Remembering Howard Zinn on the Anniversary of His Death and Germinating the Seeds of Truth
“You can’t be neutral on a moving train,” Howard Zinn said. Although he died over a year ago (January 27, 2010), no statement could be more timely considering the upheaval in Egypt.
Perhaps we are so vicariously thrilled by people literally taking democracy into their hands and putting their lives on the line – as we were with the suppressed “Green Revolution” in Iran – because we have largely abandoned large-scale protests in the US. Other nations are doing the heavy lifting of democracy, and it excites us with the possibility that it could happen here, that we could stand up to the plutocracy and the status quo elites.
Zinn said that he would like to be remembered,
for introducing a different way of thinking about the world, about war, about human rights, about equality … for getting more people to realize that the power which rests so far in the hands of people with wealth and guns, that the power ultimately rests in people themselves and that they can use it. At certain points in history, they have used it. Black people in the South used it. People in the women’s movement used it. People in the anti-war movement used it. People in other countries who have overthrown tyrannies have used it.
He was an inveterate optimist that the spark of good in all of us can ignite a powerful force that can bring down the rule of the privileged few.
Zinn was also on the advisory board of Truthout, which embodies his view that:
There was a moment in our lives (or a month, or a year) when certain facts appeared before us, startled us, and then caused us to question beliefs that were strongly fixed in our consciousness – embedded there by years of family prejudices, orthodox schooling, imbibing of newspapers, radio and television. This would seem to lead to a simple conclusion: that we all have an enormous responsibility to bring to the attention of others information they do not have, which has the potential of causing them to rethink long-held ideas.
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article:
- From Tear Gas to Rubber Bullets, Here’s What ‘Nonlethal’ Weapons Can Do to the Body
- Politicians Call on UK to Release Assange
- Gandhi: The Soul Force Warrior
- When Did World War II Actually Begin?
- Ancient Greek Wisdom: The Tragedy That Was Athens
- On 41st Anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Has Trump’s Belligerence Strengthened the Iranian Government?
- Gandhi: The Soul Force Warrior
- Nonviolence Charter: Progress Report 16 (Apr 2020)
- Why Be a Pacifist?
- BOUNTYGATE: Scapegoating Systemic Military Failure in Afghanistan
- The Racist Underpinnings of the American Way of War
- USA: Cuban Spies Disguised as Doctors
- Nepal: Inaugural Issue of “Social Inquiry” Published
- Yi Jing - I Ching 易經 — The Book of Changes
- Emails Show Monsanto Orchestrated GOP Effort to Intimidate Cancer Researchers