Dissenting Opinion

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism"

Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train

I want to make note of an amazing biographical documentary I recently watched and recommend everyone to take the time to watch.

Howard Zinn: You Cant Be Neutral on a Moving Train

Cast: Howard Zinn, Alice Walker, Tom Hayden, Daniel Ellsberg, Marian Wright Edelman, Matt Damon, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Berrigan

Director: Deb Ellis


Some truly moving excerpts orated by Matt Damon from the documentary:


“Non-violence does not mean acceptance but resistance. Not waiting but acting. It is not at all passive. It involves strikes, boycotts, non-cooperation, mass demonstrations and sabotage as well as the appeals to the conscience of the world. Even to individuals in the oppressing group, who might break away from there past. Direct action does not deride using the political rights, the civil liberties even the voting mechanisms in the societies where they are available. But it recognizes the limitations of those controlled rights and goes beyond.”


“Were at war they said, and I though they have learned nothing, absolutely nothing from the history of the 20th century. From a hundred years of retaliation, vengeance war, a hundred years of terrorism and counter-terrorism. Of violence met with violence, in an unending cycle of stupidity. Our security can only come by using our national wealth not for guns, planes, bombs but for the health and welfare of our people. For free medical care for everyone, education and housing guaranteed, decent wages and a clean environment for all. We cannot be secure by limiting our liberties as some of our political leaders are demanding but only by expanding them. We should take our example not from our military and political leaders shouting retaliate and war but from the doctors and nurses and medical students and firemen and policemen who have been saving lives in the midst of mayhem whose first thoughts are not violence but healing, not vengeance but compassion!”


“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness and if we do act in however small a way we don’t have to wait for some grand Utopian future. The future is an infinite successions of presents and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us is itself a marvelous victory.”


I would like to offer my sincere thanks to a truly amazing man who has been espousing his dissenting opinion for decades.

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