I am not interested in bashing the original Crunchy-Con; what I would like to make clear is that trying to “get” Berry via a critique of Dreher makes probably less sense than, say, claiming to have discredited Russell Kirk via a scathing deconstruction of William F. Buckley. It is also a bit thick that Gordon—a senior fellow at a think-tank which is devoted to promoting a single, exceedingly specific school of economic thought—has the gall to label a farmer an ideologue. ~Jerry Salyer
Salyer responds here to David Gordon’s broadside against “crunchy” cons and Berry himself. I have been a bit slow to comment on Gordon’s piece, partly out of frustration with the habit of labeling anything remotely “crunchy” or agrarian as socialist. Especially at the end of a week when we have seen a plainly socialistic program pass Congress in the service of central government and concentrated wealth, the very antithesis of everything that these people believe, I have to marvel at the idea that the socialists among us are the ones stressing localism, self-sufficiency and independence. One might be inclined to say that if he thinks these people are socialists, Mr. Gordon demonstrates ignorance of socialism, but that is not really fair, either. Salyer addresses most of the problems with Gordon’s critique, and I would concur that even if it were true that Berry is not well-versed in the Austrian school he is reasonably familiar with the running of a household and farm and may have some relevant perspective on economics derived from practical experience. I’ll let Salyer have the last word, which states things quite well:
I only wish Gordon had treated the honorable gentleman from Henry County, Kentucky, with the same diligence he applies to Rothbard, the same fair-mindedness he applies even to Strauss. Had he done so Gordon would probably still disagree with Mr. Berry on a great many important issues. He would, however, recognize that Berry is not a trendy policy-lobbyist trying to get subsidies for organic farmers’ markets but a good man who is trying to convince people to give more care to their heritage, to their families, and to the little corner of the Earth upon which they live.