The United States of Stupid. I mean, really, REALLY stupid ...

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ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Henry Giroux wrote:
During a campaign rally in North Carolina, Donald Trump suggested that “Second Amendment people” would take care of Hilary Clinton for picking Supreme Court judges who favor stricter gun laws. The Clinton campaign and many others saw this as a veiled endorsement of an assassination attempt.[1] These inflammatory, if not dangerous, comments are part of a wider movement in American politics to empty political discourse of any substance, turning it mostly into a form of rhetorical theater designed to mimic a larger culture of stupidity, idiocy, and spectacle. The spectacle of titillating and infantilizing consciousness and public discourse with a flood of shocks, sensations and simplistic views has become the hallmark of a broken political system now largely controlled by the ideological extremists who inhabit big corporations, hedge funds, and the ranks of the ultra-rich.

The United States of Stupid is Stupid because it's awash with normalized violence. It infantalizes adults into permanent childhood. Some babblers - like our friend Magoo, for example - claims that this is "Anti-American bigotry". It's not. It's social analysis of a broken political system, of a rotting consumer culture.

The Banality of Evil and so on...

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

This loving marriage of violence and stupidity - that the United States of Stupid is also the United States of Atrocity, and the United States of Atrocity is also the United States of Stupid - is something that Henry Giroux really excels at uncovering and exposing to the light of critical analysis. In the United States of Stupid, idiocy is a badge of honour (see Beverly Bandler). Americans live in a culture in which thinking is seen as an act of stupidity. And thoughtlessness provides the foundation for mass violence. It makes routine the enormous misery that exists in this barbarous society. 

Truly. The most American thing today is an act of senseless violence. I apologize, babblers. Only one thread is truly necessary, once you understand the connection between the US of Stupid and the US of Violence.

But let's go with it anyway.

Henry Giroux wrote:
The emergence of Donald Trump, and the deeply corrupt Republican and Democratic political parties on the current American political scene exemplify how ignorance breeds corruption and endears a large number of people to falsehoods, venality, and carnival barking....

The rise of thoughtlessness and the inability to think along with the demonization of vulnerable others constitute a political epidemic and do not augur well for democracy. Americans live in a historical moment that annihilates thought. A culture of cruelty and a survival-of-the-fittest ethos in the United States is the new norm and one consequence is that democracy is on the verge of disappearing or has already disappeared!

But Giroux also asks ...

Quote:
Where are the agents of democracy and the public spaces that offer hope in such dark times? What role will progressives play at a time when the very ability of the public’s ability to translate private troubles into broader systemic issues is disappearing? How might politics itself be rethought ...

He ask how can Americans reclaims a genuinely democratic imagination and the civic courage needed?

Quote:
The key is to expand that insight so as to make education central to politics itself. That is a lesson we can learn from both Arendt and Hofstadter.

Great teachers are needed. As always.

Sean in Ottawa

The idea that evolution could save us from climate change is especially bizarre. No perspective on the timeline of evolution.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Quote:
"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people". [H L Mencken 1880-1956]

Mr. Magoo

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It infantalizes adults into permanent childhood. Some babblers - like our friend Magoo, for example - claims that this is "Anti-American bigotry".

Thanks for the shout-out.

But I'm really not suggesting it's some kind of odious bigotry... UNLESS also discussing Russian cheaters is.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Well I'd just like to say this is a stupid thread, made by a stupid person, for stupid reasons... and I feel stupid for reading all the way through it.

 

Mr. Magoo

To be fair, the same OP started a thread about the Russians too, and how any criticism of them is a "phobia" on par with homophobia.  Check it out.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Level III Stupid from the USA. Here's your Friday laugh.

Dmitri Orlov wrote:
hen the US or its proxies attack an enclave of Russian citizens outside of Russia's borders, here are the types of responses that we have been able to observe so far:

1. The example of Georgia. During the Summer Olympics in Beijing (a traditional time of peace), the Georgian military, armed and trained by the US and Israel, invaded South Ossetia. This region was part of Georgia in name only, being mostly inhabited by Russian speakers and passport-holders. Georgian troops started shelling its capital, Tskhinval, killing some Russian peacekeeping troops stationed in the region and causing civilian casualties. In response, Russian troops rolled into Georgia, within hours completely eliminating Georgia’s war-making capability. They announced that South Ossetia was de facto no longer part of Georgia, throwing in Abkhazia (another disputed Russian enclave) for good measure, and withdrew. Georgia’s warmongering president Saakashvili was pronounced a “political corpse” and left to molder in place. Eventually he was forced to flee Georgia, where he has been declared a fugitive from justice. The US State Department recently gave him a new job, as Governor of Odessa in the Ukraine. Recently, Russian-Georgian relations have been on the mend.

