[Marxism] A Radical Historian Offers Hope

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Jan 11 12:50:07 MST 2015

A Radical Historian Offers Hope
Our Mass Movements Ongoing


The mass demonstrations in Paris and London, as well as elsewhere, offer 
hope. Perhaps, for the French in particular, they will usefully reopen 
old wounds, that is the blowback of the Algerian War, with its massive 
human rights crimes, its outflux of pied-noir emigrants to Mother France 
who carried along their prejudice and hatreds, unto multiple 
generations, many of today’s hatefully neoconservative and hawkish 
intellectuals, etc.

For me, these demonstrations mark a continuation of the wave of more or 
less spontaneous movements of hundreds of thousands and millions of 
ordinary people, across the years since 1910: Occupy (from Tahrir Square 
to Manhattan and onward to Wisconsin Uprising, among so many other 
anti-austerity events around North America and the world); the global 
support movement for Gazan civilians under brutal attack; and Hands Up 
Don’t Shoot.

They vividly bring back to me the great movements of my youth, for Civil 
Rights and against the US invasion of Vietnam.

I feel certain, following from a distance and/or taking part, in the 
overlapping participants, the overlapping sentiments, the overlapping 
thirst for an end to violent brutality and prejudice, too often if not 
always with the aid of authorities and the mainstream press.

My question remains a simple one: how can we weave these great causes 
together into a mighty movement?

Special acknowledgment to COUNTERPUNCH for letting me borrow a title and 
a sentiment from an earlier piece.

You know me as coeditor of IT STARTED IN WISCONSIN (with Mari Jo Buhle) 
among other works.

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