Our values remain hidden in plain view until they are illuminated.
Thank you, John Attarian, for adding a new word to our vocabulary. "Economism" says it all. Your article in the Winter, 19899-2000, Social Contract speaks to essential values. When we allow ourselves to become possessed by our possessions and consumed by our consumption, then the system we have fashioned makes sense. Liveable communities, national sovereignty, autonomy, identity and culture become casualties to the not-so-visible hand of economism.
Even the civic realm bespeaks of economism. Architecturally uneventful buildings loom at the distant vista of parking lagoons. They are designed to promote mass consumption, but they do nothing to instill a cherished sense of place. Turning a child loose in the parking lot has become a form of child abuse. Box-like structures have come to replace historic communities. We thought the town was built for the ages. The design of life is now set by the term of the mortgage. You have enabled us to visualize how the operative values affect our daily lives.
But you conclude by stating: "It follows from all this that the best economic system is one which provides widespread opportunity for men to support families, enabling mothers to stay home, rear the children, supervise their activities, and see to their soulcraft."
Admittedly it follows from all this that we need to nurture values to build strong families. Cementing a woman to the homefront will no longer accomplish these objectives today. Economism becomes a good rationale for extended maternity leave. But turning back the clock on feminism will cause your far more important message to be ignored by your potential audience.
John F. Rohe Petoskey, Michigan