I am not sure whether the US population has become markedly dumber in recent years or it is simply more visible now through social media. But the amount of moronic memes and general stupidity from Americans visible on social media is staggering.
From the rise of Flat Earthers to a wide range of nutty conspiracy theories, religious fanaticism, right wing extremism and rejection of science.
The US is clearly in rapid decline. We are seeing a nation imploding from lack of intelligence, empathy and responsibility. The current political polaization is but a symptom. Trump is a symptom.
And I believe the social media – predomenantly created in the US – has been a catalyst for the US decline. Call it karma, call it our Great Filter. But whatever it is, the rest of the world may be wise to start planning the future without the former super-power.
Good bye USA. It was nice while it lasted.
42 thoughts on “Good bye USA”
I don’t think it has changed much from the 1950s and 1960s. There have always been strains of anti-intellectualism and bigotry galore, and what was once dubbed “”the silent majority” of sensible people. Having come of age during the days when there was a military draft and the Vietnam War was going on, and just after Senator McCarthy’s and HUAC’s reign, that’s my opinion. Social media has certainly made things look different, and the mainstream media is not the same as it was in some ways. But it has always been a vehicle for propaganda.
It may just be that social media had given that silent and stupid majority a voice.
I think social media have given the stupid minority louder voices. Mainstream media hasn’t helped. Their attention span has shrunk to almost a point.
I would say Trump really is going to make America great again – through raising awareness in the areas where change is most needed. Seems to me this is what has been needed – and what in fact is happening.
Americans are basically very able people in many different categories, as has been shown by their many positive accomplishments over more than two centuries – which began with bringing about a vision of freedom.
So in my view, what we should be “putting out” into the universe is the vision of yet another new and improved paradigm – all over again (as Yogi Berra would say).
One could hope, I guess. But I think the deterioration of the American culture has reached critical mass. And the culture of e.g. East Asian countries remains very strong. China well surpass the US. Others will follow, the EU included. And science will be the driver.
I must say I don’t think “American culture” has deteriorated. It didn’t really exist to start with. The country is too young to have established a culture. The pioneer culture was too busy genociding the Native Americans. Americans got along in their diversity of origins by knowing what not to publicly talk about, mainly politics and religion That’s how the “melting pot” succeeded and communities from different countries co-existed. Social media has changed that. The “silent majority” is a concept popularized by Richard Nixon. Definition of the silent majority:
: the largest part of a country’s population that consists of people who are not actively involved in politics and do not express their political opinions publicly.
I don’t think what you read on social media represents any kind of majority posting the memes. It is trolls and political operatives and their useful idiots and groupies for the most part. If you read the long comment sections all the way through, there are a lot of very sensible people responding to the memes being posted. There are also some ad homing jerks who never post anything substantive.
Perhaps. But the idiocy does negatively affect the culture. And at this point – like I said – I think the idiocy has sunk in and has reached critical mass. I think the US is being repair, beyond rescue.
“Where there’s life, there’s hope.”
Even Stephen Hawking knew that, and stated it – and proved it.
There is always hope. But the chance for recovery is so slim IMO that plans for the future may as well be with a prominent US leafy out.
A “leafy out”?
Okay, but I’m still not sure what you mean by “plans for the future may as well be with a prominent US left.”
Since 100 years back, basically all political plans for every country on Earth has taken into account the US as the primary super-power; politically, economically and military. In the near future, countries will wake up to the fact that this is nip longer the case. The US squandered it.
… left out
Got it. Well, it could simply be that confusion is blowing off. Or if you prefer – it’s always darkest before the dawn.
In any case, I’m not really a nationalist. My basic optimism is about people in general. I hope you’re a little more optimistic in that regard, at least. And if not, you should be – especially if you believe reality is co-created. The idea of co-creation is one way of wording my main point.
I’m quite optimistic about the world progressing and improving, and happily so without the US as any driving force.
