In 2009, documentary director Franny Armstrong presented the world with one of the most controversial environmental non-fiction works of the beginning of the 21st century: The Age of Stupidity.
Unlike other documentaries of similar themes previously premiered, The Era of Stupidity was one of the few that put the finger on the sore point that the human being is not only responsible for one of the biggest global problems that face all the biodiversity of the planet, but that same also talks about their rationality and intelligence. That humanity is the causal agent of the catastrophe, but also a kind of gigantic child who has no idea what he is playing.
But the reasons presented by this work are not the only ones with the power to make us think that we live in the era of stupidity. Throughout the Earth, we have shown ourselves incapable of managing all kinds of problems that affect us all and that do not even worry us enough to coordinate efforts to manage them.
Signs that we live in the era of stupidity
This is a collection of crisis and collective problems that either do not concern us or we simply try to fight in an irresponsible way, with a mixture of vanity, laziness and individualistic mentality.
All of them have in common to be the result of the unwillingness to cooperate, to leave the comfort zone and to use rationality for something more than to constantly lubricate the machine of consumerism: produce and buy. Since the Internet and new information storage technologies have been available, we have had plenty of time to detect these problems and take action on the matter, but today, for some reason, we do not seem to be on the job.
1. We are destroying the planet
This is the reason why we started the article, as well as one of the most serious, so I could not miss this list. The environment is basically the most important thing we have since variations in it can end up with entire populations in a matter of minutes. However, we continue to act as if recycling by separating waste is the culmination of responsibility and civility, something reserved for the kindest and disciplined citizens.
The reality is that although individual actions count, those efforts based on the “will power” of each individual are useless.
Everything indicates that in order to stop the devastation of the planet, collective commitments are necessary, drastic changes in the economy and in the production model, and even intelligent management of the way in which we gather to live in cities. None of this is even raised, justifying it with individual liberties and expectations of continuing to have a life full of technological comforts.
2. Infant mortality
Much is said about how life gives us the opportunity to choose our path, how everything we obtain depends mainly on our decisions and attitudes.
However, we do not seem very concerned about making the world we live in conform to that vision of reality, because we systematically overlooked that, for that to be true (even if only in appearance), we should avoid As far as possible, at least there are regions where 100 out of every 1,000 babies do not reach their first year of life, as is the case today. We have the money to do it but, unfortunately, we use it to buy products manufactured with exploited labour in those areas.
3. Conspiracy theories
On December 14, 2012, a 20-year-old boy showed up at a primary school in the US town of Sandy Cook and shot and killed 27 people before committing suicide. It is one of the bloodiest massacres in the history of the United States of America, but for many people, simply, such facts did not exist.
And there is a relatively popular theory according to which what happened at school that day was actually a montage created by the Obama administration to justify policies that limit the possession of weapons. To this day, in fact, several fathers and mothers of children who died in the massacre are harassed and threatened by angry deniers for the “crocodile tears” that they claim these victims bring.
This example expresses in a few words all that is wrong with the existence of theories of conspiracy and the reason why they are a symptom of the era of stupidity.
In order to defend a vision of the world that fits with its own ideas, it is even capable of creating the most convoluted explanations, those that can not be questioned by the evidence available, attributing everything to a supposed conspiracy, to make reality It adapts to what one thinks. Even if this means directly harming many other people.
4. The exploitation of women
Even now, centuries after we started defending the theory of Freedom, Equality, Fraternity, we still allow half of the population to be confined to the domestic sphere, being penalized for acting with the same freedoms as men.
Even in those countries in which both sexes formally have the same rights, it continues to be normalized to praise unknown women on the street, harass them in nightlife, pretend that they work in the office and at the same time take care of all the work of home, and they are given less attention at work (even if they hold a leadership position).
It has never been so clear that there is a problem that goes beyond the laws, but even knowing it is very frequent that this debate is avoided with the excuse of focusing first on “those places where the woman is worse”, that is, those who live in other countries. Something that is not done with any other problem treatable from the policy.
5. Religious fanaticism
Nowadays there are no excuses for trying to impose certain religious doctrines on others. However, the tools that in a globalized world like ours should connect us and make us collaborate more and better, are used massively to try to expand religious faith over the freedoms of others.
From messages of hatred and calls to violence to political pressures to avoid being educated from scientific knowledge that contradicts dogmas, through threats that are published on the Internet for all to see and viral videos with clearly homophobic content, fanaticism has proved to be another reason why we live in the era of stupidity. Neither the scientific advances nor the technological ones are sufficient in themselves to eradicate it.
Today we know that historical identities, those that try to make us confuse our own individual identity with what our supposed ancestors did centuries or millennia ago, simply does not make sense. Obviously, there is no rational reason why what previous generations did to us should set some very specific guidelines for action that we should follow in order not to betray our roots. On the other hand, we also know that identity politics always leads to situations in which violence and authoritarianism are imposed, since it justifies certain political measures under the pretext of doing “what is natural” for a people or race, almost always creating artificial borders in communities that previously lived together.
However, nationalism has the power to seduce us again and again, when a point comes when we forget its disastrous effects. Today, many of the inhabitants of many regions of the world refuse to share economic and political spaces with other people for reasons of identity, while others try to consciously eliminate any trace of cultural differences of ethnic minorities so that their own cultures are imposed in a hegemonic way.
Mentioned in an article to write my assignment cheap, the era of stupidity is also shown in our inability to learn from mistakes. The national retreat, associated with conservative and far-right parties, is seen as something normal, that does not even have to be questioned when a people is threatened by the outside … without stopping to think that this definition of “people” is totally arbitrary and presupposes the existence of the nation as that which must be defended above people.
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