Howard Zinn

The US Has Always Been an Empire


Historian Howard Zinn, author of the new People’s History of American Empire, discusses the long history of American imperialism from the genocide of the American Indians to the wars against Mexico, Spain, the Good War, and the “war on terrorism,” and the long and proud history of the American antiwar movement too.

MP3 here. (14:47)

Howard Zinn is a highly acclaimed American historian, political scientist, social critic, activist, and playwright. He is best known for his bestseller A People’s History of the United States, is Professor Emeritus in the Political Science Department at Boston University.

17 thoughts on “Howard Zinn”

  1. “It’s almost over.” Perhaps America is almost over Bush but I see no change in the overall US foreign policy which is to control the oil and gas resources of the Middle East at any cost. “80% of the American people are against the Iraq war.” Someone recently brought that bit of information up to Cheney to which he replied: “so what?”.

    Both parties are on board for the master plan and it is naive to expect that anything will change very much regradless of who becomes the next president. April 15th draws nigh, time to pony up for the next round of aggression and prepare for the endless stream of BS that will be used to justify it.

  2. Howard Zinn’s take on American imperialism should be leavened with more balanced views of geopolitical reality and U.S. history. For unreconstructed leftists like Zinn, everything this country does, whenever and under whatever circumstances it does so, is wrong, bad, evil. This politically defective imparity may inform the Alfa chair freedom fighters in Brentwood and Cold Spring Harbor, but it’s useless as stimulus for future initiatives or criterion for provisional “morality.” There is a tendency – on the fringes of both right and left – to strain every grain of reality and experience through a vision that is part hostile prejudice and part wishful thinking. Let’s be more practical, and keep a worldview that actually accepts the limitations of human nature, flawed as it is. This country’s crimes are profound. That makes it unique? … How?

    1. Put a sock in it! Obviously you-re a PUKIE, what are you doing here? Lets stop -being practical, its destroying the Earth we live on, stoooooooopid!

  3. That’s the point. That we’re not unique. (At least not in the more peaceful toward other countries sense.) What most Americans don’t understand.

  4. Being right or left is not theoretical, it’s real. Any student of history, if objective, should be able to realize that American history as taught in the text books, high school or college, is reading a lie, not a white lie but a damn lie. Curt, let me ask you a question. When did affirmative action start in the US? Bet you don’t know. Figure it out, I doubt whether you can.

  5. Hey Scott,

    Have you tried getting an interview with Chomsky? I think it would be great to hear a long interview with Chomsky specifically on Anarchism and what his differences are with Libertarianism.

  6. SF Curt I didnt hear Zinn say everything America did was bad or evil.

    I find these kind of strawmen arguments illogical.

  7. Jesus wasnt for empire, he saw it as evil. Ironically, today, we have people saying the anti-war [leftist/libertarian] types are un-American for not being pro-war, yet they are basically saying what Jesus did.

    And the nutty nut nuts like righty Hagee are pro-war, even though Jesus wasnt, so Jesus will return.

    Bizzarro world.

    1. Yes, in "Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches," it says that "Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's and unto God what is God's" does not mean that you should pay your taxes, it means that you shouldn't, because _EVERYTHING (as the saying went in Judea in 30 a.d.) belongs to God.

  8. I disagree (slightly) with one date Howard Zinn said. He thought American imperialism began in 1791, however I think it began at least during the Revolution(this, of course, ignores the European imperialism). That said the “Overmountain Men” who fought at Kings Mtn SC during the Revolution were European settlers near present-day Bristol TN/VA. They were there illegally during the Revolution. I had 5 ancestors who fought there and these were the first Tennesseans of European descent

  9. Iraq 101: “We all have the greatest interest in seeing a successful resolution to Iraq…”,/b>

    Obama calls for a diplomatic surge.

    Interpretation: A “successful resolution” means:

    a. We must have a stable, occupier friendly, “legal” government with which to sign “agreements”.
    b. The Iraqi government will not be deemed “legal” until they agree to oil concessions on US terms.

    Thus we will remain in Iraq until these conditions are met.

  10. We ought never to forget that United Bluff killed more or less 6,000 children, women and men in Ciudad de Panama according to an envistigative committee chaired by former Secretary of Justice Clark. At the time, 1989, I read about the indisciminate killings in Panama City by the US Army SS. And they got away with it. Just like the US missile that recently destroyed a house in Somalia killing 3 women and 3 children who were just ordinary citizens. No comments from United Bluff. Acc. to Dr Bob Bowman, former chief of US Air Force Missile Defense, the missiles in Poland will be very useful to shoot down any surviving Russian missiles after a First Strike against Russian missiles, subs, etc. Therefore the Russians will implement Launch On Warning. That´s the real danger-and a madman like McCain.

  11. Yes, as Mr. Zinn and Mr. Horton agreed; "empires fall." That is because they eventually exhaust themselves; economically, morally and spiritually. We presently observe that the United States of Empire is now moving rapidly down that well worn road. Oh well, what will be will be.

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