Humint Events Online: Dumb Americans

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Dumb Americans

Yeah, it's easy to mock Americans for being dumb and apathetic. What is typically missing from these sorts of essays is any meaningful or measurable historical or cultural comparison. Yeah, things seem terrible. But are things THAT much worse than they have always been? In some ways, yes. Certainly, pollution is pretty bad, and global warming seems to be a major problem without a solution in sight. There are always massive environmental crises. But overall, are things WORSE? Didn't it feel like the country was falling apart in the late 60's, with the assassinations of JFK and MLK and the various anti-war protests and riots? But we "survived" all that. We even sent astronauts to the moon several times after that! (wink wink)

I like the expression that it is the best of times, and the worst of times-- and this seems true no matter when you say it. Because yeah-- things are truly shitty, and maybe getting shittier in some ways. But I still think as a whole, humans are making progress. We are getting more tolerant, and less religious, on average. There are always technological advances, and many advances mitigate the shitty things. As far as individuals, for every ignorant dumbass, there is someone who is amazingly nice and enlightened. Moreover, few people are totally ignorant or hopeless; people are complex, an amalgam of various ideas and ideals. They can be persuaded to do the right thing; god knows they can be persuaded to do the wrong thing.

Nonetheless, it's hard to argue with this:
What America really needs is a wall-to-wall people's insurrection, preferably based on force and fear of force, the only thing oligarchs understand. And even then the odds are not good. The oligarchs have all the legal power, police, jails and prisons, surveillance and firepower. Not to mention a docile populace.

Shy of open insurrection, a nationwide refusal to pay income taxes would certainly shake things up. But broader America is happy in the sense they know happiness as an undisturbed regimen of toil, stress and commodity consumption. Despite the way it looks in the news, most Americans remain untouched by foreclosure, bankruptcy and unemployment. So risking loss of their work-buy-sleep cycle in an insurrection looks to be sheer lunacy to them. Like cows, they are kept comfortable in the pure animal sense to be milked for profit. Animal comfort kills all thoughts of revolution. Hell, half of mankind would be thrilled with the average American's present material situation.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, you are a Joe Bageant reader.
Maybe attribute this to him?
It was a great column, should link it up.

10:23 AM  
Blogger spooked said...

I'm not really a reader of his; just got that link via someone else. I had not seen his stuff before. But it was a good piece; I guess I didn't put his name in the post because it didn't mean anything to me.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

best writer the Internet's got.

Check him out.

1:28 PM  

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