We’ve Still Got the Numbers

Remember: No one here gets out alive

In the Vietnam War protest song “Five to One,” Jim Morrison of The Doors sings:

The old get old/And the young get stronger
May take a week/And it may take longer
They got the guns/But we got the numbers
Gonna win, yeah/We’re takin’ over 

In my youth, I took solace in the whole “we got the numbers” thing but it eventually became crystal clear that the ones with the guns have had it all figured out for a very, very long time. Philosopher David Hume, in 1758, explained it this way:

As force is always on side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is, therefore, on opinion only that government is founded and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments as well as to the most free and most popular.

“The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world,” added Gore Vidal, far more recently. “No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity, much less dissent.”

This potent combination of muscle and misinformation manifested itself in the events leading up to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. On February 15 of that year, tens of millions of earthlings marched and carried signs to declare their unambiguous disapproval of America’s plan to drastically ratchet up what had (at that point) essentially been a 12-year war against the people of Iraq. But…  The massive global protests were ignored by the elites.

  • The massive global protests were ignored by the elites.
  • The shock-and-awe invasion went on as planned.
  • The occupation, violence, and despair continue to this day in one way or another

Doesn’t say a whole lot for “having the numbers,” huh? “We” still have the numbers. Morrison’s “they,” however, give no indication they’ll be surrendering their guns — or their propaganda or their “science” — any time soon. As a result, dissent in America is pretty much limited to permitted marches, protests, boycotts, petitions, candlelight vigils, documentaries, free speech zones, the occasional vote for a third-party candidate, and social media flame wars.

All of these methods (at least in their safe-for-mass-consumption versions) are deemed “legal” by those with the guns and, in their own way, legitimize the power held by those with the guns. Thus, all such tactics are ultimately futile in terms of provoking systemic, long-term change.

If you don’t believe me, ask yourself why you haven’t taken your rebellion beyond the methods listed above. Even as the tyranny is now happening in plain sight, are we really relying on memes? Maybe author Derrick Jensen had it right when he said: “We still think we have something to lose. That’s what’s stopping us. As soon as we realize we have nothing left to lose, we’ll be dangerous.” After all, in “Five to One,” Jim Morrison also sang: “No one here gets out alive.”

Mickey Z. is the creator of a podcast called Post-Woke. You can subscribe here. He is also the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on New York City streets. Spread the word. Read other articles by Mickey.