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Blog Post for 11/16

In Chapter 22 of PHUS, “The Unreported Resistance,” Zinn broadens the scope and significance of protest and social justice movements to the history and upbringing of the United States. Zinn references a “permanent adversarial culture” that arose in response to the Vietnam War and endured through the presidencies of Carter, Reagan, and Bush. This culture of resistance that acted as an unrecognized movement shed light on unprioritized movements like the AIDS crisis along with deteriorating social services.

The two social movements previously mentioned, along with many others, shed light on the abandonment of domestic problems that the United States government exhibited while acting in favor of militaristic priorities and focus. I found it shocking that many of the military actions that occurred throughout the time were taken without public knowledge or support. Bush’s involvement in the Gulf War along with Reagan’s increasing military spending are two actions that were undertaken by the government, yet not supported by the public. Going against the public will spark a principle of government questioning that became extremely prominent in the late 20th century, and the countless years of honoring the military prior to this movement were thrown out the window as the culture in the United States changed.

Overall, this chapter did a proficient job introducing the culture of social reform and providing examples of un-popular movements that hold a significant piece of importance in American history. To draw on our world today, Chapter 22 reflects many ideals of our current times, specifically as they relate to Police reform in the United States. Twentieth-century activists called for defunding of the military, and that same thing is happening in the 21st century as current political activists want reform in response to the killings of countless, Black Americans. It is important to take the lessons of reform from Zinn’s chapter and incorporate those into our lives to make active, and effective political and social reform.


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  1. Thomas Bennett Thomas Bennett

    This “permanent adversarial culture” existence is important as it helps ensure that the government will not completely ignore the issues affecting Americans not in the majority. The fact that certain groups will always feel a dissatisfaction with government policy forces them to remain accountable to some extent. While politicians would claim this “permanent adversarial culture” as a negative thing or use it as an excuse, it is in fact a positive reality that keeps the government in check.

  2. Maggie Otradovec Maggie Otradovec

    I like how you mentioned how “the countless years of honoring the military prior to this movement were thrown out the window as the culture in the United States changed.” As we read about the protests and how American culture is shifting, it is important to remember that not every change is good. The military is still a very respectable institution that has protected our people for generations.

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