Hi marildi – On another blog I seem to recall you advocating impeaching Trump before he was even inaugurated – lol No big deal. I never watched any of the political debates or stupid campaign commercials so I wasn’t so circumspect. Politics keeps rumbling (or stumbling) along and I’m not fearful for my life.
Richard: “On another blog I seem to recall you advocating impeaching Trump before he was even inaugurated – lol”
That’s true – and I still think it will happen. When I said Trump really is going to make America great again, I hope you didn’t take me literally! I meant that he would do so inadvertently – by raising the general awareness that something must be done about the situations Trump is magnifying.
If I remember right, you and I also had some discussion on Marty’s blog about Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory. In that particular theory, polarities are seen as ultimately positive – which directly relates to this discussion about the current era of Trump and the increase of polarities. Here’s a brief description from a podcast on an Integral website a couple years ago:
From an integral perspective, polarities are essential to cosmic evolution. It shows how thesis and antithesis, one thing and its opposite, generate a new synthesis or a new integration. Again, to quote Whitman, “Out of the dimness opposite equals advance.”
Obama’s whole speech [his last State of the Union address] was built around this. He talked about “It’s change that promises amazing medical breakthroughs, but also economic disruptions that strain working families. Change promises education for girls in the most remote villages, but also connects terrorists plotting an ocean away. It’s change that can broaden opportunity or widen inequality.”
He formulated the big polarities in the form of questions, two of which he really emphasized and that is, first, “How do we give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and also security in this new economy?” That is just integrally phrased if you asked me. Also, second, he says, “How do we keep America safe and lead the world, without becoming its policeman?” He specifically and explicitly fought back against the fear meme that affects so much of the media and, of course, the Republicans, because they want to create a sense that the world is on fire.
Click to access Daily-Evolver-live-podcast-transcript-1-13-16.pdf
Ok, Let’s be flat about it. Nationalism is a bad thing and national-socialism ( the kind trum proposes) is worse than that. Who care if it was first said by Mario Molina or a South African, wlobal warming will hit us all the same, wherever you live. So I guess it would be great to develop some international socialism and take care of our common ball we live in:
Global warming isn’t caused just by burning fossil fuels. It’s caused by TOO MANY PEOPLE burning fossil fuels. There aren’t enough solar panels and windmills to provide electricity for 8 BILLION people. A giant burp of methane in the arctic and we’re all toast. Oh well.
Until about two years ago China had a one child only policy which incidentally was not draconian. Now it’s two children only. The Commies were worried about the economy slowing down and losing power. More people means more demand for goods and services and the economy keeps humming along.
I’m still an optimist – haha
Hi Richard, shake that hands, I am a optimistic type of person too.But there are few things not funny, and then I get tough. Planetary warming is not funny, national socialism is not funny and demographic explossion is not funny. So I try to do my part to better such bad conditions and not back up those encorauging them.
According to an article in the magazine “Scientific American” a fertility rate of 2.1 children per female produces a stable population. That fact should be widely publicized but the be fruitful and multiply crowd won’t allow it. (I just publicized it)
The US was seen as a “super power” but that is not what made the US pre-eminent. It was the democratic ideals that made it admired. It stood for freedom. But in foreign policy the idea of “the ugly American” has existed for quite a while. It was introduced by the book of the same name in, I believe, the 1950s. There has been a steady erosion of the vision of America, as more and more people have realized the US is not all it was cracked up to be, with its endless subversions of other governments on one pretext or another. Iraq was the last straw. And the buying of the American government , with the passage of Citizens United which made corporations into people under the law and allowed them to contribute unlimited money to influence legislators sealed the deal. Trump took advantage of the people’s disaffection and got into office. The problem is not the erosion of American culture as such. It was a deliberate subversion of the ideals, driven by greed. I think a cultural backlash is coming, with hundreds of thousands of women and young people now protesting in the streets, hopefully to some more positive outcomes and curbing of the influence of the multinational corporations.
