Monday, February 23, 2015

The Problem Is Obedience

Matt Damon reads from a speech
given by a very young Howard Zinn back in 1970 when the left still had balls.

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, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country.

And let us be clear, that no small part of our problem is with the police. The police are the instruments of obedience, racism, taxation, and theft from the poor, even as the Big Wink is extended to the rich.

It's the jackboot of the police for the poor folks struggling to make a car payment, but it's a government bail out for the rich who have summer houses and wine cellars.

More from Howard Zinn:
Nixon and Brezhnev have much more in common with one another than we have with Nixon.

J. Edgar Hoover has far more in common with the head of the Soviet secret police than he has with us.

It's the international dedication to law and order that binds the leaders of all countries in a comradely bond. That's why we are always surprised when they get together -- they smile, they shake hands, they smoke cigars, they really like one another no matter what they say. It's like the Republican and Democratic parties, who claim that it's going to make a terrible difference if one or the other wins, yet they are all the same. Basically, it is us against them.


jeffrey thurston said...

Yes but what to do? Look who's reading Howard's statements- Matt Damon- a skillionaire actor- part of the problem. And what about Zinn- or Nader or Stone anyone who is really just part of the loyal opposition? We live in a relatively benevolent (at least here in the "homeland") kleptocracy which is becoming less so by the hour. We are exactly like those Good Germans because it's too difficult not to be. It's us against them but at this point what to do- could we live like the Syrians? The powers that be won't just fade away...

PBurns said...

Matt Damon and Howard Zinn were friends -- his book gets a shout out in Goodwill Hunting, which Damon wrote and starred in. Zinn and Nader and others are people forged in a time of community, sacrifice, and service. We lost all of that somewhere along the way.