This clip is from Howard Zinn’s opening talk at the 1988 international Conference “The History and Consequences of Anti-Communism” held in November 1988 at Harvard University. This talk became the basis for two articles, as Zinn notes in the introduction to “Where to Look for a Communist” in The Zinn Reader (p. 452),

The editors of Newsday asked me to write  a column based on the talk, and it appeared on January 22, 1989, under the title “Scare Words Leave Scars on Everyone.” Another version was printed that month in Z Magazine.

Dessima Williams, former Grenadian Ambassador to the United States, opens to conference footage: “Good evening friends visitors, Bostonians, democrats, communists, revolutionaries, all those who struggle for peace and justice and a better world.”

Video Transcript

[starting at 0:45]

HOWARD ZINN: In the year 1948 the series of pamphlets were distributed by the House Committee on Un-American Activities entitled “100 things you should know about communism.” All right. I came across this in my files. I keep files on them it’s it’s only fair. [Laughter] I was impressed by the thought that the committee knew 100 things about communism. [Laughter] The pamphlets had 100 questions and answers.

1. What is communism?

So the idea is to start with something easy something that requires a brief answer. [Laughter]

ANSWER: A system by which one small group seeks to rule the world. [Laughter]

The answer is probably [drawn?] up by the people who later founded the Trilateral Commission….

Can I skip to question 76?

Where can communists be found in everyday life?

Well, this question particularly interested me because there have been times when I was in need of a communist and I didn’t know where to find one. [Laughter]

ANSWER: Look for him in your school. Your labor union your church or your civic club. [Laughter]

QUESTION 86: Is the YMCA a communist target?

This really worried me. I always wondered why there was so much chlorine in the YMCA’s pool. [Laughter]

ANSWER: Yes, so is the YWCA. [Laughter]

[clip skips ahead]

ZINN: The wide abuse it’s between a kind of reasonable criticism you can have of communism, socialism, of the Soviet Union, of governments of states, whatever they call themselves. The difference between that kind of criticism and indignation and the kind of murderous, indiscriminate hatred which leads us to threaten to drop bombs to kill all of the citizens of this country, presumably the citizens of governments, where the citizens themselves are victims, we prepared to kill all of them presumably to save them as we’ve always been ready to kill people to save them from communism.”

[clip cuts to separate interview conducted with Howard Zinn at the same conference. Watch at “Ends and Means: History and Consequences of Anti-Communism.” ]



The clip is from “Ends and Means: The History and Consequences of Anticommunism in the United States” by Deep Dish TV, producers are DeeDee Halleck and Catherine Saalfield, production company is the Institute for Media Analysis.



From Deep Dish TV

Held in 1988 at Harvard University, The History and Consequences of Anti-Communism was a historic conference, made just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, about the role of anti-communism in the United States. In addition to full coverage of all plenary panels, there are in-depth interviews with key figures on the left. The panels include the effect of anti-communism on the labor movement in this country, on the publication of social studies textbooks for elementary schools, the persecution of the civil rights movement, the suppression of writers and actors in Hollywood and the intervention by the CIA in elections in Latin America, Italy and East Asia.

The list of presenters includes Jessica Mitford, Virginia Durr, John Henry Faulk, Cheddi Jegan, John Kenneth Galbraith, Dessima Williams, Mel King, Blanch Cook, Howard Zinn, Herbert Kohl, Eduardo Chamorro, Laura Flanders, Daniel Ellsberg, Angela Davis, Julian Bond, Victor Navasky, William Preston, Juan Bosch, Archie Singham, Angela Gilliam, Frances Fox Piven, Arthur Kinoy, Michael Manley, Warren Hinckle, Noam Chomsky, Stephen Jay Gould, Ruth Hubbard, Carl Oglesby, Ellen Schrecher, John Stockwell, Phillip Agee, Edward Said, Salie Bingham, Herbert Schiller, Jack O’Dell, Michael Parenti, Victor Rabinowitz, Ricardo Alarcon.


@commietrashh Howard Zinn reading a pamphlet from the ‘Red Scare’ era 😂 #fyp #communism #leftist #politics ♬ original sound – antifa hooligan

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