updated: Mon 1 Feb 2010 (see article and links to tributes)
I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve not noticed until today (Saturday 30th January 2010) that Howard Zinn has passed away a few days ago, Wednesday 27th January. A good man has left this earth. May Allah SWT have mercy on his soul.
I got to know of Howard Zinn (and Domocracy Now, DN, for that matter – the two are intertwined in my mind) around the time the ZUSUK’s killers rammed their way into Iraq – Yet another Occidental orgy of slaughter they consciously decided upon, slaughtering yet more innocent and fundamentally good people.
I was consumed with a feverish desire to know what has happening in Iraq and spent something like 5 hours a day (often more) reading all sorts of news reports and commentray. Eventually I came across links to Howard Zinn and some other prominent anti-warites. I came to really admire Howard Zinn - as much as one can from infront of a computer screen . My feelings of liking towards him were helped largely from speeches like this that he gave at Madison…
and I got to like DN too. DN is a shift towards my ideas as to what a News Organisation should be about.
Howard was a mainstream critic of rapacious neoimperial globalisation. The time he was afforded by the media (such as Democracy Now) was what one may expect for mainstream critic; occasional appearances on this ‘fringe’ (i.e. non-populist) media. That’s not being unkind to Howard Zinn or DN, but is merely a comment on the condition of global (read populist) media and its critics. The conventional is overpowering.
(Media and critic) Conspiracy? I don’t think so. At least not here, at this level. If one is only ever aware of blue light, then everything will appear as shades of blue. In such an environment there are actually other wavelengths but they are hidden. If the blue receptive eyes did ever happen to glance at these other colours, there simply isn’t the ability to fathom what it was that they are looking it. After a while, those eyes will flick back to the shades of blues of the world reassuringly familiar. And so it is with the media and the popular critics. That nobody in a position of power or influence has realised the peoples tendancy to want to coalesce to the percieved conformity or that these people haven’t exploited it for their own financial and philosophical benefit is laughable.
Again don’t get me wrong, I respect DN and I respected HZ; For within the realm of conformity, life is often sweeter in the centre than at the fringe. The reason they are on the fringe is I’d say because their sence of morality/justice/humanity isn’t perverted like those in the centre populate by those for example killed 1,300,000+ Iraqi’s, eventually adopting the hideous lie that the Iraqi’s are thankful for it.
My assessment of the qualifications necessary to manage to appear on fringe media is that: the ceiling of ones criticism must end with the bankers, the global capitalists. There can not be any higher level of denouncement or exposee. Only the bankers can be the point source of evil in this world. Not Zionism*, not Cabalists, not Freemasonry, not the Jesuits nor the Illuminati, and of course ultimatley not Satanism. These secret societies do exist and do pull rank on ‘the bankers’ but definately not in the this barren secular world bruitalising us to accepts it’s senseless ways.
Zinn wasn’t into 9-11 conspiracy (a reasonably worthy debate in the modern era has sprung up on Craig Murray’s site: The 9/11 Post). I think accusation of ‘gatekeeperism’ were probably levvied at him, as they were about Chomsky when he stupidly said at Q&A (I think in Ireland?) something like ‘who cares’ or ‘what does it matter’ about who did 9-11. That was just a lapse of idiocy rather than gatekeeperism. I recently re-viewd an interview with Chomsky and the jolly Francine Stock of BBC Newsnight fame and my admiration for him identifying that self censoring journalists believed in what they said otherwise they wouldn’t be sitting where they were sitting.
This point has been mentioned by others before but it really hit home how Chomsky really got to the point of what the global corporate media is all about, it’s as if Chomsky was a scanner [ http://www.vureel.com/video/4338/Scanners-81 ] and scanned what Andrew Marr was all about but Marr was either in denial or just too dumb to think about it and wonder if it was true or not.
The point that doesn’t get talked about is surely this applies to Chomsky himself?
