by Frank Li
This is the sixteenth article of the series: "Towards An Ideal Form of Government".
Previously, I identified five major similarities between communism and democracy as follows:
In this article, I will identify stupidity as a sixth major similarity between communism and democracy.
1. What is stupidity?
According to Wikipedia,
Stupidity is a lack of intelligence, understanding, reason, wit, or sense. It may be innate, assumed, or reactive - "being 'stupid with grief' as a defense against psychological trauma", a state marked with "grief and despair, making even simple daily tasks a hardship."
Stupidity was obviously needed in communism. It is becoming increasingly clear that stupidity is also needed in democracy.
2. Stupidity in communism
Stupidity is deeply rooted in communism, because communism relies on stupidity to win power first and then to rule.
2.1 Stupidity was needed for China's communists to win
After the WWII, two parties ruled China: Kuomintang, which headed the Nationalist Government, and the CPC (Communist Party of China), which controlled a good portion of the countryside. The world powers (i.e. the U.S. and the Soviet Union) were in favor of some kind of settlement between the two parties, such as adopting a parliamentary system to share power or even dividing China into two parts like the two Germanys or two Koreas. But Mao wanted neither - He wanted to rule all China!
What was the ideal? Some type of parliamentary democracy modeled after the West!
How did the CPC fight for the people? It promised a good life for them all, including immediate largess by robbing and killing the rich thereby repossessing their property. Proletarians no more, overnight - What a deal! The people fought hard for the CPC and the CPC delivered: the People's Republic of China was born in 1949!
2.2 Stupidity was needed for China's communists to rule
Grabbing power by force is one thing. Actual governing is another. It turned out that communism brought absolute poverty and a total lack of real freedoms to China (other than the initial free robbing and free killing of the rich). Why and how? The redistributed wealth was quickly consumed and "the people" (i.e. workers, peasants, and soldiers) did not know how to make anything!
It was hard for Mao to rule (1949-1976). On top of brainwashing, Mao managed, again and again, to crush his opponents (e.g. all kinds of bourgeois and the intellectuals) by mass movements, relying on "the people", who continued to support him in hope for a better tomorrow, which never came. Finally, Mao started the Cultural Revolution by mobilizing hundreds of thousands of know-nothing students. The picture below shows an example of how two capitalism followers were treated during the Cultural Revolution.
3. Stupidity in democracy
Democracy, as we know it today, means more and more poverty (e.g. Poverty In The U.S. By The Numbers) and less and less freedom (economic freedom). Neither is as bad in America as in Communist China, but the worst is yet to come.
It is apparent that one key reason behind the demise of democracy is stupidity; it's now endemic and becoming self-perpetuating.
Nobody is too stupid to run for the President. Read this: So you want to run for president? Just sign here. It asks "far fewer questions than a McDonald's job application"!
Nobody is too stupid to vote. No ID, no problem. Even the deceased are often still registered to vote, as well as Mickey Mouse and Goofy!
Americans want their President to be one of them (so that they can figuratively have a beer together), and get what they want - an average Joe being the President! Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama turned out to be the worst Presidents in history (American Presidents: Three Best and Three Worst)!
If I give you food stamps, will you vote for me (again)? Read: Obama is the 'food stamp President'.
If you are gullible enough to believe, I give you everything you want in the form of "affordable" housing, healthcare, or student loans, will you vote for me (again)?
3.3 From the left
Many social problems in America now are caused by stupidity, both personal stupidity and system stupidity. Two examples:
First off, let's agree that both are problems in general to our society. Secondly, let's accept the cold fact that the bigger the food-stamp crowd is and the bigger the single-mom crowd is, the better for President Obama's re-election, his main impetus throughout his first term! So President Obama has both the incentive and the means to being the 'food stamp President', or more broadly, to expand socialism, especially the "government dependence" part, for the sake of re-election, his utmost priority. Finally, let me point out that President Obama's war on the rich and his naked assault on capitalism (You Didn't Build That) are surely Marxist.
3.4 From the right
Religious right: One of the many things our founding fathers did right is the separation of church and state (or religion and politics). Unfortunately, the religious right betrayed it, resulting in the abortion issue getting into the GOP platform more than 20 years ago, and it has been there ever since. In a close election, it could be the difference, especially when it is now portrayed as the politics of rape and abortion.
Neo-cons: They are largely responsible for the disastrous U.S. foreign policy (e.g. U.S. Middle East Policy: What's Wrong?), especially the Iraq War. It has been damaging America from the right just as badly as socialism has from the left! On foreign policy, it's time to listen to Ron Paul (Ron Paul on 9/11: Ask the right questions and face the truth)!
3.5 By "the people"
Have you noticed that the Chicago Teachers Union has been on strike for a few days? What's the issue? Pure greed and stupidity! The following picture tells it all ...
Now, why the big mess and whom to blame, ultimately?
JFK! Here is an excerpt from a previous post of mine (American Presidents: Three Best and Three Worst):
"President Kennedy might well be recognized as the worst American President twenty years from now, as America finally realizes the magnitude of the damage he caused by allowing public-sector unions in 1961."
Are you now one step closer to that realization than a few weeks ago?
3.6 On China bashing
On this subject, the left and the right often concur. Two examples:
Why is this happening? Three main reasons:
The authors (e.g. Professor Peter Navarro) are just trying to make a living.
There is nothing to lose, but everything to gain, in doing what they do.
They rely on misinformed Americans, and are trying to make them stupid via brainwashing!
Here are three simple questions and answers with regard to the general subject of the U.S. vs. China:
What's the reason beyond China's rise? Capitalism!
What the reason behind America's decline? Socialism!
3.7 Back to the top
Here is a recent development: Obama warns Egypt: Are you ally or enemy? What a dumb question and a stupid posture! Of course, Egypt will be an enemy, if not already! The way we conduct ourselves internationally, especially in the Middle East, will only result in more and more enemies for America!
Now, how have we been conducting ourselves in the Middle East, specifically?
We recklessly turned off the beacon to launch the Iraq War.
We have been recklessly spreading something called "democracy", which does not even work at home!
For more, read: U.S. Middle East Policy: What's Wrong?
In sharp contrast, the Chinese do not have these kinds of international headaches at all. Instead, they have been busily making money, internationally and peacefully. Again, are you still wondering about the secrets behind China’s rise? Peace and capitalism! What about the reasons behind America’s decline? War and socialism!
People are different. Like intelligence, stupidity is a way of life - You can't prevent people from being stupid, especially in a free society like ours. In other words, being stupid is a right, just like being obese (Obese: To Be or Not To Be)!
However, when our political system becomes stupid, we all suffer, tremendously! Worse yet, the reasons are obvious why our system has become so stupid, but we are unable to fix it!
Why has our political system become so stupid? We are lazy and stupid - We have been sleeping on it for more than 200 years, resisting changes!
How to fix our political system? My proposal is the best on the table!
Stupidity appears to be playing an increasingly significant role in democracy just as it did in communism. As a result, unless democracy can be adapted to the changing times, like the Chinese did with communism, it will destroy the West, as spectacularly and painfully as communism destroyed the East!
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About this Author
Frank Li is the Founder and President of W.E.I. (West-East International), a Chicago-based import & export company. Frank received his B.E. from Zhejiang University (China) in 1982, M.E. from the University of Tokyo in 1985, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988, all in Electrical Engineering. He worked for several companies until 2004, when he founded his own company W.E.I. Today, W.E.I. is a leader in the weighing industry not only in products & services, but also in thought and action.