I’m not one to reflexively bark, ‘Gah! Aren’t people just the fu**ing worst! God, how stupid are we?’, whenever I come across an example of individual human awfulness. Or at least I try not to be. It’s always more helpful to focus on the bigger picture, on the structural factors underlying everything. There are larger forces at work, conspiring overtly and covertly to keep things the way they are. Ire and fire should be focused there. Not on a hapless individual cog in the system, being ground to dust against the vicious gears they have no control over. It’s not a person that’s bad—it’s the system that’s pushed them to behave badly. It’s not the ill-educated person that’s acting in a sub-optimal manner—it’s the poorly funded indifferent capitalist educational establishment that’s failed them, and the endless stream of propaganda designed to keep them that way so as to shield the elites from a united working class that might have the gall to ask for a slightly larger bite of the very abundant yet ludicrously unequally fu**ing shared pie!
Ahem. Where was I?
Oh yeah. Micro vs. macro. Individual vs. systemic.
It’s not the Coldplay fans that are to blame—it’s.
Anyway all that being said!, despite that effort, I still sometimes default to exasperation and rage at the sight of individual human stupidity and ignorance. Sometimes it’s just impossible to not to, even if albeit briefly. It’s not like we’re short of examples right now either, what with the coronavirus raging and individuals acting like irresponsible, panicking chickens, making things worse, building forts at home with all that purchased bog roll and filling a moat around it with the wrong type of hand gel. Yes, the airlines flying half-full planes and choking the atmosphere with more global warming gases in order to keep their allocated slots and thus not momentaritly lessen profits is terrible and just one of thousands examples of capitalism’s dire structural inability to behave in rational, life-friendly ways; and yes the ineptitude displayed by many world governments in their responses to the outbreak also proves a testament to the failures of capital-captured politics, BUT ALSO: individual people—aren’t they the fu**ing worst?
Anywhoooo, here’s an AskReddit thread, that asks a relevant question to all this: ‘What only exists because of people’s stupidity?’ You can check out the full thread here but below are some…sigh…highlights:
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