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Look to the Land

Look to the Land

By Lord Northbourne

128 pp

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About the Book

‘Without vision the people perish.’ So wrote the poet William Blake. Lord Northbourne (1896–1982) was a man of exceptional vision, who diagnosed the sickness of modern society as stemming from the severance of its organic links with the wholeness of life. Northbourne’s early advocacy of organic agriculture (he is said to have coined the term) was joined to a deep conviction that humanity does not live by bread alone, and that the fullness of human life demands obedience to sacred law. Like his better-known younger contemporary E.F. Schumacher, whose work developed along similar lines, his vision of life came to embrace fully the interrelationship of God, humanity, and the soil as a unity presupposing a way of life in stark contrast to that of the myopic, mechanistic world he saw encroaching on all sides. And so, as it becomes more and more evident that such a way of life stands to imperil our very future and that of the delicate ecosystem on which all life depends, it is time to re-examine the work of this pioneering thinker, whose vision of what is required by a truly meaningful and sustainable society embraced traditional metaphysics, religion, farming, the arts, the rural crafts, and monetary reform.

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