"THE TWENTIETH CENTURY"
"A People's History",
"The Coming Revolt of the Guards",
by Howard Zinn, Ph.D.
(Author, Historian, Political Scientist,
Social Activist, and Professor Emeritus
at Boston University)
[Copyright © 1980, 1984 by Howard Zinn.
All rights are reserved.]
[Notes by me: I'm going to again break with my usual tradition of only posting my own writings to my blogs, and post the following chapter because it is so good! I think you'll find this chapter very enlightening!]
"....(H)istories of this country centered on the Founding Fathers and the Presidents weigh oppressively on the capacity of the ordinary citizen to act. They suggest that in times of crisis we must look to someone to save us: in the Revolutionary crisis, the Founding Fathers; in the slavery crisis, Lincoln; in the Depression, Roosevelt; in the Vietnam-Watergate crisis, Carter. And that between occasional crisis everything is all right, and it is sufficient for us to be restored to that normal state. They teach us that the supreme act of citizenship is to choose among saviors, by going into a voting booth every four years to choose between two white and well-off Anglo-Saxon males of inoffensive personality and orthodox opinions.
"The idea of saviors has been built into the entire culture, beyond politics. We have learned to look to stars, leaders, experts in every field, thus surrendering our own strength, demeaning our own ability, obliterating our own selves. But from time to time, Americans reject that idea and rebel.
"These rebellions, so far, have been contained. The American system is the most ingenious system of control in world history. With a country so rich in natural resources, talent, and labor power the system can afford to distribute just enough wealth to just enough people to limit discontent to a troublesome minority. It is a country so powerful, so big, so pleasing to so many of its citizens that it can afford to give freedom of dissent to the small number who are not pleased.
"There is no system of control with more openings, apertures, leeways, flexibilities, rewards for the chosen, winning tickets in lotteries. There is none that disperses its controls more complexly through the voting system, the work situation, the church, the family, the school, the mass media---none more successful in mollifying opposition with reforms, isolating people from one another, creating patriotic loyalty.
"One percent of the nation owns a third of the wealth. The rest of the wealth is distributed in such a way as to turn those in the 99 percent against one another: small property owners against the property-less, black against white, native-born against foreign-born, intellectuals and professionals against the uneducated and unskilled. These groups have resented one another and warred against one another with such vehemence and violence as to obscure their common position as sharers of leftovers in a very wealthy country.
"Against the reality of that desperate, bitter battle for resources made scarce by elite control, I am taking the liberty of uniting those 99 percent as "the people". I have been writing a history that attempts to represent their submerged, deflected, common interest. To emphasize the commonality of the 99 percent, to declare deep enmity of interest with the 1 percent, is to do exactly what the governments of the United States, and the wealthy elite allied to them---from the Founding Fathers to now---have tried their best to prevent. Madison feared a "majority faction" and hoped the new Constitution would control it. He and his colleagues began the Preamble to the Constitution with the words "We the people . . . ," pretending that the new government stood for everyone, and hoping that this myth, accepted as fact, would ensure "domestic tranquillity".
"The pretense continued over the generations, helped by all-embracing symbols, physical or verbal: the flag, patriotism, democracy, national interest, national defense, national security. The slogans were dug into the earth of American culture like a circle of covered wagons on the western plain, from inside of which the white, slightly privileged American could shoot to kill the enemy outside---Indians or blacks or foreigners or other whites too wretched to be allowed inside the circle. The managers of the caravan watched at a safe distance, and when the battle was over and the field strewn with dead on both sides, they would take over the land, and prepare another expedition, for another territory.
"The scheme never worked perfectly. The Revolution and the Constitution, trying to bring stability by containing the class angers of the colonial period---while enslaving blacks, annihilating or displacing Indians---did not quite succeed, judging by the tenant uprisings, the slave revolts, the abolitionist agitation, the feminist upsurge, the Indian guerrilla warfare of the pre-Civil War years. After the Civil War, a new coalition of southern and northern elites developed, with southern whites and blacks of the lower classes occupied in racial conflict, native workers and immigrant workers clashing in the North, and the farmers dispersed over a big country, while the system of capitalism consolidated itself in industry and government. But there came rebellion among industrial workers and a great opposition movement among farmers [at and after the turn of the century from the late eighteen hundreds into the nineteen hundreds].
