Saturday, November 1, 2008

Howard Zinn: Vote for Obama But Direct Action Needed

By Ben Trott

Historian and author, Howard Zinn, in the following interview with the Real News Network, makes a similar argument to Noam Chomsky, criticising both the nature and limits of US democracy – as well as the extent of the change which Obama himself is offering. Zinn explains that he will be voting for Obama and urges others to do the same, but that his election alone will not mean much unless he is enveloped by a social movement angry, powerful and insistent enough that he is forced to fulfil his abstract pledges for change with some real content. Similar to Naomi Klein’s argument at the Media Reform Conference, he argues that a movement similar to that which engulfed F. D. Roosevelt in the 1930s is necessary – concretely proposing direct action, civil disobedience and the ‘raising of the level of tension’ in the country in order to have some effect on policy making in Washington.

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