Ted Rall wants America to wake up. But he understands us well enough, being an American himself, that he knows we probably won’t.


The leftist editorialist and political cartoonist has now authored an appeal to the American people — aptly titled “The Anti-American Manifesto” — of which, he hopes against his better judgment, his fellow countrymen will promptly take heed.


America as we know it, Rall explains, is doomed to failure. “We’ve been taught since we were kids that America is exceptional and different ... that the United States government is destined to go on forever and ever,” he says. “Of course, every government tells their children that. But somehow we believe it.”


The way Rall sees it, the nation’s wealthiest citizens have bought and paid for all politicians on both sides of the aisle, effectively stifling any hope of enacting meaningful change via the political arena. American democracy, he argues, is completely — and fatally — beholden to the self-interested whims of the country’s rich oligarchs. The only possible solution, he says, is a commitment to violent revolution.


“Like all sane people,” Rall explains, “I’m opposed to violence. But violence is a necessary tool in the arsenal of the revolutionary. No revolution, no meaningful social change, has ever taken place without violence — or the willingness to use it. The rich and the powerful do not give up wealth or power voluntarily.”


Ted Rall
Oct. 25, 7 p.m.
Back Pages Books
289 Moody St.