'To the Next Generation of Rebel Voices'

Published at Campus Progress of the Center for American Progress

A small excerpt below:

Too often, the world seems impossible to change. The obstacles too grave,
solutions too hard to come by, apathy and ignorance too prevalent. These moments
of dejection have plagued progressives for generations.

“I start from the supposition that the world is topsy-turvy,” said the
iconic historian Howard Zinn in a 1970
. “[T]hat things are all wrong, that the wrong people are in jail and
the wrong people are out of jail, that the wrong people are in power and the
wrong people are out of power.” Surely, similar sentiments could be expressed by
any progressive-minded individual at any time in recent history. Such is life in
a world filled with injustice: prospects for
healthcare reform dim
ming, the Supreme Court handing
democracy over to corporations
, young people going bankrupt because
they choose to go to college

But what made Howard Zinn—the famous historian and activist who died
last week of a heart attack at age 87
—so unique was his unceasing faith that
regular people can and should strive to make the world a better place.

"I am totally confident not that the world will get better, but that we
should not give up the game before all the cards have been played," Zinn wrote
in a 2004 essay, “The
Optimism of Uncertainty
.” "The metaphor is deliberate; life is a gamble. Not
to play is to foreclose any chance of winning. To play, to act, is to create at
least a possibility of changing the world."