You can`t be neutral on a moving train…

Nora Connolly 

Image © Jim from Steven Point WI, USA

…In graduate school you get basically the same point of view you get in elementary school, only with footnotes…Howard Zinn

Ed Miliband`s recent endorsement of Professor Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book on Theodore Roosevelt, signals that his policy focus is regulation, regulation, regulation.  The Labour leader’s interest in Teddy Roosevelt appears a continuation of the `One Nation` theme, dressed in the star spangled banner of the Republican Party, albeit with a progressive tint. Read more of this post

Radio 4 Review: Acts of Union and Disunion by Professor Linda Colley: Episode 14: Constitutions

LeftCentral Review 

Bickerstaff`s Boston Almanack 1789

We have the machinery of democracy, the structure and we have representative government but it was never a democracy and it never intended to be a democracy, it was founded by a small group of people who wanted independence from Englandthe motive was not democracy Howard Zinn  

Professor Linda Colley`s short talk on the British Constitution, allowed her to contrast constitutional developments in Britain; with that of the fledgling American Republic, then in the process of moving from Articles of Confederation towards a Federal government.  The `Constitution of the United States` is described by Colley as something; “widely viewed as sacred”, the sacrosanct words are then uttered by the anointed President Elect Obama.  Professor Colley then explains that the founding fathers were influenced by the British notion of a separation of powers; she doesn’t point out that the American version has teeth and while the founding fathers wanted a more democratic system than monarchical Britain, they didn’t aim for a genuinely democratic structure.  But rather designed a system of government that would allow power to rest in the hands of an elite group of rich men.  Her talk missed an opportunity to outline the real significance of Britain’s unwritten Constitution on the framers of the American Constitution.   Read more of this post

The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti

Nora Connolly 

On this day in 1927 Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed, their final hours spent writing letters to loved ones. They were apparently remarkably calm, this the final dreadful stage in a seven year legal battle. In the very early hours of that terrible morning another man was executed with them, though his composure not as pronounced. He was Celestino Madeiros and while he was executed for an unrelated matter he had admitted to his involvement in the armed robbery and murder for which Sacco and Vanzetti were convicted. Madeiros had given compelling evidence which totally absolved both men but still failed to save them from the electric chair.   Read more of this post

Howard Zinn and the Myth of the Good War.

Howard Zinn

Copyright Howard Zinn/Voices

Nora Connolly

As Remembrance Sunday approaches our thoughts will soon turn to the horrendous casualties of war, indeed the armistice date for me conjures up many ambivalent feelings. I consider the First World War a pointless loss of life, lion`s led by donkey`s a clear example of a bad war without a rationale or justification. But I honour the falling on both sides, the majority of whom were working-class people duped or compelled by a cruel system to do it`s bidding.

The Second World War is different a “people’s war” fought to end fascism a noble endeavour to defeat the tyranny of the fascist jackboot. But have I by accepting this view of the Second World War as a worthy conflict, fallen victim to what Howard Zinn called the `Myth of the Good War`?  Are not all wars by their very nature bad and could other ways of combating fascism have been found. Read more of this post

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