Howard Zinn değerli bir yazar, akademisyen, aktivist, ve filozof. Okurken sadece Amerika’yı değil kendi ülkenizi de daha iyi anlıyorsunuz. Amerika’ya sallamanın değil, Amerika’yı ve dünyayı anlamanın peşinde olanlar için vazgeçilmez bir kaynak Zinn Kitapları. Aktarılacak çok not ve yazısı var. Bu kitabın notlarını içindeki bölümlere ayırarak çıkartmışım. Kısaltarak buraya koyuyorum.
“When a soldier falls in battle, we pick up his gun. When a comrade dies in the struggle for nonviolent revolution, we try to pick up his dreams.” Staughton Lynd
Altmışlar Amerika’nın ateşli zamanları. 1964 yazında Amerika’da ortaya çıkan Freedom School hareketi. Eğitim reformları tarihinde kendine has devrimci bir deney. Mississipi başta olmak üzere Güney eyaletlerinde 2 ay boyunca her yaştan zenci çocuk ve gençlere sıradışı bir eğitim verilir. İçerik 3 ana konuya sahip: Normal dersler, vatandaşlık hakları ve eğlenceli aktiviteler. Neden sadece o seneyle sınırlı kalmış araştıracağım.
The Freedom Schools’ challenge to the social structure of Mississippi was obvious from the start. Its challenge to American education as a whole is more subtle. There is, to begin with, the provocative suggestion that an entire school system can be created in any community outside the official order, and critical of its suppositions.
Are we for the law? Is there a higher law? When is civil disobedience justified? Then the teacher explored with them the differences between statutory law, constitutional law, “natural” law.
Periyodik olarak oy vermekle demokrasinin yaşatılamayacağı, hükümet üzerinde mutlaka sürekli ve etkili bir güç odağı oluşturulması gerektiği konusu tartışılıyor. Bunun hangi yöntem ve araçlarla yapılacağı tartışılırken nonviolent direct action önerilmiş.
There are lessons in this, I believe, far beyond the race crisis in the United States, and I want to explore some of them. My point is that gradualism, even in that presumed mecca of reform, the U.S.A., never really has matched the push of events, and that today the momentum of world change has made it even less able to do so. Thus, none of the traditionally approved mechanisms for social change (not war, nor revolution, nor reform) is adequate for the kind of problems we face today in the United States and in the world. We need apparently some technique which is more energetic than parliamentary reform and yet not subject to the dangers which war and revolution pose in the atomic age.
No form of government, once in power, can be trusted to limit its own ambition, to extend freedom and to wither away. This means that it is up to the citizenry, those outside of power, to engage in permanent combat with the state, short of violent, escalatory revolution, but beyond the gentility of the ballot-box, to insure justice, freedom and well being, all those values which virtually the entire world has come to believe in.
Tarihçilerin geçmişin güvenli sularında kalarak topluma karşı olan görevlerini yapmamaları ve gerçekleri halkın önüne günümüzle bağlantılı şekilde ortaya koymamaları.
Man is wounded by his history, and we then assume he must be transfixed by it.
Nietzsche in The Use and Abuse of History attacked the bullying nature of history and the sterility of academic historiography. His opening words were quoted from Goethe: “I hate everything that merely instructs me without increasing or directly quickening my activity.” He called the formal detached-from-life history of his time “a costly and superfluous luxury of the understanding” while people “are still in want of the necessaries of life.”
To define an evil in terms of a specific group when such an evil is not peculiar to that group but possible anywhere is to remove responsibility from ourselves.
Teorilerin pratiğe dökülmesi, problemlerin özüne inilmesi, yeni siyasetin solla sağla uğraşmayıp otoriterliğe karşı olması gerektiği, gradualism’e teslim olmayıp siyasete siyaset dışında etki edebilecek hızlı ve etkili organlar kurulması, şiddete başvurulmadan siyasi mekanizmaların hantallığına da teslim olmadan katılımcılığın ve kontrolün yollarının açılması, adeta siyasi gerilla taktikleri geliştirilmesi, aksiyona döktüğümüz eylemler bir işe yaramasa da kendimize katkısı olacağı, özgürlük istiyorsak sorumluluğumuza sahip çıkmamız gerektiğinden bahsediliyor.
