Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > Patriotism is a Good Proxy Marker for Overall Gullibility and Stupidity

Patriotism is a Good Proxy Marker for Overall Gullibility and Stupidity

Experience has taught me that there are many proxy markers for quickly determining the overall gullibility and stupidity of any given person or group of people. Some markers of gullibility, such as intense religiosity and following professional sports, are reasonably well-known. Other are either not well-known or seldom talked about. This article is about one of the most important and relevant markers of low functional intelligence in the modern world.

Patriotism is probably the best marker for gullibility and stupidity in modern secular societies.

But why is that so. What makes patriotism a better marker of gullibility and stupidity than belief in undead reformist rabbis, skydudes and guys with pointy tails? Well, there are many reasons.

For one, many people just don’t believe in skydudes and anti-skydudes like they used to- even a hundred years ago. Advances in science and technology combined with social changes have moderated belief in traditional religions even among those who openly profess to being extra-religious. You just can’t throw virgins into volcanoes, sacrifice animals and humans or claim to hear clear voices in your heads without looking especially stupid or mentally ill. While your basic hardcore religious moron can still selectively quote scriptures to discriminate against gays or the poor, it is obvious that their number and influence is on the decline.

But this does not mean that people have stopped believing in, and looking upto, make-believe authority.

The rise of belief in credentialed experts who speak in clever sounding mumbo-jumbo is the modern version of believing in priests, faith healers and shamans. Similarly those who believe in the goodwill of someone just he or she happens to wear expensive suits and speak politely is as gullible as someone who believed in the benevolence of luxuriously attired nobility of previous eras. Is there any difference between corporations hiring consultants and old nobility hiring shamans or fortune tellers? My point is that blind belief did not disappear with the demise of traditional religions and belief systems. It simply migrated into supposedly more modern and secular institutions.

The hyper-patriotic americans of today are as gullible and stupid as their distant ancestors who lived their lives according to the heavily-edited writings of people who heard voices in their heads.

The same is true of ethnically ‘pure’ Japanese who believe in the specialness of their race or the Koreans who also believe in something similar. West-european nations are no different. A majority of germans do actually believe that they are somehow chosen or special, not unlike scandinavians who actually believe that they are better human beings. But in spite of all their geographical and racial differences, all these morons have one thing in common.

Since they have nothing to show for themselves as individuals, they grab onto any group (real or fake) whose membership makes them feel special or less un-special than before.

This same dynamic is also seen in grown men wearing the branded gear of sport teams whose mercenary players will not even acknowledge their existence in real life. It is also visible when couples who buy expensive homes in the ‘right’ communities and then work their asses off for decades to pay for what they cannot enjoy. Also, paying more for brand names without a guarantee of proportionally higher quality is dumb.

While human existence is intrinsically meaningless, slaving to impress or enrich someone who does not care is not the rational way to make it appear meaningful.

And that is part of the reason why patriotism is so problematic. It is always about what you can do for your country and not what your country can do for you. It is about what the group (actually just a few people in that group) can extract from you for nothing in return. The peddlers and true beneficiaries of nationalistic patriotism rarely lose a fingernail while benefiting from the misguided and delusional sacrifices of stupid sheeple who lose their lives, health and much more.

Even worse, patriotism is heavily promoted by the government and all its institutions unlike traditional religions which enjoy no significant state support in most modern societies. But make no mistake. Patriotism is the modern secular version of older traditional blood-letting religions. It is about creating a fake identity brand whose cost of membership is your freedom and basic decency as a human being.

Would you willingly enter a supposedly trendy nightclub that wanted you to sign away your freedom and basic human dignity as the cost of entry? What would you think of those who did so? Would you retain membership of a social club that demanded your voluntary and enthusiastic sacrifice for enriching its elite members? Would you lose your life, limb and more to momentarily impress people who would just walk by you if you were dying on the side of a road?

All those “U-S-A, U-S-A” chants and flag-waving wont get you decent and accessible health care or job security. Patriotism wont even protect you from terrorists. It won’t stop “american” cops from shooting you dead in the streets even if you are unarmed. It wont stop various departments of the government AND its many private partners (aka corporations) from screwing you for every last dollar. And what do you get in return for all this blind trust and faith?

… anything special? anything?

Continued loyalty to groups and institutions only makes sense if they have reciprocated your initial gestures of goodwill. There is far more dignity and profit in living for yourself, even if you are an unremarkable person, than buying into some fake group that wants your blood, happiness and soul as its membership fee.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. FlybyNight
    October 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    agree

  2. Macedon
    October 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Non stop reality. That’s why i love this blog.