2. The example of Crimea. During the Winter Olympics in Sochi, in Russia (a traditional time of peace) there occurred an illegal, violent overthrow of the elected, constitutional government of the Ukraine, followed by the installation of a US-picked puppet administration. In response, the overwhelmingly Russian population of the autonomous region of Crimea held a referendum. Some 95% of them voted to secede from the Ukraine and to once again become part of Russia, which they had been for centuries and until very recently. The Russians then used their troops already stationed in the region under an international agreement to make sure that the results of the referendum were duly enacted. Not a single shot was fired during this perfectly peaceful exercise in direct democracy.

3. The example of Crimea again. During the Summer Olympics in Rio (a traditional time of peace) a number of Ukrainian operatives stormed the Crimean border and were swiftly apprehended by Russia's Federal Security Service, together with a cache of weapons and explosives. A number of them were killed in the process, along with two Russians. The survivors immediately confessed to planning to organize terrorist attacks at the ferry terminal that links Crimea with the Russian mainland and a railway station. The ringleader of the group confessed to being promised the princely sum of $140 for carrying out these attacks. All of them are very much looking forward to a warm, dry bunk and three square meals of day, care of the Russian government, which must seem like a slice of heaven compared to the violence, chaos, destitution and desolation that characterizes life in present-day Ukraine. In response, the government in Kiev protested against “Russian provocation,” and put its troops on alert to prepare against “Russian invasion.” Perhaps the next shipment of US aid to the Ukraine should include a supply of chlorpromazine or some other high-potency antipsychotic medication.

Note the constant refrain of “during the Olympics.” This is not a coincidence but is indicative of a certain American modus operandi. Yes, waging war during a traditional time of peace is both cynical and stupid. But the American motto seems to be “If we try something repeatedly and it still doesn't work, then we just aren’t trying hard enough.” In the minds of those who plan these events, the reason they never work right can’t possibly have anything to do with it being stupid. This is known as “Level III Stupid”: stupidity so profound that it is unable to comprehend its own stupidity.

You're welcome.

Not a "Thousand Point of Light" but ... a Thousand Balls of Flame.

voice of the damned

ikosoms' ally wrote:

Quote:
And now, with the addition of LGBTQ people to the ranks, the US military is on its way to becoming an international laughing stock. Previously, terms like “faggot” and “pussy” were in widespread use in the US military’s basic training. Drill sergeants used such terminology to exhort the “numb-nuts” placed in their charge to start acting like men. I wonder what words drill sergeants use now that they’ve been tasked with training those they previously referred to as “faggots” and “pussies”? The comedic potential of this nuance isn’t lost on Russia’s military men.

I suppose I could be REALLY charitable here and assume that the guy is taking the US military to task for its hypocrisy, ie. previously villifying gays, but now accepting them into its ranks. But that doesn't really jive with his implication that gays need to start "acting like men". And, in any case, this kind of criticism could be applied to any institution that abandons exculsionary policies, which would mean the left should never argue for inclusion.

To the people who have been cheering on these United States Of Whatever threads of ikosmos...

This is at least the third time I've seen iksosmos post something either misogynistic or homophobic in his crusade against the USA. I think the people who have been cheerleading these threads of his should start taking that pattern into account.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Yeah, I noticed that section after I posted the relevant piece. It's a pretty typical Russian response to the endless LGBTQ culture wars. And it's clearly written in the spirit of taking the mickey out of the Americans.

I suppose that's one way to ignore the rest of this quite brilliant article.... that deals with such trivial matters as global war and peace.  Good luck with that.

voice of the damned

ikosmos wrote:

Yeah, I noticed that section after I posted the relevant piece. It's a pretty typical Russian response to the endless LGBTQ culture wars. And it's clearly written in the spirit of taking the mickey out of the Americans.

As far as I can tell, he's "taking the mickey out of the Americans" because he thinks they're weakening their military by allowing gays to serve. So I'm not sure how that's supposed to be a defesne of the guy.