Intelligent summary. Thanks.
“I think a cultural backlash is coming, with hundreds of thousands of women and young people now protesting in the streets, hopefully to some more positive outcomes and curbing of the influence of the multinational corporations”
Well said, Val.
p.s. On this point about women and young people protesting, MSNBC just cited some statistics on the recent “marches,” which I took note of: Ten percent of them were under 18, 70% were women. The total number of “marchers” in Washington DC was larger than its population – with over 4 million nationwide. Their average age was 49, and more than 70% had a college degree. Significantly, only 27% had never taken part in protests before – with the conclusion that it was not just about guns. As I say, awareness is rising, paving the way to actual change.
Nice statistics. Thanks.
I think it is about time for the rest of the world to “say goodbye” to the US in that way. The US has been fostering co-dependency around the world. This may be one of the major positive results of Trump’s attitudes and activities, although it is obvious he is getting his marching orders from the usual somebodies, that all Presidents have gotten in the past 60-70 years. I think that’s why he has not been able to meet the promises he made to get elected, just as Obama was not able to get Guantanamo closed, or do much about the US involvement in the middle east. Obama in fact escalated the arms sales and drone strikes etc in that area, and Hillary would probably have done even more in that direction, although she may have done a lot better domestically. I prefer some of Trump’s foreign policy attitudes and actions. I think North Korea is an example.
I think there are separate issues here. There is cultural America and political America which breaks down into internal politics and world politics. In black and white terms world politics is military might used to enforce economic advantage and national security. My friend’s view about the Iraq war was “It’s all about the oil.” Humanitarians feel the U.S. should use military influence to intervene in humanitarian crises which continually arise around the world.
Internal politics has, for example, build the Wall to keep out border jumpers and laws to prevent and expel squatters such as people ignoring expiration dates on their visas. The opposing view is calling such people immigrants and the U.S. is a nation of immigrants and most of them are nice people. Extremists theoretically cancel each other out.
I think up a comment about the cultural side of America later. Happy Easter.
Not surprisingly, you left out left wing extremism in your opening salvo Geir.
Because they are fewer and often less extreme, at least in the US.
Left wing extremists are not the ones calling for some kind of revolution in the US – it is the right wing and 2nd amendment folks who cite “protecting ourselves against the libtard government” as making it necessary for them to own military style guns. They are always talking about that kind of stuff on the internet and on the radio.
This is what , we, left wing mexican extremists are doing lately to hurt U.S. citicens.
Our country has reality it can be proud of.
OUR country saw a dumb fuck LIMO DRIVER build his own fucking rocket and launch it toward space because he thinks he is getting a bullshit story from the top.
HE THINKS the earth is flat and he’s gonna prove he is risking his life in a rocket he built himself.
I invite you all to STAND UP RIGHT NOW IN HONOR OF MIKE.
That said, I think that even if Mike got to spend a free week on the International Space Station, I’m convinced Mike will still believe the earth is flat.
So what would Mike do after a week on the Space Station with the spinning earth beneath him? Probably commit to build an inter dimensional spaceship to prove we are living on the surface of a computer screen of a twelve year old alien with Acne.
Because Mike Hughes SAID THE EARTH WAS FLAT GODDAM IT. And … screens ARE flat so there! BTW Mike’s launch is on YouTube.
So Mike, we’re probably flat SOMEWHERE. You just gotta find it yo.
Mike Hughes is what America is all about. Being wrong in all the right ways.
Here’s an excerpt from a review of an upcoming book titled *Troll Nation*, by Amanda Marcott (to be released later this month on April 24). According to the review, the book not only lays out the issues being faced by the USA but makes a hopeful statement about a direction that can be taken, summarized at the end of this excerpt of that review:
*Troll Nation* looks [at] a range of issues including health care, gun policy, political correctness and race. Marcotte argues that the GOP positions on these topics, which look remarkably inconsistent and incoherent through just about any other analytical frame including the professed beliefs of conservatives themselves, can best (and sometimes only) be explained by a reflexive knee-jerk opposition to any and all values championed by the urban, progressive, young and multicultural coalition that elected Obama, motivated by the desire to hurt and demoralize that group for being who they are: a threat to the identity of older, white America. That kind of tribalism makes traditional good-faith debate on policy nearly impossible.