The other day, the very respected Zahir Ebrahim of http://humanbeingsfirst.org/ gave a critique of someone posted about recently – Dr Chandra Muzaffar [ see: https://lwtc247.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/a-beautiful-mind-dr-chandra-muzaffar/ ] Zahir misrepresented my admiration for Dr Chandra to the point that he seemed to think I was a doting disciple. I’m not. I respect him for him speaking out and it matter not whether other do it better or that they may supposedly earn a living from it. BUT I did get his point that it’s still permitted dissent – Dr Chandra, Howard Zinn, Chonksy, Naomi Klein, George Galloway. My position is in fact beyond theirs. As I’ve said they are mainstream – to them, “it’s the bankers stupid” others like myself are obviously racists, anti-semitics, and conspiraloon nutters. I’ll never break into the fringe of acceptable dissidence, I don’t think I want to. I got laughed at not so long ago by someone who projects himself to be an intellectual. the reason he laughed? Becuase he discivered I believed in God. But I still respect the Howard Zinns of this world because they do carry and important message. The fist step of a thousands miles for the terrible comatose middle class who “beliefs of non-belief”, bar capitalism, sickens me.
I respect Media Lens but disagree in their stance on anthropogenic global warming, as I don’t accept Dr. Chandra’s stance on it as I don’t agree with Zinn’s stance on 9-11. While I’m on AGW, these people have nrtunately conflated pollution with environmental rape with CO2. Given their obvious distaste (putting it mildy) for the global corporations, I can understand why.
In this life almost everyone we come across is gonna believe in something that’s the near opposite of our stance. That doesn’t \negate the respect one can have for men of honour and morality.
Zinn was such a man who believed passionately about the lets say conventional viewpoint. He criticised the powers that be while Mr and mrs Joe bloggs, idiots by another name, complacent to crimes against humanity sat on their chairs, shruggesd their shoulders and tricked themselves into believing they can vote it out in x years time, thinking about their pension schemes in Haliburton, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, BAE, etc. Fools. Self-intoxicated accomplaces to mass global tryanny and death.
Howard Zinn you will be missed.
right now I don’t really care about the rubbish spelling, typos or grammatical mistakes. I’m tired. I need to go to bed. This world continues to suck big time! I don’t care if I’m not communicating this post out in a literarly purists fancy.
I feel we should forge alliances – or at least give some support to at least the fringe. The exo fringe is uttterly divided and too busy squabbling if it’s the Zionists, illuminati, Jewsuits, Freemasons behind it all, while – and I’m repeating this for good reason – SATAN play alss sides and does whatever it takes to pull you from God. WHATEVER IT TAKES.
Zahir, If you’re reading this, I’m confident you will understand it and not take any offence. I’ll try and reply to your e-mails on the previous thread time permitting. I am very short on time right now. 20 stories a day go whizzing past my eyes which infuriate me and make me feel like I must reveal it for the rubbish it is, but I am v.v.v.v.tired and just as busy. Blogging (I’m exo-fringe) is achieving noting. Nobody other than those beyond the fringe are listening. Nobody that can make any difference really cares. The critical mass of people to overthrow this repulsive global guff will not be reached.
Dear Howard, I will miss you.
* I am discussing Zionism in the sence that I can come to conclude is actually quite ancient an dNOT simply a late 19th century call for Jewish nationalism. That of the perversion of God’s covenant to those that believe in him which morphs into a form that the convenant comes with no conditions. From Cane Able, the Inversion of the sacrifice of Ishak and Ismail, Jacob(Yacoob), the sale of Yusrf(Joseph) to the Egyptians, The rebellion of the the Hebrews against Haroun(Arron) and Musa(Moses) The defiance of Gods wisdom to Samuel for the people not to have a King. The slurrs against Sulaiman(soloman) as a user of black magic. The plots of Jeroboham, The idoloty of Ahab and Jezebel and their prophet killing, the Pharisees slandering the virgin Mary, the killing of Jesus(Isa) and the talmudic depiction of him waste high in boiling human excriment in Hell and every similar thing that has transpired since not least from the white Euro Jews in deriliction whose perversion of the covenant took on much greater dimensions.
A friend passed this to me today, and other friends all thought it was great:
American historian, playwright and social activist Howard Zinn died January 27, 2010, aged 87. His light will shine bright into the far off future. A new socially just world will owe a great debt to Howard and others like him who gave so much of themselves for us. — ZNet Staff
Below is an excerpt from his recent book A Power Governments Cannot Suppress published by City Lights Books, www.citylights.com. At the bottom of this commentary are links to various ZNet obituaries remembering Howard.
