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Back toward Community

Back toward Community

(p.107) 6 Back toward Community
Agrarianism and the Good Society
Eric T. Freyfogle
University Press of Kentucky

This chapter examines the fields of ecology and ethics as they relate to private ownership. These related fields share an inner tension between greater abstraction and individualism and greater attention to connections and dependencies. Although a shift toward abstraction and individualism in the three fields brought about some serious gains, including private rights, economic growth, and more productive lands, the shift went too far and has stimulated a counter-shift back toward the intellectual reassembly of the fragmented social and natural parts. There is now a need to move back toward greater awareness of community and interdependence and to engage in a responsible reassembly of parts so that the benefits that arise can be enjoyed when communities, whether social, cultural or natural, are healthy.

Keywords:   private ownership, property law, property rights, ecology, ethics, abstraction, individualism, community rebuilding, interdependence

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