  3. Asplund
    October 9, 2013 at 12:11 am

    This should be read to every single American male on his 18th birthday.

  4. P Ray
    October 9, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Lovely read. Am trying to deprogram a guy who still thinks he should be a whiteknight despite being friendzoned repeatedly. If puahate – shitty advice doesn’t work, I will send him to your blog.

  5. Webe
    October 9, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Human beings are social beings (that’s why they read/write blogs). The need to form part of a living community is so great that individuals will project all kinds of feelings and thoughts on whatever wasted remains of community are still present. Individuals from tribes in N. America and Africa who were banned (or taken to Europe for show and tell) often died shortly — they could not hack being cut off from their community. For present-day individuals it is scarcely possible to fathom how completely ensconced and at home humans beings were in such tightly knit communities.

    The reflex that is expressed in banal and trivial identification with totems like a sports team or nationalism cannot be extirpated anymore than instincts connected with eating or sex, as little as you can sever the association of a mirage with water by someone dying of thirst in the desert. And this applies in particular to young men who have always had to earn their place in the community.

    So everything you have stated with regards to markers for stupidity in equal measure bears testimony to just how impoverished, fragmented, alienated, and empty our “civilized” existence has become.

  6. EvilOne
    October 9, 2013 at 10:23 am

    And this applies in particular to young men who have always had to earn their place in the community.
    —————————————————————————————–

    You’re mostly right, except earning implies there is a path to take. For a young man, apart from watching his figure and putting on a little muscle, and being a baseline of fake sociable – there is no path… no way to make up or compensate for weaknesses.

  7. meofio
    October 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    In the old days, people joined army for rapez and lootz. Now days they get nothing except a traveling experience. Which is why US army is having problem finding new recruits, and have to resort to gays, illegal immigrants and women, and eventually robots.

  8. October 10, 2013 at 9:25 am

    While your basic hardcore religious moron can still selectively quote scriptures to discriminate against gays or the poor, it is obvious that their number and influence is on the decline.

    It is debatable whether their influence is declining– in fact, I think it is debatable whether they ever had much influence in the first place( and in saying this I believe I am supporting your contentions, not undermining them.) What seems to be changing is the manner in which they are manipulated, and to what ends.

    I do disagree that their numbers are in decline. There has been a shift from “mainstream” denominations to pentecostal forms of religion:

    ” The current estimate of 500 million followers is particularly phenomenal considering that Pentecostalism had no adherents when the movement began in 1906.

    As recently as 1970, Pentecostals and Charismatics represented only 6% of the world’s Christian population. By 1997 the figure jumped to 27% of the world’s Christians, or 497 million people, exceeding the total number of Protestants and Anglicans. (Source: David Barrett)”

    http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/quick_question32.html

    The pentecostals are what you refer to when you speak of hardcore religious morons, are they not?

  9. IamMarktoo
    October 10, 2013 at 11:19 am

    “they grab onto any group”. I think they are manipulated to it. Advertising, marketing, public relations, and all its entertainment. After the sex what’s left?

    • webe
      October 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Well manipulated sounds kind of conspiratorial, as if there’s people with definite aims pulling levers and controlling the outcome. In fact, there is no intelligent malevolent leadership — it’s all blind stupidity and perhaps clever but only at the level of individual ego gain. It’s worse than malevolent — it’s completely out of control, blind forces.
      The idea of manipulation by superb chess-players always pops up. All those people who were for centuries manipulated by the priestly class to act in the interests of the wealthy instead of for their own good, sacrificing now for pie in the sky later. If you think that you can so easily deliberately manipulate people centuries on end, be my guest. The manipulated and the manipulators are all actors in a dynamic which none of them have purposely evoked.

      • IamMarktoo
        October 11, 2013 at 2:50 am

        Didn’t think they were superb chess players. Just a bunch of hot women from the press office taking the editor out to lunch.

      • hoipolloi
        October 20, 2013 at 11:30 am

        “The manipulated and the manipulators are all actors in a dynamic which none of them have purposely evoked.”

        It has been stated, that people like to deceive others and like to be deceived by others.

  10. hoipolloi
    October 20, 2013 at 11:24 am

    @AD: “My point is that blind belief did not disappear with the demise of traditional religions and belief systems. It simply migrated into supposedly more modern and secular institutions.”

    There is a saying among the religious circles, If you do not believe in God you will believe in everything. It is not a pretty situation. Religions should constantly update and reform themselves continually.

  11. August 18, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    One of the ten best topics written here. Scratch that… one of the fifty best!

  12. May 8, 2015 at 8:37 am
  1. October 5, 2014 at 2:15 pm

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