The Need for Stability

March 17, 2014

Clockmakers in the Black Forest

Clockmakers in the Black Forest

We must again emphasize that this localism presupposes a stable family life, which supports a love of reflection, tradition, and local identity. It presupposes a desire for full development that leads men to seek after production, refined over time, where demand is not regulated by advertising but by people zealous for products that reflect their own identity.

A Luthier in his Violin shop, painting by Fritz Tennigkeit

A Luthier in his Violin shop, painting by Fritz Tennigkeit

It presupposes ample and even large-scale production to ensure adequate supplies. There should be thriving and stable elites who can distill the best from an area.

Two handmade clocks

Two handmade clocks

That is why we affirm there is a temperate and delightful richness in this kind of local production that we do not find in anonymous globalized trade and massive production. At the same time, we note that this same richness cannot be found in many modern “local” or “organic” goods (even when produced by local farmers and artisans).

Monument to Peter Henlein in Hefnersplatz, Nuremberg. He was a locksmith, clockmaker and created the first portable clocks. He also built a tower clock for Lichtenau castle in 1541.

Monument to Peter Henlein in Hefnersplatz, Nuremberg. He was a locksmith, clockmaker and created the first portable clocks. He also built a tower clock for Lichtenau castle in 1541.

While we welcome and encourage the renewed interest in local and organic production of recent years, it will only bear fruit if there are stable links between producer, customer, and locality, and especially if such production extends beyond a single generation.

John Horvat, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), 278-9.

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