Bulletin #45
15 December 2002
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Our recent mail includes the three items below from co-directors at our
Research Center (CEISMA) :

                A. an alert from Marc Olivier;
                B. a brief observation concerning the mid-term U.S. election results
                      from Elisabeth Chamorand; and
                C. Douglas Dowd's response to the November elections in
                      the U.S., in which he calls for better organizing within social movements.

Meanwhile, last week nearly 100 people attended our afternoon presentation of the French translation of Howard Zinn's book, People's History of the United States, held at the Political Science Institute in Grenoble. After a two-hour discussion, 20 of us (in five cars) made the 2-hour drive to Geneva to hear Noam Chomsky speak on "The American Media and Human Rights." The total turnout in Geneva was nearly 3,000.

And this week, Radio France has organized a Discussion animated by Dominique Bomberger, in which André Kaspi, professeur d'histoire des Etats-Unis a la Sorbonne, will participate speaking on the theme: "Sommes-nous tous des citoyens de l'empire?" (Some colleagues in Grenoble have suggested the theme be modified to read: "Sommes-nous tous des collaborateurs?"

But first, the following alert from our research associate at the CNRS, Marc Olivier, on the penetration of American propaganda into French social sciences. (Readers are invited to visit our Research Center web site to read Pierre Bourdieu's discussion of François Furet's American corporate subsidies while writing his revisionist history of the French Revolution :

Francis Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research

Cher Francis bonjour.
Je te conseille de te procurer auprès d'un collègue du CNRS le dernier
numéro du bulletin du CAES du CNRS (il s'agit d'une sorte de Comité
d'entreprise, géré par des personnels élus sur listes syndicales, et qui
s'occupe de diverses activités culturelles, de vacances, etc...).
Il y a dans ce bulletin, sous la rubrique "controverses", un texte
extraordinaire signé par Condoleeza Rice sous le titre "Les Etats Unis et
leurs alliés, valeurs et intérets communs". Je suis très choqué par la
publication de ce texte de pure propagande politique dans un bulletin qui
engage plus ou moins directement la responsabilité des syndicats du CNRS.
Je ne sais trop comment réagir. Je me demande si nous ne pourrions pas
traduire ce texte en Américain, l'envoyer à Ramsey Clarke et lui demander
d'écrire une réponse de la meme dimension. Nous pourrions ensuite faire
pression sur la rédaction du bulletin pour la publier, afin de montrer aux
lecteurs que beaucoup de citoyens américains combattent la façon dont Mme
Rice et son patron conçoivent la mise en oeuvre concrète de leurs "valeurs".
Qu'en penses tu ?
Marc Ollivier

Francis, Voici un extrait d'un article du Washington Post du 12 octobre 2002:
In 2001, Forune magazine fou!nd that pharmaceutical manufacturers comprised
the nation's most profitable industry, based on return on revenues, assets
and shareholders'equity. The top 14 companies, the magazine found, had
revenues of $215 billion and profits of nearly $38 billion.
Over the last decade, PhRMA and its membert drug companies have spent more
than l billion-far more than any other industry- to influence the
legislative process. In that time they have hired more than 600 Washington
In 2001, a nonelection year, the industry spent $76 million on lobbying
according to the web site Politicalmoneyline.com...By comparison the defense
industry spent less than $59 million.....
Finally, the industry boosted its contribution to Republican candidates from
l.7 million in 1990 to 18.l million in 2000 and nearly $12 million so far in
the current cycle. It ranked 12th among industrial sectors in GOP
conbtributions 10 years ago; now it ranks 4th"

Francis: to use as you please.

                      Don't Waste Any Time in Mourning: Organize!
                                                 by   Doug Dowd

                Most are familiar with that justly famous exhortation of
Joe Hill in 1915, made just before he was  to be executed by a firing
squad.   If things  look bleak  to us  today, thing  of how  much
bleaker  they must  have  looked  to Joe  Hill  at that  terrible
moment.  Think, too, of the many-faceted bleakness facing so many in  the
decades  to follow  who,  despite and  because of  fierce
opposition,  "organized," no matter what.   Had they not, and had they not
won more than a  little, today's terrible world would be that much
worse.  For those who have spent years trying to move society toward
decency, equality, sanity, and peace, these times could break the heart;
and Joe's words  ring more truly than ever.   With all the reforms
accomplished in  the USA from the 30s  on, the education, health  care, and
housing  for a majority  remained disgracefully inadequate in  the 1970s;
but  not inadequate enough as  those in power  have seen  things:   as
the  70s ended,  the  processes of undoing those reforms began --  along
with a reheated militarism,  the cruel disgrace  of Vietnam
notwithstanding.  Now,  in a blitz that seems unstoppable,  we and the
world the  U.S. dominates are coming face to face with multiple untold
disasters. Maybe  it's unstoppable;  maybe  not.

