Howard Zinn - RIP

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Hoaxster, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

  2. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Too bad you've probably never read one of his books. You might actually learn something about history from a different perspective. Not the sanitized, "White Is Right" version that the GOP think of.
  3. satellitedriver

    satellitedriver Moderator Staff Member

    He had his opinions and shared them.
    God rest his soul, but personally I think he was a dip:censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2:.
  4. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    Actually quite a fan of his and Noam Chomsky who I studied under in Linguistic studies in Artificial Intelligence back in my Georgia Tech days.
    I mention Mr Chomsky because he is my favorite of this genre and Mr Zinn was very similar in his approach.
    Mr Chomsky had a more linear line of rational reasoning and his arguments are superb.
    Both are/were considered Libertarian Socialists which I am sure you did not know and now you are peeing in your pants as you look it up.

    One thing I am fairly certain of is that you never quite got their thought processes ... you can barely repeat what they wrote.
  5. 804brown

    804brown Well-Known Member

    Yes libertarian in that they wanted less govt in people's personal lives, but were socialist in their economic beliefs. They are nothing like what ron paul is or any conservative libertarian is today. Please do not confuse the two.
  6. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Your second part is true , I'll agree there but in the first part you'd do well to go study 19th century thinkers starting for example with Thomas Hodgskin going through Joseph Pierrre Proudhon and then through Tucker and yes you will see socialism or what is more rightly definded IMO as mutualism but you will also hear what was then called libertarianism (not the post new deal/coldwar conflation of rightwing and libertarian politics) in it's truer early tradition of complete opposition to hierarchy and therefore state institutions. Their idea of freedom and liberty went well beyond the limited idea of politics and economics but they understood absolute freedom in those 2 realms were necessary to achieve the other more important elements of freedom. These 19th century thinkers were solidly of the left and for that matter so were the ideas of Jefferson and Paine in the classical liberal tradition just as the economics of the physiocrats known as laissez faire as became known as free markets was also a purely leftist idea. The traditional right or monarchists were mercantilists who used gov't and state privilege to privatize profits and socialize risks. Sound familiar? To them, a state institution was necessary and thus needed to be preserved or "CONSERVED" and protected. Again, sound familiar? Speaking of Jefferson (understanding not a perfect man either), did you ever wonder why he believed so strongly on localized governance as opposed to strong, topdown centralization of state?

    But in the case of Howard Zinn himself, listen to this 5 minute interview and listen closely. As he talks, sure sounds to me like he's advocating a idea outside state structures and institutions, abandoning the old order and it's wasteful energies of politics and moving towards stateless institutions built on self organized and voluntary principles. Gee, and what does that sound like?


    I know many here will have the kneejerk reaction when they hear the words marxism and communes but I understand they mean these ideas in a completely de-centralized, voluntary world so I'm not afraid of that because I'm also free to make the world I want to live in. Besides, some of the best criticisms of Marxism in the state collectivists form I've heard are from anti-state socialists and not from anti-communists rightwingers and I was a John Bircher myself back in the 70's so I've read tons of that perspective's narratives. And I'm still opposed to state collective communism just as I'm opposed to state collective capitalism but what Zinn is speaking of, I've got no problem at all with. In fact, I'd support people of this belief being able to seek this form of society out. Who knows what we might learn either way. Just as I had no problem with what Josiah Warren did at New Harmony.

    Just as the ideal of libertarianism allows for all manner and ways to work towards a world of voluntary, self organized societies built off the idea of the non-aggression principle, so to does the idea of true free markets allow for all manner of economic exchange. In a true free market in a true voluntary society, capitalism as we know it today could not exist because today's capitalism has to have the benefits of state privilege but that's not to say in a true free market a form of capitalism couldn't not exist side by side with non-profit cooperatives, various forms of communalism and employee owned enterprises advocated of the unionist stripe. In a true free market, there is no state apparatus to penalize one market form over the other because one does benefit the collection in tax revenues more than the other nor needs it's privileges. Hmmmmm! Another question to ask, why would some of these market forms find it of benefit to allocate some of it's resources towards a centralized power to then go abroad to seize other peoples resources? Maybe you might consider that question in regards to why we don't have a true free market in the first place so these economic forms might come into play.

    At the same time, Thomas Hodgskin whom many consider a father of libertarian philosophy was not fond of what we know as capitalism and to quote Sheldon Richman, editor of "The Freeman" in his article "Left Libertarianism":

    He was not fond of not because he hated the free market, just the opposite, but he hated the state privilege it required to exist as he saw it. He also like myself and many other libertarians of a growing number don't equate the terms free markets and capitalism as equals. Like Hodgskin, it's just the oppositie. He understood that labor would have to give up freedom and liberty in order for this form of market economics to not only survive but even dominate. Even moreso in the eyes of the state, this economic form empowered the state, made it stronger to the negative of labor or what some might call the 99% today and to the exclusive benefit of capital or what some might call the 1%. This was not a natural action of the marketplace but only happens as a result of monopolization and intervention on behalf of capital by the state itself. This is also where this form of free market thinking begins to merge with modern Austrian economics and the idea of Mises Human Action and rejects the Monetarism or Keynesian Lite of the Milton Friedman/Chicago school of market capitalism. Some of the analysis of the Chicago School economics and Pinochet's Chile made by the left for example does have merit but they fail IMO in drawing a distinction between this Hamiltonian mercantilism from the laissez faire of the Physiocrats but then to do so might lead one away from institutionalism and statism and into de-centralized free societies, non-statism and real free markets. As long as the narrative keeps people in the matrix so to speak.

    If you want to hold the ideas you hold about libertarianism, that's cool by me but at least know the subject and it's history because in doing so you may begin to understand the de-conflation in the political ranks taking place right before your very eyes and yet you don't see it. It even happened at the Left Forum you attended and yet it appears here that being you spoke nothing of it, you are oblivious to it. Why is that? Or do you smash a potential ally in the face all because he walks a bit different path than you do while at the same time posing no threat to you at all. Again Hmmmmmmm! Did you ever pause to ask why for example that Ron Paul and the libertarians have not been critical of the Occupy movement even when the movement has advocated ideas that Paul and the libertarians would oppose? Again I say Hmmmmmm! I revert back to my "smash them in the mouth" comment!

    Lastly, take a few minutes and watch this 1980' documentary, Anarchism in America but listen closely not only to the late Karl Hess but even moreso listen to the late Murray Bookchin and what he sez not only about anarchism but libertarianism as well. Now what you want to believe from there is up to you but don't ignore the history while swallowing hook, line and sinker the narrative told to the masses by self serving institutions who only want to hold the gun in the first place. Have courage and even read the late Emma Goldman. Or even Dorothy Day.

  7. 804brown

    804brown Well-Known Member

    Wow can you write. I too beleive there can be a left/right coalition. There are certain areas where the two meet.

    On Zinn, he was no believer in free markets or the state, you are right. Too many people are misinformed about the left and the state: The Marxist view of the state |
  8. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    He already has.