"At the turn of the century, the violent pacification of blacks and Indians and the use of elections and war to absorb and divert white rebels were not enough, in the conditions of modern industry, to prevent the great upsurge of socialism, the massive labor struggles, before the First World War. Neither that war nor the partial prosperity of the twenties, nor the apparent destruction of the socialist movement, could prevent, in the situation of economic crisis, another radical awakening, another labor upsurge in the thirties.
"World War II created a new unity, followed by an apparently successful attempt, in the atmosphere of the cold war, to extinguish the strong radical temper of the war years. But then, surprisingly, came the surge of the sixties, from people thought long subdued or put out of sight---blacks, women, Native Americans, prisoners, soldiers---and a new radicalism, which threatened to spread widely in a population disillusioned by the Vietnam war and the politics of Watergate.
"The exile of Nixon, the celebration of the Bicentennial, the presidency of Carter, all aimed at restoration. But though the great tide of the sixties had receded, it left on the beach millions of moving organisms, pockets of energy, in an atmosphere calmed down, but electric with possibility.
"In this uncertain situation of the seventies, going into the eighties, it is very important for the Establishment---that uneasy club of business executives, generals, and politicos---to maintain the historic pretension of national unity, in which the government represents all the people, and the common enemy is overseas, not at home, where disasters of economics of war are unfortunate errors or tragic accidents, to be corrected by members of the same club that brought the disasters. It is important also to make sure this artificial unity of highly privileged and slightly privileged is the only unity---that the 99 percent remain split in countless ways, and turn against one another to vent their angers.
"How skillful to tax the middle class to pay for the relief of the poor, building resentment on top of humiliation! How adroit to bus poor black youngsters to poor white neighborhoods, in a violent exchange of impoverished schools, while the schools of the rich remain untouched and the wealth of the nation, doled out carefully where children need free milk, is drained for billion-dollar aircraft carriers. How ingenious to meet the demands of blacks and women for equality by giving them small special benefits, and setting them in competition with everyone else for jobs made scarce by an irrational, wasteful system. How wise to turn the fear and anger of the majority toward a class of criminals bred---by economic inequity---faster than they can be put away, deflecting attention from the huge thefts of national resources carried out within the law by men in executive offices.
"But with all the controls of power and punishment, enticements and concessions, diversions and decoys, operating throughout the history of the country, the Establishment has been unable to keep itself secure from revolt. Every time it looked as if it had succeeded, the very people it thought seduced or subdued, stirred and rose. Blacks, cajoled by Supreme Court decisions and congressional statutes, rebelled. Indians, thought dead, reappeared, defiant. Young people, despite lures of career and comfort, defected. Working people, thought soothed by reforms, regulated by law, kept within bounds by their own unions, went on strike. Government intellectuals, pledged to secrecy, began giving away secrets. Priests turned from piety to protest. Prisoners, isolated in cages, organized.
"To recall this is to remind people of what the Establishment would like them to forget---the enormous capacity of apparently helpless people to resist, of apparently contented people to demand change. To uncover such history is to find a powerful human impulse to assert one's humanity. It is to hold out, even in times of deep pessimism, the possibility of surprise.
"True, to overestimate class consciousness, to exaggerate rebellion and its successes, would be misleading. It would not account for the fact that the world---not just the United States, but everywhere else---is still in the hands of the elites, that people's movements, although they show an infinite capacity for recurrence, have so far been either defeated or absorbed or perverted, that "socialist" revolutionists have betrayed socialism, that nationalist revolutions have led to new dictatorships.
"But most histories understate revolt, overemphasize statesmanship, and thus encourage impotency among citizens. When we look closely at resistance movements, or even at isolated forms of rebellion, we discover that class consciousness, or any awareness of injustice, has multiple levels. It has many ways of expression, many ways of revealing itself---open, subtle, direct, distorted. In a system of intimidation and control, people do not show how much they know, how deeply they feel, until their practical sense informs them they can do so without being destroyed.
