JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE ROLE OF DANGEROUS IDEOLOGIES AND SOCIETY’S WILLINGNESS TO EMBRACE THEM – THIS IS NOT LIMITED TO PEOPLE OF LOW INTELLIGENCE AND IT MUCH RESEMBLES OUR INCLINATION TO SUPERSTITITION AND PREJUDICE – OUR ABILITY TO DESTROY THROUGH RAPIDLY CHANGING MILITARY TECHNOLOGY IS STARTING TO OUTSTRIP SOCIETY’S ABILITY TO COPE – THE EMERGENCE OF A MULTI-POLAR WORLD, BUT WE MAY NOT SURVIVE TO ENJOY IT – AMERICA’S CONTEMPT FOR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND RULE OF LAW AND ITS CONTEMPT FOR OTHER COUNTRIES’ ARRANGEMENTS OF THEIR OWN AFFAIRS – THE CURRENT GENERATION OF LEADERS IN AMERICA, AND NOT JUST TRUMP, IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN PRAVDA

“The Human Species is Doomed”

 

I can’t agree with all the article says, but it contains some sound observations.

In my view, humanity’s great problems do not emerge from growing numbers of “stupid” people.

They emerge from ideologies and humanity’s readiness to embrace them – all kinds of ideologies, political, religious, social. Many very smart people are prone to behaving that way. I see innate emotional or psychological drives behind our great problems. In many respects, the tendency towards ideologies resembles closely the tendency towards superstition and prejudice.

Many ideologues are ready to sacrifice for their beliefs – especially when the sacrifice is imposed on others – much like members of a cult. American Patriotism – I mean the intense, knee-jerk stuff quite common in America, as opposed to natural affection for one’s place and culture – is just such a cult, and in many ways it resembles the destructive beliefs of previous cults or ideologies – such as the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages or fascism in the 1930s.

A great many patriotic Americans do seem incapable of perceiving the county’s serious and threatening flaws. The reaction to anyone’s pointing out the flaws resembles what you would expect from insulting someone’s family. They are blinded by ideology, making them incapable of working cooperatively towards improvement.

Indeed, ideology often effectively casts aside such principles as human and democratic rights and the rule of law. You cannot remain loyal to a greatly flawed system and genuinely embrace those principles which are essential to long-term rational human progress.

The inclination to embrace ideologies is not at all limited to people with low intelligence. Trump is an uninformed, rude, impatient, and aggressive man, but he isn’t stupid. Neither is Pompeo or Bolton or Abrams or Grenell or Haspel. If there really is such a thing as “evil,” this is it: those people are evil because they embrace a set of beliefs which are destructive for a great many others and are completely self-serving.

When such people have power on their side, I don’t see how we can solve the terrible problems that arise.

It could perhaps be sorted out by thousands of years of human evolution. It is not an exaggeration to say that it isn’t that long since our ancestors dropped from the trees. Only two hundred thousand years of homo sapiens out of a planetary history of four-and-a-half billion.

But I think it quite possible that we will not have thousands of years. Human affairs have reached an important turning point.

Our very smartest people have endowed us now with weapons of remarkable destructive power, and we see new, improved ones coming along ever more rapidly, just as is the case with all changing technology.

Our ability and inclination to destroy are starting to outstrip society’s ability to cope.

The current generation of leaders in America – and I don’t mean just Trump – is extremely threatening. They pretend to address elevated concerns in human affairs with their rhetoric, but in fact they work towards some of humanity’s worst inclinations – especially, the selfish pursuit of power over others, even at the cost of injuring and killing many others or starting wars.

We see this in any number of contemporary situations in international affairs – everything from contempt for international organizations and the rule of law to contempt for other countries and the way they have chosen to organize their affairs.

America’s elites fear losing the truly privileged place they have enjoyed since the end WWII, a place that was gained by the outcome of a vast world war. America remained safe across oceans and had invested heavily in industrial capacity to fight the war. Others were crushed. Thus, for a time, it dominated, unchallenged, the world economy and many of the world’s arrangements.

It is not hard to stand out when there is no real competition, but those days are over. There is competition, serious competition, and America’s elites do not appear able to cope with it. Indeed, they deeply resent it and are ready to take all kinds of destructive measures to hurt their competitors.

We are truly seeing the emergence of a multi-polar world, but we may not survive to enjoy it.

Posted September 23, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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