The Zinn chapter and the satirical film Sorry to Bother You both left me in kind of a dystopian yet inspired or hopeful mindset about the future of the United States.
The film used bizarre and insanely creative ways to satire capitalism and the media and I thought the uncomfortableness of the film really sold all of the director’s points. One thing that struck me was when Cassius’ head wound from the protest would not stop bleeding no matter how much time passed or how much money he made. It made me think that although capitalism made Cassius economically comfortable, it still did not make him physically or even mentally comfortable, at ease, or even happy. I thought this betrayal of his friends and the working class was further evident when the police had to escort the higher paid telemarketers through the picket line. This reminded me of the earlier chapters in Zinns book when he says the elites try to pin the middle and lower classes against one another in order to keep their power and money. However, Cassius ultimately realizes that what he is doing is wrong, which Detroit points out only occured when something bad happened to him. I think this is a central explanation of why people start getting involved with social or political movements- because their own security or livelihoods are at stake. If we left it up to altruisim or the good of people’s hearts then little to no social or economic reforms would be enacted. From a logistical standpoint, not necessarily a moral one, our society is reaching an inflection point where change needs to occur and the social problems are trickling up in society.
This last point kind of touches on what Zinn talked about in his chapter “The Coming Revolt of the Guards”, which is that our nation is so interconnected and we are living in an era of proximity such that the misfortune of the poor is trickling up to the middle and eventually the upper classes. This is making the middle class wake up to these systematic injustices and persuading these “guards”, which are the buffers between the elites and the poor, to join the fight that the poor and minorities have been fighting for centuries. America is currently engaging in an unsustainable path of capitalism that can no longer be clouded or distracted by foreign conflict. I actually feel somewhat hopeful for America after watching Sorry to Bother You and reading the Zinn chapter because I feel as if our nation will come out of this era of polarization and try to rebuild the very foundation our nation was started upon.