Cottage Economy is not, however, just a nineteenth-century DIY manual. It is also a fiercely polemical defence of smallholding as a way of life.
I write this book to help me understand the relationship that we all have fashioning our lives within the material structure of this planet. Looking back to see how a word has changed meanings over time, what its roots are, helps me in this process.
We humans will always seek reductive explanations for “why” things happen in the world around us and try to use those explanations to gain advantage for ourselves and our fellow humans in the fight for survival within our biosphere. But if we see the limits of such explanations and therefore their dangers, we might move more humbly among the vast array of creatures and Earth systems with whom we live and upon whom we depend for our very survival.
By abandoning the duty of maintenance we owe to the objects in our lives, we are distancing ourselves from the physical world and essentially sending the entropy elsewhere for someone else to deal with, whether human or non-human.
What’s wrong with materialism Ruth? Surely people only buy iPads because they need them? Rob Hopkins interviews Ruth Potts on the idea of a new materialism.
A war on climate change is a war on materialism, plain and simple.