A Marvelous Victory - By Howard Zinn
In this world of war and injustice, how does a person manage to stay socially engaged, committed to the struggle, and remain healthy without burning out or becoming resigned or cynical?
I am totally confident not that the world will get better, but that we should not give up the game before all the cards have been played. The metaphor is deliberate; life is a gamble. Not to play is to foreclose any chance of winning. To play, to act, is to create at least a possibility of changing the world.
There is a tendency to think that what we see in the present moment will continue. We forget how often we have been astonished by the sudden crumbling of institutions, by extraordinary changes in people’s thoughts, by unexpected eruptions of rebellion against tyrannies, by the quick collapse of systems of power that seemed invincible.
What leaps out from the history of the past hundred years is its utter unpredictability. A revolution to overthrow the czar of Russia in that most sluggish of semi feudal empires not only startled the most advanced imperial powers but took Lenin himself by surprise and sent him rushing by train to Petrograd. Who would have predicted the bizarre shifts of World War II-the Nazi-Soviet pact (those embarrassing photos of von Ribbentrop and Molotov shaking hands), and the German army rolling through Russia, apparently invincible, causing colossal casualties, being turned back at the gates of Leningrad, on the western edge of Moscow, in the streets of Stalingrad, followed by the defeat of the German army, with Hitler huddled in his Berlin bunker, waiting to die?
And then the postwar world, taking a shape no one could have drawn in advance: The Chinese Communist revolution, the tumultuous and violent Cultural Revolution, and then another turnabout, with post-Mao China renouncing its most fervently held ideas and institutions, making overtures to the West, cuddling up to capitalist enterprise, perplexing everyone.
No one foresaw the disintegration of the old Western empires happening so quickly after the war, or the odd array of societies that would be created in the newly independent nations, from the benign village socialism of Nyerere’s Tanzania to the madness of Idi Amin’s adjacent Uganda. Spain became an astonishment. I recall a veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade telling me that he could not imagine Spanish Fascism being overthrown without another bloody war. But after Franco was gone, a parliamentary democracy came into being, open to Socialists, Communists, anarchists, everyone.
The end of World War II left two superpowers with their respective spheres of influence and control, vying for military and political power. Yet they were unable to control events, even in those parts of the world considered to be their respective spheres of influence. The failure of the Soviet Union to have its way in Afghanistan, its decision to withdraw after almost a decade of ugly intervention, was the most striking evidence that even the possession of thermonuclear weapons does not guarantee domination over a determined population.
The United States has faced the same reality. It waged a full-scale war in Indochina, conducting the most brutal bombardment of a tiny peninsula in world history, and yet was forced to withdraw. In the headlines every day we see other instances of the failure of the presumably powerful over the presumably powerless, as in Bolivia and Brazil, where grassroots movements of workers and the poor have elected new presidents pledged to fight destructive corporate power.
Looking at this catalogue of huge surprises, it’s clear that the struggle for justice should never be abandoned because of the apparent overwhelming power of those who have the guns and the money and who seem invincible in their determination to hold on to it. That apparent power has, again and again, proved vulnerable to human qualities less measurable than bombs and dollars: moral fervor, determination, unity, organization, sacrifice, wit, ingenuity, courage, patience-whether by blacks in Alabama and South Africa, peasants in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Vietnam, or workers and intellectuals in Poland, Hungary, and the Soviet Union itself. No cold calculation of the balance of power need deter people who are persuaded that their cause is just.
I have tried hard to match my friends in their pessimism about the world (is it just my friends?), but I keep encountering people who, in spite of all the evidence of terrible things happening everywhere, give me hope. Wherever I go, I find such people, especially young people, in whom the future rests. And beyond the handful of activists there seem to be hundreds, thousands, more who are open to unorthodox ideas. But they tend not to know of one another’s existence, and so, while they persist, they do so with the desperate patience of Sisyphus endlessly pushing the boulder up the mountain. I try to tell each group that they are not alone, and that the very people who are disheartened by the absence of a national movement are themselves proof of the potential for such a movement.
Revolutionary change does not come as one cataclysmic moment (beware of such moments!) but as an endless succession of surprises, moving zigzag toward a more decent society. We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power that can transform the world.