"History which keeps alive the memory of people's resistance suggests new definitions of power. By traditional definitions, whoever possesses military strength, wealth, command of official ideology, cultural control, has power. Measured by these standards, popular rebellion never looks strong enough to survive.
"However, the unexpected victories---even temporary ones---of insurgents show the vulnerability of the supposedly powerful. In a highly developed society, the Establishment cannot survive without the obedience and loyalty of millions of people who are given small rewards to keep the system going: the soldiers and police, teachers and ministers, administrators and social workers, technicians and production workers, garbagemen and firemen. These people---the employed, the somewhat privileged---are drawn into alliance with the elite. They become the guards of the system, buffers between the upper and lower classes. If they stop obeying, the system falls.
"That will happen, I think, only when all of us who are slightly privileged and slightly uneasy begin to see that we are like the guards in the prison uprising at Attica [New York]---expendable; that the Establishment, whatever rewards it gives us, will also, if necessary to maintain its control, kill us.
"Certain new facts may, in our time, emerge so clearly as to lead to general withdrawal of loyalty from the system. The new conditions of technology, economics, and war, in the atomic age, make it less and less possible for the guards of the system---the intellectuals, the home owners, the taxpayers, the skilled workers, the professionals, the servants of government---to remain immune from the violence (physical and psychic) inflicted on the black, the poor, the criminal, the enemy overseas.
"All of us have become hostages in the new conditions of doomsday technology, runaway economics, global poisoning, uncontainable war. The atomic weapons, the invisible radiations, the economic anarchy, do not distinguish prisoners from guards, and those in charge will not be scrupulous in making destinctions. There is the unforgettable response of the U.S. high command to the news that American prisoners of war might be near Nagasaki: "Targets previously assigned for Centerboard remain unchanged." [Intentionally dropping the atomic bomb on our own men as well as hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in Japan!]
"There is evidence of growing dissatisfaction among the guards. It had been shown in the early 1960s (Murray Levin, The Alienated Voter) that the poor and ignored were the nonvoters, alienated from a political system they felt didn't care about them, and about which they could do little. In the mid-seventies, another study (Donald Warren, The Radical Center) found that alienation had spread upward into families above the poverty line [above about $900.00 per month right now]. These are white workers, neither rich nor poor, but angry over economic insecurity, unhappy with their work, worried about their neighborhoods, hostile to government---combining elements of racism with elements of class consciousness, contempt for the lower classes along with distrust for the elite, and thus open to solutions from any direction, right or left.
"In the twenties, there was a similar estrangement in the middle classes, which could have gone in various directions---the Ku Klux Klan had millions of members at that time---but the work of an organized left wing mobilized a huge amount of this feeling into trade unions, farmers' unions, socialist movements. We may, in the next decade [or, as it has turned out, two decades], be in a race for the mobilization of middle-class discontent. [We can hope so, and seek after same, anyway!]
"The fact of that discontent is clear. When the surveys of the early seventies showed 70 percent and 80 percent of Americans distrustful of government, business, the military, it meant that this feeling went beyond blacks, the poor, the radicals. It had spread among skilled workers, white-collar workers, professionals; for the first time in the nation's history, perhaps, both the lower classes and the middle classes, the prisoners and the guards, were disillusioned with the system.
"There are other signs: the high rate of alcoholism, the high rate of divorce (from one of three marriages ending in divorce, the figure was climbing to one of two), of drug use and abuse, of nervous breakdowns and mental illness. Millions of people have been looking desperately for solutions to their sense of impotency, their loneliness, their frustration, their estrangement from other people, from the world, from their work, from themselves. They have been adopting new religions, joining self-help groups of all kinds. It is as if a whole nation were going through a critical point in its middle age, a life crisis of self-doubt, self-examination.
"All this, at a time when the middle class is increasingly insecure economically. The system, in its rationality, has been driven by profit to build steel skyscrapers for insurance companies while the cities decay, to spend billions for weapons of destruction and virtually nothing for children's playgrounds, to give huge incomes to men who make dangerous or useless things, and very little to artists, musicians, writers, actors. Capitalism has always been a failure for the lower classes. It is now beginning to fail for the middle classes.
