You would think that someone who writes a book called A People’s History of the United States would at the very least believe there is such an entity as the “United States,” wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be mistaken in historian and radical leftist Howard Zinn’s case. In his most famous work, he writes:
The pretense is that there really is such a thing as “the United States,” subject to occasional conflicts and quarrels, but fundamentally a community of people with common interests. It is as if there really is a “national interest” represented in the Constitution, in territorial expansion, in the laws passed by Congress, the decisions of the courts, the development of capitalism, the culture of education and the mass media.
When I first read that paragraph, I thought I misinterpreted the word “pretense.” I was stunned. “Could Zinn really have created an alternative reality, even stranger than that of (blockbuster movie) The Matrix?” I wondered. “No, that’s probably not what he meant. Let’s continue.”
And so I did. Here’s what I stumbled upon next:
My viewpoint, in telling the history of the United States, is different: that we must not accept the memory of states as our own. Nations are not communities and never have been…
For those who didn’t quite get the point, Zinn later repeats it in slightly different words:
Still, understanding the complexities, this book will be skeptical of governments and their attempts, through politics and culture, to ensnare ordinary people in a giant web of nationhood pretending to a common interest.
Perhaps that’s why Hollywood loves Zinn so much: he’s so far left that he denies the very existence of “the United States” as a nation (or “community”) and (therefore) believes that there’s no such thing as “a common interest.” That’s exactly what the anti-war Left wants to hear, of course. To them, he’s like Morpheus, telling them that what they were taught to believe was real, is in, in fact, fake. He sets them “free” from the “chains” of nationhood and enables them to think of themselves as “global citizens” rather than as “Americans.”
- “The People” Speak? Try “Howard Zinn, The Hypocrite Speaks” On Bill Moyers Journal
- American History According to Zinn: A Leftist’s Fairy Tale
- Big Hollywood: Howard Zinn, Intellectual Moron