It may be claimed that the official documents that mark the historical creation of the U. S. show how a political state “of, by and for” the people themselves was created. But a more sober analysis of the upflinging evidence indicates that the story given by the official documents never actually occurred. There is nowhere where one can find such a thing taking place. What one encounters, digging through into the historical or literary source material, is the extreme importance Americans place upon the idea. What is important is the idea of it --- the idea that a "classic" democratic creation took place. Is it all just a story, then?
If a person did not subscribe to this story about the creation of a new nation governed by the people themselves, what do you think would have happened to him or her? He or she would have been ostracized. Those that did not “believe” would have been banished from genteel realms. This kind of sorting process would have taken place, subsequent to 1776.
It is also true that included in that number would be all sorts of cads and swindlers. I am thinking of persons who really had little belief in democracy, persons from Karl Rove to Alexander Hamilton. It is not that hard to sign on to a mere "idea." These are the “p.r. men,” the fellows who will believe in democracy or any other damn thing, as long as it helps them. Basically, they want to make money, or helps their sponsors do it. Money is very important. I am not saying it isn't. But persons like Scott Walker (he's another of this bunch) are part of the society. They were active socially. It does affect their social live if their “belief” in a peoples’ democracy is just a lot of practiced hot air, blowing in the wind like farts out of their buttocks. They are in other words cynical, superficial.
They were active in the society—even if, as I suspect, they did not truly “believe” in anything more than rhetoric. These are the businessmen. Opposed to them on some sort of spectrum are the sensitive, artistic types. Those are they who left us things like literature. We can say that businessmen and artists both adapted to the metaphor of “democracy” in distinct ways. The society, as such, is the summation of all of the types within it. Everyone is par t of the society.
The latest version of democratic imagery was something that the United States seemed to monopolize, as the simulacrum of democratic rule did not emerge in Europe until later, around 1830. This is imagery, brewed up by its protagonists like a witches’ brew almost, or a witchery of image. We may ask here, who dares “tell it like it is”? Almost nobody. America is about rhetoric.
The cultured type (as opposed to the business type) is the one who finesses his way through life making various demonstrations, at crucial junctures, of belief in that most important value, equality. I am talking about the artists now. The other types that I mentioned may not get into the high society but even if not as cultured, they function socially. They are the business class. Looked at this way, if there is any kind of class system in US/America it is composed of these two classes, the business men and gentle men. Their incomes are not so different, I suppose, so maybe they are not “classes.” I suppose, then, that they are not really “classes.”
It is the act of putting the cart before the horse or of putting appearances first that really defines US/America. It is a nation that emerges as a cultural, political force. It means so much to the world. This force emerged by utilizing the plasticity of ideas, especially the idea that men were equal, the idea of equality, and the idea that they all have a right to participate in the creating of their identity or of their political, yet personal will.
One could also say, taste. America, however, is not always all that “tasteful.” We usually need innovation at crucial times. But where will that innovation come from today?