Friday, May 19, 2006

One Cow Better than One Vote

Over at the Reactionary Radicals Weblog, Caleb Stegall plugs Catholic priest Luigi Ligutti, a man of distributist stock:
Ligutti fouded and directed the National Catholic Rural Life Conference and was a passionate defender of agrarian life and advocate of widespread ownership of land. “The farm is the native habitat of the family” Ligutti maintained. Working primarily in the 40s and 50s, Ligutti declared that “no man who owns a cow can be a communist” and further argued that the surest path out of poverty was a family cow. It is important to note the singular in Ligutti’s argument, “a cow” as opposed to “heads of cattle.” For Ligutti all the necessary virtues could be inculcated in a man through the ownership of a cow: thrift, rootedness to a place, pride of ownership, sense of peace and an end to restless alienation, hard work, orderly use of time, and a strong incentive to have children. Most importantly, perhaps, the family cow provided self-sufficency in that it produced a large amount of food for the family. In Ralph Borsodi’s terms, this represented a level of freedom and independence far greater than that created by ”the infinitesimal fraction of political power represented by a vote.”

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