Monday, April 14, 2008

You Can Never Really Know

From Tomgram: Rebecca Solnit, The Archipelago of Arrogance by Tom Englehardt:

The invasion of Iraq was already two months old. The vast, worldwide demonstrations by tens of millions of sane and sensible people who could see clearly enough that a disaster was on its way -- and who have never, on any "anniversary" of that disaster, gotten the slightest mainstream credit for having been right -- had already ended in despair.

It was then that Solnit spoke up, reminding those of us ready to listen that "activism is not a journey to the corner store; it is a plunge into the dark" -- and that history "is like weather, not like checkers. A game of checkers ends. The weather never does." It was, she wrote, too soon to tote up the "score" or declare matters over on the invasion of Iraq or much else. In fact, it's always too soon, since you can never really know what effect your actions have had -- or where, or on whom. Which was, and still is, the reason for none of us to pack our bags and go home, for none of us to fall silent.

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