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Comment Out of Afghanistan

On the Line

Ruth Conniff sees the Right co-opting progressivism.

Terry Tempest Williams offers a prayer to awaken.

Don't Waste the Outrage Bill McKibben
We need to put a high price on carbon.

Disaster on the Half Shell Jason Mark
No one is working the shucking tables in Louisiana.

Our Only Chance Robert Redford
It is time for the collusion to stop.

A Permanent Moratorium Antonia Juhasz
BP's disaster in the Gulf is far from an isolated incident.

Energy Extremism Michael T. Klare
Environmental catastrophe is the inevitable outcome.

Features Resistance Has a Woman's Face Shirin Ebadi
It will be women who will bring democracy to Iran.

Interview Alex Gibney Joseph Huff-Hannon
"I'm always interested in the path of corruption," says the Oscar-winning director about his latest film, Casino Jack.

Culture Portraits of the Marianas Koohan Paik

A new documentary puts in focus this unsung U.S. territory.

Poem Rachel Hadas

Will Durst trusts BP as far as he can throw a deserted shrimp boat.

Dave Zirin says sports fans deserve better.

Books Elizabeth DiNovella reviews The Empire Strikes Out.

Jim Hightower translates America's anger for the Brits.


White supremacist posters on campuses play on ignorance and fear within the very institutions that should be our...

Trump's politics are not the problem.

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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