Encouraging Morons: The American Political Experience

Nothing is guaranteed in this world just because it is in place. Whatever “democracy” might mean as an abstract concept, surely allowing certifiable morons to vote en masse is not the best way to run a railroad. This is not just one crank’s take on the Trump et al embarrassment: many social critics have established themselves in the hall of literary fame by heaping scorn on the culture of hoi polloi – Postman, Lasch, Mathers, all the classical professors and poets and fine dining owners, anybody who ever caught a good snifter of aged peach brandy.

That is why the doings of the political day are so dismal – this is a system of morons electing morons in a moronic fashion, so where is the fun to be had in establishing  that yes, this one is a moron, or that bill is moronic, or did you catch that idiot, or that latest development of moron B defending himself in front broken news format C.

Morons are never simply born defective – the culture must produce them, through hallowed means of empire, religion, and too much advantage. Yet smart people, whoever they are, have no claim to that title – everyone has damning lacunae of distorted, incomplete, or staggeringly inept knowledge.  Everyone, from moron to savant, clings to illusions of proven insubstance or unreliability or downright falsehood. Christians insist on laughable, wholly pathetic claims of the Second Coming, Muslims on some ersatz phantasm of “divine” rule, Jews on the right to commit genocide upon a people living in their long untitled land, writers cling to spurious notions of the worth of intellectual micro-chatter, tech coders to some supposed  benefit to advertiser-delivering polluted addiction gizmos, professors to easily-contravened notions of worth of their tedious obsessions and flimsy credential process, and social nihilists think that being Ace Skeptic No. 1 somehow elevates them beyond the quotidian rush of blather and foolish adherence.  Humans, all, chase some core, prized bauble that will never be theirs.

In dubstep with this reality, consumer post-war society elevates the nobody to the position of noble and vaunted all-knowing social critic – give your professor two stars, write an objection the Guardian of Galaxy doll set, dismiss a monkish scholar’s lifelong book project with two and one-half stars, comment on some celebrity’s fading appearance, down-vote a politician’s claim to humanity, talk back to your computer screen, harrumph at a car-maker’s latest recall, gossip about some family member’s travails with their drugged ADHD kid, get all pissed-off and shitty-faced over some alleged social failing outside your door.

That’s not the way social reality should work.  What we have not done, what we know in only the most limited form of acquaintance or study, what is beyond our deep ken, is not for us to evaluate in complex consideration. Peers, who have some higher level of awareness of the forces governing production and talent, should  be the best reliable sources of professional insight and criticism. Students can gripe and grumble about their professors, but their jottings should not determine professional judgment of the teachers and professors. Customers who don’t know a damn thing about plumbing should not write condemnations of a plumber’s work – what is their claim to superior authority?  Why didn’t they study years through an apprenticeship if they wanted to be a plumber’s executioner?

There is no inherent wisdom of the crowds, no superior folk genius of the average simpleton, no eternal verity of an alleged “democracy” that reflects only the horrors of corporate control.  This social world is direct evidence of the folly of trusting in discredited institutions, but what else do people have? They will go on blogging, snapinstagramming, chitchatting, caring what one former power-occupier says another power-occupier said behind a criminal conspiracy’s semi-open doors, chasing meaning on lit screens and connected wires and waves.

Knock yourselves out –  do what you will  in the ruling context of your social reality, but be ready to face the music – qui cura?

 

4 Comments

  1. I don’t think it is “a step away from being apes” so much as it is us being an ape, period, full stop.
    That said, apes are genuinely good folk – protective of their young, like to hang around just chewing leaves or having sex (bonobos, that is). If only humans could have been more like them, but instead we have MOAB’s, depleted uranium, and Bill Gates. Those damned high expectations -what was I thinking?

  2. Uh, oh, a ‘nother dumb “Would You Rather” question:
    Would you rather…
    A. be held hostage by 50 bonobo apes in a jungle hideout, or
    B. live in a gated community in American South that has no internet service.

    I think Scalia devotee arch-fiend Gorsuch was asked this direct question during his confirmation hearings.

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