Saturday, 30 January 2010

* Howard Zinn RIP

The death has occurred of one of my few heroes – the great socialist historian Howard Zinn. He was 87.

Unlike many ‘serious’ academics, Zinn had a great way of getting his point across by using humour.

You can see his interviews here

Here are a few quotes:

If the gods had intended for people to vote, they would have given us candidates.

Remember, there are some people who cannot be educated. They must be defeated.

There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.

A poem can inspire a movement. A pamphlet can spark a revolution. Civil disobedience can arouse people and provoke us to think, when we organize with one another, when we get involved, when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress.

Historically, the most terrible things -war, genocide, and slavery - have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.

Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.

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