As for ignoring the rest of the article, I did note the part where he says the US army is weak and under-equipped, which struck me as a little bit off-message for the anti-imperialist left(who tend to argue that the US military is too powerful). And in any case, if someone had posted an article containing the taunt "We're all having a good laugh over here about the US military trying to train its black recruits to be intelligent", well, I don't think anyone would really be expected to give much attention to the rest of the "brilliant" piece.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

ffs, votd, this is a "taking the mickey" thread anyway. I insist on my right to laugh at the Empire. Sorry if I'm too serious at times.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Henry Giroux wrote:
Rather than forcing a populace to adhere to a particular state ideology, the general public in the United States is largely depoliticized through the influence of corporations over schools, higher education, and other cultural apparatuses. The deadening of public values, civic consciousness, and critical citizenship are also the result of the work of anti-public intellectuals representing right-wing ideological and financial interests, a powerful corporate controlled media that are largely center-right, and a market-driven public pedagogy that reduces the obligations of citizenship to the endless consumption and discarding of commodities. In addition, a pedagogy of historical, social, and racial amnesia is constructed and circulated through a highly popular celebrity culture and its counterpart in corporate-driven news, television, radio, and entertainment to produce a culture of stupidity, censorship, and diversionary spectacles. 

Yeah. The United States of Stupid.

"A culture of thoughtlessness now drives the predatory formative culture that allows a range of anti-democratic tendencies to flourish—tendencies that embody a new and extreme form of lawlessness and a theater of cruelty. Civic literacy in the United States is not simply in decline, it is the object of scorn and derision. The corporate controlled media have abandoned even the pretense of holding power accountable and now primarily serve as second rate entertainment venues spouting the virtues of balance, consumerism, greed, and American exceptionalism. The seeds of extremism are everywhere. Instead of being educated, school children are handcuffed and punished for trivial infractions or simply taught how to take tests and give up on any vestige of critical thinking. Celebrity culture now works in tandem with neoliberal values to vaunt as role models individuals who represent extreme forms of solipsism and a cultivated idiocy."

Elsewhere that has been written as ... "thinking is treated as an act of stupidity".

Giroux outlines the authoritarian tendencies of the Republican candidates while noting a very important fact - especially for those left of the Republicans (like supporters of the US Democrats, for example) - that " Totalitarianism is not simply a personality disorder," i.e., the current evisceration of democracy isn't expressed only in Donald Trump. Hilary Clinton is part of this war on democracy as well.

Quote:
What is useful about these critiques is that they acknowledge that democracy is dead in the United States and that the forces of tyranny and authoritarianism offer no apologies for their hatred of democracy and the culture of poverty, immiseration, and cruelty that they want to impose on the American people, if not the rest of the world. What they fail to acknowledge is that the anti-democratic forces at work in the new totalitarianism are not limited to the discourse of the new extremists. Totalitarianism is not merely about errant personalities. It is also about the ideological, political, cultural, and governing structures of society. These systemic forces have been building for quite some time in the United States and have been recognized by our most astute writers such as Sheldon Wolin and Chris Hedges. What is new is that they are not only out of the shadows but are enthusiastically embraced by a segment of the population and articulated in all of their fury by a number of politicians. Totalitarianism is not simply a personality disorder and is not limited to the power of a few erratic politicians; it demands and cannot survive without mass support—it is systemic, a desiring machine, a politics, a culture, and a distortion of power. And it is not limited to Republican Party extremists.

"Hannah Arendt was right in stating that “The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any,” suggesting that totalitarianism was as much about the production of thoughtlessness as it was about the imposition of brute force, gaping inequality, corporatism, and the spectacle of violence. "

The United States of Stupid is a fascist United States.

Henry Giroux from August 2015: The Plague of American Authoritarianism

swallow swallow's picture

ikosmos wrote:

ffs, votd, this is a "taking the mickey" thread anyway. I insist on my right to laugh at the Empire. Sorry if I'm too serious at times.

Do you also insist on the right to laugh at women, gay and effeminate men? Just curious. 

kropotkin1951

swallow wrote:

ikosmos wrote:

ffs, votd, this is a "taking the mickey" thread anyway. I insist on my right to laugh at the Empire. Sorry if I'm too serious at times.

Do you also insist on the right to laugh at women, gay and effeminate men? Just curious. 

