Stupidify Stupidify according to the Oxford dictionary. There are too many people who want the citizens to be stupid. Democracy fell when ancient Rome became an empire, the end is known. Everything should be done to stop the process
Humanity is getting stupider. At some point the forces opposing science and inventing a virtual and distorted reality for their believers, began to emerge from the shadows and worsen the damage they have caused so far. An example of this is last week's decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, which has allowed women in the US to have abortions for fifty years.
And before the reasons - it turns out that reality is faster than the worst predictions. In the days following the abortion decision, US courts passed a series of decisions preventing, for example, restrictions on the carrying of weapons, neutralizing the government in its efforts to fight the climate crisis, and even interfering in decisions abolishing the separation of religion from the state - for example, in matters of prayers in schools and government funding of religious schools (See a comprehensive review by the New York Times and which was translated on the Haaretz website)
The decision of the US Supreme Court to overturn a fifty-year-old ruling that gave federal legal validity to abortion, a decision that was apparently made in the name of a democratic principle - to let each country decide for itself, is unfortunately another sign of the stupidity that is going on in the world.
Stupidify - causing stupidity according to the dictionary definition of OXFORD LANGUAGES (in English Stupidify) is perhaps the most accurate definition that brings together seemingly unrelated phenomena, but definitely has a common denominator.
Let's start with the war on science that the Republican presidents in the US have intensified every time one of them enters the White House - whether it's withdrawing from the climate agreement (Bush and Trump), preventing stem cell research (Bush) and more. These issues have translated, especially in the era of Trump, into a real war - to the point of crushing the EPA, the Environmental Protection Authority, which was filled with industrialists, through NASA, which was asked to invest more in deep space flights than in Earth research, this went as far as shutting down the Centennial spacecraft that transmitted images of the Earth In full light, if only to hide evidence concerning, for example, the shrinking of the glaciers, and thousands of other small (and even petty) but consistent and cumulative decisions.
Haunted world - the candle in the darkness shrinks
Stupidity in the US is nothing new. The late Prof. Carl Sagan dedicated many books including the one he wrote on his deathbed to the fight against it, called "A Demon Haunted World - Science as a Fiddler in the Dark". The stupidity he describes in America is worrying, the level of education is low in most of the USA, when the universities were already filled with Indians and Chinese. The shallowness of the yellow press, the advertisements in magazines that appeal to a certain community - for example UFO enthusiasts - also sell homeopathic medicines and other vegetables.
In an article on the MIT PRESS website Peter Gleeson and Robert Proctor explain Because the attitude of the American public to science has known ups and downs. "A hundred years ago, with the great technological inventions that made wealth possible, there was a boom in trust in science. After the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, some began to reject science as an anti-moral factor."
"Interest in science returned with the launch of Sputnik, which started not only a space race but an overall scientific race, which also made it possible to allocate large public budgets for research. Until then, the funding came mainly from donations and the audience had to be excited so that random donors would hear about the research and donate. When the public funds arrived and with them the criticism of the peers - the scientists stopped referring to the general public. Then doubts also began to arise in the public because of the contribution of science to the development of technologies harmful to the environment, as the pioneer of the environmental movement Rachel Carson noticed in connection with DDT.
"In the following decade, progress in the fields of fertility again led to fear of scientific progress, and this time it was fueled by conservatives who feared entering God's sphere of activity and moral problems related to fertility. The industry people - mainly the fossil fuel industry who opposed the scientific approach to climate change joined religious conservatives who feared the study of the theory of evolution and the developments in the field of fertility."
The internet was supposed to be a tool for spreading knowledge, but instead it has become a tool where anyone can create their own world and claim that it is the real world. This is how a belief developed in the dangers that are hidden from the public eye in scientific developments in drugs, cell phones, vaccines, electromagnetic fields, water fluoridation, and genetically modified plants, and this despite the fact that these beliefs have no scientific basis. This is also how delusional and contradictory ideas written by a frustrated Hollywood screenwriter, under the nickname Qannon, were put forward, which increased the stupidity to the point of creating a false world regarding the results of the US elections in 2020.
