Don’t follow Don Quixote

Why are peace activists obsessed with Don Quixote?

Listen, there’s no need to tilt at windmills.

First of all, wind power is good.

Second, it’s a windmill, not a giant.

Third, if you really want to take it out, burn the arms, smash the base. Rent a bulldozer. There are better ways to demolish it than chasing it with sticks.

We in the peace movement need to strike a careful balance. On the one hand, we need to see a world that does not yet exist. A world with fair wages for all. A world where no child goes to bed hungry. A world without war.

Then we also need to see this world. With that long-term vision in front of us, we need to see what we can do today–what we can really do today.

Here in Ann Arbor, I don’t think we can get Rep. Dingell to vote to close the SOA. He’s too entrenched and intransigent, and it’s not an issue that enough people care about. So, let’s pick a battle we can win. Maybe it’s no more trade agreements that hand out gimmies to big corporations and leave workers and the environment to suffer. Maybe it’s insisting on real human rights standards for Colombia.  Or maybe it’s getting more people involved in fair trade ventures and solidarity exchanges.

Let’s stop tilting at windmills. Let’s start building wind farms.



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