Of course many people on babble claim the free speech right to do that very thing, although maybe not on babble.

http://rabble.ca/babble/disability-issues/comedian-mike-ward-ordered-to-...

voice of the damned

kropotkin1951 wrote:

swallow wrote:

ikosmos wrote:

ffs, votd, this is a "taking the mickey" thread anyway. I insist on my right to laugh at the Empire. Sorry if I'm too serious at times.

Do you also insist on the right to laugh at women, gay and effeminate men? Just curious. 

Of course many people on babble claim the free speech right to do that very thing, although maybe not on babble.

http://rabble.ca/babble/disability-issues/comedian-mike-ward-ordered-to-...

Well, I'm certainly not arguing that ikosmos doesn't have the "free speech right" to make(or in this case, circulate) those jokes. He has the right to make them, and I have the right to call him on it. And if he gets hauled in front of a human rights commission for his humour, I'll be the first to say they've overstepped their bounds.

swallow swallow's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

swallow wrote:

ikosmos wrote:

ffs, votd, this is a "taking the mickey" thread anyway. I insist on my right to laugh at the Empire. Sorry if I'm too serious at times.

Do you also insist on the right to laugh at women, gay and effeminate men? Just curious. 

Of course many people on babble claim the free speech right to do that very thing, although maybe not on babble.

http://rabble.ca/babble/disability-issues/comedian-mike-ward-ordered-to-...

Yes, I don't actualyla gree with the free-speech absolutist posiiton. As I posted there, Ward's fight is about capitalism, not free speech, in my opinion. 

But I'm curious about your opinion: Do you also insist on the right to laugh at women, gay and effeminate men?

6079_Smith_W

Ah, thread drift.

Of course we have the right to ridicule women, LGBT people, and whomever else we might want to, so long as it doesn't cross any legal lines.

The question is whether that is a productive and progressive use of one's energy (as I think I said already in this thread).

And that goes double for doing it just to prove that one can. But frankly, I don't think ikosmos is actually doing this just to prove he can exercise his rights. Given his enthusiasm on this particular subject I'd say he has a real motive, however selective.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
Of course many people on babble claim the free speech right to do that very thing, although maybe not on babble.

Well, what is or is not criminalized is different from what is or is not allowed on babble.  That's basically the standard explanation for why babble isn't "censoring" anyone.

voice of the damned

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Ah, thread drift.

Of course we have the right to ridicule women, LGBT people, and whomever else we might want to, so long as it doesn't cross any legal lines.

The question is whether that is a productive and progressive use of one's energy (as I think I said already in this thread).

And that goes double for doing it just to prove that one can. But frankly, I don't think ikosmos is actually doing this just to prove he can exercise his rights. Given his enthusiasm on this particular subject I'd say he has a real motive, however selective.

Well, in fairness, the anti-gay slur in the piece wasn't part of what kosmos quoted. I was the one who drew attention to it, to point out that such commentary seems to be a recurring theme in the writers he cites.

Kosmos, however, dug himself in further by trying to argue that the comments about gay soldiers were just "taking the mickey out of Empire", and implying that I was criticizing him for being too "serious", when in fact neither anti-Empire criticism not excessive sombreness were the problem with the line in question. It was an anti-gay slur, pure and simple.

6079_Smith_W

Yeah, I'd agree. As for the comment, I am not surprised that one who is focused on spinning a single issue would see pretty much everything through that lens, despite the claim that it is a point of principle. There's no principle to defend; we are pretty much free to be racist, sexist, and xeonophobic.

 

kropotkin1951

swallow wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

swallow wrote:

ikosmos wrote:

ffs, votd, this is a "taking the mickey" thread anyway. I insist on my right to laugh at the Empire. Sorry if I'm too serious at times.

Do you also insist on the right to laugh at women, gay and effeminate men? Just curious. 

Of course many people on babble claim the free speech right to do that very thing, although maybe not on babble.

http://rabble.ca/babble/disability-issues/comedian-mike-ward-ordered-to-...

Yes, I don't actualyla gree with the free-speech absolutist posiiton. As I posted there, Ward's fight is about capitalism, not free speech, in my opinion. 

But I'm curious about your opinion: Do you also insist on the right to laugh at women, gay and effeminate men?

