The Future of Stupidity and Vice Versa
James F. Welles, Ph.D.
East Marion New York, USA
Failure: America and the Western world in general comprise only the most recent example of a civilization failing to live up to its own standards. In this respect, we are but typical of the civilized tendency of failing to fulfill a presumed destiny. In fact, with or without expectations or destinies, one of the most consistent characteristics of civilizations is failure.1 Archaeologists have built a profession on studying failures. Historians build careers by explaining failures2 in books tropically entitled “Decline and Fall…” or “Rise and Fall ….”3 Every day, we are immersed in ignorable warnings (e.g., an unmanageable federal debt which feeds on itself) that we too may fail as have those who have gone before. The paradox is that when studying the past, archaeologists (and historians) assume the societies they study were composed of rational, cognitively integrated and sane human beings who made sense. However, when observing contemporary civilizations, social scientists have found this assumption impossible to support.4
The cause of this intellectual fault line is that the fundamental human constant across the ages and throughout modern society is not integrated rationality but stupidity. Unfortunately, no amount of information, learning or technological expertise seems to alter this subtlety of internal contradictions unresolved one iota. A basic cause of this is that we have ready-made, socially condoned, psychologically correct explanations for practical problems. Unexplained is the curiosity that such problems arise without evident cause and remain unresolved despite everyone’s best efforts.
The trouble really is, of course, with the explanations, which contribute to failure by explaining away not only the inexplicable but the explicable as well. We need the assurance of having answers, so if necessary, we make them up. These myths, in turn, can prevent us from discovering valid answers to our questions. Particularly elusive is the answer to the perpetual human riddle—why are our best efforts not good enough? The answer offered here is because swapping one myth for another is not progress.
How to cite this article:
James F. Welles. The Future of Stupidity and Vice Versa. International Journal of Psychological Research and Reviews, 2018, 1:8. DOI: 10.28933/iprr-2018-12-1410
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