Struggle for Equal Opportunity: Dirt Farmers and the American Country Life Association

Struggle for Equal Opportunity: Dirt Farmers and the American Country Life Association

Struggle for Equal Opportunity: Dirt Farmers and the American Country Life Association

Struggle for Equal Opportunity: Dirt Farmers and the American Country Life Association

Excerpt

This is an interpretive study tracing some of the earlier phases of our farmers' long struggle for the good life. It points up some of the obstacles that had to be overcome, such as lack of social esteem in a society whose leaders despised manual labor, and the difficulty of getting a fair deal from politicians who served the better-organized commercial and financial interests of the nation. There was the fenerations-old struggle to get institutions that would educate farm youth without unfitting them for farm life. There were spirit-killing debts caused by high interest rates and land speculation. Farm women's part in this struggle, often overlooked, is herein given some attention.

The thought and values of rural people are resources that have contributed much to the strength of our nation, but, like the resources of fertile soil and virgin forest, they have been depleted at an alarming rate. There seems to be something about close contact with nature and the generous. Creator of all harvests that helps counteract godless materialism and the worship of man-made things. The permanency of any civilization seems to depend upon maintaining this relationship.

In a world bursting with population and rumbling with revolution, Liberty H. Bailey's idea of widespread landownership as a bulwark of stable government commends itself to thoughtful men. Has there been a single Communist revolution that has not been powered by little farmers' hopes for the good life of landownership, economic independence, and better educational opportunities for their children?

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