I think no such right exists, however I do think I have the right to laugh at the Empire. It seems no one on babble likes that kind of exercise of "free speech" and it is in fact part of the ethos of this place that it is at minimum frowned upon. The remedy for the offensive behaviour seems to be the major thing in dispute. The question here for me is whether the slag against the Empire was worth reading even when the same article has offensive comments.  

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
and it is in fact part of the ethos of this place that it is at minimum frowned upon.

I think it's at maximum frowned upon.

Or else who's been suspended or banned solely for laughing at empire?

kropotkin1951

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
and it is in fact part of the ethos of this place that it is at minimum frowned upon.

I think it's at maximum frowned upon.

Or else who's been suspended or banned solely for laughing at empire?

Sorry for not being clear enough for your standards.  The right to laugh at women, gay and effeminate men not the right to laugh at Empire is what I was referring to.

6079_Smith_W

The right to ridicule is the right to ridicule. 

Good luck making it contingent on some sort of oppression slide rule (though plenty seem to think it is).

Pondering

ikosmos wrote:

iyraste1313 wrote:
Whatever the levels of ignorance of a public, it is to its leadership and intellectuals we must look for directions..

I think this means that the elites have, by and large, failed in their duties to lead properly. For me, this means that new leadership is required ... from outside the current (failed) leadership. And if you know my posting here, then you know that I look among socialist-minded people for that sort of leadership.

Perhaps this is one, effective way to argue for socialism; not simply as a "better alternative" but as an alternative to the failure of current elites. More traction and all that.

In other words, a new set of elites to replace the old set of elites. Instead of thinking in ideologies, try dumping the ideology and speaking the kitchen table language that Layton promoted. Speak it concerning specific issues that directly impact the well-being of the people. Tie problems to their causes. In most cases there is a link to trade deals on everything from income inequality to climate change.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

America the Illiterate. (from Nov 2008)

Chris Hedges wrote:
We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth. The other America, which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture. It cannot differentiate between lies and truth. It is informed by simplistic, childish narratives and clichés. It is thrown into confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection. This divide, more than race, class or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or nonbeliever, red state or blue state, has split the country into radically distinct, unbridgeable and antagonistic entities. ...

Political leaders in our post-literate society no longer need to be competent, sincere or honest. They only need to appear to have these qualities. Most of all they need a story, a narrative. The reality of the narrative is irrelevant. It can be completely at odds with the facts. The consistency and emotional appeal of the story are paramount. The most essential skill in political theater and the consumer culture is artifice. Those who are best at artifice succeed. Those who have not mastered the art of artifice fail. In an age of images and entertainment, in an age of instant emotional gratification, we do not seek or want honesty. We ask to be indulged and entertained by clichés, stereotypes and mythic narratives that tell us we can be whomever we want to be, that we live in the greatest country on Earth, that we are endowed with superior moral and physical qualities and that our glorious future is preordained, either because of our attributes as Americans or because we are blessed by God or both.

kropotkin1951

I thought this little video was hilarious and this thread seems as good a place as any to post it. I love the guy with the Clinton t-shirt who thought he respected women. I mean that was really, really stupid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgUr1vrd-5Q

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Yeah, the incoherent inconsistency of Trump's "Extreme Vetting" made for some amusing exchanges with some of his supporters. I didn't watch the rest- sorry.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Quote:
Great writers and intellectuals give us a vocabulary that allows us to make sense of reality. They excavate depths that we, without their help, are unable to fathom. We are captive to systems of power until we can name the dominant myths and the intricate systems of coercion and control that extinguish our freedom.

We are a society awash in skillfully manufactured lies. Solitude that makes thought possible—a removal from the electronic cacophony that besieges us—is harder and harder to find. We have severed ourselves from a print-based culture. We are unable to grapple with the nuances and complexity of ideas. We have traded ideas for fabricated clichés. We speak in the hollow language we are given by our corporate masters. Reality, presented to us as image, is unexamined and therefore false. We are culturally illiterate. And because of our cultural illiteracy we are easily manipulated and controlled.

But not everyone belongs to the United States of Stupid. Hedges notes about the self-educated poor, especially those that populate the endless and barbarous prisons in the USA. And, while he devotes some of his own time [and has done so for a long time] to assisting in this education and self-education, he also notes the failure of wider institutions to do so ...

