Sunday, February 8, 2015

If you ever want your assumptions challenged... a thoughtful manner, I suggest you read some Wendell Berry.

     "The disease of the modern character is specialization.  Looked at from the standpoint of the social system, the aim of specialization may seem desirable enough.  The aim is to see that the responsibilities of government, law, medicine, engineering, agriculture, education, etc., are given into the hands of the most skilled, best prepared, people.  The difficulties do not appear until we look at specialization from the opposite standpoint - that of individual persons.  We then begins to see the grotesquery - indeed the impossibility - of an idea of community wholeness that divorces itself from any idea of personal wholeness.

     "The first, and best known, hazard of the specialist system is that it produces specialists - people who are elaborately and expensively trained to do one thing.  We get into absurdity very quickly here.  There are, for instance, educators who have nothing to teach, communicators who have nothing to say, medical doctors skilled at expensive cures for diseases that they have no skill, and no interest, in preventing.  More common, and more damaging, are the inventors, manufacturers, and salesmen of devices who have no concern for the possible effects of those devices.  Specialization is thus seen to be a way of institutionalizing, justifying, and paying highly for a calamitous disintegration and scattering-out of the various functions of character:  workmanship, care, conscience, responsibility."

-Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America:  Culture & Agriculture

No comments:

Post a Comment