By The Progressive on June 23, 2005

 What we want:

Investigative Reporting Help expose corporate malfeasance and governmental wrongdoing. Detail the problem, relying as much as possible on public documents and on interviews. Use plenty of quotations.

Electoral Coverage Report on a current electoral development (e.g., an interesting candidate or ballot initiative) that has national implications. Do not choose the most obvious cases, like the presidential race. Look for something more out of the way. The key is to do reporting, and not just opining.

Social Movement Pieces Find a crucial event or trend in the labor movement, the GLBT movement, or in the areas of racial justice, disability rights, the environment, women’s liberation, and report on it. Get quotes from people on the front lines of these struggles.

Foreign Policy Pieces We tend to favor pieces with an U.S. angle (either corporate or U.S. policy). But if there is a development of huge moral or ethical importance (e.g., the Rwandan civil war, or the global AIDS crisis), where the U.S. role may not be paramount, The Progressive would like to cover it. Remember to get the quotes and provide the color (on-the-ground observations). 

Interviews Every month, The Progressive does a long Q&A with a writer, activist, political figure, or musician. We prefer to interview people who are widely known, though we also try to draw attention to individuals who are doing especially worthwhile work. We’ve done more than 200 interviews, so check with us first to make sure we haven’t interviewed your subject yet. 

Activism The Progressive publishes an “On the Line” section every month that highlights the work of activists and activist groups. We are looking for good photographs of dynamic or creative actions. We accompany the photos with a caption.

Poetry The Progressive publishes one original poem a month. We prefer poems that connect—in one fashion or another, however obliquely—with political concerns. 

What we don’t want: Editorials (we write our own). Satire (we have our own humorists). Historical pieces (articles must deal largely with current events). Philosophical pieces (we are not The New Left Review or Monthly Review). Columnists (we have plenty already).

Queries and manuscripts, accompanied by return envelopes with sufficient postage, should be submitted to: Matthew Rothschild, Editor The Progressive 409 East Main Street Madison, WI 53703 or by email to editorial AT progressive.org

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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