Subjugate: verb bring under domination or control, especially by conquest — ORIGIN Latin subjugare ‘bring under a yoke’, from jugum ‘yoke’.
Our so-called leaders speak
With words they try to jail you
They subjugate the meek
But it’s the rhetoric of failure
(The Police, ‘Spirits In The Material World’)
Good old Gordon Sumner (a.k.a. Sting). His background as an ex-teacher obviously prepared him well for the role of world-straddling pop sex symbol and rock philosopher. The underlying message of this song? Well, alongside the general suspicion of political elites, consumerism is bad, kids… except when you happen to be buying our single. (Cheap shot, agreed. I withdraw and apologise). He earns extra marks for using ‘rhetoric’ in there too. Spirits In The Material World, from the Police’s fourth studio album, 1981’s Ghost In The Machine, reached number 11 in the US charts and number 12 in the UK. Here’s Sting being manhandled by a randy Kenny Everett before a performance of the track on a 1981 Christmas special: