Over at Killing the Buddha (which I also co-edit), we’ve got a really valuable conversation today between the radical of many causes Abe Osheroff and the activist/journalist Bob Jensen. It’s a reflection on intransigence, futility, and the failures of hope, which should be familiar themes to anyone who has put any time into struggling against the principalities and powers of injustice:
Robert Jensen: I’ve heard you use the term “long-distance runner” before. Is that the key—the notion that we have to be in it for the long haul and not expect things to change dramatically all at once?
Abe Osheroff: Not the long haul—the endless haul.
RJ: What’s the difference between long and endless?
AO: Oh yeah, there’s a difference. We will never win the fight. We will influence the players. We may be able to make life better in many ways. We will blunt the shit that the government and the corporations throw at us. But we’ll always be coping with things. My view is that there’s no destination for the train I’m on. No destination, just a direction. No final station on that train. There’s no final destination, no socialist society where we will all be able to sit back and have a wonderful life. Bullshit!
RJ: No utopias.
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