Friday, January 29, 2010

Reflections on Howard Zinn

(image by redarmymike)

“Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.”
Howard Zinn

"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 we have been involved."
Howard Zinn
"Yes, dissent and protest are divisive, but in a good way, because they represent accurately the real divisions in society. Those divisions exist - the rich, the poor - whether there is dissent or not, but when there is no dissent, there is no change. The dissent has the possibility not of ending the division in society, but of changing the reality of the division. Changing the balance of power on behalf of the poor and the oppressed."

"To be neutral, to be passive is to collaborate with what is going on"
Howard Zinn
The tributes are appearing for Howard Zinn who died this week. You can read some of them here, here, here, here, here. The tributes provide an insight into the amazing legacy and contribution of Howard Zinn.

The writer and sports journalist Dave Zurin has written a moving piece about just how radical Howard Zinn was. Zurin concludes with this
"Howard Zinn taught millions of us a simple lesson: Agitate. Agitate. Agitate. But never lose your sense of humor in the process. It's a beautiful legacy and however much it hurts to lose him, we should strive to build on Howard's work and go out and make some history".
Amy Goodman from Democracy Now has done a fine piece in which she interviews Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein and Alice Walker on Howard Zinn's legacy.

ZNet has a great collection of pieces of Howard Zinn's writings here.

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