We make war, we are told, for the love of peace. We subvert our Bill of Rights and impose our will abroad for the sake of freedom and law. We honor greed and waste with the name of economy. We allow ever greater wealth and power to accumulate in the hands of a privileged few only to provide jobs for working people and charity to the poor. And we sanctify all this a Christian, though the Gospels support none of it by so much as a line or a word.

– Wendell Berry in The Way of Ignorance: Letter to Daniel Kemmis p.147

This has been increasingly an age of fire. We now travel and transport our goods by means of controlled explosions in the engines of our vehicles. We run our factories, businesses, and households by means of fires or controlled explosions in furnaces and power plants. We fight our wars by controlled, and sometimes uncontrolled, explosions. Violence, in short, is the norm of our economic life and our national security. The line that connects the bombing of a civilian population to the mountain “removed” by strip mining to the gullied and poisoned field to the clear-cut watershed to the tortured prisoner seems to run pretty straight.

– Wendell Berry in The Way of Ignorance: Letter to Daniel Kemmis p.146

Brought up as a teamster but now driving a tractor, a boy almost suddenly, almost perforce, sees the farm in a different way: as ground to be got over by a means entirely different, at an entirely different cost. The team (of mules), like the boy, would grow weary, but that weariness has all at once been subtracted, and the boy is now divided from the ground by the absence of a living connection that enforced sympathy as a practical good. The tractor can work at maximum speed hour after hour without tiring. There is no longer a reason to remember the shady spots where it was good to stop and rest. Tirelessness and speed enforce a second, more perilous change in the way the boy sees the farm: Seeing it as ground to be got over as fast as possible and, ideally, without stopping, he has taken on the psychology of a traveler by interstate highway or by air. The focus of his attention has shifted from the place to the technology.

– Wendell Berry in The Way of Ignorance: Renewing Husbandry p.95

The person who will undertake to help without doing harm is going to be a person of some complexity, not easily pleased, probably not a hero, probably not a billionaire.

– Wendell Berry in The Way of Ignorance: The Way of Ignorance p.65