Weaponising Stupidity

    By Tony Philpott | 14 August 2017
    Church and State

    I hate to be a doomsayer. It sounds so biblical. But I don’t know if anyone has noticed the darkness. I mean the darkness that’s coming. That dimming of human intelligence that has given rise to Flat Earthers, Religious Fundamentalists and Uncritical Leftists.

    The light of reason – true reason – is fading. And what’s embraced; what’s verified as truth by the dim, is becoming progressively exploited by those who wish to rise to influence and power.

    Ignorance. The most potent, the most efficacious, the most robust deficiency in the human condition is the most effectively exploited defect in human behaviour.

    Acknowledging stupidity, recognising stupidity, manipulating stupidity, are the most robust means by which Politicians and Preachers rise. It’s the means by which holocaust deniers gain credence, it is the means by which Twin Towers conspirators propagate their asinine assertions. It’s the means by which Alt-Rightists gather adherents.

    To sound properly Biblical and Armageddon-ish I might say that we are in the “Time of The Dimming”, that we are being smudged by the fog of unreason. And even though I am now on the Internet where this thought is being echoed; it echoes only amid other, louder, thoughts.

    The dim thoughts.


    That’s all we can do. In the midst of such an onslaught of Internet non-reason, in the midst of such a global, social-media, acceptance of fuzzy-fringe thinking, we can only wish for the stupidity to pass. We hope that the currently-stupid might rise, might grow, and might school themselves to a point where they relinquish such ignorance and such uncritical acceptances of Internet tropes.

    Wish, by all means. But don’t hold your breath.

    As long as simplistic thinking remains extant, as long as there exists, not just a willingness, but a two-armed embrace, of counter-thought, then such ignorance will be equally mined by those who wish to exploit it.

    The stupid are powerful. Tap into their stupidity and you’ll rabble-rise to power on the Preacher’s Pulpit or on the Presidential Podium. Hit their dim, uninformed reflexes and you will not need political fundraising to arrive at supremacy, you will not need reason to claim their faith or their knee-jerk adherence to your mystical revelations.

    All you’ll need is their ignorance.

    And they, and those that mine their ignorance, are winning. They are winning because the stupid propel to power those who endorse, reflect, and echo that stupidity. Were I to be an avaristic politician or preacher, where might I go to find supporters? More importantly, where might I go to find the most supporters? Among the uninformed, the indifferent, and the gullible.

    And there are more of them than us.

    See you in the bunker.

    Tony Philpott is a published author and screenwriter. His latest book “Faithless — A Journey Out Of Religion With Stops For Light Refreshment Along The Way” is a biting and humorous critique of religion and irrationality.

    Faithless – A Journey Out Of Religion With Stops For Light Refreshment Along The Way
    By Tony Philpott
    The Liffey Press (November 2013)
    ISBN-10: 1908308486
    ISBN-13: 978-1908308481

    What Are the Arguments Against Religion? A. C. Grayling on the Case for Humanism (2013)

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