In “The Coming Revolt of the Guards” Zinn talks about how the elite oppress the ordinary people. Writing, “All those histories of this country centered on the Founding Fathers and the Presidents weigh oppressively on the capacity of the ordinary citizen to act.” The Founding Fathers of course being elites themselves wanted to make sure that they were able to control the common man. That’s why only the rich white landowners had voting rights back then. Now however, the elite displays their control in different ways, “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 propertyless, black against white, native-born against foreign-born, intellectuals and professionals against the uneducated and unskilled.” The elite want to put the rest of the United States against each other for their own gain, and that’s not right.
Zinn says that there is a growing dissension in the 99 percent, and that it isn’t just the poor people. However, “Now alienation has spread upward into families above the poverty line. These are white workers, neither rich nor poor, but angry over economic insecurity, unhappy with their work, worried about their neighborhoods.” This dissension doesn’t bode well for the establishment because they just want to keep the normal. The establishment doesn’t want the rest of the people to focus on them, but they want to keep the rest of the people fighting amongst themselves. This is because they are able to keep their power when there are disputes amongst the rest of the people.