One of the most quoted, and most ignored, in practice, of Marx’s statements is the eleventh point of his Theses on Feuerbach (about 1845): “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point however is to change it.” Since any body of ideas is part of the world, this suggests our job is not merely to interpret Marxism and the New Left, but to change them. Earlier in these Theses, Marx criticized Feuerbach’s emphasis on “the theoretical attitude.” He said: “Social life is essentially practical. All mysteries … find their rational solution in human practice.”
I am asserting that theory must be informed by observation and expressed in action. It must, in other words, be relevant.
From all this it is quite clear what Marx’s values were; the free man, in his individuality, in his sociality, in his oneness with nature.
The traditional liberal idea of a gradual evolution towards freedom, peace, and democracy through parliamentary reform is also hardly tenable.
Perhaps we are in need of political guerrilla tactics in the face of mass society—in which enclaves of freedom are created here and there in the midst of the orthodox way of life, to become centers of protest, and examples to others. It is in techniques of organization, pressure, change, community-building—that the New Radicals need the most thought, and the most action. It may take an ingenious combination of energy and wit to carry through a new kind of revolution.
We never know exactly the depth or the shallowness of the resistance to our actions—until we act.
if we are to feel our own freedom, we must feel our responsibility, not for anyone else’s actions, but only for our own; not for the past and without any pledge to the future—but at this moment, now where we stand.
The Uses of Scholarship (1969)
Akademisyenler artık topluma borçlarını ödemeli ve sığındıkları güvenli alanlardan çıkmalı, devletin elindeki askeri güce karşı toplumun bilgiyi kullanması, teoriye boğulmamış gerçek dünyanın içinde bir akademi yaratılması, objektivite adı altında eğitimin ve bilginin ehlileştirilmemesi, uzmanlığa gömülerek bütünün gözden kaçırılmaması, nötralitenin çarpıtılarak iktidar odaklarına hizmet haline dönüşmemesi, duygunun bilgiyi harekete geçiren bir unsur olduğu hatırlanarak salt rasyonalizme teslim olunmaması
This makes knowledge important, because although it cannot confront force directly, it can counteract the deception that makes the government’s force legitimate.
Still we are troubled, because the new urgency to use our heads for good purposes gets tangled in a cluster of beliefs so stuck, fungus-like, to the scholar, that even the most activist of us cannot cleanly extricate ourselves. These beliefs are roughly expressed by the phrases “disinterested scholarship,” “dispassionate learning,” “objective study,” “scientific method”—all adding up to the fear that using our intelligence to further our moral ends is somehow improper.
Specialization insures that one cannot follow a problem through from start to finish. It ensures the functioning in the academy of the system’s dictum: divide and rule.
It is time to recall Rousseau: “We have physicists, geometricians, chemists, astronomers, poets, musicians, and painters in plenty, but we have no longer a citizen among us.”
True, emotion can distort. But it can also enhance.
Demir Ökçe. Jack London’ın hayatı ve yaşadığı dönemdeki haksızlıkları fütüristik bir bakış açısıyla eleştirisi.
The greatest violence comes not from protesters and revolutionaries but from governments. The greatest lawlessness is that of “law and order.”
The footnotes of The Iron Heel, supposedly written many centuries later to inform readers of what life was like in the early twentieth century, still cut deep to fundamental truths: “In those days, thievery was incredibly prevalent. Everybody stole property from everybody else. The lords of society stole legally, or else legalized their stealing, while the poorer classes stole illegally.” In the America of 1970, petty thieves fill the jails—but Congress and the president approve tax legislation enabling the oil companies to legally steal millions of dollars from the public.
Zinn döneminde Boston üniversitesinde askere alma masası kurulmasına karşı protestolar ve üniversitenin iktidar kuklası rektörü John Silber’in yaptığı hainliklerin hikayesi özelinde akademik baskılar konu ediliyor.
