The Chemistry of Farming - Book Review

Stuart Lawrence stuartwl at
Tue Apr 24 13:22:18 MDT 2001

> Leibig diagnosed the problem, but it was Marx who came up with a solution:
> overcome the division between town and country through socialism.

This is a concept that I don't understand well -- what exactly do you mean when
you pick up Marx's phrase, and what do you think Marx meant? If by this Marx
meant a different model of patterning residential and industrial development,
one that did not reproduce the misery of the English industrial slums, is it
necessarily relevant when we see the severe environmental impacts caused by
townless suburban sprawl? That is a process that could be said to be "overcoming
the division between town and country" but I doubt you'd call it progress,
either ecologically or in relieving "rural idiocy" (we Americans are all too
aware of the deep idiocy of suburban life). I'm just asking for this phrase not
to be repeated without explicitly envisioning the way it should be applied, if
in fact it should be. If it means overcoming the opposition of economic
interests between farmers and urban consumers, then that is of course a matter
of timeless relevance.

stuartwl at

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