1. Always ask of any proposed change or innovation:
What will this do to our community?
How will this affect our common wealth?
3. Always ask how local needs might be supplied from local sources, including the mutual help of neighbors.
5. Understand the unsoundness of the industrial doctrine of "labor saving" if that implies poor work, unemployment, or any kind of pollution or contamination.
7. Develop small-scale industries and businesses to support the local farm and/or forest economy.
9. Strive to increase earnings (in whatever form) within the community and decrease expenditures outside the community.
11. Make the community able to invest in itself by maintaining its properties, keeping itself clean (without dirtying some others place), caring for its old people, teaching its children.
13. Account for costs now conventionally hidden or "externalized." Whenever possible, these costs must be debited against monetary income.
15. Always be aware of the economic value of neighborly acts. In our time the cost of living are greatly increased by the loss of neighborhood, leaving people to face their calamities alone.
16. A rural community should always be acquainted with, and complexly connected with, community-minded people in nearby towns and cities.
17. A sustainable rural economy will be dependent on urban consumers loyal to local products, therefore, we are talking about an economy that will always be more cooperative than competitive.
© 1995 by Wendell Berry, Used with permission.