There is a good deal to say about John Silber doing what some intellectuals have done throughout history—finding a comfortable protected niche which the going order is willing to finance, in return for filling the heads of the younger generation with the most important lessons that the order wants them to learn
Philosophers are sometimes annoyed by the intrusion of facts into comfortably vague generalizations.
Is not respect for human life more important than respect for law?
If you are lethal but legal, you will be welcome at Boston University; if you are nonviolent but illegal, the police will be called out to disperse you (violently). Silber’s standard of legality is appropriate, not for the independent thinker in a democracy, but for the obsequious servant of the overbearing state.
David Hume, back in the eighteenth century, who brought Locke back to earth and history by pointing out: “Almost all the governments which exist at present, or of which there remains any record in history, have been founded originally, either on usurpation or conquest, or both, without any pretense of a fair consent or voluntary subjection of the people.”
We are always surprised when educated people don’t understand simple, clear concepts, but that is because the brightest people strain their perceptions through a mesh of interest, position, role.
A truly free university would not celebrate obedience, for obedience is what has enabled governments to send young men by the millions to die in war. It would celebrate resistance and disobedience, because the world, so full of authoritarianism, so full of policemen, so racked with injustice and violence, needs rebels badly. It would admire not that technical intellectual efficiency which ignores the fate of human beings far away or near, but that combination of sense and sensibility one finds in good people everywhere, educated or not. It would understand that the most important thing about a university is not its programs or curricula or any of the accoutrements of the upward-striving educator, but its soul.
Amerikan devrimi ve özgürlük mücadelesinin perde arkası.
Oy ve Ötesi. Oy vermenin bir çeşit seyircilik olduğu gerçeği. Demokrasinin seyirciyle değil katılımcıyla yürüyebileceğine dair örnekler.
Secrecy, Archives, and the Public Interest (1977)
Tarihçilik gibi arşivciliğin de toplumun bilinçlenmesi için değil iktidardakilerin zarar görmemesi için manipüle edilmesi ve zaman tahditleri konulması eleştiriliyor. Bilginin toplumsal bir yaşam alanı olması gerektiği, bizzat normal olanın insanlık suçu haline geldiği bir toplumsal düzen. Örnekler.
Both in premodern and modern times, the basic combination for social control has remained the same: force and deception.
The problems of the United States are not peripheral and have not been met by our genius at reform. They are not the problems of excess, but of normalcy. Our racial problem is not the Ku Klux Klan or the South, but our fundamental liberal assumption that paternalism solves all. Our economic problem is not a depression but the normal functioning of the economy, dominated by corporate power and profit. Our problem with justice is not a corrupt judge or bribed jury but the ordinary day-to-day functioning of the police, the law, the courts, where property rights come before human rights. Our problem in foreign policy is not a particular mad adventure: the Spanish American War or the Vietnam War, but a continuous set of suppositions about our role in the world, involving missionary imperialism, and a belief in America’s ability to solve complex social problems.
If all this is so, then the normal functioning of the scholar, the intellectual, the researcher, helps maintain those corrupt norms in the United States, just as the intellectual in Germany, Soviet Russia, or South Africa, by simply doing his small job, maintains what is normal in those societies. And if so, then what we always asked of scholars in those terrible places is required of us in the United States today: rebellion against the norm.
I have argued that the crisis of present-day America is not one of aberration, but of normalcy, that at issue are not marginal characteristics, but our central operating values: the profit system, racial paternalism, violence towards those outside our narrow pale. If this is so, then scholarly passivity, far from being neutral and disinterested, serves those operating values. What is required then is to wrench ourselves out of our passivity, to try to integrate our professional lives with our humanity.
“A University Should Not Be a Democracy” (1980)
Üniversitede demokrasi üzerine örnek ve teoriler. Boston Üniversitesi ve John Silber.
Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington reported to the Trilateral Commission—a group of Establishment intellectuals and political leaders from the United States, Europe, and Japan, assembled by David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski in the early 1970s—on what he called “The Democratic Distemper.”
We have a responsibility not only to resist, but to build on the heritage of those movements, and to move toward the ideals of egalitarianism, community, and self-determination—whether at work, in the family, or in the schools—which have been the historic unfulfilled promise of the word democracy.