Even when we don’t “win,” there is fun and fulfillment in the fact that we have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile. We need hope. An optimist isn’t necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not being foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of competition and cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places-and there are so many-where people have behaved magnificently, it energizes us to act, and raises at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
Joan Brunwasser: Howard Zinn is a historian, author, social activist, and American icon. His book “A People’s History of the United States” has sold over two million copies. Welcome back to OpEdNews, Howard. The dust has had a chance to settle a bit since last month’s airing of your documentary “The People Speak.” What kind of feedback have you gotten so far?
Howard Zinn: We’ve received lots of nice messages on “The People Speak.” The History Channel tells us that eight million people have seen part or all of the film, and two million on the first night it was shown (apparently they have no way of telling if a viewer cuts out on the program). It will be on the History Channel again February 22nd and March 1st.
Life is pointing me to this: “You should not put absolute trust in someone unless you are willing to experience dissappointment”
As a monotheist you can guess where my absolute trust resides, but for now, I’m talking about this physical prison we currently live in. Prison you say? Well it sure ain’t no damn paradise – unless of course you block out knowledge of the atrocious lives 3,000,000,000 people, half the population!, who somehow manage to endure on a daily basis until such time when they can bear it no more. Well, either you block out knowledge of that or you heart is made of stone.
Leaders, be they people of courage and/or intellect, or of a political nature, are often given absolute trust. The more ‘followers’ that leader has, the more infatuous that trust is and therfore becomes unrequirted to a greater extent. After all, when was the last time you heard a leader listening and acting upon the concerns of one of his supporters. It is a humanism that the more support one has, the more likely one is to ignore the voice of an individual supporter.
Empirically, one deduces the trust easily becomes blind and that is dangerous. It allows for the continual emergence of butchers like Tony bLiar, Bush, Howard and Aznar to slaughter with impunity.
The same arguement holds for religious leaders too (and I can’t be bothered to list the cross section of ‘religions’ held by such leaders, to encourage you to think my scorn is balanced). It’s my opinion that ALL religious leaders are tainted in some way or another. To these the economists analogy… Put two economists in a room to answer a question and you’ll end up with three different answers. A respected American Imam once said “Islam is perfect, Muslims are not”. C’est vrai absolument!
This undoubting trust endures for a long periods and it breeds zealotry.
If we are honest with ourselves, we can consciously identify at least one thing we zealous about. Steadfast belief in something has its virtues, but ALL humans are flawed. Even the prophets have exhibited humanistic flaws albeit they were most likely free from sin.
So if you find yourself in strong empathy with someone you admire, please realise that eventually they will say something wrong, and you should be prepared to distance yourself from that, or you have failed in this case to adhere to your responsibility to act as a congitive human being.
Howard Zinn is a legend in the making – an accomplished historical author and social political activist) freind of Noam Chomsky. But Zinn (like Chomsky) aren’t bothered an are dismissive about 9-11; the catalysing event that will likely send shockwaves around the planet for decades if not centuries to come.
Such repected men are displaying utter idiocy in ignoring it, in fact Zinn should know far better as being a historian I’m sure he’s well aware of the phrase “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. Zinn and Chomsky seem to be displaying ‘conspiracies exist but not in out lifetime’ syndrome, and these otherwise giants of men, are being accused of gatekeeperism.
They may well be, but if they are, it seems to me they are self-employed gatekeepers – a facet of human behavior Chomsky himself identifies about the Journalistic ‘profession’. But it is so hard to see ones criticisms in oneself isn’t it. Click HERE to see how ones mind can lead to the self censorship of acknowldgement, concerning the deaths of over 2 million Cambodians.
Trouble is, the Zealots of Zinn and Chomsky are likely to seal off their critical faculties
to facts and the over whelming balance of probabilities, simply becasue they leap to their defence when others find Zinn and Chomsky’s declarations on the matter extremely intellectually bankrupt.
At the same time, 9-11’ers are drawing upon their own zealotry against Zinn and Chomsky, casting them as oppositin rather than people who should be enaged and encouraged to discuss the issue in a proper intellectual and reasoned fashion and not to try and dismiss 9-11 with dismissive “terse quips or undignified, ugly self-thought high-brow ridicule other supposed intelligent people can’t seem to help dishing out whenever substantiated counter opinion is offered their way.