Thursday, April 21, 2016


Howard Zinn, Boston University professor and author, 
addressed us at anti-war demonstration on Boston Common in 1971.

Perhaps it is preparing for another anti-aristocratic revolt like the one in the 1770's when Harvard was already over a century old and on the Tory side at first. The esteemed Massachusetts Ivy has invited the military back on campus in full force with the addition of Air Force ROTC. Other branches have already returned to Harvard. 

Harvard distanced itself admirably from American militarism during the Vietnam War era in protest of that colonial war. But that was a different time. That was a time when Bernie Sanders would have seemed a middle-of-the-road socialist and Hillary Clinton would have been laughed at as a potential Presidential candidate by the leaders of the Democrats. 

America's war industry is now booming. Thanks to wily propaganda, patriotism is also back in the form of constantly thanking paid killers for their service abroad in distant fields where they have no ethical reason to be. This does not make these paid killers (soldiers) happy necessarily. American taxpayers will be picking up the tab for treating their psychological damage for decades to come. American citizens may also pay the price when gunned down by a veteran in a fast-food restaurant. 

Perhaps the Harvard elite consider militarists peace-keepers. Or, perhaps they consider them portfolio-protectors, who insure the long term appreciation of the Harvard endowment funds. The reality is that the American military resides on foreign soil and foreign seas to intimidate and negotiate in favor of the American Way, a.k.a. ruthless corporate capitalism. Harvard is at the nucleus of that American Way, well insulated from the reality of combat troops on its ground.

I know now that the cultural influence of my generation of anti-war advocates is dead. There will be no requiem, because, like old soldiers, we will simply fade away out of frustration and disgust over what we see happening at places like Harvard. 

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