"The threat of unemployment, always inside the homes of the poor, has spread to white-collar workers, professionals. A college education is no longer a guarantee against joblessness, and a system that cannot offer a future to the young coming out of school is in deep trouble. If it happens only to the children of the poor, the problem is manageable; there are the jails. If it happens to the children of the middle class, things may get out of hand. [And they have, as shown by more and more fired workers "going postal" and killing their bosses and others.]
"The poor are accustomed to being squeezed and always short of money, but in recent years the middle classes, too, have begun to feel the press of high prices, high taxes. In the mid-seventies, the property of the average homeowner in Boston was assessed at about 32 percent of its value, while downtown, the National Shawmut Bank of Boston was assessed at 6.9 percent of its value, the First National Bank Building at 8.7 percent. A new group called Fair Share was calling attention to this. A new publication called Dollars and Sense was printing the figures. Would taxpayers, whose anger had always been shunted onto welfare recipients, begin to see that their incomes were being dismembered to subsidize welfare for the rich?
"In the sixties and seventies, there was a dramatic, frightening increase in the number of crimes. It was not hard to understand, when one walked through any big city. There were the contrasts of wealth and poverty, the culture of possession, the frantic advertising. There was the fierce economic competition, in which the legal violence of the state, and the legal robbery of the corporation, led to the illegal crimes of the poor. Most crimes by far involved theft. In the year 1978, 50 percent of prisoners in American jails were black, 31 percent had been unemployed in the month prior to their arrest, 60 percent had earned less than $6,000 in the year prior to their arrest.
"The most common and publicized crimes have been the violent crimes of the young, the poor---a virtual terrorization in the big cities---in which the desperate or drug-addicted attack and rob the middle class, or even their fellow poor. A society so stratified by wealth and education lends itself naturally to envy and class anger.
"The critical question in our time is whether the middle classes, so long led to believe that the solution for such crimes is more jails and more jail terms, may begin to see, by the sheer uncontrollability of crime, that the only prospect is an endless cycle of crime and punishment. They might then conclude that physical security for a working person in the city can come only when everyone in the city is working. And that would require a transformation of national priorities, a change in the system.
"In the seventies, the fear of criminal assault was joined by an even greater fear. Deaths from cancer began to multiply, and medical researchers seemed helpless to find the cause. It began to be evident that more and more of these deaths were coming from the environment poisoned by military experimentation and industrial greed. The water people drank, the air they breathed, the particles of dust from the buildings in which they worked, had been quietly contaminated over the years by a system so frantic for growth and profit that the safety and health of human beings had been ignored. [And, to a great extent, still are being ignored; because the workers are expendable as long as they, for the time they are able to, increase profits.]
"A woman in the town of Globe, Arizona, stepped outside her bedroom door one morning in the summer of 1969 and was covered with spray mist from a Forest Service helicopter spraying pesticides in a nearby national forest. She began to investigate, found plants and fruit trees dying nearby, and organized local people in a mock funeral procession carrying the dead plants to the forest supervisor's office. Later she wrote a book called Sue the Bastards! But there were limits to what lawsuits could do, what books could do, to poison sprays. In early 1977 she died of cancer, and doctors found herbicides in her body tissue.
"The problem of pesticides in the air, of asbestos in buildings, of lead paint on walls, of plutonium in the earth, of industrial wastes in drinking water, is a problem beyond class, race, sex. It could unite people of all classes and groups in fury against those few in the Establishment who, in their demonic pursuit of more weapons, more profits, keep insisting (like the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, like the tobacco companies, like Hoover in 1932 and Lyndon Johnson in the Vietnam war) that everything is all right.
