[Pursuit of Happiness: Molly Rush and John Schuchardt 5]

An interview with activists Molly Rush and John Schuchardt about their civil disobedience for the documentary The Pursuit of Happiness, directed by Julie Gustafson and John Reilly.

00:00Copy video clip URL Rush discusses the phrase “pursuit of happiness” and its original meaning as used by Jefferson, focusing on the functioning of the community. 

 02:00Copy video clip URL The substitution of “pursuit of happiness” for the “pursuit of property,” as it had been used in English law. Who was left out of the rights guaranteed in the constitution and the ideals implicit in guaranteeing the pursuit of “happiness” instead of “property.”

04:10Copy video clip URL Jefferson’s vision of America as “the city on the hill.” Schuchardt relates Jeffersonian ideals to his own civil disobedience. The stakes of the nuclear era, in which “collective death, the death of future generations” is a very real possibility. 

07:16Copy video clip URL Relating official discourse about nuclear armaments to a history of official injustice and violence in America, beginning with the government breaking treaties with native communities. The history of resistance, from pre-revolutionary times to the current day. The secrecy and lack of true public representation regarding nuclear weaponry. 

10:00Copy video clip URL Rush likens the government’s buildup of nuclear weapons to the German support of the Holocaust. 

10:51Copy video clip URL The impact and importance of their protests. Rush is hopeful but not optimistic. Schuchardt points out that their actions could not have been undertaken without hope. 

14:05Copy video clip URL Not all their friends and family are wholly supportive of their actions, but Schuchardt observes that almost everyone is at least somewhat skeptical of nuclear armament. 

15:24Copy video clip URL Rush discusses the strain of her activism on her marriage. 

16:28Copy video clip URL Schuchardt’s emotional response to being in prison. For him and his fellow activists, it has affirmed their beliefs. 

18:36Copy video clip URL Anger as the proper response to injustice. The need for nonviolent forms of resistance as a means of channeling anger. “One who faces the bomb and isn’t angry is in a deep state of psychological, spiritual passivity, even death.” 

19:52Copy video clip URL Anger at the injustice of imprisonment. 



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