Thursday, May 7, 2009

More Thoughts on Beer

Jeremy Beer, that is, who has written a fine and thought-provoking essay on the ideology of meritocracy at Front Porch Republic.

In his conclusion Jeremy writes: "Eating local, buying local, thinking local all are now in-usually among people who are in no sense “locals.” Being local is the next and most crucial and hardest step."

By this same token, many of our fellow Americans who are most inclined by circumstance to live locally are also more likely than many to shop "globally," that is, particularly inclined to frequent chain restaurants, Wal-Mart and Home Depot. Their very purchasing habits is one of the sources of the decimation of their communities, further making them unlovely for any potential meritocrat who might consider re-settling back home.

This, in a microcosm, is a central paradox of our political system: our cosmopolite meritocrats theoretically admire localism but abhor the idea of living within the confines that such life would entail; our Red-State locals tend to despise cosmopolites, but support (and vote for) an economic system that encourages borderlessness, placelessness, and a profoundly abstract economy that has the effect of eviscerating those very localities. This arrangement is one of the central features undermining the localist cause today, and it's difficult to see how it will be reversed.


Beowulf said...

Maybe this is how cultures evolve (doesn't mean that they evolve for better) at least since the indoeuropean cultures embedded the old european languages or the christian religion embedded the old pagan european religions.

Notice that in classical Latin, pagan means "villager, rustic, civilian," from pagus "rural district" Religious sense is often said to derive from conservative rural adherence to the old gods after the Christianization of Roman towns and cities. Localists are the contemporary pagans of our cosmopolitan culture.

Conor said...

This very compact thought is going to keep me thinking for quite a while. Thanks!