Scythe versus gas-powered trimmer – read more
As some readers may notice, we half-borrowed the title for this section from Jerry Mander’s classic of the ’70s: Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. Jerry continues on the path as one of the foremost anti-capitalist activists with many more sound arguments than just those concerning television. He is now the director of the International Forum on Globalization.
Actually eliminating lawnmowers (and most other grass-cutting gadgets) is far from enough; a much more serious review of our fundamental values will be required in the near future! But on the subject of grass management alone, for a start, and out of concern for our collective offspring, we believe that most of the existing manicured lawns should be converted to vegetable gardens or wildflower meadows. The surrounding grassed areas of the former and all of the latter can then be easily taken care of with the scythe.
In addition, many small farmers with only several hectares of hayfields will find it progressively more “safe” to reduce their dependence on petroleum-fueled harvesting methods. Here the scythe can also offer certain freedom and fulfillment which have, for several decades more or less, been regarded as “uneconomical”. Like a lower yielding but pest-resistant variety of grain or vegetable, the re-application of hand tools will gain merit as we rapidly approach this civilization’s limit to economic growth…
In any case, here are our four arguments on the behalf of the scythe:
1. Preserving our heritage (The Scythe in Retrospect and its Future)
2. Environmental concerns (The Tool with the Restorative Edge)
3. Social ecology (Conviviality and the Scythe)
4. Spiritual experience of hand mowing (The Mower’s Trance)
Updated June 2006