On Getting Along by Howard Zinn

>> On Getting Along
>> By Howard Zinn
>> You ask how I manage to stay involved and remain seemingly happy and
>> adjusted to this awful world where the efforts of caring people pale
>> in comparison to those who have power? It's easy.
>> First, don't let "those who have power" intimidate you. No matter how
>> much power they have they cannot prevent you from living your life,
>> speaking your mind, thinking independently, having relationships with
>> people as you like. (Read Emma Goldman's autobiography LIVING MY LIFE.
>> Harassed, even imprisoned by authority, she insisted on living her
>> life, speaking out, however she felt like.
>> Second, find people to be with who have your values, your commitments,
>> but who also have a sense of humor. That combination is a necessity!
>> Third (notice how precise is my advice that I can confidently number
>> it, the way scientists number things), understand that the major media
>> will not tell you of all the acts of resistance taking place every day
>> in the society, the strikes, the protests, the individual acts of
>> courage in the face of authority. Look around (and you will certainly
>> find it) for the evidence of these unreported acts. And for the little
>> you find, extrapolate from that and assume there must be a thousand
>> times as much as what you've found.
>> Fourth. Note that throughout history people have felt powerless before
>> authority, but that at certain times these powerless people, by
>> organizing, acting, risking, persisting, have created enough power to
>> change the world around them, even if a little. That is the history of
>> the labor movement, of the women's movement, of the anti-Vietnam war
>> movement, the disabled persons movement, the gay and lesbian movement,
>> the movement of black people in the South.
>> Fifth: Remember, that those who have power, and who seem invulnerable
>> are in fact quite vulnerable, that their power depends on the
>> obedience of others, and when those others begin withholding that
>> obedience, begin defying authority, that power at the top turns out to
>> be very fragile. Generals become powerless when their soldiers refuse
>> to fight, industriaists become powerless when their workers leave the
>> jobs or occupy the factories.
>> Sixth: When we forget the fragility of that power in top we become
>> astounded when it crumbles in the face of rebellion. We have had many
>> such surprises in our time, both in the United States and in other
>> countries.
>> Seventh: Don't look for a moment of total triumph. See it as an
>> ongoing struggle, with victories and defeats, but in the long run the
>> consciousness of people growing. So you need patience, persistence,
>> and need to understand that even when you don't "win," there is fun
>> and fulfillment in the fact that you have been involved, with other
>> good people, in something worthwhile.
>> Okay, seven pieces of profound advice should be enough.
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> karldietz
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> getting along by Howard Zinn. www.peace.ca/ongettingalong.htm
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MfG, Karl Dietz