Your whole life has been orchestrated by a powerful elite few since your birth. And now, with this presidential race, you’re just beginning to take umbrage? Don’t you know this is how it’s always been, and that it’s for the best?

Notice the breakfast cereal you ate this morning while humming the very jingle used to sell it to you. Or the shoes you purchased because they indirectly promised access to a certain kind of lifestyle or image you’ve been made to believe is most desirable. Or the Stevie Wonder album to which you were conceived, which made it to the radio because a record executive thought it was catchy. Having products narrowed down for you has never been any different than selecting a politician. Notice, inhale deeply, and remember that this has never bothered you before.

Your very existence depends on the choices pre-made for you, after all. Professional propagandist Edward Bernays once wrote that society “consents to have its choice narrowed to ideas and objects brought to its attention.” Democracy would be “hopelessly jammed,” Bernays promises, without such a secret order.

Come November, yet again you must submit to your benevolent overlords Koch, Soros and company, who have chosen their best options for preserving the oligarchy. After 240 years of peaceful acquiescence, now is when you consider revolt?

Recall, if you will, the ancient Greeks and the Romans. Their empires were strong with their fates held in the hands of elite, benevolent groups of powerful, wealthy, land-owning men. It worked well for them. And besides, oligarchy is (arguably) how the world’s more powerful countries such as India and Russia conduct themselves today. Their civilizations have been around longer than ours. Don’t they know best?

It’s like a quirky pizza joint where the five-item menu could fit on a business card, so your party doesn’t waste time waffling between Kimchi Gorgonzola Sicilian and Arugula Anchovy. Either one’s rather hard to swallow, to be sure. But wouldn’t you rather have it this way — effortless, painless — than the struggle of infinite combinations on a build-your-own custom pie, where you have to agonize over each proper topping and how its flavor will affect the others, and risk forcing your friends to eat an un-vetted meal charting too novel a culinary territory? As if such personalization would produce any better effect? It’s clearly much more simple to have these things orchestrated from a faraway, smoky-glass-paneled corner conference room.

Just like when America was ruled by Britain and its benevolent monarchy, remember that absolutely nothing can ever truly change if citizens organize and push back, because we are all too incapable of change to care and too incapable of caring to change.

Buy the shoes. Eat the cereal. Vote for president. Continue believing the soothing thought that you are free.

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