Louise Bryant. Masses dergisi. “Ten Days that shook the world”. Emma Goldman. Alexander Berkman. Ludlow Massacre. IWW. Komünizm.
It was clear to him what patriotism meant: death by machine-gun fire or by famine, by smallpox, diphtheria, cholera, typhus. Back in America, he listened to the endless talk about military preparedness against “the enemy,” and wrote for theMasses that the enemy for the American working man was the 2 percent of the population which owned 60 percent of the national wealth. “We advocate that the workingman prepare to defend himself against that enemy. This is our Preparedness.”
By April 1917, Woodrow Wilson was asking Congress to declare war on Germany, and John Reed wrote in the Masses. “War means an ugly mob-madness, crucifying the truth-tellers, choking the artists.… It is not our war.” He testified before Congress against conscription: “I do not believe in this war … I would not serve in it.”
Marksizm ya da komünizmin başarılı gibi gözüken başarısız örnekleri. Kuransız uyduruk İslam gibi düşünce sistemlerinin halkın elinde abuk sabuk formlar alması. 1871 komünü. Gerçek sosyalizm. Noodnik. Pieper.
Marx set a good example himself. While history has treated him as a sedentary scholar, spending all his time in the library of the British Museum, Marx was a tireless activist all his life. He was expelled from Germany, from Belgium, from France, was arrested and put on trial in Cologne.
Marx understood how difficult it was to achieve this, because, no matter how “revolutionary” we are, the weight of tradition, habit, the accumulated mis-education of generations, “weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living.”
Saçma suçlamaların bu etiketle yöneltilerek, direniş gösteren insanların tutuklanması. Örnekler.
I can understand pessimism, but I don’t believe in it. It’s not simply a matter of faith, but of historical evidence. Not overwhelming evidence, just enough to give hope, because for hope we don’t need certainty, only possibility.
Dissent repressed through “tolerance.”
Surely history does not start anew with each decade. The roots of one era branch and flower in subsequent eras. Human beings, writings, invisible transmitters of all kinds, carry messages across the generations. I try to be pessimistic, to keep up with some of my friends. But I think back over the decades, and look around. And then, it seems to me that the future is not certain, but it is possible.
How Free is Higher Education? (1991)
Üniversitede çoğulculuk. Örnekler.
And so, under the guise of defending “the common culture” or “disinterested scholarship” or “Western civilization,” they attack that freedom. They fear exactly what some of us hope for, that if students are given wider political choices in the classroom than they get in the polling booth or the workplace, they may become social rebels. They may join movements for racial or sexual equality, or against war, or, even more dangerous, work for what James Madison feared as he argued for a conservative Constitution: “an equal division of property.” Let us hope so.
En çarpıcı bölüm belki de. Kahraman olarak sunulan İspanyol’ların Amerika’ya geldiğinde yaptığı Hitler’e rahmet okutacak zalimlikler bir bir anlatılıyor. Columbus day celebrations. Kitabın hiç değilse bu bölümü mutlaka okunmalı. Bahama adaları, Las Casas, Columbus (Bahama adaları), Pizarro (Peru, İnkalar), Cortes (Meksika), Hans Köning, Bill Bigelow, Falsification of history. Her 10 övgünün yanına bir tane de eleştiri ekleyip, yalancıktan nötralite ve objektivite sergileyerek gerçeği örtbas etme metodu. Endüstrileşmenin bedeli. Kuzey Amerika’ya çıkan İngilizler.
George Orwell, who was a very wise man, wrote: “Who controls the past controls the future. And who controls the present controls the past.” In other words, those who dominate our society are in a position to write our histories. And if they can do that, they can decide our futures. That is why the telling of the Columbus story is important.
The dehumanization of the “enemy” has been a necessary accompaniment to wars of conquest. It is easier to explain atrocities if they are committed against infidels, or people of an inferior race. Slavery and racial segregation in the United States, and European imperialism in Asia and Africa, were justified in this way.