It is not merely dreaming to believe there is more than  a glimmer of
hope.  There  are several reasons for thinking so.  The  first regards
pessimistic  predictions:  We  don't know enough about society  -- nor
shall we  ever -- to support  either optimistic or pessimistic predictions
about the future.

The  social process  is an  ever more  kaleidoscopic  mix of
interacting   and  mutually   transforming  economic,   cultural,
military,  political  and  scientific/technological  "variables."
The  resulting complexities make it difficult fully to understand even
the  past; to  predict how  all that  will work  out in  the future is so
indeterminate that to anticipate even month-to-month changes of  any
substance is hard enough;  accurate forecasts for future years are
virtually impossible  -- even by the most astute Marxists, let
alone  mainstream social "scientists."  Consider  a variety  of
examples  from the  past:   In 1910, nobody  anticipated the
Russian  revolution of 1917 nor, in 1922, the birth of  fascism in Italy
or,  even after it had  taken hold there, its spread  to much  of
Europe  and to Japan.   Closer  to home,  in the USA  as late as  1932,
anyone who  had argued there would  be what  became the  post-1935  New
Deal  would have  been thought a halfwit.

And, some  will remember  that the young  in the  1950s were
called  the  "silent  generation."    Silent  they  were, on  the surface;
but  there was  an underwater  volcano simmering  which, even  before the
50s ended, had  begun to froth near the surface. Not long after, it
produced what became the civil rights movement in  the South  and
the  student movement  on campuses.   (For  an insightful early  look at
that  "simmering" see the 1958  book by Richard Farina Been Down So Long It
Looks Like Up to Me.)  It wasn't long  before both adults  and
"kids"  became very noisy about  matters never  in the  news a  few
years  earlier --about racism and poverty, nukes and Vietnam and, more than
a few, about South Africa:  The young  blacks who ordered coffee in  the
wrong place in the early 60s didn't  spring from nowhere; nor did the
anti-nuke and "peace candidates" in the 1960 elections in New York
and  Massachusetts  -- with   considerable   student participation. In
short, the transformation of attitudes and behavior from the  50s
to  the  60s did  not descend  from  the heavens;  those flowering plants
emerged from no longer dormant seeds.

That particulars of that past  will not be repeated, but for the present
and future there are good grounds for thinking we can do at least as  well;
and we'd  better to  more than that.   One basis for thinking  so is
as  forbidding as it  is hopeful:   the cherished leftie notion  that
worsening times energize  people to nchange things  for the better.   It is
"forbidding"  because such times also step up rightwing energies.

Nor are the odds even  as good as 50-50 as between  movement to  left
or  right politically,  for those  in power normally --
natcherly  -- assist  those  of  the right,  "lest  a worse  fate
befall."   Nevertheless, these worsening times furnish some basis for hope
--  especially when we  join them to  the more cheering current reality
that has to do with -- perhaps surprisngly -- the young of today.  Of
which, more in a moment. First,  a short walk  on the
precarious  "dialectical" side.

  As  today's USA  becomes  always  more  dangerous,  obscene,  and
corrupt, it is  entirely likely that hitherto  complacent people, as in the
past, will be provoked by anger and/or fear  to do more than just vote for
Tweedledee/dum   (if  that);  and   that  those  who   have  been
politically active will become considerably more so.

In the  USA, that has happened more than  once, and in a big way in  the
1930s.  Being political in  those distant  days meant taking unaccustomed,
difficult, and often dangerous steps in the
socio-economic   realm:      For  workers,   attempts   to   form
independent -- as distinct from then common company -- unions was
always  an uphill  and dangerous  battle.   But struggle  up that steep
hill they did, one battle after another -- most prominently struggles in
autos, rubber,  coal, and steel -- with  innovations such as  sit-ins and,
on  the waterfront of San  Francisco, USA's first general strike.

