Toul On Library

Howard Zinn

Written on February 26, 2017   By   in Essays

Reading the chapter, ???The Coming Revolt of the Guards???, by Howard Zinn, I agree with his argument for the most part. Americans have given over their voice in the body of politics; leaving the decision making to the rich and privileged. The government is controlled by the privileged, the middle class, or the guardians should revolt with the lower class to create a more balanced world.
Zinn breaks down the system used in the United States and its flaws. His argument is extremely compelling in the beginning of the chapter. For instance, Howard states, ???we have learned to look to the stars, leaders, and experts in every field. Thus, surrendering our own strengths, demeaning our own ability, obliterating our own selves??? I strongly agree with this, in times of crisis we always look to others to save us, which weakens our ability to think for ourselves, do for ourselves and learn how to be one as a people. This gives the government more control over the population.
Additionally Howard states, ???one percent of the nation owns a third of the wealth. The rest is distributed in such a way as to turn those ninety nine percent against each other???. This includes relationships between intellectuals/uneducated, property owners/none owners and the good looking/ none attractive. Thus, making me wonder who controls the people really Without the 99% (the poor) there will not be a 1% ( rich). Therefore, the people control the wealth, we just have been so accommodated to sharing the left overs that we forget what we deserve. There is so much vehemence and violence in todays society which is, exactly what the government wants to keep the guards from uniting to take control of the wealth and politics.
As the chapter progress Zinn proves that the middle class is being deprived of its rights and is well controlled by the upper class, because of his evidence I can see the differences in wealth between the upper, lower, and middle classes. Moreover, age, social status and race are elements that separate the classes. I have lived in lower class neighborhoods and in an upper class neighborhood for a decent amount of time while living in Chicago. The middle class and lower classes have been isolated from the wealthy. The wealthy is separated by bridges and train tracks from the lower class. Zinn believes that ???The American system is the most ingenious system of control??? For years, the economy has divided the wealth and has allowed the rich to be isolated from the poor. These inequalities have negative effects; as a result, gangs, street violence, and crimes have risen steadily. This competition for jobs and economic stability has also affected the middle class now that the threat of unemployment has spread and violence has risen. All of these signs, a higher unemployment rate, more crimes, and isolated people point to a flawed capitalist system, as Zinn argues, and the middle class should revolt.
There is the immense power that capitalism has over the people. For example, if the middle class along with the lower class rebelled against capitalism, as Zinn predicts, what would stop the government or the rich from using their army, National Guard, or police force from killing the rebels Since most of the lower and middle classes are not armed, if they revolted they would most likely be oppressed. An example of this is in the 1960??™s and 1970??™s at universities like Kent State, where college students protesting the Vietnam War were shot to death. This had led me to believe that the ???guardians??? have the ability to revolt and the power to impose change in the system.
However I think it will be another repeat of what happened at Kent state years ago. Many of the guards are educated by the rich (the Establishment) and are unconsciously taught not to recognize the issues and concerns that they are faced with. So unfortunately the ???guardians??? may not recognize that they have a reason to revolt.

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