Another rambling rant I have been thinking about for a couple of days…
It is interesting to me how doggedly people hold to their notions. It’s Obama’s fault for everything they dislike, yet he is responsible for nothing they like, or, of course, the exact opposite. Every life is sacred, yet it is perfectly OK to let those lives exist in squalor and to blame the teenage parents for having sex. No government it the best thing ever, except when we need some government (it is almost laughable to hear some of my relatives complain endlessly about government, yet insist it is some existential right to own property and have a government enforce that ownership). Naturally there is their opposite, where endless government is the panacea to every possible problem, ignoring the situations where letting the market decide really has been shown to be the best course of action.
So it seems to me it is beginning to boil down to a simple choice: either we, as humans (or perhaps just as Americans), are either too stupid to have created a global society that has managed to influence the world on a global scale or we are all stupid enough to be led around like sheep and dance to the tune of the global elite. I just can’t figure it out. If we weren’t in the midst of a human created extinction event, driving evolution at lightning speed with our poisons in the environment I would easily go with the latter, except, of course, that requires an elite clever enough to direct the sheep. Since it is patently obvious we are capable of destroying ecosystems the implication is we are an intelligent species, yet with that as a given, why are we so susceptible to being led? Is it possible that we are such followers that we are incapable of thinking for ourselves, yet slavishly follow whatever happens? If so (as it appears), how is it that anyone is capable of leading?
For a number of years (decades, I guess) I have had this theory about humans I have occasionally expressed (it seems not here, leastways I wasn’t able to find any hits with the search terms I used). Humans, as a species, seeks the lowest energy state, meaning they want to do as little as possible to get the most in return. If that was the extent, then we never would have advanced to this point where we are destroying an entire planetary ecosystem, so something would be necessary to lift the species out of the ‘local minima’ they occupy. These people are what I term mountain climbers or hill climbers (another search term, perhaps this idea has been influenced by the several years I spent studying search and optimization): they deliberately seek to be away from the majority and do their best to get away from the local minima. In doing so, occasionally, these people find other locations with even lower energy state for the masses and that triggers a flow of the masses from their current location up over the ‘activation energy barrier’ to the new lower minima, where they remain happy until some other mountain climber identifies yet another new minima. Thus, as a species, we are all lazy worthless bastards sitting on our asses doing as little as possible (how accurate a description is that?), the only thing that motivates us is when we hear that there is a state that allows us to be even lazier and more worthless and invest the effort to achieve this new exalted low. The hill/mountain climbers are society members that generally can’t stand society, such as explorers, science geeks, etc. Because these people tend to be misanthropists, meaning they dislike humans as a species, but tend to like specific individuals a great deal, their discoveries are generally relayed back via their friends to the lazy hordes.
With this theory we have a decent explanation for why as a species we have the skill and will to destroy a planet yet at the same time lap up the lies told to us by our ‘betters’. As a species we don’t care to think, we would rather just sit around cherishing our preconceived notions and finding people who will agree with us. As occasional individuals we are capable of leading these hordes. Today those that seem best at leading the hordes are the elite (which generally translate to the obscenely rich, but they can be less than absolutely wealthy and still have an outsized influence). Today those elite seem to be most interested in consolidating power (though, really, have they ever _not_ been totally in control, at least here in the US?) and expanding their wealth. Government exists as a means to placate the lazy worthless horde and as a tool to fleece the hordes for more money.
If, as I am beginning (or continuing) to believe, this is just pure human nature, is there any point in my political ranting? I am more and more convinced that there is less ‘evil genius’ directing our current economic situation (meaning the growing gap between the haves and the have nots, the dramatically shrinking middle class, the endless wars all paid for with borrowed dollars, etc.) than we are just a cussed group of lazy worthless bastards that would rather bitch, whine and moan about shit that has nothing to do with us then take the time to climb some hill somewhere. Hill climbers are ‘different’ and ‘odd’ and therefore are not generally accepted in polite society (meaning to you and your cronies polishing your complaints over an intoxicant of your choice). No one wants to be different, except for those who abhor the masses and can’t stand to fit in, so as a species/society, we really don’t want to change, we just want to complain about how imperfect our lives are, no matter how great things are.
Over the years I have occasionally made an effort to discuss things with people who have already made their minds up. Some portion of that effort was just because I am, at heart, an asshole who likes to needle and annoy people, but another portion is to attempt to discover if there is indeed anyway to alter these people’s world view. I am starting to come to the conclusion that there really isn’t any way. Humans (certainly Americans) are bound and determined to whine, bitch and moan about stuff that has not the slightest impact on them (e.g., abortion, sex ed) that is intended to make other people’s lives as miserable as possible (e.g., poor people; once again, why is it that we blame poor people for every one of our woes instead of the people actually responsible for making things the way they are (the elite)?). There is this bizarre (to me) clannishness amongst the human species: ‘we’ are smart, good looking, intelligent, wise, all knowing, etc., while ‘they’ are stupid, ugly, dumb, foolhardy, ignorant, etc. I see this applied all the time to other groups of people such as the poor, other countries, the Middle East, hillbillies, etc. I am quite certain that except in a few extraordinary situations that the average Joe, be he a hillbilly, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu, etc. just wants to be left alone to complain about how much their life sucks and to continue to do nothing about it. The idea to me that we, as a nation, need to go to war against another nation simply because the leader of that nation is a dick head is absurd. The vast majority of people on both sides just want to be left alone, but they lap up the nonsense promulgated by the elite (on either side) that ‘they’ must be destroyed, no matter what the cost. What rational person can think that everyone in the Middle East (for a topical example) really gives a damn about anyone in the US when they are fleeing for their lives from a group of radical extremists? Why do we need to go bomb and kill indiscriminately in the Middle East (creating new radical extremists with each bomb, btw) when there really are just a handful of individuals who are the problem? I think it is all about the sheeple-ness of us, as a species, being led around by those who profit from continual war.
So, if we really are a democratic society and really could change our government and as wide spread groups we complain about how fucked up our government is, why don’t we simple do so? Clearly it is because we can’t agree on what that government should look like. We are too busy complaining about stuff that has no impact on us. I have occasionally slipped on my tin foil hat and temporarily convinced myself that there is evil genius about in the world, but my ‘rock’ is ‘never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity‘ and as such, I have to conclude that the elite get their way not because they are smart enough to ‘stir the pot’ and keep the sheeple focused on stupid topics, but because we as a species are just butt ugly stupid except for the occasional mountain climber.
So, to summarize, we can’t get along because we are not evolved to get along.