Amitabh Pal

Amitabh Pal is the Managing Editor of The Progressive. He has interviewed the Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter and John Kenneth Galbraith for the magazine. In addition to his role as the Managing Editor, Pal is the Co-Editor of the Progressive Media Project.
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By Amitabh Pal on January 14, 2015
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolas-auvray/16046472879/

The Charlie Hebdo killings have further contributed to a sense that Islam is an intrinsically violent religion––but such a notion is enormously reductive, to say the least. Image credits: Firas; Photographie de rue & de voyage

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By Amitabh Pal on December 04, 2014

The gas leak at the pesticide factory owned by Union Carbide killed thousands in a single night, of December 2-3, 1984, and has taken the lives of more than 20,000 people over the past three decades. Image credit: AP

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By Amitabh Pal on January 26, 2015

President Obama’s visit to India was an exercise in cynicism.

To serve U.S. corporate and strategic interests, he ignored the problematic record of his host, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The roots of Modi and his party, the BJP, lie in an organization called the RSS.

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Every generation has its moment where an older politician brings the fire and brimstone and plays cultural Moses....

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American politicians frequently call out the human rights abuses of our country's enemies but rarely of its friends...

Meatcutters from Local 248 strike in 1974. Image provided by the author.

Forty years ago the owners of Milwaukee’s meat packing plants launched a war on unions. Milwaukee’s working class is...

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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