"Technology was running wild, and one of its effects, more subtle than radiation poisoning, was fearsome in its own way: there was a growing dependence on computers to replace human thought. An M.I.T. pioneer in computer building, Joseph Weizenbaum, sound the alarm against the perversion of his own field, in his book Computer Power and Human Reason. People were attributing too much wisdom, he said, to science, whose knowledge is not certain. They were giving frightening power to machines, replacing human judgment. The deification of computers was a rejection of direct experience, a replacement of human sensitivity by mechanical devices. What Weizenbaum described has effects on the whole human race, not just one social group. People of all kinds, seeing this, might join to reassert the importance of the living being.
"This scary technology, and more, has been adopted by the military. Modern war now means not only the indiscriminate killing of "the enemy"---civilians as well as soldiers, as in World War II, Korea, Vietnam---but the use of weapons that kill friend and foe alike. A tiny group of military planners can launch attacks that will destroy not only "enemy" populations but their own. The people of the United States, the people of the Soviet Union, indeed the population of the world, are at the mercy of a few leaders of the superpowers, who may decide, for their own reasons of strategy, power, or pride, to start the chain of nuclear detonations---or may start it without even deciding.
"Small experiences of the recent past suggest larger horrors for the future. In 1976, a book named Friendly Fire (by C.D.B. Bryan) told of a U.S. infantryman in Vietnam who was reported to have died on a "noncombat" mission. His parents, grief-stricken and puzzled, investigated. They found the government uncooperative, cold, anxious to minimize and obscure what had happened. What had happened was that their son was killed by "friendly fire," a misdirected artillery shell. The parents turned from quiet residents of Black Hawk County, Iowa, to angry, active opponents of the Vietnam war. The war that was supposed to kill "the enemy" had killed their son. In another war, we may all be killed by "friendly fire." [Or by the retaliatory nukes of those "enemies" the U.S. government has been oppressing and provoking for over half a century, and are now further angering by what "we" are presently doing in killing millions of their people.]
"During the military operations in Vietnam, 20,000 tons of herbicides were dropped by U.S. planes on 5 million acres of the Vietnamese countryside, destroying trees and crops. Among Vietnamese mothers in those areas, birth defects developed in unusual numbers. In 1978 a woman named Claude de Victor, working for the Veterans Administration hospital in Chicago, began to see a pattern of disease and death among former helicopter pilots [in Vietnam]. Some told of birth defects in babies born to their wives. When she reported this, she was transferred to another job. But shortly after that, a one-paragraph item from Washington appeared on an inside page of the Boston Globe:
"The Veterans Administration warned its offices across the country yesterday to watch for after-effects among veterans of the Vietnam defoliant "Agent Orange," which some researchers suspect of possible links with cancer or genetic defects. Thousands of veterans were exposed to Orange, the most effective and heavily used of various defoliation compounds of which more than 100 million pounds were sprayed over one-seventh of South Vietnam's [Laos and Cambodia’s] land area between 1962 and 1971." [And now the United States government is allowing, if not outright seeking, the alteration of our very genetic structure, with genetically engineered foods, drugs and so-called vaccines, not to mention the many other chemicals being released into the environment to alter the weather, etcetera, changing the very building blocks of humanity without knowing what most of the probably horrendous side-effects are going to be on mankind as a whole, not just those immediately affected, health-wise, in a very adverse fashion! In fact, "our" government has been altering us genetically for at least the last 50 years; and we are now seeing many more "mysterious" illnesses cropping up in larger and larger segments of the population---I should know; as I am suffering from one or more of them---and many experts are clearly stating and proving that it is a program of genocide and population control; so it is very true that we are all expendable to "our" government!]
"Perhaps much of the general distrust of government reported in recent years comes from a growing recognition of the truth of what the U.S. Air Force bombardier Yossarian said in the novel Catch-22 to a friend who had just accused him of giving aid and comfort to enemy: "The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on. And don't you forget that, because the longer you remember it the longer you might live." The next line is the novel is: "But Clevinger did forget, and now he is dead."
