Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn


Socrates, Thoreau, King & Zinn on Civil Disobedience

Socrates December 3rd, 2018

In Plato’s Crito, Socrates is shown to believe, essentially, that one should obey the laws of one’s city-state (Athens), even if in a particular case the law seems excessive, asinine, and/or immoral(i.e., not in keeping with a rationally acceptable view of moral justness and rightness) (in other words, laws that are unjust). Obedience to authority, whether to obey unjust laws, autonomy vs. group membership, and social contract theory are all relevant questions based on a modern and objective reading of Plato’s Crito. Further, these considerations have relevance to the question, Does Socrates have an obligation – legally and morally– to kill himself(i.e., choose not to escape after receiving a death sentence)? It is my contention that Socrates probably does not have a moral obligation to kill himself, though legally he probably does. After bringing in a few relevant theorists/philosophers, I will sketch a working theory on how to deal with obeying the law versus civil disobedience.

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True History: Learning from Our Past (V&E-10)

history November 14th, 2017

In this discussion, we will explore the stories and recollections of persons who have made a minor or major contribution to United States history, fomented progress in one of our many historical struggles, and/or exemplified values and virtues that often belie their marginal social position. These unique “voices” take the form of quotations, essays, narratives, testimonies, and historical records that have been preserved, passed on, or uncovered. My distinguished guest co-authored the book Voices of a People’s History of the United States with Howard Zinn, and has also collaborated with Noam Chomsky on his awesome website. Read on to learn more about the history of the United States you probably didn’t hear about in 6th grade.

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Surviving These Times: Howard Zinn Quotes

Howard Zinn Quotes September 14th, 2017

Happily for him, my man Howard Zinn never lived to see Donald Trump ascend to the throne. He was no stranger to demagogues, self-serving hypocrites, and pretenders – for he fought Hitler (like, literally), was a leader in the Civil Rights movement, and every morning had to read the papers while George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Lyndon Johnson were president. He fought the good fight for decades. Finally, his body gave out. But his mind, during most of his long life, was strong, adroit, and productive. Here are some Howard Zinn quotes (and some allied others) to help us all deal with the presidency of Donald Trump. He would want us to look to wise guides and find within ourselves the strength to resist, to organize, and to non-violently protest. If he were alive today, he would say that we will prevail.

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Social Justice: Based in Historical Truth

social justice May 3rd, 2017

I was a little discomfited by Daniel Lattier’s derision of social justice in his account of an elementary school in Minnesota which has made some noble attempts at teaching children about historical truth, such as the idea of “white privilege.” I believe this position shows a lack of insight into the way America works, will shortchange children of all races, and will perpetuate the status quo. It’s not terribly surprising, though. Consider: “Once you follow a path of nonviolence and social justice, it won’t take you long before you come into conflict with the culture, with the society” ~ Martin Sheen. Lattier wrote in Not All Parents Want Their Children to be Social Justice Warriors:

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Voices of a People’s History: Anthony Arnove Interviewed

April 10th, 2017

Anthony Arnove, Ph.D. has done work with Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky – two of the heavy hitters in the fields of history, progressive politics, and anti-war struggles. Aiming for truth, he and Zinn present essays about values and ethics that are really something else to read in this wonderful book full of wisdom! It’s basically a

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Author Interview: Voices of a People’s History

April 5th, 2017

The late, great Howard Zinn interviewed! Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University, Howard Zinn, the author of over a dozen books on America’s past and present, the recipient of many prestigious awards for truth-telling and his wisdom, and legendary activist discussed issues of great importance to those who are pursuing an ethical, just, and

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