Friday, January 29, 2010

Howard Zinn: Socialism without Jails

Socialism without Jails
by Howard Zinn

Q. What is your philosophy?

I believe, I suppose, in the one that could be called democratic socialism because I believe that we need a society where the motive for the economic system is not corporate profit but the motive is the welfare of people -- healthcare, jobs, childcare, and so on -- where that is dominant, where there is greater equalization of wealth; and a society which is peaceful and which devotes its resources to helping people in the country and elsewhere. And I believe in a world where war is no longer the recourse for the settling of grievances and problems. I believe in the wiping out of national boundaries. I don't believe in visas and passports and immigration quotas. I think we need to move towards a global society. They use the word globalization, but they use it in a very narrow sense to me -- the freedom of corporations to move across boundaries -- but what we need is the freedom of people and things to move across boundaries. When I talk about socialism without jails, I mean, yes, a greater societal intervention into the economy but without deprivation of civil liberties. Don't trouble the Hollywood writer. Put it very simply: yes, he said "socialism without jails."