It took courage and imagination to do all that in the  midst of the worst
depression in history, especially in a country whose president (Coolidge)
only  a few  years  earlier had  unerringly announced that  "The Business
of  America is  business";   where, until 1938, there  was no minimum wage
or maximum  hours, no laws
against   child  labor,   no   unemployment  compensation,   paid
vacations, pensions,  and employer-financed  health care;  where, although
unions were "legal," strikes were illegal ("invasions of
property  rights")   --  and   where,   even   after  successful
unionization,  throughout  the  entire  30s  -- after  protective laws --
their  efforts continued to be met  by firings, injuries, jailings, and
killings.  As late  as 1933, and even after, nobody had expected anything
like  those displays of  determination and ndetermination.

Also, and  much to the  shocked surprise of  journalists and
politicians,  there was  a  noteworthy quantitative  increase and
qualitative shift  in  electoral efforts  on  local,  state, and national
levels after 1932, producing in 1934 a Congress that was very different
from its predecessors.   Soon after, FDR, though a conservative  Democrat
when elected, was persuaded that there had better be  a "Second New  Deal"
before the  1936 election,  or he would lose it.   It began  in 1935
with  the enactment of  Social Security, and went on from there:  not as
far as it could have or should have, but considerably farther than anyone
had dreamed.

BUT.  In addition  to those and other  positive developments of a "left of
center" trend, were the developments of an opposite (though not  equal)
trend  to the right.   Its  best-known groups were Father  Coughlin's
Silver Shirts in Detroit  and Huey Long's "Share the  Wealth"
movement  (which had  begun as  left populist but, with help of the major
Louisiana oil companies, became right populist).     However, in the  USA
in the  1930s -- already  the richest country  in the world,  by far --
neither  left nor right movements had either  the import  or  the
strength  they had  in Europe,  severe depression notwithstanding.  Thus,
even though by 1933 the  U.S. economy's production  had fallen by
50  percent -- matching  Germany's, the  two the  worst  in the  world
--  great though the misery  of the unemployed and poor  was, they remained
relatively less badly off than their European counterparts.

Moreover,  the  U.S.  union movement  was  still  very weak; despite  the
hopes  and efforts  of  the few  small left   groups,unions never  went
beyond  seeking reforms,  never constituted  a labor movement -- one, that
is, seeking a different socioeconomic system.

In short, U.S. business had no need to  fear anything like a socialist
revolution; and, in that the emergence of fascism was a response to a
socialist threat, no likelihood of fascism.  By the same token,  if it
was  extremely unlikely that the  USA would go either way, it was a virtual
certainty that countries like Italy, Germany, France, and Japan would go
either  fascist or socialist.
So,   with  support  from  their  economic  and  political  power
structures, the doors to  fascism opened:  Italy,  1922, Germany, 1933,
Japan,  1929.  (France  was more than "halfway"  to fascism before the
German occupation.)

Today?  In the  USA there exists no  likelihood of a  strong socialist
movement  for  the foreseeable  future; however,  times have changed  such
that an  "americanized" fascism  has become  a distinct possibility, even
without a socialist threat.

It had begun  to seem so already  as the 1970s ended.   Then the  U.S.
began  its  evolving lurch  toward  what Bertram  Gross called Friendly
Fascism  (in his  1980  book of  that title)  --"friendly"  because,
in  the absence  of  a broad  and deep  left movement,  and
in  contrast  with the  fascisms  of the  interwar period, the need for
deep and violent repression is limited:  Not Auschwitz, but some variations
on the U.S. "relocation camps" for the Japanese and today's Guantanamo; not
the mass executions of a Pinochet,  but a "few"  prominent
leftists  (likely to  be called "terrorists") given show trials and  then
life or death; not book burnings, but the relegation of critical works to
an undergrond; not mass firings in the  universities, but a  rebirth and
intensification  of earlier repressive programs.

What is  above termed "limited"  would not seem so  to those directly and
indirectly afflicted.  It can be limited because any likelihood of
there  being  a  well-organized  and  strong  left movement in the U.S.
after World  War II was seriosly crippled by the systematic  and lingering
effects of McCarthyism and the Cold
War.     That  earlier   repression  and   the  rampant   selfish
individualism fed by  consumerism, have had a  devastating effect on the
consciousness  and character of the people  of the USA and our politicians,
unions, universities and, of course, the media.The  present administration
and  Supreme Court  already have the power and  the inclination  to
move  toward and  even beyond those "limited" forms  of repression and, as
well,  to war(s) and increased socioeconomic injustice.   Unless we
develop  more than intermittent demos  and an  always stronger  movement
to  reverse present trends,  we must expect that  the both the power  and
the inclination of their creators will increase.

