Zinn’s chapter “The Coming Revolt of the Guards” brought what he’s been saying throughout the book together in one cohesive chapter. He focuses on the commonality of the 99% of the population; the people in the middle and lower classes. Zinn writes, “…the Establishment cannot survive without the obedience and loyalty of millions of people who are given small rewards to keep the system going…they become the guards of the system, buffers between the upper and lower classes. If they stop obeying the system falls” (635). He states that the middle class is the buffer between the upper and lower classes, however if the middle class revolts and refuses to do these things just for the benefit of the upper, they can redefine the system and take some power away from the upper class. I think Zinn did a really good job of explaining the importance of the middle class and the clear discontent of the majority of people with the system in this chapter.
I enjoyed the prisoner and guard analogy Zinn used, for the lower and middle classes. I feel like this idea that the middle class is bridge between all the classes is often considered, however no one has called them the “guards”. I think another important point that he makes is that in times of crisis we often look to someone else to save us. This savior ideology only worsens our condition and Zinn explains some of the detrimental effects this really has. Overall, I enjoy how Zinn focuses on the other half of history, the history that many textbooks don’t talk about. This chapter specifically talks about the 99%, the common people and the power they have through unity over the other 1%. History should be respectful of resistance, and Zinn continues to reiterate this message through his book.
Also, in regards to the film, I do not have much to say. I really did not enjoy it, as I had a difficult time figuring out what I was supposed to take away from it. I found the horse people particularly disturbing and would not recommend the movie to a friend.