Stupidity under capitalism

My friend from California asked me how can Americans be so dumb.He was referring to the absolutely extraordinary spectacle of the US Congress cheering on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s suicidal justification of apartheid there.

It is a good question.

My increasingly stock-like answer is stupidity increases in direct proportion to a country’s unblinkered embrace of laissez faire capitalism and its promotion of relentless “choice”. Turbocapitalism in effect acts as a eraser machine, scrubbing memory and critical thinking in the name of the constantly new.People are virtually unable, given their addiction to television, computer, text messaging etc. to keep their eyes and attention on what truly matters.It is
a soft and deadly seduction.

Max Frisch once said that “Technology is the knack of so arranging the world that we do not experience it.” The massive invasion of modern technology in our lives which often sidelines citizens as actors not participating agents, has been a Faustian bargain. The dishwasher which freed parents from the drudgery of a mundane task also short circuited the conversations they use to have when they “washed and dried”.

The TV watching which exploded in the 50s prevented a whole generation from learning musical instruments or becomong handymen.The 20 plus hours of TV, computer games, ridiculous pseudo-reality shows leached time from serious reading and the ability to discern and critically evaluate.Everybody had an opinion but few were truly informed so “distracted from distraction by distraction” were they.

Maybe modern tech as we know it had become a “weapon of mass distraction.”

That these yahoos in the US congress who have never visited the country which has become “an army with a flag” could cheer policies so inhumane is truly incredible and sad. They would never tolerate such policy in their own “land of the free”.This discrimination in Israel so blatant and inhumane they had rejected in the Civil Rights years. How easily they have internalized such unexamined propaganda easily refuted by first hand experience.

Now they have been manipulated so successfully that they are making international fools of themselves.

All under advanced capitalism.


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