Sunday, September 11, 2011

So, here it is.

Ten years later.

The world has changed in a lot of ways since that day, in some ways.

But in a lot of other, perhaps more important ways, things are still the same:
  • Rich people are still screwing poor people over by the billions.
  • Governments are corrupt in a lot of places.
  • Religious fanatics continue to brainwash massive amounts of people for personal gain.
  • The gap between haves and have-nots continues to grow, in both developed and developing countries.
  • We continue to ruin our planet with shocking efficiency.
I think perhaps the most pressing problem in North America these days is the virulent strain of anti-intellectualism we've been seeing for the past decade or so. I'd argue that its first big modern boost came during the 2000 US presidential election campaign, when people were flocking to George W Bush because he was such a plain-spoken good ol' boy; "There's someone I could sit down and have a beer with."

Well, I'm sorry. The president of the United States, the most powerful person in the world, should not necessarily be someone who is a regular-folk, straight-C student. In fact, quite the opposite should be true: I want that person to be the most brilliant damn person in the world. I couldn't care less how personable they are; Bill Clinton was a Rhodes scholar and was certainly a charmer, but the latter was merely icing on a very smart cake. (And yes, I know we could argue about how the Dems actually set up a lot of the financial problems we're seeing now, but that's an argument for another time.)

So now we have the Tea Party; again, an argument for another time. But the key feature is that these people are proud to not know anything. In a sense, they're a modern revival of the 1800s Know Nothing Party, which was against such things as immigration from predominantly Catholic countries. Substitute Muslim for Catholic in the 21st century, and there's your Tea Party. (Here's a shortcut to the main features of the Know Nothing platform.)

To me, this is a far greater danger to our society than, say, terrorism. Empires usually crumble under their own weight, not because of external factors or influences. Idiocracy might come to fruition a lot sooner than 2505 at the rate we're going, and that's not good for anyone.

1 comment:

James T said...

Was just passing by and thought I would say how I agree with you. I'm from Britain myself but we keep a close eye on American politics because people like George Bush get in and the world collectively slaps their foreheads. I suppose Obama was a positive but I hear he's losing popularity what with inactivity and money issues. I suppose no ones perfect but you hope something positive would stand out!?!