Poet, novelist, and ecologist Wendell Berry is the author of more than 30 books including Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community. In this cantankerous volume, he writes: "The dominant story of our age, undoubtedly, is that of adultery and divorce. This is true both literally and figuratively: The dominant tendency of our age is the breaking of faith and the making of divisions among things that once were joined." In this critique of modern superstition, Berry contends that the division of the sciences and the arts into "two cultures" has been harmful for both.
To make his point, the author presents a devastating condemnation of Edward O. Wilson's book Consilience, which celebrates science, materialism, and the reduction of creatures to machines. Berry sums up: "To trust 'progress' or our putative 'genius' to solve all the problems that we cause is worse than bad science; it is bad religion." The author believes we should re-institute the old-fashioned category of propriety, which "makes an issue of the fittingness of our conduct to our place or circumstances, even to our hopes."
As an alternative to the rampant capitalism that is conquering the world, Berry suggests the creation of a new Emancipation Proclamation to free life from enslavement to corporations. For those who still have a yen for counter-cultural criticism, here is some vintage brew from an environmentalist who has taken the high ground for years and years.