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Jan 22 / Elizabeth DiNovella

From The Archives: Is Exxon Worth Dying for?

We’re busying working on a special issue to celebrate The Progressive’s 100th anniversary.

I’m combing over the 1980s right now and found this gem, written for the July 1980 issue:

Is Exxon Worth Dying For?
Overcoming the energy crisis, President Carter once proclaimed, “is the moral equivalent of war.” His reference was to U.S. efforts to reduce consumption of imported oil, but recent developments in the Middle East have given a new twist to the statement: American leaders are no longer talking about the equivalent of war; they are talking about the possibility of war itself.
In his State of the Union address last January 24, Carter declared that any effort to block U.S. access to Persian Gulf oil would be considered “an assault on the vital interests of the United States,” and would accordingly “be repelled by use of any means necessary, including military force.” . . .[T]here is no doubt that America is gearing up to fight for control of foreign oil supplies. Washington is preparing, in other words, for energy wars.
—Michael T. Klare

It’s been inspiring and somewhat frustrating to see what The Progressive has covered since Fighting Bob La Follette started it back in 1909. We covered the need for universal health care—back in 1917; an article demanding an end to the corrupting influence of money in politics—dated 1909; article after article against the death penalty, starting with Leo Tolstoy in 1910.

I’ll post more from the archive in this coming year. We have a book coming out this spring from University of Wisconsin Press: Democracy in Print–The Best of The Progressive Magazine 1909-2009. And don’t miss our commemorative April 2009 issue.

But for now I leave you with my favorite quote from Fighting Bob: “The real cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy.”

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