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  • Writer's pictureJonneke Koomen

Farrell Dobbs on the Minneapolis Uprising of 1934

Cover of the newspaper The Organizer, dated July 17 1934. The headline reads: The Strike is On! Image provided by the Minnesota Historical Society via

"Now the road ahead in that struggle is going to be strewn with obstacles, and there are going to be many pitfalls. There's no roadmap, no way you can find some kind of a detailed handbook that's going to tell you what to do at each juncture. Our task is to chart a revolutionary course … and to hammer out the tactics in that direction as we go along. There's no timetable. Nobody can say how long it's going to take or when it's going to happen. But ... Don't adopt the criterion that the revolutionary change must happen in your time. Don't take as a guide to your personal life that narrow, provincial, self-centered notion that if it doesn't happen during the time of your own subjective existence on this planet, it's not important. Always remember that history is magnificently indifferent to the problems of the individual. History doesn't care whether you die at six or live to be seven hundred years old, if that were possible, or what happens during your particular life time. As Goethe* once said, "History marches like a drunken beggar on horseback." Don't make it a condition that the … revolution must come in your lifetime. Be not only a citizen of the planet; be a citizen of time. Recognize that what is fundamental is to be in rapport with the human race from the dawn of history on to the heights that we can only vaguely begin to dream of. And what's the alternative? The alternative is to make a compromise with this rotten capitalist system. … Maintain your place in the front ranks of the revolutionary fighters, and stand in that place for the duration. There is no other way in which you can find so rich, so rewarding, so fruitful, and so purposeful a life."

From Teamster Rebellion 1972

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