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did. What I have most hoped for was that this place where enlightened people can say what they want to would not die before or with me, but would become a permanent place for radical freedom that will outlive us all, and go on, in its own future times and its own future ways, long after we’re all dead. That is now your burden. To Geoff, the new publisher-controller of the Observer, subject to his board, I say: Stay close to your editors, beside them, with them. Be a part of the editorial staff. In making my deal with the editorstotal editorial control for the editorsthereby passing on the privilege I had felt I had to extract from the foundersI forgot how close Frankie and I had been. We trusted each other, we got drunk together, she insulted me, I quit, she apologizedwe were with each other I stood my ground, but so by damn did she. That’s what made it really go. Don’t be bound, Geoff, by the way I did anything. Start fresh, do it your own way, free of the accidents and necessities and limitations of how we evolved. This morning I took down, from Franklin Jones in Marshall and Mark Adams in Seattle, the only two surviving founders except for Jimmy Strong up here with us, their advice to the new group. Mark Adams says to you: “The Observer idea has gone through many reincarnations and you’re taking over at a time of world crisis when the job is difficult. “I want to remind you that Athens and Rome both started, as Republics, and eventually the Republics were dead, and that we are at a time of crisis for democracy itself. “What we call democracy is so hemmed in by the multinationals that you may be witnesses to the death of democracy itself. “The Observer of course can only be like a mosquito attacking a giant. However, there is a hope that a mosquito can plant a germ of truth, acting like a malaria germ, that can bring the giant down. “I apologize to you, on behalf of my generation, because the crisis you face is greater than any that has ever occurred before.” Franklin says to you from Marshall today: “A parent is not often called on to tell a 40-year-old child what he should do for the next 40 years. However, if comment I must, my comment would be, ‘Stay the course,’ retain the complete independence in editing and printing the issue. This does not mean that the printer may alter the copy before you go to press. Let your independence extend outward from the editorial staff alone. “As to the outlook of the editor, I once did a will for a lady who was asked by her architect how much she wanted to spend on her house. The lady replied, ‘Cut your dogs loose.’ This should be the rule that gives the scope of comment allowed the editor. “Now for a general principle. When I was a young man, I read a couplet the source of which is forgotten. However, I have tried to abide by its advice: Do what thy manhood bids thee do. From none but self expect applause. He noblest lives and noblest dies Who makes and keeps his self-made laws. “That code will earn you some body blows. and black eyes. But, then, you will lay many an opponent in his own gore!” Who are you? How do you think of yourselves? I think of the Observer communityto the exclusion of no one, we always welcome anyone who joins usI think of the Observer community as people who, idealists without either innocence or illusions about themselves or others, are determined to lead socially ethical livesare determined, no matter who sneers, to seek the good. To you, the ethics-seeking, progressive people of Texas, the supporters of the new Observer, I say, Keep the faith. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t give up. We’ve lost, but the battle for social justice is beginning BY LAWRENCE GOODWYN RONNIE DUGGER and his creation, the Texas Observer, have participated in the American experience in a uniquely engaged manner. But in order to muse briefly on that engagement, I want first to digress for a few paragraphs to say something about the American experience itself. As we all know, our national past, besides being a treasure trove of triumph and suffering, is a garden that has been cultivated by producers of two distinct literatures that Americans offer the world. The first is that painstaking academic product which we know as the literature of American history. It tells the story of a society that, while not perfect by any means, is one that works well. Though frequently throbbing along in dull scholarly monotones, it is a story that the overwhelming majority of the young are made to learnin fifth-grade civics, in eighth-grade history, in high school and, for the survivors, in college survey courses. The cultural impact, silent and untalked about as it is, is nevertheless enormous and the implied lesson is deeply internalized: In such a favored land, if you do not do well in your life, it must be your fault. It may be observed that this dynamic Remarks prepared for delivery at the Observer’s October 15 banquet. again, in new forms, in Texas, all over the country, in the past-burdened future-dreaming world. Help the new Observer, help these people be free and bold and right, help them help us all succeed. As a figure in a play by Tennessee Williams says “Make voyages !Attempt them ! There’ s nothing else….” Editor’s Note: Readers interested in the three new organizations Dugger mentioned in his talk may wish to know that the New Party, Daniel Cantor, national staff, is located at 227 W. 40th St., Suite 1303, New York NY 10018, 212-302-5053, fax 212302-5344; the Center on Voting and Democracy, Rob Richie, national director, is at 6905 Fifth St. NW Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20012, 202-882-7378; and the Center for a New Democracy’s field director, Craig McDonald, is at 1800 Rio Grande, Austin TX 78701, 512-472-9770, fax 512-479-8302, and its national office is at 410 Seventh St. SE, Washington, D.C. 20003, 202-543-0773, fax 202-543-2591, Donna F. Edwards, executive director. helps to generate a great deal of anxiety in American life. It also generates a great deal of frenetic activity and, sometimes, genuine vitality. The other literature that we produce, also grounded in the American experience, is generated not by our scholars but by our novelists. Like its companion, it is a saga of immense human striving, a tale suffused with energy. Here, in the 19th century, is Captain Ahab, driving himself and all others in obsessive pursuit of that great white whale, and here, too, is Thomas Sutpen, driving black men and himself to carve a grand plantation out of a Mississippi wilderness; and in the 20th century, here is Gatsby and Elmer Gantry and Daddy Varner, in the heartland, on the West Coast, in the Deep South, all driving, driving … a carnival of energy. AT THIS JUNCTURE, the two literatures, though equally grounded in the American past, separate forever in their rendition of the national experience. In this second literature, America is not a society that works, not a place whose occupants are somehow exonerated from the vicissitudes otherwise afflicting the human condition, but rather a land which, like other lands, supports life lived on the brink of Brave Army of Heretics THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9