The Houston Democracy Project has been reading I Have No Enemies: The Life and Legacy of Liu Xiaobo.
Liu Xiaobo was a Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner who died in a Chinese prison in 2017.
He would say "I have no enemies."
Here is what he wrote in the tense situation leading up to the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989:
"Chinese democracy must be grounded in ridding ourselves of the 'enemy mentality." In a functioning democracy, there are no enemies; there is only political balance among different interest groups in a democratic system. It is better that ten devils be working within a system of checks and balances than that one angel be ruling with unchecked power. To struggle for democracy means to forbid hatred from poisoning one's wisdom."
I think sometimes about my anger at the Republicans and people on the right who work to take our freedom and who waste the days of our lives with hateful and selfish acts. I could make peace with them if they would step back from hate and election-denial. I don't think they will. Or will anytime soon at least. But we have to keep pushing either out of hope for a better day or for self-protection.
I Have No Enemies explores many political ideas and concepts & details the life of a brave and thoughtful person.
Ideas matter a lot. We must think things out to be effective political actors and to make good use of the talents and abilities we all have.
The Houston Democracy Project has also recommended Let The Record Show: A Political History of Act Up New York, 1987-1993. This book is an account of successful activistm in very difficult circumstances and about the acceptance of grim realities as an essential part of that activism.
The Houston Democracy Project works daily to make democracy a top issue in 2023 Houston politics and to inspire, organize and strengthen pro-democracy coalitions in Houston and Harris County.
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I'm Neil Aquino