I had a chill run down my spine when I saw this video yesterday. I don’t care if you’re conservative, liberal or anarchist, this video should scare the hell out of you. This is propaganda, in the style of Big Brother, Mao and Hitler. This is how tyrants are brought to power. I’m all about emotions being evoked in the cause of truth, but when people are willing to blindly follow someone based off their feeling that we, “can change the world,” without having an idea what that new world will look like; I am incredibly disturbed. You want to live in, “a world without fear”? Who could really think that by electing a president that we can achieve that goal? Obama scares me not because of anything that he’s said, he hasn’t said much of substance, but because of the blind love he’s inspiring. In this video, one woman compares him to a, “revivalist in people’s souls.” It’s easy to forget we’re talking about a politician here. This is the future of America.

One of my favorite responses was from an individual I respect greatly, David Carver. He said, “It’s like American democracy finally found out that appealing to the people means becoming a commercial and that becoming a commercial in this day and age means becoming a Savior, or in other words, America just found out it needed a Savior, and found Obama

I asked a friend of mine, Travis Jordan, to write something about the video in his own special style. So read, enjoy, and think for just two seconds. Think about what change really means.

A hiss beneath a rotted log, a growl from the tall grass, the click of a hammer in the shadows of a slum. Sound is the sense of fear. We can dodge and fight what we can see, but what we hear can only warn us that we are in peril. When a sound provokes dread or terror, it is because we fear what makes that sound, or rather, we fear what the maker of that sound can do to us.
A snake can bite you, a giant cat can eat you, and a gun can shoot you. But that’s about it. While a hiss, growl, or click can illicit the fear of these grave calamities, the threat is limited to you, and you may get away or survive. That is why these sounds ring weak and hollow compared to the roaring whisper of a chanting mass.
If the chanting mass wants to kill you, you will die. If it wants to kill your family, torture everyone who ever knew you, and exterminate your race, you cannot stop them. The chanting mass can destroy the things and people you love more than yourself. The threat does not die with you, but endures until the spell binding the throng is broken.
This is why, nine second into the “We Are the Ones” video, I froze. An inhuman voice began rising, eventually dominating the song’s rhythm. It sounded as if the uncountable throng were summoning a spirit for them to unconditionally obey. There was no emotion or reason in the chant. It was powerfully hollow, proclaiming the inevitability of the mass will.

O-BA-MA. O-BA-MA.

The meaning of the word isn’t inherently disturbing. The vacuous liberalism of the testimonies is nothing we haven’t heard before. But we have heard that sound. Whenever a people has felt abandoned, wherever a nation has decided to bring about the future, that sound has rung through streets, halls, and stadiums.
The music isn’t menacing and the face on the wall isn’t scowling. But when has it ever been? Of course, Obama is no Hitler, just as McCain is no George Washington. But the names synonymous with genocide and tyranny were never caught without a smile and a tune people couldn’t get out of their heads. Since what was catchy in 1930’s Germany isn’t catchy today, we might have to use a little imagination to create an equivalent mental image of a dangerously charismatic demagogue. Or we can just watch this video.
To truly understand the power of chant, try to create two neighborhoods of make-believe. The first is easy, as it is eerily represented by “We Are the Ones.” But that scenario alone provides a one-sided understanding. Now imagine the name chanted is your favorite public figure. The coordinated testimonies and soulful rhythm all just feel so right. You could not have written the rhetoric better yourself. Is the chant still creepy? It should be.

 
About The Author

Nathan Martin

0 Responses to If the Jackboot Fits (We are the Ones)

  1. Veith says:

    Brilliant, Nathan, David, & Travis. you’ve nailed it.

  2. Jay says:

    The video’s message = don’t think for yourself. This article’s
    message = pretend that “intellectual cynicism” is thinking for
    yourself.

    The video IS blatant propaganda (like any commercial), full of empty
    words (like every politician of the last 50 years), but the connection
    between being popular and being a fascist is so ridiculously
    outrageous, that I’m tempted to opt out of this “journalism” to watch
    Jackass clips on YouTube. Has it been that dark of an 8 years that
    any politician not stealing his presidency, or anyone with more than
    30% support is immediately deemed too popular? As creepy as this
    O-BA-MA remix might be, it signifies one side of what almost looks
    like a properly functioning democracy. Empty words perhaps, but Mao
    or Hitler, give me a break.

    And oh my God, everybody running for office in the last 100 years has
    had their name chanted. And since a display of vocal supporters
    obviously makes someone an fascist, I guess John McCain fits the bill
    too

    http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=BuAuuaaFqJY

    I’m usually pretty diplomatic, but this is a terrible article. It
    tries to drown out the irrational words of the masses, with equally
    irrational words.

    The only saving grace is the last few sentences, which paint
    accurately how creepy our dissembling self conscience can be. Imagine
    it… “John-Ma-Cain, John-Ma-Cain”. It seems we’re all just people,
    looking for a voice. Maybe heartlessly killing millions of innocent
    people, has nothing to do with being an evil dictator anymore.
    Appearantly all you need is a name.

  3. Jordan says:

    Funny. Some holes here and there, but not bad.

  4. Pfhilip says:

    Thank you for sharing this video. It’s not just the chanting, it’s the whole feel of the Obama campaign. Naive blind devotion, people fainting at rallies, worshiping Obama etc. People have no clue what Obama actually stands for! He’s essentially a socialist.

  5. Chris Stiles says:

    I agree with Jay – and you could say the same thing about the mass of campaign videos:

    There you go, repetitive music, wierd juxtaposition of strangely new age imagery, random associations with past events, etc.

    Selective cynicism does not equate to objective analysis.

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