Remember and  be warned:   In Germany,  as things  went from very bad in
the early  30s through indescribable horrors by theirend, its "free"
population came to  earn the ironic title of "The Good Germans"  --
those  who had not  been Nazi  enthusiasts, and might have very  much
disliked some of  its doings, but  who kept their  misgivings
to  themselves (and,  who, after the  war, told themselves and others  that
had they only known,  they would have behaved differently).

We  of USA  we  have  long been  habituated  to being  "Good Americans"
--  looking the other way as  regards slavery, racism, the exploitation
of  workers (including that of  children) and of nature,  and,
among  much  else, as  concerns our  many repugnant political and military
interventions abroad.   To go from that to becoming "Friendly Fascist
Americans" would not be a great leap.

In  sum,  though  richer and  more  powerful  than ever,  as concerns  the
matters  just noted  we are  not as  different from other countries as  we
were in the  1930s.  That is,  even though the dour hope contains some
hopeful possibilities, by itself  the hope that  depends upon  bad times
leading  to a  better politics remains at best problematic for the USA.

Fortunately,  there is  that  still  that  sweeter  side  to consider.  It
is  also problematic, but by no means  as scary.  I
refer to  the young people of  today, those between  about 15 and 30.  In
my experience  and observation they are sharply different from their
counter-parts in the years since World War II. First some personal
background:   I started teaching in 1949 in the San Francisco Bay Area,
thence to New York for many years, then back to the Bay Area  until now;
meanwhile, beginning in the 1960s, I began also to teach in Italy.  I still
teach both in the  Bay Area and in Italy, half the year in each
country.  All along the way I have been much involved with students in the
classroom, in the civil rights  and anti-Vietnam struggles up into the
1970s and, more recently, in globalization and war/peace controversies.

Now  I say  this  about today's  young  people:     They are
something  else, very different from earlier generations and very probably
for the better as regards the possibilities of a growing movement. "What?"
it will be said.  "The  young of the 60s -- at least some of  them --  were
wonderful:    lively, irreverent,  daring, courageous,  funny,
freaky:    Chicago,  storming  the  Pentagon, Woodstock, cool!"  I agree;
some of my best friends then  -- when I was old enough to be their
father  -- are among my best friends
still.    But   what  universally  marked  that   generation  was
disillusionment.   And it  marks them still,  along with,  now as parents,
endless worries about "kids."

As anyone can see, today's  young are freaky too, very often in a
non-attractive  way:  Those goddamned rings  in their noses, bellybuttons,
and  who knows  where else;  that blaring,  banging music; those grungy
clothes,  those low-hanging jeans:   "You can see the ring in the
bellybuttons!"; their ways of speaking; other irritants.   That's the surface.

Under the surface  is something very hopeful  and reassuring
for  a  distinct minority,  enigmatic  for  the  rest.   In  that
distinct minority,  those I  have observed up  close are  just as
decent  as earlier  generations,  at  least  as  intelligent  and informed
as their  elders, and more likely  to join a demo.   But they do so with a
big and hopeful difference.
Being idealistic  seems to  go with the  territory of  being young;  my
"youth generation"  in the 30s  was, those  in the 60s
were, today's are. But,  and very much unlike those  of 1930s and 1960s,
the young people I know now are totally without illusions: The
corruption,  the lies,  the cruelty,  the irrationality,  the
obscene  twinned existences of extreme wealth and extreme poverty and of
the poor health of our  people and the wasting away of our
environment:  That's this system, man; normal.

But they don't like it; they are  angry and very much so; at the same time,
they are eager for  something much better.  That's what sends those of the
attractive minority to all those demos in goodly  amounts
in  the  USA  and  elsewhere, where  they  always outnumber their
elders.   You  can't  help but  notice how  they predominate,  whether in
S.F. or D.C.,  Genoa or Florence, London or Paris, wherever;  nor, behind
that anger, can you  fail to see how  friendly, how decent,  they seem;
how  internationalist, and
"interracial"   they  and   their   banners   and  slogans   are.

Impressive.    That  bunch is  of course  a  minority of  today's
young.  There  is also the  "skinhead" minority and  a large  and seemingly
apathetic middle.   Taken  together,  they are  pretty frightening in
appearance and, a few, in behavior.  Virtually all the young people today
strike me  as feeling lost, adrift but, at the  same  time, trapped  in  a
dull,  senseless,  dangerous, and stupid society; and  angry at pretty much
the same matters as the left-leaning minority.   And some  of the
skinheads, it  has been noted, are rebels  waiting for a good
cause,  rather than a dirty fight.

