In this chapter of Zinn, I was left with a pretty negative feeling about our history. Zinn describes the horrors of our history that he has highlighted throughout the book. He mentions the divide in the country between all peoples. He says “one percent of the nation owns a third of the wealth” (623). This staggering data is not only shocking but saddening. Thinking about how this one percent of the US population has run the country for so long, controlling every narrative and painting a picture of the US, when that is not the reality is disturbing. Zinn also mentions how the elites’ attempt to create a perfect America has never worked, as we see through every event in history when there has always been a group of people greatly suppressed. The better part of the US is how there has never been a time when The Establishment has been able to stop people from revolting, and voicing their protests. So much of our history is occupied by some kind of rebellion, which I believe is crucial to our advancement and continued effort in more equality. The government and the top elites hold so much power, but we’ve seen through history that their methods don’t always work and the other 99 percent also need to keep trying to rebel when necessary.
Zinn’s description of how to create a kind of America opposite from our history, a perfect world, a utopia of sorts, seems nearly impossible with the way we have seen history play out. Creating a society in which all had equal power, without a centralized bureaucracy, and nonviolent culture seems like something to never happen. While this is certainly an ideal, it may take a very long time for a world like that to be created. But, it would be interesting to see how many people would actually want a world like that. The top one percent may want to stay the most powerful, at the expense of others. I think it’s important to keep trying to unify the country more, although it’s something that could take a long time and may still not be perfect.