Friday, January 29, 2010

Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn, a great human being, died on Wednesday, mercifully missing the State of the Union speech by the Great Black Hope who failed.

This is a great loss to the country and the world.

In memoriam, TV and radio (that I listen to) have been playing Zinn speeches.

Of particular interest to me is when he talks about how social movements start. He was part of the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam war movement.

They started with just small groups of people getting together, sure that their small numbers were insignificant, but determined to protest anyway.

Lately, I've seen a lot of moaning about the Democratic Party and its betrayal of we, the people. And a lot of vain wistful wishing that there was an alternative. This drives me crazy. There is an alternative, if you're inclined to party politics. It's the Green Party, based on peace, justice, environmentalism and grassroots democracy.

But, no, the teeth gnashers don't want to join a small party and help it to grow. They want a full fledged mass movement that they can join after others have done the work. They want an alternative to spring full grown from the forehead of Zeus.

It's not really hard work anyway, it's just unpleasant work. It's not like building a railroad, or something. It's attending meetings, and standing on corners asking for signatures on petitions, and going door to door passing out leaflets. It's not fun, but it isn't backbreaking. Jeez.

Listen to Howard Zinn and be inspired. I know that I am.


Anonymous said...

I was so disappointed at how the media ignored him. NPR is supposed to be the voice of reason in all the corporate lickers and they had some right winger dismiss him as a nut. Suppose all the eulogies had to be devoted to Salinger that wrote a book that high schoolers had to read. A smart teacher would have made them read Zinn and maybe they could learn to see history as what it is - a memoir in which the powerful family never did anything wrong.

wagelaborer said...

Yeah, I think that A People's History of the United States will never be a required book in this United States!