today's Monday Motivation! is...
— Howard Zinn, white male, 1971.
from a series of debates called "The Advocates" — "A series of debates with a moderator facilitating the discussion of national and international issues – using advocates who would introduce witnesses to support their point of view." [ source ]
this debate is on "If You Oppose the War, Should You Answer the Call for Massive Civil Disobedience?" — on the Vietnam War. [ source ]
recorded at "Faneuil Hall" on Land stolen from the Massa-adchu-es-et (Massachusett), Pawtucket, & Naumkeag Peoples (coercively called by colonizers as "Boston, Massachusetts").
so i've never actually read howard zinn's books. & i think it's fucked & unfair that a white male colonizer academic got to write a famous history book called "a people's history of the united states", instead of Indigenous Peoples. *
also, after reading a quote zinn said about socialism, i also conclude that i don't think it appears that his stance was hard enough towards a pro-socialism/pro-communism side. but that's just from one quote.
( * once again, outsiders, including white supremacist anti-Indigenous fake "leftists", may call me a snowflake / karen(???) for saying this. but me naming this doesn't mean i think all of his work is worthless. i haven't read most of it. it doesn't even mean i wouldn't like the book. i am just naming that he is a white male colonizer academic who got (the opportunity, which is not accessible to everybody, especially actual Indigenous people, non-academic people, Unhoused people, presently incarcerated people, impoverished people, people with the intersections of the above experiences, etc.) to write a famous book about the "history" of these stolen Lands. learn to hold multiple truths at once 😊 [smiling face emoji] )
Anyway, this quote (on obedience) brings me to something I've been meaning to clarify.
I've previously said that "my ideal revolution is very hard to scale because it requires respecting people's consent and boundaries, and not abusing others", & that I believe "true love can fight capitalism".
I wanted to clarify that, on the topic of non-violence, I was talking about how we treat our comrades, community members, & innocent bystanders / other human beings, not how we treat cops / bosses / our oppressors / the ruling class (who are not human beings... ha ha ha /hj... unless? 👀 [eyes emoji] )
[ continued... ]
...but how I think about this is honestly kind of complicated.
But I grew up fighting my abusers every day.
It makes me sad that my implication is that many things don't "scale" well without abusive dynamics. (Which I think is. sadly! true! for our current world?) Which obviously doesn't make it right! I am saying that I am against this: A lot of "leftist" organizations are choosing to actively replicate the exact same violent oppressive structures as the system they're claiming to fight against.
For what it's worth, I do believe that re-education of oppressors — of anybody, honestly — is ideal, instead of... something else.
But is systemized re-education even possible, in our current world, as of this writing? Well, it maybe doesn't exist in the way I imagine it, but maybe attempts at transformative justice & restorative justice might be versions of that.
There's a lot of tension right now I think for usameriKKKan "socialists/communists" who claim that they want abolition of the prison-industrial complex (honestly, I think for many of them, it's because caring about anti-racism is a trend that they're following), yet also simultaneously claim that they want a hierarchical, authoritarian communist organization / party / state to carry out "a revolution".
I also wanted to clarify my stance on revenge here, which I've edited to:
i don't think i'm morally superior to anybody for not seeking revenge. i am supportive of mindful, politically grounded revenge that does not punch down [on those suffering/more marginalized than you].
(it previously said: "i don't think i'm morally superior to anybody for not seeking revenge. i am supportive of revenge.")
but please like, don't take anything i say as gospel. it's all meant to make you think & ask more questions, it's not meant to make you... obey. me, or anybody else.
I think a lot about all of this all of the time, but I don't have any definitive answers, & I'm not the one (nobody is, imho) to decide what "the answers" are, anyway.
And it seems that right now, it's very hard to get all of us to agree with each other.
the beginning of today's Monday Motivation! #015 was...
— Howard Zinn, white male, 1971.