Ok, a bit embarrassed about this. . . but I just found a Russell Kirk piece I had no idea existed. Missed this one in the bio!
“Like the Celts of the Twilight, it seems, the Agrarians have gone forth often to battle, but never to victory. America’s farm population now totals perhaps two percent of the national population. Centralization of power in Washington continues apace. Nationwide television broadcasters rapidly efface any remnants of regional cultures. In many other ways, society becomes dully uniform and thoroughly urbanized. While we talk windily still of free enterprise, the industrial and commercial conglomerates move toward oligopoly and on a tremendous scale. Leviathan, the monstrous society, swallows its myriads.”
–Russell Kirk, “Testimony to a Humane Social Order,” UNIVERSITY BOOKMAN 33 (1992): 3. [Full issue in previous post]
The percentage (2%) might not be so low if rural villages are included along with those who live on the farms. The farmers rely on local labor to some extent: I worked on an apple orchard for the parents of a H.S. classmate, and another friend who lived up the street worked on a local dairy farm. Some of the distant farmers/ woodsmen were hilarious in the best way with their long hair and beards and mild discomfort at being in town manfully overcome. The coolest family wood drive in to town on a wagon drawn by a plough-horse. It’s my feeling that Facebook killed the community spirit amongst the young: choosing friends instead of hanging out with the neighbors Providence chose.