Monday, October 9, 2023

Biblical Agrarianism - Answering Your Questions

By Tim Gamble
"Agrarianism is an economic system which places primary importance on agriculture and related fields, and in rural and small town living, as opposed to industrialized, urban living."
I've been talking about Biblical Agrarianism for many years. During that time, I've gotten a number of questions about that concept. Here are my answers for some of the most common questions: 

Q. What if I don't want to be a farmer or homesteader?

A. This is probably the most common question I get, and it is based on a misunderstanding of the concept. Agrarianism does NOT mean everyone must be a farmer or homesteader, but rather that our lives, culture, economy, and political structure should reflect the primary importance of agriculture and related fields.

In agrarianism, there are plenty of other functions that must be done in addition to farming, from professional services (doctor, lawyer, nurse, accountant) to the local manufacturing of needed goods and equipment. Other important jobs would include truckers, mechanics, tradespeople, and local retail.

Q. How is agrarianism different from what we have now?

A. In agrarianism, the economy is local and decentralized, and companies are small, especially relative to today's huge, multinational corporations. Government is much smaller and decentralized, with local governments preeminent in most matters, and federal government very limited in scope. 

Tax policies, trade policies, and regulatory policies will prioritize local food, energy and resource production, as well as local manufacturing, rather than serving the interests of Big Business and globalism. Private property and inheritance rights will be protected. 

Agrarianism is also a bottom up approach, rather than a top down approach. Solutions aren't dictated from some distant, unaccountable authority, be it a government or a corporation, but rather originate more locally. Self-reliance and resilience on the individual and family level, then to the community level, then to the regional level, and so forth. 

Q. Are you suggesting we abandon science, technology and industrialization?

A. No. Biblical agrarianism is not an anti-science or anti-tech movement. Science and technology are merely tools, and tools have no will of their own, therefore are neither morally good or evil. What matters, and it matters deeply, is how those tools are used. Will we use science and technology for to better the lives of people, or to control the lives of people?

Technocracy is the problem, not technology. See my January 2022 article Technocracy, The Power Elite, and the Transformation of Human Civilization for more on this concept. 

Q. Does this mean that we don't have to store food or have bug-out bags? 

A. Stockpiling food and water, bugging out, and perhaps guns & ammo constitute what most people think of when they think of preparedness. Those are useful things to have, and we should have them, but they are only temporary solutions to short-term problems. 

The only real path forward to our multitude of long-term problems is a return to the old paths of self-reliance and local economies built around agrarian communities. This is far more than just stockpiling a lot of food to ride out a short-term event.  

Q. Why do you call it "Biblical Agrarianism?"

A. I realize that some people are extremely uncomfortable with any mention of religion or the Bible. You should realize that many others are not. In fact, what motivates me to do what I do is my desire to live my life in accordance with the Creator's will. If you have other motivations for your life, that is fine. "You do you," to quote one of my mentors. 

believe agrarianism is God's intent for His people. Humans were originally designed by God to live in and tend to the Garden of Eden. Later, after the Fall, we were commanded by God to till the soil and to raise our own food. Throughout the Bible, there are numerous examples of God telling His followers to avoid large cities (part of the worldly system), to live in the mountains and other rural areas, and to basically be "simple country folk" (in my words) set apart from the world.

Modern worldly ways are ultimately unhealthy, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Modern attempts to redefine the basic building blocks of civilization, such as family, gender, and sexuality, is harmful in the extreme. Attempts to eliminate long-held standards of right and wrong is nothing short of devastating. The removal of personal responsibility and individual accountability results in a spoiled, selfish, undisciplined populace. The constant push towards greater centralized power of the few over the many is fatally dangerous. These issues must be addressed, in addition to supply chain and other economic issues. 

This is where the "Biblical" part of Biblical agrarianism comes in. The world is not perfect (a matter of sin, from a Biblical perspective). But a reclaiming of long-held values, beliefs, and traditions will go a long way to improving current conditions. This, too, must be a bottom up approach, starting with us as individuals, then to our families and communities, and so forth. 

Related Articles:
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