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Tue May 22, 2018, 11:28 PM

Umair Haque: The Age of the Imbecile

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I’d bet, these days, shortly after reading the headlines, you’ve thought, shaking your head and muttering, something like: “Jesus. We live in an age of impossibly catastrophic stupid.”

You’re not wrong. About a decade or so ago, hot on the heels of the financial crisis, something happened — an old story began to be rewritten, as the world found itself poorer once again. There was an explosion, somewhere deep in the human heart, and a tsunami rippled across the globe — one boiling and bubbling with every imaginable variety of stupid: human folly, gleeful ignorance, self-destructive greed, reckless spite, dim-witted cruelty parading itself as enlightenment.

And so now a tsunami of imbecility is rolling like a slow-motion thermonuclear bomb across the globe. Lightning bolts of foolishness shiver down it. Smoke clouds of idiocy billow from it. Here are the five kinds of stupid wrecking the globe — because your first job, these days, as a human being, is to make sure you’re not being turned into an imbecile by this wave of stupid, too.

Economic stupid is nationalism, populism, or austerity, three words that craftily mean the same thing. It’s the idea that “we don’t have the money to pay for it!!”, whether “it” is school lunches, healthcare, education, parks, libraries, media, or trains. Sure we have the money. What do you think an era of zero interest rates mean? It means that there is so much money sloshing around in the treasure chests of the global economy, so much loot piled up by Jeff Bezoses and Bill Gateses, that there is nowhere left to put it. Not a single place: all the yachts, super mansions, and trophy castles have been bought. Nada left to buy equals zilch interest to lend at. Zero interest doesn’t just means “societies can borrow for better than free and give everyone healthcare, education, an income, and savings” — it means that if they don’t, the economy will go right on cruising into oblivion, because that money will go on piling at the top, instead of doing anything remotely useful, beneficial, or necessary.

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Reply Umair Haque: The Age of the Imbecile (Original post)
Algernon Moncrieff May 2018 OP
shanny May 2018 #1
Algernon Moncrieff May 2018 #3
PoliticAverse May 2018 #2
roscoeroscoe May 2018 #4

Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Tue May 22, 2018, 11:49 PM

1. No. Austerity, populism and nationalisms

 

are not 3 words that craftily mean the same thing.

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Response to shanny (Reply #1)

Wed May 23, 2018, 12:47 AM

3. I took it as something more like "dog whistles at the same frequency."

"We don't have money to give welfare to immigrants" will be spoken in the same breath as "We don't have money to give free welfare to single moms." We have the money, but some among us believe that neither the immigrants nor the single moms are worthy of assistance. Yet there is always seemingly government money for someone building a professional sports arena to house a team owned by a billionaire. There is always money to "revitalize" (read: gentrify) a downtown neighborhood occupied by working class residents to push them out in favor of the wealthy.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed May 23, 2018, 12:31 AM

2. A.k.a: Idiocracy. n/t

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #2)

Wed May 23, 2018, 04:41 AM

4. Exactly

Brawndo!

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