"In the late seventies, the American system seemed out of control---a runaway capitalism, a runaway technology, runaway militarism, a runaway of government from the people it claimed to represent. Crime was out of control, cancer was out of control. Auto accidents, the decay of cities, and the breakup of families were out of control. The nuclear arms race was out of control. And people seemed to sense all this. [But now all of these things are out of control even more than they ever were; but the 99 percent are being fooled into believing that they've all gotten better! If people are locked up or dead, and if the mainstream media are allowed as they are to not report how out of control a lot of the problems are, as well as to misreport the extent(s) of the problem(s), it's much easier to make it appear that things are supposedly better than they really are, and to get the majority of people who are burying their heads in the sand to believe that things are better than really are---though this does not in any way suggest that we are better off burying our heads in the sand! As one of the X-Files mottoes so rightly says, "The truth is out there"!]
"Let us imagine the prospect---for the first time in this nation's history---of a population united for fundamental change. Would the elite turn as so often before, to its ultimate weapon---foreign intervention---to unite the people with the Establishment, in war? Here, too, the situation may be different today. The defeat of the colossal U.S. military machine in Vietnam was a turning point; the American Empire may have reached its limits, and must now retreat, recognizing that human beings abroad, if determined enough to rebel against harsh regimes, cannot be defeated even with the most terrible of weapons. Ordinary weapons may be not enough---and nuclear weapons too much---to deal with popular revolutions. And Americans may no longer go along with military intervention. [Unless of course the United States government creates a climate of majority-support through stirring up false-patriotism, and a fervor for obtaining revenge, as they are very successfully doing right now!]
"In the late seventies, there was growing evidence of U.S. impotence in the world arena. It could not stop, in 1979, a popular revolution in Iran, where in the past the CIA had its way. And in the same year in Nicaragua, the very dynasty installed by U.S. Marines before World War II was toppled by a revolutionary army, and the U.S. government seemed unable to prevent this.
"With the Establishment's inability either to solve severe economic problems at home or to manufacture abroad a safety valve for domestic discontent, Americans might be ready to demand not just more tinkering, more reform laws, another reshuffling of the same deck, another New Deal, but radical change. Let us be utopian for a moment so that when we get realistic again it is not that "realism" so useful to the Establishment in its discouragement of action, that "realism" anchored to a certain kind of history empty of surprise. Let us imagine what radical change would require of us all.
"The society's levers of powers would be taken away from those whose drives have led to the present state---the giant corporations, the military, and their political collaborators. We would need---by a coordinated effort of local groups all over the country---to reconstruct the economy for both efficiency and [true] justice, producing in a cooperative way what people need most. We would start on our neighborhoods, our cities, our workplaces. Work of some kind would be needed by everyone, including people now kept out of the work force---children, old people, "handicapped" people. Society could use the enormous energy now idle, the skills and talents now unused. Everyone could share the routine but necessary jobs for a few hours a day, and leave most of the time free for enjoyment, creativity, labors of love, and yet produce enough for an equal and ample distribution of goods. Certain basic things would be abundant enough to be taken out of the money system and be available---free--- to everyone: food, housing, health care, education, transportation.
"The great problem would be to work out a way of accomplishing this without a centralized bureaucracy, using not the incentives of prison and punishment, but those incentives of cooperation which spring from natural human desires, which in the past have been used by the state in times of war, but also by social movements that gave hints of how people might behave in different conditions. Decisions would be made by small groups of people in their workplaces, their neighborhoods---a network of cooperatives, in communication with one another, a neighborly socialism avoiding the class hierarchies of capitalism and the harsh dictatorships that have taken the name "socialist."
"People with time, in friendly communities, might create a new, diversified, nonviolent culture, in which all forms of personal and group expression would be possible. Men and women, black and white, old and young, could then cherish their differences as positive attributes, not as reasons for domination. New values of cooperation and freedom might then show up in the relations of people, the upbringing of children.
"To do all that, in the complex conditions of control in the United States, would require combining the energy of all previous movements in American history---of labor insurgents, black rebels, Native Americans, women, young people---along with the new energy of an angry middle class. People would need to begin to transform their immediate environments---the workplace, the family, the school, the community---by a series of struggles against absentee authority, to give control of these places to the people who live and work there.
"These struggles would involve all the tactics used at various times in the past by people's movements: demonstrations, marches, civil disobedience; strikes and boycotts and general strikes; direct action to redistribute wealth, to reconstruct institutions, to revamp relationships; creating---in music, literature, drama, all the arts, and all the areas of work and play in everyday life---a new culture of sharing, of respect, a new joy in the collaboration of people to help themselves and one another.
