Close window  |  View original article

Our Modern Hubris Factory 4

All our problems come down to the way we vote.

By Petrarch  |  December 13, 2011

Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad.

 - attributed to Euripides

Over the course of this series, we've examined the ways in which human beings have a hard time accepting that sudden and profound change is about to happen.  We've also gone into the reasons why the life experiences of most of our elites make it impossible for them to admit failure or ever recognize being wrong, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Unfortunately for all of us, we are reaching the point where sudden and catastrophic change on a global scale will be inevitable.  Despite the near-unanimous understanding that we're on the wrong track, our rulers determinedly keep us pointed in the same disastrous direction.

Don't they realize that they, too, can go down with the ship?  Don't they care about the lives of all the little people who don't have even the hope of escaping in a Learjet to the refuge of the Swiss bullion vaults?

For some - well, no they don't.  Most people, though, even the very rich, like to see themselves as caring about other people just as we all do.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of our elites have spent their entire lives in the pursuit of the image of success as opposed to the substance of actual success.  This is because in our modern media-driven sound-bite age, the mere image of success can create actual personal success.  Just look at the wretched denizens of artificial "reality" shows, whose bank accounts have been stuffed full of very real dollars.

Snooki, however, isn't going to destroy the world economy.  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner very well may; his decisions actually matter, yet they're manifestly no better than hers, and certainly more criminal.

Yet because his entire life and that of his peers has been spent persuading everyone that he's never wrong, it's hard for Tim Geithner to believe, even in private, that he is in fact wrong - or Mr. Obama, or Ben Bernanke, or Chris Dodd, or any of the rest of them.  They are, in a word, the victims of self-imposed hubris.

Of Hubris and Hell

The dictionary tells us that hubris is "excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance."  The way the people at the top live, it would be almost impossible for them not to have excessive pride, self-confidence, and arrogance, what with all the respectful bowing and scraping and (if you're a Democrat) the worshipful attitude of the mainstream media.  They're not used to being questioned; they haven't been seriously criticized in years, and when they were, they spun a plausible-sounding explanation to defuse the criticism and move on to the next level.

The trouble is, the buck does eventually stop somewhere, sometime, and now it has.  There is no explanation or excuse for Mr. Obama's total failure to restart our economy; that is his job, plain and simple, and no amount of deflection will make it anything but his job.  The Obama administration owns the current depression, like it or lump it, and we all know it.

To solve our problems, Mr. Obama would have to admit that everything he's done since he entered college did not work, and therefore he needs to do the exact opposite.  But he can't!  That would be admitting error, which he's psychologically incapable of doing.

Is this his fault?  On a personal and moral level, perhaps so, but on a larger level it's all our faults.  We have allowed our electoral system to be perverted into something which selects, not the most competent, but the one who puts on the best show.

Mr. Obama did precisely what he needed to do to win the big prize: he, with the assistance of media sycophants, put on the best show of competence and leadership.  He gave us the 'ol soft shoe and we fell for it, hook, line, and sinker.

Never mind that it was all a fake.  Never mind that, as the last article detailed, he never did anything real in any of his previous high-seeming positions.  Never mind, in fact, that virtually nobody in the entire Obama administration has ever created a single real job doing something real, productive and profitable.  It's no wonder they have no idea how it's done!

He did what we decided we wanted, to win at the game we helped create and have tolerated since the Kennedy administration.  Mr. Obama and his fellow elites are the ultimate example of the saying, "Give me perverse incentives, and do not be surprised when I act perversely."

How can we get out of this fix?  Replacing Mr. Obama is not enough; it's barely the first step.

In order for there to be any hope of recovery, for America to return to its former glory, we must change the incentives in such a way as to ensure that those who rise to the top actually belong there.

There's nothing wrong with the Constitution, with our system of elections, even with our party politics themselves.  What we must do is to demand substance and reality, and to instantly discard mere image with the harshest condemnation.

Our visual media has spent the last half-century building image up into the illusion of a substitute for reality.  The last four years have awakened many Americans to the scam; they now know they're being lied to and have been for a long time.

It's been observed for years that good people want nothing to do with politics.  This is because, for many years, we've not picked good people to be the politicians nor demanded that politicians be good.  This can all be changed by a change at the ballot box.

For the Presidency is still the most powerful office on earth, and people still desire it.  When We the People once again demand that Presidents, Congressman, Senators, judges, mayors, selectmen - heck, even dogcatchers - be honest, forthright, truly accomplished, effective, and genuine in their leadership - then, once again, they will be.

And not one moment before.