“The impulses that have created troll nation – resentment, bigotry, nihilism – are extremely powerful,” she writes. “Now that millions of Americans have organized their political identities and ideologies around the concept of sticking-it-to-liberals, they cannot be reasoned with or corralled. That’s why troll nation elevated Trump in the first place, because no one else in politics so embodies that mindless urge to bully, coupled with a complete indifference to the realities of governance.”
Marcotte, a plain-spoken Texan and veteran of sharp-elbowed political blogs, isn’t the kind of writer who leaves readers wondering what she really thinks. Troll Nation is dripping with invective, and her tendency to drench everything in piss and vinegar is unlikely to endear the book to those who don’t already share her political views.
But bridge-building isn’t the point of a book like this. It’s to stiffen the spine of progressive activists, give them a clear-eyed picture of the task ahead of them, and challenge the conventional media discourse that tries to assign equivalent legitimacy to both sides of a partisan dispute, even when one side is transparently acting in bad faith.
There are a couple things you haven’t thought of. Science has become censored by the left, even history. The science is lies to further their agenda. What you have said about the right isn’t completely true, they want their promised constitution! It is our right as Americans! They have taken our freedom of speech online and especially our 4rth amendment! Do you know everything we do on our phones, computer, and financials is being recorded and watched!?? The left is becoming a facist movement of censorship! They might even be worse than the right. The parties in some sense have flip flopped! At the same time they are both corrupt to the core! Letting the banks and corporations control them! Israel controls both parties! They are both in with the military industrial complex! And everything on the media is government propaganda, for instance the war in Syria has been started by the cia! It had nothing to do with Assad hurting his ppl. 78% voted for Assad. Also, what a coincidence that alqeda and Isis are on the same side as the US and Israel on that subject! Alqeda apologized to isreal when they accidentally killed some isrealis! Put that in your pipe and smoke it. I don’t think you are seeing the big picture. Everything in the past has been hidden from the American ppl. Most ppl in this country have no idea what obama did as president. Our country has been stripped of liberties since 911, which was done to us by our own government. There’s too many facts supporting that. The media imposes all these ideas on Its people that are going on but really aren’t. What America needs is a cleaning of the shadow government and new parties to take part and less democrat and republicans. They lied about Iraq and Afghanistan and they lie about Iran and Syria. They do regime change all the time.
Thank you for supplying an live example of what I wrote here. I think your comment covered pretty much every point I made.
And you know why we have trump?!!! He said he would investigate Hilary Clinton and 911, and finally someone in politics exposed the fake mainstream media, but most of all the reason we have trump is Hilary Clinton. America doesn’t want that old corrupt demon bitch hag. We know of her hit lists, her corruption, pay for play in her illegal foundation, we saw the emails of her campaign manager showing how fake she was! “ say this it will make her look better” Did you see what happend when America found out the primary’s were rigged? Our fucking democratic convention was completely censored! They had sound machines blocking Bernie delegates, and cardboard squares that were held up in front of the yellow shirts Bernie’s fans wore in order for the tv viewers to see how many sanders supporters there were! They sold the seats of Bernie’s fans on Craigslist! They handed out chants to chant over a He Bernie ppl. The emails revealed how they changed the voting places last minute or closed down the ones that showed the most support for him in a particular area, they did everything. They let Hilary control the whole dnc and finances before she won! The emails revealed the polling place corruption. She had her people prop trump up bc she thought she could win against him. The polls were faked daily! If you have some time you need to go over to Wikileaks. We know what she did in Libya. We know everything.
Wow. The example who keeps delivering.