Ron Osborn brings Wendell Berry and Seyla Benhabib to bear on the human rights of migrants and refugees.
“Seyla Benhabib, Wendell Berry, and the Question of Migrant and Refugee Rights” (HUMANITAS, Volume XXIII, Nos. 1&2, 2010) 118.
Although Berry has not written directly about questions of international migration and refugee rights, his analysis of the forces at work in the destruction of rural farm communities in the United States offers valuable insights into the forces driving global mass migrations. Berry also offers a compelling alternative normative vision to Benhabib’s of the rights of others based on principles of stewardship, ecological sustainability, local self-sufficiency, and neighborliness. It is upon these essentially small-scale agrarian values and practices—not the abstractions of cosmopolitanism or “global thinking”—he argues, that the literal survival of the world depends.