Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?
1986 | Metal
Spotify | Amazon
“What do you mean I "ain't kind?" -- I'm just not your kind. -- What do you mean I "couldn't be the president of the United States of America?" -- Tell me something. -- It's still "we the people," right?"
- Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? hit #76 on the Billboard 200 chart.
- In 2006, VH1 ranked "Peace Sells" at #11 on their list of the "40 Greatest Metal Songs" of all time.
- Part of the video was parodied by comedian Brian Posehn in his Metal by Numbers video.
THE HOT TAKES
What a legendary song. The "What do you mean..." lyrical sections are ones largely I ignored for a long time, focusing instead on the drums and guitar riffs for several years. But the lyrics here are from a unique angle--one I can't recall hearing in other music, even 30 years later. It's almost like when libertarians are called "anti-American," for valuing freedom. For example, "What do you mean I 'don't support your system?'" I go to court when I have to." This person is following the minimum expectations of society in some way, but without blind enthusiastic support he still gets labeled a dissident. In the same way, libertarians are the only ones who actually support freedom for individual people, and here we are getting blamed for "losing elections," or being "troublemakers."
Another Megadeth monolith of a metal song. "Peace sells" hearkens back to another saying: "sex sells." That next line though, "but who's buying," ah now, that's the kicker. I once heard Ron Paul say that in presidential races, once it gets down to the final D and R, the peace cadidate always wins. I think the history of presidents in just my lifetime bears this out. Of course, it's not that the candidate is actually anti-war and pro-peace, becasue none of them are. It's the one that is percieved as pro-peace by the somnabulist masses. Just like the allure of even the fantasy of a sexual encounter sells wings in the restaraunt with the scantily clad babes waiting tables, or sells the soda that the rugedly handsom, construction worker is making all the office gals melt into puddles, so the mere rhetoric of peace is a big seller of political hacks. Everyone desires peace. Even the gruffest of motorcycle club memebers is making a call for peace when he says " I just want to be left alone." Politicians use ideas like troop withdrawels, being "tough on crime," "hope and change," or "making America great again," to draw folks in. What are all of those phrases at their core, but rhetoric to evoke visions of a more peaceful, and therefore a more prosperous life? Yes ,peace sells, but the masses aren't buying. No, almost everyone wants to peddle in the violence of the system to meet their political ends, and neither side of the duopoly really wish to hold their guy accountable when they utterly fail to make good faith efforts to insure that peace. So the wheel turns and keeps turning.
I think this song illustrates the slow steady trudge of government intrusion. No matter how well you conform, it will always demand a bit more. Until you are little more than a manifestation of the will of the elites. The entire system exists as one giant gaslighting apparatus rewriting the rules and history as it goes in an effort to push us in the direction it desires. The worst is, the carrot it holds in front of you is that you have say in this matter. You don't, your vote doesn't count.