We were not told of the human cost of this great industrial progress: how the huge production of cotton came from the labor of black slaves; how the textile industry was built up by the labor of young girls who went into the mills at twelve and died at twenty-five; how the railroads were constructed by Irish and Chinese immigrants who were literally worked to death, in the heat of summer and cold of winter; how working people, immigrants and native-born, had to go out on strike and be beaten by police and jailed by National Guardsmen before they could win the eight-hour day; how the children of the working-class, in the slums of the city, had to drink polluted water, and how they died early of malnutrition and disease. All this in the name of “progress.”
Rosa Parks. Geçmişte hiç tahmin edilmeyen olayların olması, geleceğin belirsizliği içinden de benzerlerinin çıkacağını gösterir ki bu da iyimser olmak için yeterli bir nedendir diyor Zinn. Bol örnek. Just and unjust wars ayrımı.
Lock the Lock, Tommy Trantino. Durum o kadar da çaresiz değil. “The Lore of the Lamb".
Clinton’ın şahsi bir seks skandalı için bunca gürültü yaratılırken, milyonların ölümüne yol açan yalanların geçiştirilmesi eleştiriliyor harika örneklerle.
This preoccupation illustrated perfectly the proclivity of the American media to fasten on the trivial at the expense of life-and-death matters.
Sosyalist lider Eugene Debs’in yirminci yüzyılın başında Amerika’da yaşadıkları. Kate Richards. IWW’nin kuruluşu.
Debs made a speech in Canton, Ohio in support of the men and women in jail for opposing the war. He told his listeners: “Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder.… And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles.”
“While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”
Marx in soho. Esoteric political economy. Alternatif medyaya yönelmek.
Keep your eyes open for unorthodox sources of information,
Yahudi Soykırımının ele alınmasına farklı bir bakış. Soykırımın güncel konuları dışlayıp sadece o tarihe odaklanması. O dönem yapılanlara olduğu kadar bu dönem yapılanlara karşı bir hareket olarak da ayağa kalkması gerektiği. Geçmişe gidilmeli ama oradan geri dönülmelidir diyor.
the memory of the Jewish Holocaust should not be encircled by barbed wire, morally ghettoized, kept isolated from other genocides in history. It seemed to me that to remember what happened to Jews served no important purpose unless it aroused indignation, anger, action against all atrocities, anywhere in the world.
When Jews turn inward to concentrate on their own history, and look away from the ordeal of others, they are, with terrible irony, doing exactly what the rest of the world did in allowing the genocide to happen. There were shameful moments, travesties of Jewish humanism, as when Jewish organizations lobbied against a Congressional recognition of the Armenian Holocaust of 1915 on the ground that it diluted the memory of the Jewish Holocaust. The designers of the Holocaust Museum dropped the idea of mentioning the Armenian genocide after lobbying by the Israeli government.A Little Disquisition on Big Government (1999)
Devletin büyütülmesi sorunu. Her işe karışan, bireyselliğe saldıran bir yapı olarak. Tarihten ve anayasadan örnekler. Büyüklüğün vatandaşına zor gününde sahip çıkılmasıyla olabileceği. Herkesi kucaklaması gerektiği.
The Declaration of Independence, which is the quintessential document of democracy, discusses the origin and purpose of government. It says that we are all endowed “with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Adam Smith, considered the apostle of the “free market,” understood very well how capitalism could not survive a truly free market, if government was not big enough to protect it.
For all of the nation’s history, that legislative pattern was to continue. Government would defend the interests of the wealthy classes. It would raise tariffs higher and higher to help manufacturers, give subsidies to shipping interests, and a hundred million acres of land free to the railroads. It would use the armed forces to clear Indians off their land, to put down labor uprisings, to invade countries in the Caribbean for the benefit of American growers, bankers, investors. This was very big government.
“Big government” in itself is hardly the issue. That is here to stay. The only question is: whom will it serve?
Silent genocide. Hastalık ve yetersiz beslenme sonucu her yıl ölen milyonlar için Dünya Bankasının kullandığı terim. Clinton’ın Çeçen savaşında Rusya’yı desteklemesi. AIDS, tüberküloz.
The World Bank called a “silent genocide,” the deaths by malnutrition and sickness of millions of children.
