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R. ALEX SIM Planning: A Rural Perspective I dream of a time when the lamb will lie down with the lion, of a time when country and city will come together in harmonious interplay, not as now in a posture of predator and victim. No doubt amnesty between the lamb and the lion calls for a fundamental alteration of the lion's character. As for the lamb, what a long perioq of learning to trust will be required before it is comfortable with an amiable relationship. The prophet Isaiah, who foresaw this new regime, probably did not know that among the animals the lamb and the lion already had a sensible arrangement . The lion knew enough to dine on sick lambs and ancient rams and ewes, but not to destroy the strong breeding stock which provided his ongoing food supply. In a sense the sheep were beneficiaries too, even if the method seems heartless to us as we cope with too many people and too few lions. Whatever scenario you choose - the scriptural, which was clearly aimed at erring humans, or the ecological- the metaphor does not fit the relation of city to country. Though I may dream of an accommodation resulting in mutual benefits, the reality is otherwise. The city continues to eat up or despoil the country with little regard to long-term survival, while those who live out on the land, having lost the capacity of flight or defence, make their peace by admiring and emulating this powerful predator. John Dakin in his admirable essay clearly shows the descent of the human family to a place of peril. I share the pessimism of his diagnosis but not the optimism of his prescription. The latter seems to me to lean too heavily on the expectation of new norms of rational behaviour among the masses as they wait for a new humanism to seize the universities. While I recognize the brilliance of his analysis, it seems to minimize the fundamental adjustments that must be made if life as we know it now is to survive. How will people ,be involved? Will those in power accept personal sacrifice? A leadership with wide appeal must arise. But what sort of leader? a Hitler who was a master planner of sorts? or a Ghandi? or a charismatic Louis Mumford? Despite my misgivings I agree that a call for a new basis for a rationale appropriate to survival of life on this biosphere is needed. Dr Dakin concentrates on the urban scene. While he does not deal specifically with the people and territories outside the city, his global range implies their inclusion. I know how slowly universities UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY, VOLUME 62, NUMBER 4, SUMMER 1993 A RURAL PERSPECTIVE 457 carries a JUIILl.--:r:. who states 'Post modernism modernism at least as a name well to make it a title of a J If we do not in the last echoes of such obstacles when attl~m'pts sciences essential for a SU(:ceisst1LlJ with its marks and social the curriculum lo'!:> ...n",......... but there raSCU1latl.ng new v ..... '''\Uā€¢ā€¢ I'OI''I .....''' outsljC1e. That extracurricular ,..,"'.,.,"' .....,. '" I in my case at the cost of the '-uI..Ju ....n. of. There was dimension to the search: it was a awareness of the world the shelter classroom and common room. It was the world of UnernIPI()vrne]t1t "'" Leu LA,. and the bonds Since it ennCJhU1ig environseemed to 458 R. ALEX SIM It was a bit of a stretch keeping those rural roots intact in an enticing urban and scholarly milieu. I am not sorry it was not all provided for in the curriculum. If it had been otherwise, my personal odyssey might have been inhibited. In my own life I experienced the pull between abstract theory and the creative and imaginative inner life of the spirit. In pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies in sociology and cultural anthropology, I found the descriptions of comparative cu1tures enormously rewarding. This examination ranged from so-called primitive so~ieties to contemporary urban ones, but the rigorous systematic analysis was not personally rewarding, for I came to college with a commitment to work with rural people. So I...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 456-473
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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