15 November 2023

The Importance of the Rural Question

 In 1941 the National Catholic Rural Life Conference published a book titled, Manifesto on Rural Life. It was published “with the intent to state certain fundamental principles and policies without which it would be folly to essay a solution. These principles and policies are chiefly derived from Catholic social philosophy as expressed in the social and cyclicals of Leo XIII and Pius XI.”

80 years later, we can be asking the same question taken from the book.


The National Catholic Rural Life Conference, is committed to the belief that the well-being of the nation rests to a large measure on a healthy agrarianism. The conference regards the betterment of rural conditions as the starting point in the regeneration of society. It’s objectives are the improvement of the spiritual, religious, social, cultural and economic status of the rural group. These objectives are so closely related that one is dependent on the others. Right living conditions are essential for spiritual and cultural development. Reconquest of the soil, which has been depleted through improper use, and exploitation, is a fundamental consideration, for human erosion is closely related to soil erosion. Reconquest of ownership is another fundamental consideration, as much as ownership is essential for independent, successful and self satisfying farm life. The multiplying family-size, owner-operate firms is an important safeguard against the exploitation of our greatest natural resource, namely, the land.

Intensive educational program is needed in order that rural youth might learn to appreciate the singular blessedness of life on the land, and in order that the farming group might be enable to retain its economic independence, develop a spiritual and self satisfying rural culture. This education should be adapted to the special needs of the farming group, and should be grounded on the Christian philosophy of life.

The rural problem is complex and varies in type and intensity with geographical areas. Wrong attitudes toward agriculture, and wrong appraisals of what constitutes fundamental values, deeply rooted in the thinking of both rural and urban groups, are barriers that must be surmounted. Although the rural problem presents great difficulties, we cannot admit that it is insoluble, for the fate of humans society rests on the solution. The rural problem is so important, that it should engage the greatest minds of the nation.

1 comment:


I like your blog very much. I can't see who you are but I suspect we are acquainted.

HENRY VON BLUMENTHAL (hceavonblumenthal@gmail.com)


This blog and the opinions are all my own and in no way imply the endorsement from any organization. Nor does a recommendation of another blog or web site imply my agreement or endorsement of everything found on their site.