Howard Zinn: The War on Terror and the Uses of History

Here is the world-renowned American historian Howard Zinn, author of seminal and extremely popular books like A People's History of the United States and You Can't Be Neutral In a Moving Train, delivering an awesome speech on the war on terror and the uses and importance of history education as a tool to improve the society in which we live (something that frequently goes unnoticed by students who wonder why the hell they should care about things that happened in the past).

He may look old, and he may even look like he's not always quite there, but the man is on top of his game... not only is Zinn a great and influential scholar, he's also, as you'll see, an extremely charismatic speaker, with a gift for making his 'radically liberal' ideas seem like perfect common sense. Oh yeah... and he's funny too.



So many great points! His analysis of the Bush administration as motivated by Hermann Goering's political methodology (Goering being, of course, the second in command of the Nazi party and commander of Hitler's Lutwaffe), for instance, is a chilling reminder of how far we have strayed from the libertarian principles of the founding fathers. Here is how Zinn quotes Goering:
Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
Think about it..
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