Quote:
The abject failure to provide an education to the poor, to nurture this potential and these intellectuals—and by this I do not mean sitting on a scholarship committee but going to teach in the internal colonies and the prisons where our poor are trapped—is one of the most damning marks on academia.

A good read. For those who still do so.

Chris Hedges: The Intellectuals We Abandon

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Psychology Today: Anti-Intellectualism and the "Dumbing Down of America".

Nothing to see here. Move along. It's only some American lamenting the sorry state of intellectual life in their country.

Oh. And a few others ...

1. Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason

2. Richard Hofstadter, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his book, Anti-Intellectualism In American Life

3. Mark Bauerlein, in his book, The Dumbest Generation

4. Journalist Charles Pierce, author of Idiot America, adds another perspective

5. Catherine Liu, the author of American Idyll: Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critique

 

................................................

USA. It's the "big stupid". You know, like "the big easy" ... only, uh, bigger.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Protocols of Moron

Quote:
What do you get when you combine an atomized, alienated public that possesses a deep and justifiable mistrust in institutions with a floundering press-political-entertainment complex that’s desperate to hold our nanoscopic attention spans? You get a nation of half-assed shamuses who’ve traded genuine political argument for paranoid fantasies about alien masterminds, lizard overlords, and government airplanes dispersing mind-control mist over population centers, not to mention presidential candidates who think and talk just like conspiracy theorists.

Summary: "In the workplace, the school, City Hall, the county jail, the local hospital, the corner grocery store—in basically every institution, public and private, at every scale—Americans are constantly lied to, exploited, gaslighted, and abused.

Is it any wonder they see conspiracies everywhere? Their outrage is justified, their instincts correct. They are wanting only for better detectives, reliable narrators, and some measure of justice."

Mr. Magoo

For every person claiming alien masterminds, lizard overlords and "chemtrails" there are 1000 others debunking their foolishness.

Americans are not "wanting for better detectives" -- they're actually rejecting a thousand "better detectives" in favour of that one loopy one. 

They literally WANT the loopiest detective.  That's the problem.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

from another thread ...

alan smithee wrote:
America has long since lost its mind. Ever since the 1980's when they were all conned into believing 'trickle down' economics.

I have a nephew and niece that are American. I don't want to insult them. But Americans are dumb. They are uninformed and blissfully ignorant. They are selfish,incompassionate and unable to empathize with anything or anyone.

Hence,Trump is America's candidate. They can relate to his ignorance and they celebrate it.

Quite honestly,I think the West Coast,especially California,should seperate. As a matter of fact,California's GDP is among the highest in the world. They could easily go it alone.

permalink: Why Trump?

Mr. Magoo

I haven't assigned a whole lot of credibility to this thread, but if another babbler also thinks the U.S. is an exceptional case of stupidity then I have to concede that you've proven your thesis.  One babbler could mean anything, but TWO?  You've earned your bwa ha ha.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

You've got to admit that when babblers, focussed on a completely different topic, substantiate the thesis here, in flying colours I might add, it does led credibility to the argument.

Of course, for those who thinks the sun shines out of the ass of the US government, there are differing views.

That's where you come in Magoo. Because to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

And boy, are you a reaction(ary).

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
You've got to admit that when babblers, focussed on a completely different topic, substantiate the thesis here

Alan didn't substantiate it at all.  He simply agreed with you about it.

It wasn't "in flying colours"... I'm not even sure it was in any colours.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

That's a sailor's reference you land-lubber. Don't you know when you've been run aground? Check your keel.

You're sinking and you don't even know it. lol.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

I'd like to know how you could post a broad bushed thread here on babble that calls 10s of millions of people of color who are a part  of the United States, stupid, no, really REALLY stupid and get away with it. And don't give me that bullshit about how they are not part of the USA.

Funny how that is...

 

6079_Smith_W

He has an answer for that one (uses the term "broad brush" too) back at #82.

He claims doesn't actually think Americans are stupid; this is just what their evil government fosters.

Of course in a post or two he goes back to talking as if they are all stupid.

Cody87

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

I'd like to know how you could post a broad bushed thread here on babble that calls 10s of millions of people of color who are a part  of the United States, stupid, no, really REALLY stupid and get away with it. And don't give me that bullshit about how they are not part of the USA.

Funny how that is...

Yeah, ikosmos, don't you know it's only the white Americans that are REALLY stupid?

/s

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Nice po mo retreat. Because the little silos of "me" are just "so" more important than a society, as a whole, circling the drain.

