & happiness. ~ Thomas Jefferson in a letter to George Washington
First, the freeholder and small farmer was understood to be the guardian of liberty. Providing for his families most basic needs, the freeholder was not worried about “biting the hand that fed him”. He was his own man and guarded his precious rights of a free Englishmen, the birthright of the Magna Carta. His allegiance was first to God, second to his family and next to his country. The early American farmer had crossed an ocean and turned a wilderness into a garden, through blood, sweat and tears. He saw this, first and foremost, as a biblical mandate and the highest calling aside from being a minister of the Word. No one had stronger ties to the land, a stronger love for independence and civil liberty than the farmer. This of course is why collectivist tyrants throughout the ages, have first and foremost sought to destroy the independent farmer. Whether through regulation, taxation, economic warfare or simply murdering him…the freeholder must be eliminated before a free and independent people can be enslaved.
America’s founders understood that real wealth comes from the ground. The only real economic growth is that of agriculture. Without a strong agriculture, the national economy is built on lies, theft and fraud. Benjamin Franklin in his “Positions to be Examined” (April 4, 1769) made an very keen observation…
Finally, there seem to be but three Ways for a Nation to acquire Wealth. The first is by War as the Romans did in plundering their conquered Neighbours. This is Robbery. The second by Commerce which is generally Cheating. The third by Agriculture the only honest Way; wherein Man receives a real Increase of the Seed thrown into the Ground, in a kind of continual Miracle wrought by the Hand of God in his favour, as a Reward for his innocent Life, and virtuous Industry.
Today bankers create money (actually debt) out of thin air and then tell us it’s “wealth”. The moment that our people bought into this lie and ignored the real wealth creator, agriculture, was the moment that real wealth was sucked from their pockets and replaced with an IOU. When a cow eats grass and produces milk, this is economic growth. This is wealth creation. When a man plants a seed and it grows into a plant producing twenty seeds, this is wealth creation. When a banker creates money out of thin air, the value of your “wealth” decreases. You have been robbed and plundered. When market bubbles are inflated, the wealth is make believe. When the bubble pops, the loss is make believe. You either have an agrarian economy or one that is make believe.
Here is a fact that should be understood by all. Any nation that wishes to remain independent must be able to provide for itself, food and fiber. The strength of a nation, when the SHTF, comes down to the ability of that nation to feed and cloth itself. In the age of “free trade” we are told that this is of no concern. We are told that agriculture is an old and dirty occupation. We are told that we should buy these things from other countries (even our enemies) and not worry about doing it ourselves. What could possibly go wrong??? Anyone that tells you these things, whether they claim to be “conservative” or “liberal” are your enemies. As America produces less from the earth, it becomes more dependent and beholden to outside interests. First our economies are gutted through “free trade” pacts and treaties. The economic blocs such as the proposed North American Union gradually become political blocs with the end goal of merging the regional blocs into a centralized global government. Countries that import their food and fiber can easily be forced into going along. Starvation is powerful persuader.
What shall we do?
While the political machine has been used to destroy agrarianism through regulations, property taxes and legal tender laws; it would be fool hearted to spend all of our efforts to correct our trajectory in the political realm. Now, this is not to say we should not seek reforms when possible, especially at the local and county level. But the great need at present is a return of the people to the land. Reversing the trend of urbanization is key to regaining our liberty. As Jefferson wisely predicted, the nation would only remain free and prosperous if it remained agricultural and would fall into corruption if the mass of the people populated cities. The first step toward an agrarian restoration primarily rests on individual families taking steps toward self-sufficiency and returning to the rural areas. These families lead by example and help others to transition back to the land. Communities are formed and localism begins to take root once more. We must build up a resilient agriculture that is family scaled and less dependent on inputs. One that feeds itself and fuels it’s own region’s economy with real wealth and growth. It is a long row to hoe, but it must be done.