Friday, April 20, 2012

On Those Happy Peasants of Yesteryear


"… is from page 557 of Will Durant’s 1950 volume, The Age of Faith; here Durant writes about the typical medieval peasant:
He shared in the social life of the village, but had no cultural interests.  He could not read; a literate serf would have been an offense to his illiterate lord.  He was ignorant of everything but farming, and not too skilled in that.  His manners were rough and hearty, perhaps gross; in this turmoil of European history he had to survive by being a good animal, and he managed it.  He was greedy because poor, cruel because fearful, violent because repressed, churlish because treated as a churl.  He was the mainstay of the church, but he had more superstition than religion.
But this peasant was a locovore whose food (when such was available, as it frequently was not) was organic!"

And some voices (and fists are) are raised in praise of dismantling capitalism and returning to a "simpler" farming age?  Why don't they migrate to sub-Saharan Africa from their pampered lives in the market economies in the West.

Don Boudreaux, from whom I took the quote, published on his daily Blog Café Hayek, is a sane voice for markets and competitive trade.  It is well worth reading each day (even if you do not always agree with all his observations).


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