ESSAY: The Agrarian Solution

Write a paper evaluating agrarianism as a spiritual response to the environmental crisis.

First, analyze agrarianism’s diagnosis of the root cause of human alienation from nature and its proposed solution. Examine how the agrarian solution differs from the solutions to the environmental crisis proposed by other environmental movements such as deep ecology.
Finally, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these movements, determining which movement you find to be the most adequate in response to the current environmental situation. (If you find none of the responses we studied adequate, defend your own ideas of the best response while also critiquing the movements we studied.)
At each step, support all your interpretations with evidence from the assigned texts and media. (Remember, there is more than one good way to answer these questions.)
Your paper must be four to five pages in length (excluding title and reference pages), double spaced, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Defend your claims with references to specific passages from at least three of the required and recommended readings. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation menu.


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The world is facing a global environmental crisis. The effects of climate change and global warming are being felt in almost every part of the world. Different regions are experiencing significant changes in weather patterns and temperatures. While some areas receive extreme rainfall, others are experiencing recurrent droughts, cyclones, and typhoons. Environmental and climate experts have recommended a number of solutions to try and control climate change. Most of these measures are focused on taking care of the environment. Many countries today have banned the use of plastic paper bags. Waste disposal has also been a factor. …

What Is Agrarianism?

In a social-political perspective, agrarianism can be defined as a philosophical perspective that that stresses on the preeminence of widespread property ownership, family farming and political decentralization (Berry, 2018). Agrarianism ideologies value rural societies as superior to urban societies and view the independent farmer as being superior to the paid employee. These ideologies view farming as a way of life that can shape social values of people. It emphasizes the superiority of the simplicity of rural life as compared to the complexity ….

On a cynical view, may proponents of agrarianism, despite respecting tradition and revering nature disregard ideology. They view science and technology in a skeptical manner. They believe that when people involve themselves in farming activities and the rural way of life, the required work put enhances their existence. Locale and family are deep-rooted, allowing people to experience the goods….

Agrarian Diagnosis of the Environmental Crisis

Agrarian ideologies suggest that human beings have been alienated from the soli, from nature, and from their roots. Historically, man’s first productive profession was agriculture. It was during the agrarian revolution that civilization began to thrive. During those ages, environmental pollution was very minimal. Human beings were family sufficient even on the family level.  In an agrarian point of view, a family is treated as a center of economic productivity, through farming. Men and women are restored to their necessary natural tasks of agriculture (Carlson, 2008). A typical rural family gets its livelihood from farming. They work hard and sustain themselves and their families. They …

            Agrarian diagnosis on the environmental crisis can be viewed as a counter-argument to industrialization. According to agrarianism proponents, human beings have been alienated from nature due to the current industrialization way of life that forces people to adopt urban life at the expense of rural life. When industrialization began in the 18th century, masses of people began migrating from their rural homes to the upcoming cities and towns. The overpopulation in the cities and the towns, combined from the uncontrolled industrial wastes began to pollute the environment. Human settlements in the cities were very unconducive, with improper savagery systems. The industries disposed their chemical waste in rivers, and poisonous gases in the air, oblivious of the long term environmental problems they were going…

            Agrarianism is quite different from other environmental movements. The whole ideology and concept of agrarianism are different from other movements, such as the deep ecology movement. On a slideshow, the deep ecology movement advocates for environmental conservation based on the idea that human beings should change their relationship to nature from one that solely values nature out of its usefulness to one that recognizes that nature also has inherent worth. In comparison, unlike deep ecology, agrarianism ….

            Agrarianism can also be compared with another concept of environmental conservation referred to as ‘shallow ecology’. Basically, ‘shallow ecology’ also known as anthropocentrism mainly focuses on the negative aspects of environmental degradation has on human beings and the interests of the society at large. This may include health welfare, recreation, and quality of life. This view is often described as a mechanistic approach where species and creatures have instrumental value to humans. Agrarianism and anthropocentrism are different in that agrarian ideologies are more preventive as compared to anthropocentrism ideologies. Additionally, the agrarian… 

Strengths and Weaknesses of Different Environmental Conservation Movements

            Environmental conservation movements are classified into two basic intellectual camps; those that are considered to be ‘human-centered’ vs those that are considered to be ‘life centered’, anthropocentrism and bio-centric respectively. Approaches such as ‘shallow ecology’ are considered to be human-centered while other approaches such as ‘deep ecology’ are considered to be ‘life centered’ (Bhardwaj, 2019). Agrarianism cannot be classified in any of the two divisions since it has characteristics of both classifications. It is treated separately. As discussed, agrarianism promotes the prevention of economic destruction rather than offers a solution to the…

            A major disadvantage of ‘Shallow ecology’ as an environmental movement is that it simply and promotes conservation of the environment by advocating for strategies that campaign against depletion of resources and pollution. It includes a universal set of beliefs that reflect an anthropic and utilitarian set of attitudes towards nature, which are based on consumerism and materialism. It seeks solutions based on technology, rather than shift or change in harmful human behaviors that may be damaging to the environment. For instance, shallow ecology promotes the recycling of waste such as recycling of plastic bottles, rather than preventing waste. In shallow ecology…

Despite the negativities associated with ‘shallow ecology’. It is important to acknowledge that the movement has some positive attributes. While it may not be very clinical in ensuring environmental conservation, shallow ecology ensures that human beings focus on the most important aspects of the environment. It is more of an approach that seeks to salvage the already ruined environment. Focusing on the most critical aspects of the environment can be crucial in ensuring that humanity does not waste resources in aspects of th…

By contrast, deep ecology can be referred to as the improved version of ‘shallow ecology’. One major advantage of this philosophical point of view is that it does not isolate. Proponents of deep ecology believe that nature should be taken care of, not because it is valuable to human beings but because it should be conserved. This approach is more moral, as it cites religion, which argues that …

While it is easy to identify the positive aspects of deep ecology, it is also important to consider its negative side. Apparently, deep ecology, like agrarianism encourages human beings to live in basic, self-reliant units. In today’s world, however, it would be next to impossible to achieve this. In a post-industrial society, it would not be practical to convince people to adopt a simple, self-reliant lifestyle. Additionally, it is a bit complicated to argue that plants, animals, rocks and any other component of the environment has a right …

In conclusion, judging from the presented facts and arguments, it would, therefore, be more sensible to support the shallow ecology movements and its ideologies. To most people, this may look like a morally questionable choice. For one, it is important to acknowledge the fact that the environment is already destroyed, in very many aspects. Shallow ecology is goal-oriented and focuses on the important things. As speculated in the arguments, it does not make sense to allocate equal resources in rain forest conservation as in …


Berry, W. (2018). The art of the commonplace: The agrarian essays of Wendell Berry. Counterpoint.

Bhardwaj, R. (2019). Deep ecology: Origins, Influences and relevance. Writers Editors Critics9(1).

Carlson, A. (2008). Agrarianism reborn: On the curious return of the small family farm. Intercollegiate Review, 13.

De Jonge, E. (2017). Spinoza and deep ecology: Challenging traditional approaches to environmentalism. Routledge.

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