[lbo-talk] stupid and disgusting

shag carpet bomb shag at cleandraws.com
Thu Aug 4 15:52:50 PDT 2011

I'm not really sure I understand what is at stake in this convo, but what I find a challenge to navigate is this: At work, someone will say, "This is just so stupid. They are acting like children. Grow up and get out of kindergarten. They're all freakin' five year olds."

They were referring, of course, to all politicians during this recent fiasco.

What am I supposed to do with that? It is a classic response of someone who calls themselves "independent". And it's the most bullshit of all ways to understand what was going on. Because, at root, their analysis is one in which individual politicians are the problem and if we could just get good ones in there, things would all be better.

It's like the sentiment that, if we could just force out the incumbents constantly, we wouldn't get the policies we'd get. Instead, we'd ostensibly get "good government" or whatever else it is that the speaker wants - be it less government or more government or good government. Again, though, the issue is framed such that it's individual politicians who don't have to moral rectitude to avoid corruption.

I never challenge this view or anything. It's one I have to listen to and put up with among people because it is the common sense way to think about politics in the u.s. But it creeps me out to have to listen to it, grit my teeth and say nothing.

Just a general sidenote if carrol is reading: I'd guess that most people here use 'stupid' to mean ignorant. I mean, there are probably some people here who think there's some sort of natural intelligence or something but I think most people use it to mean ignorant - as in systematically distorted understanding of the world - a systemically fucked up class society. dunno. but a hunch.


At 06:22 PM 8/4/2011, 123hop at comcast.net wrote:
>It's amazing how moralizing you are considering your opposition to moralizing.
>But I am not persuaded. You want to somehow separate systemic issues from
>their manifestation in individuals and that's not possible because nothing
>exists outside of its specific manifestation.
>Supidity is almost never a manifestation of lack of intelligence; it is
>almost always the manifestation of systemic biases. It is in this sense
>that the generals who ordered cavalry charges against machine guns in WWI
>were stupid.
>If the common understanding is that the ruling class is being stupid, I
>think there is reason to respect this understanding because I believe it
>is more correct in more important ways than your nuanced and bloodless
>And I mean this very seriously. Same goes for the judgment of the "evils"
>of capitalism.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Carrol Cox" <cbcox at ilstu.edu>
>To: lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org
>Sent: Thursday, August 4, 2011 3:10:01 PM
>Subject: Re: [lbo-talk] stupid and disgusting
>On 8/4/2011 3:31 PM, 123hop at comcast.net wrote:
>given the amount of accumulated stupidity in the system.
> >
>"Stupidity" may be the public's response on a poll, but it should not be
>the response of any leftist trying to make a serious analysis. Once
>againthe fatal error of confusing wrong opinion with lack of intelligence.

-- http://cleandraws.com Wear Clean Draws ('coz there's 5 million ways to kill a CEO)

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