“We have changed the world, and we wonder why things won’t stay the same.”
- Les Lanyon
I think that quote pretty much sums up the contemprorary situation as well as any few words could hope to do. Much of humanity is drawn to the new that modern society has to offer: new foods, new styles, new technologies, new habits, new relationships. Meanwhile, it is extremely common to bemoan the loss of old comforts: old foods, old styles, old technologies, old habits, old relationships. It’s not hypocrisy, it’s the inevitable imperfection of being human in a human society. If this quote rings true for you, and if you are interested in economics, I recommend you check out The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi. You’ll also probably like a lot of Chelsea Green’s books as well (surprise, surprise). Full Moon Feast, The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved, straw bale house construction, organic gardening — all of these books are about topics and by people who are grappelling with the difficulties of combining the new and the old, and doing so in a way that does not involve layers of confusion and ignorance, but greater understanding and knowledge of both new and old and of the relationship between them. Or so it seems to me.