Countrymen and the future of society
George Russell urges country dwellers to become organised
'On the labours of the countryman depend the whole strength and health, nay the very existence of society; yet, in almost every country, politics, economics, and social reform were urban products, and the countryman got only the crumbs that fell from the political table,' said George 'Æ' Russell in Dublin yesterday.
Mr. Russell, the editor of the Irish Homestead, was speaking at an event at Plunkett House on Merrion Square, held to mark the visit of members of the American Commission of Agricultural Inquiry to Ireland. The deputation is on a tour through various countries picking up new ideas on rural life that they can bring back to the US. Amongst the themes covered were the developments in Irish agriculture over recent years, including agricultural co-operation, the work of various institutions and Land Purchase schemes.
In the course of a paper entitled, 'The Rural Community', Mr. Russell told those gathered: 'There is no reason why as intense intellectual and progressive a life should not be possible in the country as in the towns. The real reason for stagnation is that the country population is not organized. The difficulty is moving the countryman who has become traditional was not due to the fact that he lived in the country, but to the fact that he lived in an unorganized society.'