The people I am referring to are the people in the Gettysburg Address:
“That the government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not vanish from the earth!”
Who were these people? Did they ever exist?
They were the people Walt Whitman wrote about – at great length. And this is why Americans liked him – he helped create the American mythology of the Democratic Society.
The Americans he wrote about existed only in his head – and in the heads of the Americans who read him. They formed a mutual admiration society – that other people found strange.
But, because of their growing size, they got away with it. “Bigger is better,” they liked to say. And they were big, no question about it.
What happened to them?
This is a long complicated story, that Americans do not want to hear about – they only want one thing – to get their greatness back. And they will follow anyone who promises to do this for them.
They will not give the slightest thought to their present situation, and how they got to where they are. They only want to be entertained – and not to think. They have ceased to exist – and cannot understand why this is important – how this simple fact, changes everything.
They stubbornly insist that they are not important – that The People, Abraham Lincoln wrote about no longer exist, and are not needed! Something else has taken their place – what this is, they do not know. They only insist that whatever it is – it has taken over. And made them obsolete.
And they are right, something else has taken over – and we even have a name for it – Globalization. That consists of networks – the TV networks and the Computer networks. People still exist, billions of them – but they only exist as objects, inside these networks.
They have emotions – but only the mass emotions that sweep through them periodically – and leave them unchanged.
These people no longer exist – as themselves. Contrasted to the literate people that were created by the Printing Press, and were part of the Modern World
That no longer exists.