Here's some reading for babblers who don't want to change the world and like the USA just as it is.

Henry Giroux wrote:
What happens to a society when thinking is eviscerated and is disdained in favor of raw emotion? [1] What happens when political discourse functions as a bunker rather than a bridge? What happens when the spheres of morality and spirituality give way to the naked instrumentalism of a savage market rationality? What happens when time becomes a burden for most people and surviving becomes more crucial than trying to lead a life with dignity? What happens when domestic terrorism, disposability, and social death become the new signposts and defining features of a society? What happens to a social order ruled by an “economics of contempt” that blames the poor for their condition and wallows in a culture of shaming?[2] What happens when loneliness and isolation become the preferred modes of sociality? What happens to a polity when it retreats into private silos and is no longer able to connect personal suffering with larger social issues? What happens to thinking when a society is addicted to speed and over-stimulation? What happens to a country when the presiding principles of a society are violence and ignorance? What happens is that democracy withers not just as an ideal but also as a reality, and individual and social agency become weaponized as part of the larger spectacle and matrix of violence?

The United States of Violence is, of course, also the United States of Stupid. It is the United States of Daesh in the Middle East. It is the United States of the Drone President in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Niger. It is the United States of the circus that is called an "election". But the election is just as fake as the democracy. What's not fake is the unending bath of hate and death that this society wallows in.

It can and must come to an end. Giroux's rich language exposes the festering boil that is US society. Read it and imagine a world that is different.

Thinking Dangerously in the Age of Normalized Ignorance

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Noam Chomsky on the rise of the stupid party in the stupid nation.  - from March 2013


Noam Chomsky wrote:
For those whom Adam Smith called the "Masters of Mankind,” it is important that we must become the stupid nation in the interests of their short-term gain, damn the consequences. These are essential properties of contemporary market fundamentalist doctrines. ALEC and its corporate sponsors understand the importance of ensuring that public education train children to belong to the stupid nation, and not be misled by science and rationality.

The more I look, the more it seems to me that the best and brightest minds in the USA are here, on this thread, and they belong here. They're saying the same thing. My idea isn't original at all.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Cody87 wrote:

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

I'd like to know how you could post a broad bushed thread here on babble that calls 10s of millions of people of color who are a part  of the United States, stupid, no, really REALLY stupid and get away with it. And don't give me that bullshit about how they are not part of the USA.

Funny how that is...

Yeah, ikosmos, don't you know it's only the white Americans that are REALLY stupid?

He does now... LOL

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

From the ... you just can't make up this stuff Department ...

Washington’s ‘governing elite’ think Americans are morons

Jeff Guo wrote:
Many civil servants expressed utter contempt for the citizens they served,” they write in their book, “What Washington Gets Wrong.” “Further, we found a wide gulf between the life experiences of ordinary Americans and the denizens of official Washington. We were left deeply worried about the health and future of popular government in the United States.”

The author makes some serious caveats, however ...

Quote:
Nevertheless, the results they present are eye-popping. On a wide range of issues, bureaucrats believe that Americans are ignorant. For instance, over half of them say that the public knows little to nothing about government crime programs, child care programs or environmental programs.

Predictably, the bureaucrats also think that the government should not take what the public says too seriously. Mostly, they believe that officials like them should use their best judgment instead of following public opinion.

We're Number One! USA! USA!

voice of the damned

I'm not clear what this is supposed to prove, kosmos. Average Americans are stupid, or bureaucrats are elitist?

I'm pretty sure if you were to go up to civil servants in any country, and ask(as the articles frames it) "Should you follow public opinion, or rely on your best judgement", almost all of them would answer the latter. The very idea of a civil service sort of assumes that some people, as a result of specialized training, have superior judgment when it comes to public administration.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Yeah, the author makes sure to point all that out. It's the contempt for the average person that stands out. Look more carefully.

voice of the damned

So why did you put this on the "Americans are stupid" thread, if, as you now say, the issue is bureaucratic eltiism?

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

b e c a u s e   t h o s e  b u r e a u c r a t s  h o l d  A m e r i c a n s  i n  c o n t e m p t  f o r  t h e i r  i g n o r a n c e.

voice of the damned

So, posting the article WAS meant to demonstrate that Americans are stupid? In other words, you think the bureaucrats are correct in their assumption?

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