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About The Issue

Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, and other progressive visionaries contribute to our special December/January double issue. Don’t miss these great articles:

  • Adbusters Editor Kalle Lasn explains how “we can create global, big bang moments that change things.”
  • John Nichols and Robert Reich elaborate on the idea that, with economic and technological change, massive pressure for a more just economic arrangement is bound to come.
“The radical ideas advanced by socialists, social democrats, and others on the left can transform mainstream politics,” Nichols writes. “And that transformation is going to be necessary as America experiences a digital revolution that will be every bit as disruptive as the industrial revolution.” Social and economic transformation, Reich adds, is “not something we might want or wish for. It’s inevitable.”
Elsewhere in this special issue, progressive leaders share their hopes—for an environmental revolution (Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, Scott Russell Sanders, and Lester Brown); for a true grappling with the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow (Kevin Alexander Gray), and for an end to the immoral system of mass incarceration and the death penalty (Bryan Stevenson).
“There is more space to debate the costs of capitalism than at any point in my lifetime,” Klein told Associate Editor Bill Lueders. Bill also recruited Karen Dawn, who writes about how opposing animal cruelty fits into a progressive vision of the world.
My friend and home-birth midwife Ingrid Andersson travels to Sweden and makes some profound observations about the contrast between that country and ours. In Sweden, she finds, explicitly feminist policies create a culture that is almost unimaginable to Americans. Sexuality there is not shrouded in shame, and women and men, religious and secular people, even parents and teens co-exist happily without the strife and conflict we take for granted.
There are some beautiful, broadly hopeful stories in this issue. Editing it was a joy. May it bring you joy and inspiration, too, to find meaning, and to see opportunities to remake the world this year.

December/January 2015/2016 Table of Contents

5 Editor’s Note

6 Comment

8 No Comment

9 Letters

11 Projects

12 On the Line

14 Smoking Gun

15 From Plantation to Planet Scott Russell Sanders

19 An Intervewi with Kelle Lasn Jake Whitney

22 Scenes from the Beginning of the End of the Fossil Age Bill McKibben

26 An Interview with Naomi Klein Bill Lueders

30 Lessons from Medellin Barbara Miner

34 Welcome to Sweden Ingrid Andersson

41 The Women Who Won't Go Away Kathy Kelly

43 An Interview with Robert Reich Ruth Conniff

47 The Flag is Down The Fight Goes On Kevin Alexander Gray

50 An Interview with Bryan Stevenson Dean A. Strang

54 Making Animal Protection a Political Issue Karen Dawn

58 A Digital Age That Serves People Not Profits John Nichols

62 An Interview with Lester Brown Amit Pahl

65 Kate Clinton

66 Dave Zirin

67 Poems

68 Our Favorite Books of 2015

78 Jim Hightower 


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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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