This photo says 1000 words.
So if the United States is not a democracy, what is it? It’s certainly not a “republic” anymore. Perhaps the best term would be “an oligarchy with the consent of the people.” Many Americans love their ruling class, which they hope that their kids will join some day. Democracy takes work. It takes time and effort. Just sitting back and letting the rich run everything is a lot easier.
But here’s the rub. The United States is an oligarchy with the consent of the people, but not all the people. There’s a continuum, the “privileged,” white upper middle class on the far right, poor blacks and poor immigrants on the far left. I wouldn’t give any exact numbers, but I’d guess that maybe 25% of population wants the status quo to continue (albeit with a President who’s a bit less of an obvious authoritarian goon), maybe 25% want radical change, and maybe 50% couldn’t care less either way.
Currently there’s a battle for the hearts and minds of the uncommitted 50%. But make no mistake. While the privileged, upper-middle-class would rather see the status quo upheld by propaganda — keep us all so busy keeping up with the Kardashians that we fail to notice who’s actually running the great reality show that is the USA USA USA — than with brute force, they will absolutely use brute force if they need to. They’ll sign the checks for all the private death squads necessary to keep the radical 25% beaten down and the indifferent 50% zoning out on reality TV. They’ll pile our bodies so high we’ll take the title back from Dubai for the tallest skyscraper in the world.
That’s precisely why the image of Blackwater mercenaries on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial is a sign of weakness, not strength. The American ruling class, and their upper-middle-class bootlickers, can no longer relay on propaganda to keep the rest of us in line. They’ve decided to show us that they mean business, that they’ll kill all of us if that’s what it takes to preserve their stock portfolios and their children’s trust funds. That, in and of itself, is a form of propaganda. This photo is meant to terrify us. It shouldn’t. We should be celebrating how we’ve made them all come out of the closet and reveal themselves as the fascists they really are.