At present, the United States (the mother country of a world empire that is the most expansive and powerful in history) is in a position that might be considered a very minor league version of what the Europeans faced in the early modern period. From the fourth century through the fifteenth century, the Catholic Church dominated Western Europe with roughly the same level of pervasiveness that the Communist Party now dominates China (minus the technological capabilities, of course). The Renaissance, Protestant Reformation, Radical Reformation, Age of Exploration, market revolution scientific revolution, and the Enlightenment had the effect of ushering in several centuries of conflict between rival religious communities, feudal overlords, royal dynasties, and insurgency bourgeoisie for hegemony. The consequences were fun episodes such as the Thirty Years War and the English Civil War, among many others.
Yet, no one during that era really questioned the legitimacy of the “System” as it was at the time. All of the competing royal dynasties still accepted the legitimacy of royalism and the monarchies, obviously, and the competing aristocrats accepting the legitimacy of the aristocracy, just as the proponents of the Clinton, Bush, Trump, Obama, or other modern dynasties, continue to accept the legitimacy of the modern state and the ruling class, and just as partisans of Soros and Adelson continue to accept the legitimacy of the modern overlords.
Just as the Catholics, Lutherans, Calvinists, Zwinglians, Knoxians, Anglicans, and Cromwellites all accepted the legitimacy of the theocracy, the Red Tribe and Blue Tribe loyalists remain attached to their respective clergy (whether Cornel West, Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Pat Robertson, or Alex Jones) and do not question the legitimacy of the state. Even the French revolutionaries did not question theocracy and merely replaced the Catholic state-cult with a new state-cult represented by the Goddess of Reason.
Even on the margins of US politics and culture, we see that most folks remain attached to this or that royal dynasty, set of feudal lords, or state church as demonstrated by such slogans as “Vote Blue, No Matter Who” or “Never Punch Right.” I’ve even heard self-proclaimed “anarchists” praise George Soros, and what is to be made of “Libertarians for Trump”?
Fortunately, royal dynasties and hereditary aristocracies were eventually abolished or disempowered and continue to exist only as reality-TV-like freakshows. Fortunately, church and state have since been separated thanks to the diligence of sects like the Anabaptists, Quakers, or Deists, and the influence of figures such as Erasmus of Rotterdam, Baruch Spinoza, John Locke, Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine.
However, virtually the entire spectrum of present-day opinion, from anarcho-progressives to Alt-Right Trumpians, seems to accept the legitimacy of our modern ruling classes and state-cults, at least implicitly.
Imagine if all of our “radicals,” “dissidents,” “revolutionaries,” partisans, do-gooders, Weimar reenactors, electoral timewasters, and sectarian tribal warriors actually bothered to do something innovative like I dunno, actually “attacking the system” then we might have something.