In political circles, progressives pride themselves on being “the adult in the room.” This stems from their belief in the intellectual superiority of progressivism over conservatism. The progressive stranglehold on mainstream media reflects this most often when a Republican occupies the White House. Before the “unstable” Trump there was Bush the “idiot.” The defeat of Bush senior was with the slogan “The Economy, Stupid” while his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, was “senile.” Gerald Ford was a bumbling fool in the eyes of leftists and Nixon was paranoid.
Since conservatism is more inclined to keep things as they are, implying a reluctance to consider new ideas, it’s not a stretch to assert backwardness, ignorance, or stupidity. However, conservatives are no more likely to be ignorant or close-minded than are progressives. History is awash in the blood spilled by communism yet this remains the ultimate goal of progressive ideology. Logic refutes central planning yet the state remains infallible to progressive stalwarts. Ever moving goal posts for equality may require adept mental agility but this is hardly indicative of anything more than blind obedience.
Sure, The Donald does some wacky things, but he continues the same policies that his two predecessors perpetuated, if only with a politically incorrect bravado. When Obama doubled the national debt, he was no more brilliant than Bush’s doubling of the national debt except for the scale of spending required to achieve it. Those who died under the drone attacks of Obama are no better off than those who will die under Himself regardless of their respective intellects. Republicans and Democrats share, among many other things, the propensity to be stupid on an ever increasing scale.
Modern culture is awash in misinformation and propaganda. While the Internet makes it possible for decentralized dissemination of information, it is no less prone to abuses than are any other communication media. As has been chronicled here before, little emphasis is given to teaching logic in U.S. public schools. Some might argue that this is by design but, regardless of the cause, the result is a lack of critical thinking across the majority in the population.
As the saying goes, “If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.” However, this simple adage somehow escapes significant numbers of people. Nowhere is this more evident than when new government programs or solutions are being marketed.
If a government program exists that exceeds expectations of performance or results, it remains a well kept secret. Similarly, if a government agency consistently operates under budget, it hasn’t been given adequate exposure. Yet both efficiency and low cost are commonly claimed for each proposal. Obamacare, for example, was supposed to lower health costs and improve health care. Whether you support centralized management of health services or not, anyone applying a modicum of critical thinking would question such an assertion, particularly in light of the aforementioned track record for government achieving neither.
One of the recurring themes in science-fiction is the expectation that extra-terrestrial beings will arrive to wipe out or enslave the human race. Whether it’s artificial intelligence, alien races, or our own fear and stupidity, the human race seems ever destined to be confronted with annihilation in much of the genre. Such conflict is admittedly inherent in most fiction and serves to advance plots. Regardless, the seemingly inevitable struggle with future threats is disheartening at best and betrays a common human theme regarding the struggle for life.
We are born individuals with preferences, fears, desires, and aspirations typically running counter to those of the general populous. As a result, we each see our individual existence, at least to some extent, as a struggle for relevance, purpose, or recognition. This individual struggle is then seen collectively as a struggle for the species. For this we invent existential threats, be they terrestrial or otherwise, against which we muster our spirit to survive.
While much of this belief in struggle is taught, both logic and experience prove that individuals survive best through voluntary cooperation. The division of labor can be shown to benefit all parties even when one party is best at all the tasks required. This being the case, there is no reason to believe that extra-terrestrial visitors would find cooperation more advantageous than conflict. While science-fiction is not likely to adopt a theme of cooperation anytime soon, this is certainly the more likely scenario should we ever be visited from the distant reaches of space.