One of our greatest cultural losses in recent years was the death of Howard Zinn, people’s historian and speaker of truth. His contributions to the discipline of history alone will ensure that his memory shines brightly for generations. Yet for me his greatest gift to our republic was always his uncompromising position as an open, direct pain-in-the ass to the powers that be.
“A truly free University would not celebrate obedience, for obedience is what has enabled governments to send young men by the millions to die in war. It would celebrate resistance and disobedience, because the world, so full of policemen, so racked with injustice and violence, needs rebels badly.” (Howard Zinn, The Zinn Reader, New York: 1997, p.566)
There is no future in persuading self-centered elites to share a few more crumbs with us from their table, groaning with the weight of their ill-gotten plunder. They will ignore most of us, and attempt to co-opt or repress those of us who begin to raise awareness of injustice, and encourage ordinary people to claim the power that they should rightfully wield in a democracy.
The iron fist, of raw brutality to the workers , the elderly, and the poor has started to show– through the few remaining threads of the velvet glove of out “safety net.” This is truly a scary moment. It is a scary time for many of us, who thought that some few of our elites might actually have the wisdom and compassion necessary to mitigate the ever-present harshness of the capitalist world-system. Or at least a better instinct for self-preservation than Marie Antoinette showed in 1789!
Mitch McConnell, Dick Durbin, it doesn’t matter. They belong to two separate parties but they both follow the orders of Goldman Sachs. Was gay marriage not divisive enough to distract and divert the masses? Then it’s clearly time to start hyperventilating about gun-control.
It’s time to step out of the matrix, brothers and sisters. Floating along in a stream of passivity, while our Galtian overlords openly mock us as rubes, picking what little remains out of our pockets—this is getting us nowhere.
Don’t mourn, organize! Low-paid workers in fast-food and retail in NYC and Chicago have begun to do just that. The Chicago Teachers Union went out on strike, endured a vicious smear campaign, and came out the other side with greater support from parents than ever before.
This May Day in Gotham City many thousands of occupiers, students, union and non-union workers, immigrants and allies will flood the streets and parks to celebrate resistance to the powers that be. Will you be doing the same where you live? Wouldn’t it be great if the celebration of Mat Day by the 99% became so powerful that the elites were shook out of their smug satisfaction with their criminal “success?” See you in the streets!!
Know Justice, Know Peace No Justice, No Peace. No War but Class War