In this -- alas! -- the  latter may be seen as similar  to a significant
number of the German  Nazis -- those murdered on "the
night of  the long  knives," taken  in by  what the  acronym Nazi stood
for:  National Socialist German Workers' Party.

In all the foregoing respects (except "illusions") the young
of   today  stand  in   significant  resemblance  to   their  60s
predecessors.  And   is  it  not  entirely  probable  that  their
irritating ways of dressing and acting are their means for giving the
finger  to the  complacency of both  their parents  and other "grown-ups"
who, with  few exceptions, rarely lift  their fingers to reverse the USA
from its descent into the slime?

Moreover, if  we take visible  opposition as a  measure, the young  today
constitute  a  higher  percentage  than  than  their counterpart elders  at
similar times  of need.   If and  when the non-young activists increase in
numbers,  so too will the  young; but, as  was suggested above  and will be
further  pursued below, the  vital  need  is  for  the
non-young  very  soon  to  involve
themselves/ourselves  considerably  more,  both  numerically  and
creatively -- if  hope is not to  be snuffed out by  the building repression.

In support  of that, it  is important to remember  that when the young of
the 1960s came to be politically formidable, whether for civil rights  or
against poverty, the draft,  and the Vietnam war, they were joining already
existent movements whose roots had been planted and nourished for many years.

A seeming  exception was  the civil  rights movement,  which came to be
symbolized by young blacks illegally ordering a cup of coffee.  The young
blacks did outnumber their elders from the 60s on, but they had been
brought to that point by at least two prior sources:  1) a
long,  recognized and, among them, well-known pre- and post-Civil  War
history  of struggle  and sacrifice by  their forebears up
through  the  1930s,  and 2)  the  added and  vital impetus provided by
black GIs back from a war that was publicized as meant to  end oppression
abroad --  with never a  reference to the oppression "at home" -- and the
associated and simultaneously energized resentments of a whole people who
refused to go to  the  back of the bus anymore  or to put up  with the
murders of theirleaders,  let alone of  little girls  in church.   And,  as
those young blacks  were  joined  by  (mostly) young  whites,  new  and
charismatic leaders emerged -- along with always more victims.

Driven as much by shame as by decency -- a century after the Civil War  --
the nation answered with modest reform legislation. But for the past 25
years or so we have been moving back to where we were before the 60s, and
at an always accelerating rate. Just as the civil rights movement did not
just sprout out of
the  ground  in  the  60s,  neither  did  the  antiwar  movement.

Unbeknownst to most, during World War II, and in conjunction with
cooperative war efforts with Ho  Chi Minh against the Japanese in
Vietnam,  FDR agreed that the Vietnamese would become independent
after  the  war.   Soon  after  his death  in  April,  1945, that agreement
was broken:   Already in the  late fall of 1945  (and I witnessed  this)
U.S. ships  were transporting British  and Dutch troops (newly-freed
from  Japanese prisons) from Manila  to Hanoi to hold the  fort until
the  French could arrive  in 1946.   (See Marilyn Blatt Young, The Vietnam
Wars:  1945-1990.)

The  few who knew about that  and similar developments began already
in  the early 1950s to  protest, not in  demos (for there was too little
awareness), but  through writing and teaching.  By the early  60s that
produced the Inter-University Committee for a Debate on  Foreign Policy
(the  campus "teach-ins"):  a  prof vs. the U.S. interventions in Vietnam,
arguing with a CIA or State or "Defense" Department person for.

When  those  teach-ins  started,  the students  were  either indifferent or
supportive of the government.  By  the end of 1965 that was  in dramatic
reversal,  because 1)  government reps,  by then being boo-ed off the
stage,  became "no-shows," and 2) to be drafted to fight in what was
becoming a well-publicized dirty war served  as  an  educational  force
in  its  own  right.   So  the organizers of the  teach-ins,
in  coalition  with civil  rights, anti-nuke, and a sprinkling of left
groups, concluded that it was time for what became numerous and always
larger demos and created
"the   Mobe,"  (Mobilization  Against  the  War  in  Vietnam);  a
substantial majority of whose marchers and participants from 1966 on were
young people.

The same may be  said for today's demos:  The  information and
spirit  behind the  "no global"  and antiwar demos have  been underway  for
many  years,  organized by  Global Exchange, Food First, "peace  and
justice" and other  such groups dating back to the late 50s and early 60s.

