Archive for the ‘anti-war’ Category

Howard Zinn on the “Holy” Wars

January 29, 2010

Howard Zinn (1922-2010) on the so-called “good” and “holy” wars of the American Imperium: the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and WWII.

Howard Zinn on the costs of war.

His final words at Boston University on November 11th, 2009:

“No matter what we are told, no matter what tyrant exists, what border has been crossed, what aggression has taken place, it is not that we are going to be passive in the face of tyranny or aggression. No, but we will find ways other than war to deal with the problems we have. Because war is inevitably, inevitably the indiscriminate massive killing of huge numbers of people and children are a good part of those people. Every war is a war against children. So it is not just getting rid of Saddam Hussein. Think about it, well, we got rid of Saddam Hussein and in the course of it got rid of huge numbers of victims of Saddam Hussein. When you fight a war against a tyrant, who do you kill? You kill the victims of the tyrant.

Anyway, all this is to simply make us think again about war and to think. You know. We are at war now, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and sort of in Pakistan since we are sending rockets over there killing innocent people in Pakistan. And, we should not accept that. Look for a peace movement to join. Really, look for some peace organization to join. It will look small at first and pitiful and helpless, but that is how movements start. That is how the movement against the Vietnam war started, started with handfuls of people who thought they were helpless, thought they were powerless.

But, remember, the power of the people on top depends on the obedience of the people below.

When people stop obeying, they have no power.

Now, when workers go on strike, huge corporations lose their power. When consumers boycott, huge business establishments have to give in.

When soldiers refuse to fight, as so many soldiers did in Vietnam, so many deserters, so many fraggings, acts of violence by enlisted men against officers in Vietnam, B-52 pilots refusing to fly bombing missions anymore. War cannot go on when enough soldiers refuse the government has to decide we cannot continue. So yes, people have the power if they begin to organize, if they protest and create a strong enough movement they can change things. That is all I wanted to say. Thank you.”

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The Daily Bell Interviews Tom Woods

January 18, 2010

Daily Bell: Can you summarize the basic points of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History?

Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: That book argues that the received version of American history is a laughable, ideologically driven distortion of the truth, but one that benefits the state apparatus and its hangers-on. Naturally they want us to believe (among other things) the following:

1) Political decentralization is always bad. Anyone who favors it surely has sinister intentions. Real freedom comes from ceding all powers to the central government, which will employ those powers on behalf of progressive causes.

2) Without government, we’d all be mercilessly exploited by the wicked private sector, and scraping by on subsistence wages. That’s what happened under the “robber barons” of the nineteenth century.

3) All the federal government’s wars have been glorious and just.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History smashes all of these, and a great deal else.

Daily Bell: Can you do the same for Meltdown?

Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: I wrote Meltdown because I could see the conventional wisdom – that the free market had caused the financial crisis, and that these blinkered laissez-faire ideologues needed to be put in their place – beginning to ossify. I wanted to make what to me was the obvious case for interventionism as the culprit in the crisis, and the market as the equally obvious solution. (Also, you’d have to be seriously deluded to consider Larry Summers, Robert Rubin, and monetary central planner Alan Greenspan to be laissez-faire ideologues.)

I was seeking to do two things: (1) get the free-market, or “Austrian,” point of view before the public, so it would be clear that a plausible (and indeed compelling) alternative to the conventional wisdom existed; and (2) give supporters of the free market the understanding and the ammunition they needed to defend themselves against the inane claims being made by advocates for the state.

Daily Bell: Can you give us the top five books that someone interested in freedom and free-markets needs to read?

Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: I recommend Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, Murray Rothbard’s What Has Government Done to Our Money?, Ron Paul’s The Revolution: A Manifesto, Lew Rockwell’s The Left, the Right, and the State, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s Democracy: The God that Failed. You will never look at things quite the same, and I’m pretty sure you’ll be hooked.

Daily Bell: We consider the regulatory malpractices you identify in Meltdown to be somewhat incidental to the main culprit, which is central bank money manipulation. Agree? Disagree?

Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: I agree, which is why I emphasize the Fed and the monetary system in my public speeches. Still, regulation can intensify the effects of the Fed’s policy, and I think that’s what happened here… (more…)