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Pacifism and Pathology In the American Left

Ward Churchill

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Album Review

This 2002 lecture by professor and outspoken activist Ward Churchill analyzes the liberal left and its approach to activism in post-9/11 American society. The main thrust of his argument is that activism - with its peace marches and prayer vigils - has been duped by the American police state into believing it's affecting change. As Churchill says, "I like lit candles in the night as much as anybody else. But it's never…been known to stop a bullet." While he doesn't directly advocate violence as a tactic for change, he does illustrate the effectiveness of the Black Panthers, and describes in detail just how quickly that organization was shut down by "the police state."

Obviously, Churchill is more one-sided than a cliff. His thoughts on 9/11 are particularly incendiary, and will no doubt offend anyone who isn't as far to the left as he is. But that's probably just how he wants it. Churchill has a dry, biting wit, and a voice that's like steel wool scratched on a microphone head. He often adjusts the rhythm of his words, or the tone of his voice for maximum effect, sounding authoritative, dismissive, or conversational to suit the subject. It's an engaging, provocative listen, no matter what your politics are.


Genre: Spoken Word

Years Active: '00s

Ward Churchill (Keetoowah Band Cherokee) is a professor, author, lecturer, and outspoken Native American activist. He is a well-known critic of the FBI and the status quo in America, an expert on the nature and meaning of genocide, and a vocal supporter of activism in its many forms. Like fellow intellectual/social firebrand Noam Chomsky, Churchill has expanded his reach beyond academia and into the world of independent music and publishing. He has released numerous recordings of his lectures through...
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