Over the years, I have read a lot of books on history from various sources. Based on what I have read and seen in real life, it is obvious that history is really an account of human folly, magical thinking and stupidity. But how could so many people act like such fucking idiots for hundreds, if not thousands, of years?
I have always found it hard to believe that every single person in a tribe, village, town, city, state or empire was stupid. The range of human variability seen in families would necessitate some people in the aggregation to be significantly less stupid than others. But how does that explain the ability of stupidity and bad decisions to perpetuate themselves?
Some of you might say that the overall direction of a society would be determined by the actions of the stupid majority who drown out the not-so stupid people. But that is not so today, nor was it probably ever the case. Look around you- how many people invented all the components of the personal computer, internet or even printing and writing. That is right.. a miniscule minority of people did those things and changed society forever. So it is clear that a profitable idea proposed by a miniscule number of people can have massive effects on human societies. Furthermore most people are not particularly stupid, greedy or short-sighted. Indeed they are fairly rational and decent.
So how do you get so much folly, magical thinking and stupidity from groups of people who are not that stupid?
I have a theory to explain this paradox that does not rely on abstract academic bullshit. It has to do with the way societies have been organized, human ego and mental limitations. To better understand how I came to this conclusion, let us look at a rather interesting feature of human history.
All large-scale changes in human history require the death, or discrediting, of old people and their ideas. Whether the deaths are from natural or unnatural causes is irrelevant.
I believe that the problem stems from the fact that human hierarchies are based on age. Therefore the person who heads any organization is probably an older person who benefits from the current setup and the people directly under him are slightly younger cronies who too benefit from the status quo. Since these people live reasonably comfortable lives with lots of power in their own little dung-heaps, they have absolutely no interest in improving things or changing the status quo. Indeed their position is weakened by anything that improves the lives of those under them. Now factor in things like human ego and mental limitations and it is easy to see how older people with any worthwhile amount of power will abuse the rest to get a good deal in the short-term, regardless of its impact on the long-term or everybody else. As I have mentioned in a previous post, the pyramidal age structure of human societies through most of human history also allowed the some older people to screw everybody else. It is now easy to see how bad or hubris ridden decisions made by the older people in power, with an eye on maintaining it, can screw up things for everyone else- including eventually themselves.
So how can we change this? and why now? The answer lies in the ongoing global collapse of fertility which has deprived the powerful older morons of their supply of naive idiots to abuse and dispose. We also live in an era where it is much easier to spread information and ideas that are controversial.
The message that has to spread is that older people with any worthwhile amount of power are bad for everyone else and must be terminated- by any and all means. Note that I said older people WITH power- not just older people or old people as I am not suggesting that we just off people over a certain age. The idea is to get rid of older people who are still in the hierarchy or have significant influence on decision-making. It is also important to get rid of the progeny of such people, be they kids or grand-kids, as power and privilege is often hereditary.
What do you think? Comments?