Cultural Revolutions

Broad Political Views

Wendell Berry's new essay collection, Another Turn of the Crank, gives definition to broad political views that the author has previously left obscure. Regarding foreign trade, for example, he asks: "How can any nation or region justify the destruction of a local productive capacity for the sake of foreign trade?" Berry indicts both the liberals' affection for "a big central government" and the conservatives' attachment to "a supranational economy." Concluding that "the old political alignments have become virtually useless," he endorses an emergent "party of local community," embracing ranchers, farmers, market gardeners, small business proprietors, religious folk, and conservationists, behind a platform of ecological integrity and the renewal of local economies and communities.

Berry also confronts the issue of abortion. "We are now conducting a sort of general warfare against children," he writes, a group that "will inherit a diminished, diseased, and poisoned world." Berry acknowledges the right of a person to control his or her body, but continues: "If you can control your own body only by destroying another person's body, then control has come much too late. Self-mastery is the appropriate way to control one's own body, not surgery."

Sexuality and fertility are naturally joined. Berry contends, as is sexuality...

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