"There would be many defeats. But when such a movement took hold in hundreds of thousands of places all over the country it would be impossible to suppress, because the very guards the system depends on to crush such a movement would be among the rebels. It would be a kind of revolution, the only kind that could happen, I believe, in a country like the United States. It would be a process over time, starting without delay, there would be the immediate satisfactions that people have always found in the affectionate ties of groups striving together for a common goal.
"All this takes us far from American history, into the realm of imagination. But not totally removed from history. There are at least glimpses in the past of such a possibility. In the sixties and seventies, for the first time, the Establishment failed to produce national unity and patriotic fervor in a war. There was a flood of cultural changes such as the country had never seen---in sex, family, personal relations---exactly those situations most difficult to control form the ordinary centers of power. And never before was there such a general withdrawal of confidence from so many elements of the political and economic system. In every period of history, people have found ways to help one another---even in the midst of a culture of competition and violence---if only for brief periods, to find joy in work, struggle, companionship, nature [and, not least, nature's Creator, God].
"The prospect is for times of turmoil, struggle, but also inspiration. There is a chance that such a movement could succeed in doing what the system itself has never done---bring about great change with little violence. This is possible because the more of the 99 percent that begin to see themselves as sharing needs, the more the guards and the prisoners see their common interest, the more the Establishment becomes isolated, ineffectual. The elite's weapons, money, control of information would be useless in the face of a determined population. The servants of the system would refuse to work to continue the old, deadly order, and would begin using their time, their space---the very things given them by the system to keep them quiet---to dismantle that system while creating a new one.
"The prisoners of the system will continue to rebel, as before, in ways that cannot be foreseen, at times that cannot be predicted. The new fact of our era is the chance that they may be joined by the guards. We readers and writers of books have been, for the most part, among the guards. If we understand that, and act on it, not only will life be more satisfying, right off, but our grandchildren, or our great grandchildren, might possibly see a different and marvelous world[!]" [Text between brackets ("[ ]") added by me.]
[Additional notes by me: Can you now see how the Establishment had to have this new "War Against Terrorism" to bring the 99 percent into apparent unity, and to try to keep them from rising up against the elitist 1 percent? The former know the latter will take such action if they don't stir up a major military conflict every ten years or so; and no doubt the U.S. government thinks they will succeed in "hoodwinking" the majority of the 99 percent; but we must get messages like the foregoing out to them so they will be more likely to wake and rise up, and take concerted action(s) against any and all such controls of the 1 percent, to bring about True Peace and Prosperity for the majority-class, not only for the minority-class as has hitherto, and much too long, been the case.
The 1 percent minority-class felt they had to bring about this even more serious world-wide conflict in order to stave off the rebellion of the majority-class that they saw coming, they had to have a lot of innocent Americans die in the attacks, and they had to have a serious attack on symbols of "America" like the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon, in order to stem the tide of American dissatisfaction with the government and get the support for the war that they got, just as they got in support of World War II after they allowed the attack on, and the many deaths at, Pearl Harbor, another very large symbol of America. But we must not be fooled and let the 1 percent keep us from seeking and finally obtaining true justice for the 99 percent the world-over; and step one is to stop the present wholesale terrorizing and slaughter of a great many innocent people the world-over by the U.S. government, in the process of killing the alleged guilty people responsible for the attack(s) on the United States and other acts of international terrorism to cover "our" own!
Don't forget that the U.S. government itself is an international terrorist state that has been murdering millions of innocent people worldwide for over 100 years; and that it is a giant hypocrisy for terrorists to kill terrorists, especially when they claim one form of terrorism is supposedly justified and the other is not! There is NO justification for terrorism of ANY kind, particularly for the so-called "greatest democracy on Earth" to commit terrorism as it does; and we must not continue to allow it to go on without raising our voices and concerted efforts against it! As Howard Zinn showed above, We The People have a great deal of power to bring about a complete end to it NOW!]