Until  recently, all such efforts were moving slowly uphill;
it's  still  uphill,  but now  with  considerably  more momentum.
However,  if today's  patterns and  procedures do  not go  beyond
those  of  the  60s,  whether  as  regards  domestic or  overseas concerns,
our and the world's  future will continue to plunge "to the bottom." Why?
The reasons are several, and can only be barely touched upon
here.  First,  in all  cases in  the past the  efforts made  were adequate
enough to gain certain  domestic reforms or to help stop a  war, but were
both qualitatively and quantitatively inadequate
to bring about sufficient or lasting changes.

The fault did not lie with any age group, old or  young, but in the past
and present limitations of "lib/left" politics in the
USA (and, by now, not only in the USA).  This is not the place to propose
"plans  for a new  movement."   But a  suggestion can  be made: We need
broad-based, deep, and continuous discussions among all participant groups
of a potential  movement if our weaknesses are to be overcome.

A good beginning would be see to it that an integral part of all
planning  meetings for demos will be  serious discussions and plans
integrating short-term and long-term strategy and
tactics:    What  will  we
be  doing  "the  day  after"?   It  is  unquestionable that demos serve
vital  educational and energizing purposes; they  are essential  for the
long-term  as well  as for immediate purposes.   But they  are
something  like exercise  and health:  a  demo now and then with  nothing
in between is  like a bike ride every Sunday, with  no exercise and a
foolish diet  the rest of the week.

Our  "exercise  and  diet"  must  consist  of  steady  self-education
and  reaching out to  others -- at work,  with friends,
family   and   neighbors,   in  our   various   civic   or  other
organizations,  etc.    There is  so much  that we and  they must learn and
unlearn,  so much that is  wrong but that we  have been socialized  to  see
as  OK  or better;  so much  apathy,  so much baseless fear, so much
learned ignorance.., and so little time.

Is all this a backdoor way of saying that we need is a third party?   The
answer  is "Yes, but."   Having  been a  third party
candidate and having managed campaigns  on both the local and the
national  level in  the  past,  what follows  is  based on  harsh
experience:   Of course a third party is essential.  But since at least
World War II, its  history has been something like  demos:  lots
of  activity building  up to elections,  and damn  little in between.

A third party can only be  meaningful insofar as it is  part of a  an
always building  movement; and where still  weak, seeing elections as
mainly educational opportunities, until never-ending political work
has  made it into a movement  with breadth, depth, and muscle. That
does  not exclude the  real possibility of  third party victories  on
the  local and  even  the state  levels; the  need, however,  is to  create
a  national movement:   What  profiteth a movment if  it wins  on
the  local level  while the  rest of  the nation violates civil
liberties,  allows millions to  be deathly ill, goes to war...?

We  cannot  displace  the  existing fortress  of  political, economic,  and
cultural power with appeals for decency, equality, peace,  and
sanity;  quite apart  from  any other  consideration, those who  rule
from  that fortress are  either scornful  of such appeals, and/or define
those words in ways that allow them to see themselves  as their
benefactors:   Does Ashcroft  see himself as against civil
liberties?   Bush see himself  as against equality,
or  adequate  medical  care, or  for  war?    Do  the  media  see
themselves as corrupted  and  corrupting?    Do  the  economists touting
"free markets" see themselves as capitalist ideologues? We can't change
them; but we can change ourselves; indeed we must  change ourselves  if
we  are  to change  the many  inactive others we  need to  have join  us
--  not just in  our and  their political behavior, but in  how we think
and feel.   For we, too, have been captivated  in some degree by
our  country's standards; we too have  been less concerned than  we need be
about  past and
continuing  inequalities,  violations  of  human  rights  and  of
nature.  Etc.

Enough already.   Born  in 1919, I  have lived  through many scary periods;
this  one is the scariest,  and gets more  so each day.   Those of us who
see that must reach out to one another and to  others we don't yet
know,  and get to work.   In doing so, we will almost inevitabily undergo
some very unpleasant moments and find ourselves working with people  not
entirely endearing to us; nor we to all of them:  that has to be taken as
given. What is also true, but not  so obvious, is that working hard for  a
better  society, whatever  its bumps  and scratches,  is a fulfilling
process  -- not  in some foolish  ecstasy, but  in the realization
of  one's humanity,  and that of  others.   Those who have done so, know
that; those who haven't will find it so.

Time is  running out.   In the  ancient saying, "If  not me, who?  If not
now, when?"

D. Dowd
Bologna, Italy
November, 2002

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research at CEIMSA
Center for the Advanced Study of American
Institutions and Social Movements
University of Grenoble-3