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Another Turn of the Crank

Essays
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Counterpoint
 | 
May, 2011
ISBN:
9781582437460
Quantity: 
1
$13.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

Kentucky farmer, writer and poet Wendell Berry here offers essays which propose, and earnestly hope, that people will learn once more to care for their local communities, and so begin the restoration that might spread over
North America, and beyond. The renewed development of local economies will help preserve rural diversity despite the burgeoning global economy that threatens to homogenize and compromise communities all over the world.

From modern health care to the practice of forestry, from local focus to national resolve,
Berry
argues that there can never be a separation between global ecosystems and human communities—the two are intricately connected, the health and survival of one dependent on the other. Provocative, intimate, and thoughtful, Another Turn of the Crank reaches to the heart of
Berry
’s concern and vision for the future, and for the world. As the Washington Post Book World said, “Our hope is here. And here is a human being speaking with calm and sanity out of the wilderness. We would do well to hear him.”

A democratic government fails in failing to protect the integrity of ordinary lives and local communities. By now it should be pretty obvious that central planning is of a piece with absentee ownership and does not work. But to say as much is not to say that there is no proper role for government. The proper role of a government is to protect its citizens and its communities against conquest—against economic conquest as much as conquest by overt violence.

*

And yet love obstinately answers that no loved one is standardized. A body, love insists, is neither a spirit nor a machine; it is not a picture, a diagram, a chart, a graph, an anatomy; it is not an explanation; it is not a law. It is precisely and uniquely what it is. It belongs to the world of love, which is a world of living creatures, natural orders and cycles, many small, fragile lights in the dark.

*

I believe that health is wholeness. For many years I have returned again and again to the work of the English agriculturist, Sir Albert Howard, who said, in The Soil and Health, that “the whole problem of health in soil, plant, animals, and man [is] one great subject.”

I am moreover a Luddite, in what I take to be the true and appropriate sense. I am not “against technology” so much as I am for community. When the choice is between the health of a community and technological innovation, I choose the health of the community. I would unhesitatingly destroy a machine before I would allow the machine to destroy my community.

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