1999 Seattle olayları değerlendiriliyor. Medya manipülasyonları. Underclass struggle.
The Seattle protests, even if only a microcosm of future situations, even if only a gleam of possibility in the disheartening dark of our time, should cause us to recall basic principles of power and powerlessness, so easily forgotten as the flood of media nonsense washes over the history of social movements.
The strike, the boycott, the refusal to serve, the ability to paralyze the functioning of a complex social structure—these remain potent weapons against the most fearsome state or corporate power. Note how General Motors and Ford had to surrender to the strikers of the Thirties, how black children marching in Birmingham in 1963 pushed Congress into passing a Civil Rights Act, how the U.S. government, carrying on a war in Vietnam had to reconsider in the face of draft resistance and desertions en masse, how a garbage workers strike in New York immobilized a great city, how the threat of a boycott against Texaco for racist policies brought immediate concessions.
Her neslin kendini özel ve seçilmiş hissetmesi durumu.
The Founding Fathers did lead the war for independence from Britain. But they did not do it for the equal right of all to life, liberty, and equality. Their intention was to set up a new government that would protect the property of slave-owners, land speculators, merchants, and bondholders. Independence from England had already been secured in parts of the country by grassroots rebellion a year before the battles at Lexington and Concord that initiated hostilities with Britain.
I would rather recognize the greatness of all those who fought to make sure that the Founding Fathers would not betray the principles of the Declaration of Independence, to make sure that the dead and maimed of the Revolutionary War did not make their sacrifices in vain. And so I would honor the soldiers of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey lines, who mutinied against George Washington and Mad Anthony Wayne. They were rebelling against the luxurious treatment of their gentry officers, and their own mistreatment: five hundred lashes for misconduct, Washington decreed, and execute a few mutinous leaders to set an example.
9/11. Felaketi siper almak.
İkna olmaya teşne olma hali. Esas mücadele edilmesi gereken bu: Obsequiousness.
Kendini büyük bir ulus olarak görmenin götürdüğü kolay kandırılabilirlik şeklindeki kollektif psikoloji. İçinde kolaycılık da gizli.
It seems to me there are two reasons, which go deep into our national culture, and which help explain the vulnerability of the press and of the citizenry to outrageous lies whose consequences bring death to tens of thousands of people. If we can understand those reasons, we can guard ourselves better against being deceived.
One is in the dimension of time, that is, an absence of historical perspective. The other is in the dimension of space, that is, an inability to think outside the boundaries of nationalism. We are penned in by the arrogant idea that this country is the center of the universe, exceptionally virtuous, admirable, superior.
If we don’t know history, then we are ready meat for carnivorous politicians and the intellectuals and journalists who supply the carving knives. I am not speaking of the history we learned in school, a history subservient to our political leaders, from the much-admired Founding Fathers to the presidents of recent years. I mean a history which is honest about the past. If we don’t know that history, then any president can stand up to the battery of microphones, declare that we must go to war, and we will have no basis for challenging him. He will say that the nation is in danger, that democracy and liberty are at stake, and that we must therefore send ships and planes to destroy our new enemy, and we will have no reason to disbelieve him.
Our present leaders are not so candid. They bombard us with phrases like “national interest,” “national security,” and “national defense” as if all of these concepts applied equally to all of us, colored or white, rich or poor, as if General Motors and Halliburton have the same interests as the rest of us, as if George Bush has the same interest as the young man or woman he sends to war.
Our leaders have taken it for granted, and planted that belief in the minds of many people, that we are entitled, because of our moral superiority, to dominate the world.
Franklin Roosevelt’in efsane olmuş reform hareketleri. New Deal.
Franklin Roosevelt and his policies enjoy in this country, an admiration matched by no president since Lincoln.
“We can learn from the Social Security program and the G.I. Bill of Rights, which were efficient government programs, doing for older people and for veterans what private enterprise could not do. We can go beyond the New Deal, extending the principle of Social Security to health security with a totally free government-run health system. We can extend the G.I. Bill of Rights to a Civilian Bill of Rights, offering free higher education for all.