I thought this
was relevant to our recent discussion with Chris Sciabarra
on outreach to the Left (and, I would add, to the Right). Although I disagree strenuously with much of Howard Zinn's assessment of current problems, and probably most of his proposed solutions, the following is right on the mark:
What does it take to bring a turnaround in social consciousness...? We desperately want an answer, because we know that the future of the human race depends on a radical change in social consciousness.
It seems to me that we need not engage in some fancy psychological experiment to learn the answer, but rather to look at ourselves and to talk to our friends. We then see, though it is unsettling, that we were not born critical of existing society. There was a moment in our lives (or a month, or a year) when certain facts appeared before us, startled us, and then caused us to question beliefs that were strongly fixed in our consciousness--embedded there by years of family prejudices, orthodox schooling, imbibing of newspapers, radio, and television.
This would seem to lead to a simple conclusion: that we all have an enormous responsibility to bring to the attention of others information they do not have, which has the potential of causing them to rethink long-held ideas.