For the longest time, Americans were told that class did not exist because in America anyone could grow up to be president. While theoretically true, everyone understood that this was never to be taken literally. It simply meant that if you worked hard and made the right choices, you could maximize your potential. A person born poor could become rich is they had the talent for it.
This has been true, at least as far as economics. Many of our rich people started out as modest men. Through good fortune and tenacity, they made billions. Even today you can go far if you know how to work the system. Ibram X. Kendi has made himself very rich working the race hustle. Robin DiAngelo got rich in the same hustle. Even these sorts of mediocrities found riches by working the right angles.
This economic egalitarianism has fooled people into thinking the same rules apply to the management of society. America is a democracy where the people pick their leaders and guide public policy. The fact this is not true and never had been true is something with which Americans have always struggled, but good times made it is easy to conceal, because the system seemed to be working.
Things have not been working for a couple of years now. In fact, the sense that things are going wrong has probably been with us since the Bush years. While the economic numbers given to us by the government painted a rosy picture, people were starting to question things when the Iraq War went bad. The sense that things were heading in the wrong direction grew during the Obama years.
The election of Donald Trump was confirmation that a significant share of the voting public was worried about the direction of things. He was a blow against the Deep State that was secretly rigging things in favor of certain elites. The response from Washington seemed to confirm that shadowy actors are putting their thumbs on the scale, eighty million of them perhaps, to alter outcomes in their favor.
The concept of the Deep State is another form of escapism. Instead of questioning the system itself, blame goes to invisible players who corrupt the system. Even the most unhappy people want to believe the system can work. Those shadowy players use this to pit one group of Americans against another. “It is the Left!” for some, “It is white supremacy” for others.
A recent poll claimed that most people think the government is completely corrupt and barely half trust election results. On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of Americans say they are proud to be an American. In fact, well over half say they are very or extremely proud. The fact that the poll headline suggests the opposite of the results could explain the apparent conflict in these polls.
People are starting to figure out that they are ruled by aliens and they have no peaceful way to alter this reality. The two parties are just two sock puppets operated by the people who are in charge. In the fall, one sock puppet will “win” the election, but they will just do all the same things the other party was doing. It will be done in the name of bipartisanship, which is when you are supposed to clap.
This is where that gap between the two polls creates trouble. The various campaigns waged by the ruling class over the last few years were intended to destroy pride in being an American, especially among a certain group. Instead, it has evolved a sense that the people in charge are alien and hostile. They have corrupted the people’s system for their benefit at the expense of the people.
In other words, the managerial elite wanted people to become more docile and dependent on the people running things. In order for that to happen the people needed to lose trust in themselves as “Americans”, whatever that means, and increase their trust in the experts running the system. What those two polls suggest is the exact opposite of what the managerial elite needs to happen.
Things will get interesting in the coming months as inflation, recession and supply chain problems eat into the economic wellbeing of the public. Again, people can and will tolerate just about anything if they have a good economy. Juvenal mocked this about the Romans and many do the same about Americans, but this practicality is the thing that makes civilized life possible.
People get political when forced into it. Bad times force people to look around and update their judgement about society. Those drag queen story hours piss off politically inclined people in good times. In bad times, they infuriate everyone else. In good times, a president who struggles to remember his own name and soils himself in public makes for some good jokes. In bad times it stops being funny.
None of this is to suggest that there is a revolution brewing. Right now, inflation is tolerable and gas prices are worrisome for most people. Revolution is a process that starts with a tiny minority realizing that the system is beyond reform. If they are right, this awareness slowly grows among the politically inclined, changing their rhetoric and how they engage with the public at large.
This is what happened when the colonies revolted 250 years ago. A sense of separation between the rulers and the people crept in like the fog. Some people never lost their connection to the king. Others lost it at the first sign of trouble. Most were in the middle somewhere, eventually coming around to the fact that they no longer had a natural bond to the people who claimed to rule over them.
The first rebellion in the colonies was close to a century before the big rebellion that led to independence. In 1676, Nathaniel Bacon led an army of 1,000 Virginia colonists against the governor William Berkeley. They suspected the governor was in league with the Indian tribes, which made him reluctant to go after the tribes that were massacring settlers on the frontier. That should sound familiar.
The fact is, there were many revolts, rebellions and insurrections prior to the war for independence, all of which stemmed from the same problem. The people in charge were not safeguarding the interests of the people. Often, they ignored their duty for personal gain. In time, the general population was in revolt spiritually, if not physically taking up arms. The result was inevitable.
This is where we are in America. Every day, more people have that revolution in the mind where they realize that it is the system that created these loathsome creatures who inhabit positions of authority. The system was not captured by them. The solution is to throw the whole thing into the ocean and start fresh. Perhaps in time January 6th will be Culpepper’s Rebellion or the War of the Regulation.
The American revolution was not a singular event. It was the culmination of a process that began generations earlier. The same is true of all revolutions. The events that made this day possible happened over a long period of time. Present day America is somewhere on the timeline, maybe closer to the end than most realize, but still not quite at the revolting stage. Time will tell.
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