Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Am I a Crunchy Con?

I've been accused recently of being a "crunchy con." My suspicion is that I received that label because 1) I'm a firm believer in supporting local farmers and we are members of a CSA farm, and 2) I'm an orthodox (small "o") Anglican. But there's more to being a "true" crunchy con, and to find out what that means I bow to the Crunchy Con himself, Rod Dreher. He wrote a book called, not surprisingly, Crunchy Cons. So let's review his 10 points, and then see where that leaves me.

A Crunchy Con Manifesto
1. We are conservatives who stand outside the conservative mainstream; therefore, we can see things that matter more clearly.
2. Modern conservatism has become too focused on money, power, and the accumulation of stuff, and insufficiently concerned with the content of our individual and social character.
3. Big business deserves as much skepticism as big government.
4. Culture is more important than politics and economics.
5. A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility, and good stewardship—especially of the natural world—is not fundamentally conservative.
6. Small, Local, Old, and Particular are almost always better than Big, Global, New, and Abstract.
7. Beauty is more important than efficiency.
8. The relentlessness of media-driven pop culture deadens our senses to authentic truth, beauty, and wisdom.
9. We share Russell Kirk’s conviction that “the institution most essential to conserve is the family.”
10. Politics and economics won’t save us; if our culture is to be saved at all, it will be by faithfully living by the Permanent Things, conserving these ancient moral truths in the choices we make in our everyday lives.

I could quibble with some of the statements (like #7 - I think it's possible to be both beautiful and efficient) but in general it's pretty spot-on. My next question, though, goes to my accuser. You called me a crunchy con as though it were a bad thing. Why do you deride those who believe in good stewardship of the natural world? Are you simply scoffing at those who distrust both big business and big government? Is it a bad thing to eschew the pop culture mentality? It is because I take the ancient moral truths found in Christianity to be a critical part of my daily life? Or is it simply because I refuse to buy into all those things the World says we should care about, and prefer to focus on other things entirely?

I suppose I won't actually receive any responses to my questions. They were mostly rhetorical anyway, as I ponder what it is I believe about all these things. But it does settle one thing in my mind. I am a crunchy con!


Blondie said...

I'm sending this on to a friend who is definitely a crunchy con. We laugh because I am far from crunchy, but I am a lot crunchier than almost anyone to whom I am related. (The crunchy friend I am sending it to grinds/mills her own wheat and drives many o' miles to buy raw milk. I recycle and use reusable shopping bags. ;0) )

How do you deal with recycling in your neck of the woods? It drives me crazy when I am at my parents' house. I read that they were looking to implement a program (and that someone downtown was collecting recyclables) but I haven't heard anything more.

Zana said...

Heh. We have a compost bin, so all our "wet" trash goes there. We started that this winter, so I'm hoping to have happy compost for our veggies this summer!

We drive to Anniston to recycle paper, glass, and plastic (there are recycling bins at Quintard Mall). We sell our aluminum and scrap steel to a scrapyard once a year or so. I have begged our waste management folks to collect recycling, but to no avail. We would even be willing to pay more, but that doesn't sway them either, so I'm guessing there's no hope on that front.

We don't go so far as to grind our own wheat or buy raw milk. There's a local dairy about 15 miles away (Wright Dairy - have you heard of them?) They make their own cheese and ice cream and sell milk. We buy there sometimes, but on our limited budget sometimes we just buy milk at Aldi. But we do try to grow some of our own veggies, and joining Grow Alabama was one of our more brilliant plans, if I do say so myself. ::grin::