"Wherever the people are well informed," wrote Thomas Jefferson, "they will trust their government." Jefferson was a lawyer and a scientist, and like the other founders of the United States, he risked his life to protect the ability of people to govern themselves, relying on scientific knowledge against the authoritarian rule of kings."
The autocratic elite in many western countries
But when this tool is used to spread misinformation, we get autocratic leaders who were apparently elected in free elections in countries like Brazil, Hungary, Poland, the Philippines, and of course the USA. The ease with which it was possible in the middle of the previous decade to invent news that did not exist and was not created (fake news) apparently made it possible for some Russian hackers to disrupt the referendum in Great Britain that resulted in Great Britain leaving the European Union (Brexit) against the interests of the British. It was possible to invent fake news that senior Democratic operatives including presidential candidate Hillary Clinton were running a pedophilia ring from the basement of a Washington pizza restaurant and people believed it despite the incoherence. This brought an armed man to the restaurant who believed the story and opened fire that luckily did not hit anyone, only to discover that the restaurant had no basement at all.
A large part of the conspiracy theories also contain antisemitic elements. In these theories there are always some people who secretly run the world, they and not the governments as is commonly thought. In Israel they don't say who they are, but not like that in the world; We heard, for example, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia who accused the Rothschild family of shooting a laser from space that caused the fires in California. It could be funny if it wasn't sad.
Perhaps the peak of the use of fake news is now taking place in Russia, when its president, Vladimir Putin, an autocrat who preceded the others we mentioned earlier and may also have helped them get elected, claims that the government of Ukraine consists of Nazis. The fact that the president and three senior ministers are Jewish did not prevent them from claiming this.
The oil tycoons in the West we mentioned above seem to prefer doing business with autocratic rulers. The gas outline in Israel is an example of this because the agreement was signed despite a public protest and while completely ignoring it and treating the citizens of Israel as subjects. Unfortunately in Israel there are bodies that imitate one by one all the most delusional decisions in the USA. When you get to the elections, it is advisable to check who it is and avoid choosing them.
This danger has not passed and it may even increase when millions of people live in a media bubble that has nothing to do with reality. They believe in a large number of conspiracy theories, some of them contradictory whose common denominator is - don't believe the media, and don't trust the government experts because they are biased in favor of such and such companies (the truth is that it is not completely far-fetched, as we know, but the oil tycoons are going in the opposite direction here when they The pharmaceutical companies are being sacrificed as part of a campaign that may result in the destruction of democracy. Dotan Reiss explained this well in the article "Paradigmatic Crisis in the Flat Land" - the believers must not believe anyone, not even their friends, they have to check everything themselves).
The resistance to listening to experts is a recipe for anarchy and a return to the Middle Ages
Since man came down from the trees, a long process of specializations began, at the end of which each one engages in a field in which he has a relative advantage and frees others for crafts in which they have a relative advantage. The idea that every person should be an expert in everything is a clear recipe for anarchy.
The ruling on abortion from last week, following the destruction of democracy in other ways, shows that it is impossible to trust that hard-earned rights will be preserved under a regime with totalitarian features (the decision was made thanks to three judges appointed by Trump). We must in some way penetrate the iron curtain that hides the reality from millions of people, this is the first step before the restoration of democracy. But how do you do that when social networks actually benefit from polarization?
Maybe this strange coalition of tycoons, socially closed people and clergy have no interest in stopping the bullshit. Most people who want to continue living in democratic countries have an interest in it, and it is desirable that someone starts doing something about it, and not just complain. With dictators you can only talk to the wall.
We all need to learn from the past, so as not to repeat it - the reference is to the stage when democracy in the Roman Republic was abolished and power passed to the emperors. How it ends - we all know. We don't have a thousand years to waste on a new Middle Ages.
Why should this concern us, citizens of Israel? First of all, there are a lot of Hebrew readers in the US and secondly, for some reason, the Israeli right has determined that all the agendas of the American right must be implemented here one by one, and especially laws created due to the libertarian approach according to which the government has no role in our lives and everyone should be left to their own devices so that the polluters The big ones will be able to pollute without accounting, and the result is ignoring the climate crisis and even sabotaging the fight against it and encouraging anti-scientific ideas in general.
More of the topic in Hayadan: