The Amish in a fossil-fuel depleting world -- Nader/Camejo

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Tue Sep 28 2004 - 16:55:20 EDT

Since Sept. 13, the Nader/Camejo web site carries every day a new
'featured national asset', today being The Amish.  Without saying so but
connected to yesterday's press release for the Nader/Camejo Campaign --
"Global Climate Change Requires Us to Break Our Addiction to Fossil
Fuels", it offers a way forward as humanity destroys millions of years of
fossil fuel build-up.  Since the Amish are close to Buffalo and I myself
have furniture on order from them, I particularly identify with this

Nader's campaign ought to be commended for their innovation in
Presidential politics.  As one other example consider the Sept. 18
'featured national asset': "United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers
of America".

Paul Z.

P.S. The Nader/Camejo ticket is now on at least 33 state ballots, with 43
the maximum possible.  That shows A LOT of hard, day-to-day work by
widespread supporters, who could care less what detractors say.  I believe
that their ticket is on two positions in New York: 1. Peace and Justice,
2. Independence Party.

Vol.21-Neoliberalism in Crisis, Accumulation, and Rosa Luxemburg's Legacy
RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY, Zarembka/Soederberg, eds, Elsevier Science

 The Amish

The numerous contributions of the Amish people to American society are a
source of rich pride, both to the Amish communities themselves and to the
nation at large. Known for their simple lifestyle and for staying close to
land and family, the Amish began in the seventeenth century as a religious
group in Europe, and began coming to America in the early 1700’s. Since
their arrival, the Amish communities in America continue to provide a
constant reminder that there is more to life than simply increasing its

The accomplishments of the Amish are many and varied, but their agrarian
and agricultural successes are among their most remarkable. Farming has
long been a mainstay of Amish life and commerce, and their farms are
simply things of beauty. To view an Amish farm is to sense a profound
satisfaction, because Amish farms match the way we have always intuitively
believed that farms should look and feel. The clean and angular design of
the barn, the tall silo, the bunches of grain tied up in the field, the
horses, and the plowed earth, all resonate authenticity and harmony with
the land. These neat and organized farms represent much more than
opportunities for aesthetic refreshment, however. They are extremely
productive, and utilize farming strategies that are constantly being
reviewed and imitated by farmers throughout America.

Amish farms rarely have more than 80 tillable acres, which is about the
maximum that a father and son can work on their own. The Amish idea is
that a farm is best worked by one family. The farms employ a combination
of techniques passed down through centuries and many of these hail from
Switzerland, where the Amish originated. Crop rotation, natural
fertilizer, and pesticide-free farming techniques are some of the common
strategies utilized on an Amish farm. Sometimes more help in the form of
available workers becomes available to an individual farmer and the Amish
farm becomes even more productive, but when that happens, livestock or
vegetables are added rather than acreage. The farm retains its
manageability and highly organized structure of operation.

While the rest of the world haggles over capitalism versus socialism,
Amish society simply turns its back on every welfare program in the book,
from public education to Medicaid. The 150,000 Amish in America are self
sufficient because they are interdependent—on one another, not on the
government. For example, if an Amish family has a $20,000 hospital bill
that needs to be paid, the deacon of the church announces it from the
platform at the end of the worship service, and all the Amish pay a small
portion of the amount. This kind of cooperation and self-sufficiency
extends into all aspects of the community, education included. Amish
school is taught by Amish teachers, who in turn are trained by other Amish

Amish quilts, cooking, horse drawn carriages, and many other charms of the
culture draw a steady stream of visitors from throughout the country, and
because of this Americans are aware that the Amish way of life has
remained the same for centuries. By eschewing modern technology and
sticking to their ways and traditions, the Amish people provide a model of
how to avoid culture shock, how to stave off feelings of isolation from
one’s community, and how to maintain an attitude of charitable giving and
concern for one’s neighbor. They take care of one another while at the
same time taking care of themselves. For more information, visit an Amish
community and see for yourself that the simple life is a life well-lived.

by Chris Pedersen

In no way does the selection of any of these associations imply their
support or endorsement of our campaign. These are our choices everyday,
until November 2nd, 2004. We hope they prove enlightening and motivating.

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