In The One-Straw Revolution, Masanobu Fukuoka wrote “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” Like many people, including our founders, he has this idea that only farmers do noble labor. This is all very nice and romantic, but there is an ugly side to it. We see that same idea when politicians call rural America the heartland or “real America” as though we city dwellers were inferior to them. Thomas Jefferson was even more explicit, saying working for a wage and was corrupting and industry would destroy American, meanwhile those who labor in the earth are the “chosen people of god” and the only people he thought should have political power.
The belief our founders had in the superiority of the agrarian life and agrarian people had profound effects on our Constitution. That belief extends to exaggerating the political power of rural states and rural voters in many ways. One Wyoming voter counts as much as four New York voters when voting for president. It is even more inequitable in the Senate, a Vermont voter getting counting 30 times more than a New York voter. The United States Senate is the least democratic legislative chamber in the developed world. The 38 million people who live in the nation’s 22 smallest states, including Wyoming, are represented by 44 senators. The 38 million residents of California are represented by two senators.
I think about these things when I am hopping about the grid looking for a nice place to shoot a picture.