You Say It Likes It's a Bad Thing: Anarchy in the USA
Last night I had a conversation with two young women who are interns with the Obama for President campaign here in Oregon. Obama won big here and they were ecstatic about the possiblity of him going on to win in the general election. They spoke about how much good they thought he was going to be able to do, bringing change to government.
Today I read this interview with Howard Zinn "Anarchism Shouldn't be a Dirty Word" and saw him say this:
"If you work through the existing structures you are going to be corrupted. By working through political system that poisons the atmosphere, even the progressive organizations, you can see it even now in the US, where people on the "Left" are all caught in the electoral campaign and get into fierce arguments about should we support this third party candidate or that third party candidate. This is a sort of little piece of evidence that suggests that when you get into working through electoral politics you begin to corrupt your ideals. So I think a way to behave is to think not in terms of representative government, not in terms of voting, not in terms of electoral politics, but thinking in terms of organizing social movements, organizing in the work place, organizing in the neighborhood, organizing collectives that can become strong enough to eventually take over -- first to become strong enough to resist what has been done to them by authority, and second, later, to become strong enough to actually take over the institutions."
It is wonderful to see young people excited about politics. But Zinn makes us wonder whether this energy and talent couldn't be put to better use in the service of social change for justice.