A Pivotal Moment In History?

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Historian and activist political scientist Howard Zinn talks with Paul Jay about the election, his perception of the meaning of the choice between McCain and Obama it presents for the future of America, and the pitfalls and opportunities that lie ahead.

Zinn says: “…vote against McCain, vote for Obama. Even though Obama does not represent any fundamental change, he creates an opening for a possibility of change. Obama will not fulfill that potential for change, unless he is enveloped by a social movement, which is angry enough, powerful enough, insistent enough, that he fills his abstract phrases about change with some content. We need direct action, because only that kind of indignation is going to have some affect on the people in Washington.

October 22, 2008 – about 11 minutes

Howard Zinn is an American historian, political scientist, social critic, activist and playwright. He is best known as author of the bestseller ‘A People’s History of the United States’.

Zinn has been active in the Civil Rights and the anti-war movements in the United States. Zinn was raised in a working-class family in Brooklyn, and flew bombing missions for the United States in World War II, an experience he now points to in shaping his opposition to war.

In 1956, he became a professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, a school for black women, where he soon became involved in the Civil rights movement, which he participated in as an adviser to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee SNCC and chronicled, in his book SNCC The New Abolitionists. Zinn collaborated with historian Staughton Lynd and mentored a young student named Alice Walker.

When he was fired in 1963 for insubordination related to his protest work, he moved to Boston University, where he became a leading critic of the Vietnam War.


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    • Edger on October 22, 2008 at 19:22

    Obama will follow if people lead him?

  1. Zinn and Chomsky reach the same conclusion…elect Obama and then GET TO WORK!!!!!

    Of course, it also sounds like what buhdy has been saying for a long time now.  

  2. The Fifth of November!  

    We do one of two things:

    1) Either we take to the streets to protest another stolen election, or

    2) We take to the streets to pressure Obama to make real change!!!!

  3. Zinn is a realist! And I pretty much agree with him.

    I have always said that I feel that if Obama gets in, he will not be able to achieve that much change because, 1) he has that corporate backing (of course, he’d never have made it to first base without it), and 2) without the Impeachment of Bush, Cheney, et al., who will simply go off into the sunset to push buttons in the “shadows” (wealth and power seem to never go away (but, then, snakes don’t stop biting unless their heads are chopped off either) — just look at the convicted Iran Contra guys and their current jobs Meet the Carlyle Group  (see Iran-Contra Success Stories), so many of his efforts will be stymied!

    But do I think Obama is sincere in wanting to effectuate change?  Yes, I believe that he is sincere.  He is intelligent and, thus, I believe will be “amenable” as is possible to the American people.  He has said enumerable times that this election is NOT about him, but about the American people.  To me, that means, yes, he wants us to work with him — that would include, I gather, letting him know what it is we want and expect.  

    Further, without detail, I have had a discussion concerning his more “centrist” views. There is an election to be considered and won — some views may not be “real” views, but that remains to be seen.  

    Finally, I do applaud Obama for the courage in even wanting to take on this country and all its maladies, international and national — what an absolute “abortion.”  McCain?  Well, he would find no difficulty at all in taking over the country — he and Palin would simply be an even greater extension of Bush/Cheney and, perhaps, the biggest mouthpieces ever for the neocon goals!  I think Palin was chosen, in the event of . . . . , and, boy, would she make a perfect “patsy” for all the neocons.

    So, I’m saying we need to reserve a little space on the side of “hope,” as suggested by Dharmasyd below, barring, yet, another stolen election, which is totally possible based on an article by Greg Palast and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. The Election Has Already Been Stolen  If the election is stolen once again, well, an action is being planned already,

    A McCain “Win” Will Be Theft, Resistance Is Planned

    Submitted by davidswanson on Tue, 2008-10-21 00:19.

    If your television declares John McCain the president elect on the evening of November 4th, your television will be lying. You should immediately pick up your pre-packed bags and head straight to the White House in Washington, D.C., which we will surround and shut down until this attempt at a third illegitimate presidency is reversed. . . .

    Of course, an outburst by the public, in such event, will be handled by Bush and his martial law and goons effectuating it!  They do think ahead!!!!

  4. . . . but possibly, like Kerensky, he may open the doors that let the real revolution in.

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