Talk given to the Department of English at St Berchmans College
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Join Noam Chomsky in supporting Z, as we bring 45 years of independent media to the next generation of activists and movements.
A special message from Noam Chomsky:
Dear Z Network reader:
I have written for, related to, and been close friends with the outstanding Z project for much of my political life. I came on board when South End Press was born, stayed when Z Magazine first launched, and became still more connected with ZNet itself via my yet earlier New Left era connections to Michael Albert and Lydia Sargent. I know Z from writing books for South End Press, articles for Z Magazine, and all manner of things for the web system now called znetwork.org. I have also written countless letters, over the years, to aid Z’s efforts to raise funds. This is another of those letters, but it is also a chance to make a more general case that needs making.
The new Z, I guess about a year old now, arose from Michael getting on in years and deciding it was time to make way for younger leadership. There are seven on the new staff. I know some and have now seen the work of others. They rebuilt the site and now seek to broaden and grow its impact. They have done this as volunteers with no income at all. Compare znetwork.org to other operations with budgets not only for salaries, but for solicitation, and more. Despite that they have had none of that you wouldn’t know it by looking. So, it is reasonable to wonder, aside from helping them exist, what might they bring us all if we provide funds for them to work longer hours, and to implement more innovations?
These people are not content with survival, and rightly so. Their goal is to aid activists win real change. They cover everything that needs attention but far more so than many other projects, they focus on strategy and vision. I am a ZFriend—a group they have assembled to consult, publish, and get advice from. They don’t want a nominal board that does nothing. They want a community of involved Friends to relate to and I know they want to address their entire audience in much the same fashion. I believe that with funding support, each of the seven staff will not only free themselves to devote more time, more energy, and more creative focus for the long haul, but they will also have means to pay writers, generate topical explorations, sponsor debates and roundtables, generate video and a videocast to go with podcasts and more, plus generate something they call ZedTalks…imagine that!
For over fifty years I have watched groups try to fundraise. It is an alienating, thankless, pursuit. After all, it is a kind of begging. But what choice do such groups have? Well, I would like to propose to you that you let this long-running, highly accomplished, left project, and all those you really like, have your support without further begging by the likes of me—or themselves.
So please visit ZNetwork.org and support the new ZNetwork staff in their efforts. They don’t claim they will shut the doors if you don’t. They are far too committed for that and far too honest, as well. They seek your support not for personal survival but for increased organizational achievement. What they do claim, and what I believe is true, is that they will do steadily greater things if you provide support. Help them help us all. Help them, and here I quote them, “grow, diversify, and contribute to a movement of movements that wins steadily escalating gains on the path to a new world.”
I support Z. I hope you will do so too.