Friday 19 July 2013

"Stupid Fuckheadedry" in America and Britain

I recently came across a comment on the Another Angry Voice Facebook page that got me thinking. As I'm in the middle of a writing binge (where the words just flow out of me, rather than having to be painfully drawn out and strung together, as is often the case), I thought I'd write a comprehensive response. I believe that the phenomena alluded to in the quote would have been better referred to using George Orwell's conception of "doublethink", rather than with accusations of general "Stupid Fuckhededry". The use of the former would certainly have reduced the appearance of anti-Americanism.
"[Americans are] conceivably, the world's most messed-up population... They hate paying their taxes, because they're convinced that government wastes all that money on things the country doesn't need. But they don't mind a massive, illegal and unconstitutional surveillance programme, because they're convinced that government wouldn't waste all that money on something the country didn't need. They want to keep their guns because they don't trust the government to respect their freedoms. But they don't mind a massive, illegal and unconstitutional surveillance programme, because they trust the government to respect their freedoms... Stupidest fuckheads on the planet." - Mark Doran
Mark certainly pushes the boundaries of massive over-generalisation to make his point, but the contrast between the public apathy at the shocking NSA spy revelations, as compared to the hysteria over proposed automatic weapons regulation or the Zimmerman verdict is extremely concerning.

Another deeply troubling element is the fact that so many Democrats are willing to spin convoluted justification narratives in defence of the NSA's Prism mass surveillance operation (and the continuation and even expansion of other overtly totalitarian practices such as drone bombings and drone spying). Had the Republicans been caught wiretapping the private communications of the whole nation (and most of the rest of the world), Democrat supporters would surely have been squealing "unconstitutional" and appealing incessantly for impeachment of the President (there is precedent for this, In 1972 Republican President Richard Nixon was caught spying on the Democratic party and in 1974 became the first, and only American President to resign).

Just because this time it their guy wiping his ass (American's have asses, not Arses like us) with the American constitution, the tribalist Democrats are full of excuses. I wonder whether the massive expansion of a near omnipotent surveillance state (to make the powers of the East German Stasi look almost benign in comparison), and a Democratic administration more stuffed full of Wall Street millionaires than ever before in history, was the kind of "change" these people were envisioning as they campaigned so passionately for Obama in the midst of the Wall Street engineered financial collapse of 2007-08?

That so many Democrats are willing to develop these contorted justifications for the Obama administration, bodes extremely badly for when the Republicans get back in. After all of these excuses from tribalist Democrat apologists, the Democratic left is going to have an almost impossible job of making constitutional objections to any right-wing totalitarian lunacy from an extremist Republican administration hellbent on being far more right-wing and authoritarian than the uppity black liberal socialist they see Obama as. It is conceivable that the next Republican President could be so right-wing and authoritarian he'd make George W. Bush look like some kind of lovable chimp. And if this is the case, his Democratic critics will be easily trounced in debate with the accusation of hypocrisy: "You lot supported Obama's attacks on the constitution, so you've got no right to oppose our constitutional amendments".

Anyhow, returning to the quote. I've already mentioned that over-generalisations and accusations of "stupid fuckheadedry" are hardly the linguistic tools I'd use to make the point, especially given the gangrenous state of Westminster politics here in the UK.

I don't think we've got a leg to stand on when it comes to generalising about the intelligence of the American public. Our house is just as rotten as theirs is, and the British inhabitants (taken as a whole) seem just as feckless. I mean how many simple-minded reactionaries have bought into the Tory "scrounger" propaganda? It's been demonstrably shown that these scrounger narratives are based on nothing more than crudely falsified statistics, ideological zeal, enormous public misconceptions, and the ever powerful emotion of perceived injustice, yet millions have allowed themselves to get caught up in it.

At a time when people should be rising up in solidarity against the rotten establishment, the reckless bankers, the corrupt politicians and the greedy corporates, people instead are pointing the finger of blame at those they perceive to be below them on the social ladder, the unemployed, the underpaid, the disabled and the young.

The tiny establishment minority have continued getting ever richer throughout this crisis
, whilst the vast majority have borne the burden of austerity. Instead of focusing their anger on those that caused the crisis, and those that continue to profit from it, a vast swathe of the public have turned to blaming the ones feeling the effects of the crisis even worse than they are themselves. The levels of "stupid fuckheadedness" in order to fall for this childishly transparent "divide and conquer" strategy are almost unimaginable. How is it possible for so many people to be so pitifully gullible?

That such large swathes of the British public can be played as fools like this is alarming. When did our nation become to servile and compliant? Didn't our ordinary people show remarkable solidarity and defiance when Oswald Mosely tried to march his blackshirted fascist along Cable Street in 1936? Didn't our population bravely unite against the onslaught of pan-European fascism in during the Second World War? Didn't all of the social classes bond together to rebuild our shattered, debt laden nation as a better, fairer society during the mixed economy post-war consensus? How have we been reduced to such a state of docile compliance, servility and apathy over the passing of just a few decades?

It is justifiable to wonder at how the ever boisterous and constitutionally obsessed American public have meekly accepted the revelation of the most deeply unconstitutional government programme in the entire history of their nation. However the implication that a great mass of British people are somehow less "stupidly fuckheaded" than the generalised American public is hardly justifiable. If anything the British are capable of worse, with countless reactionary voices positively appealing and begging for our basic rights and liberties to be stripped away and discarded in the process of constructing some kind of monstrous neoliberal dystopia built on inequality, inherited privilege, financial sector corruption, spiralling debt, Ponzi property speculation and "I'm alright Jack"-ism, administered by a callous cabal of corrupt crony capitalists.

 Another Angry Voice  is a not-for-profit page which generates absolutely no revenue from advertising and accepts no money from corporate or political interests. The only source of revenue for  Another Angry Voice  is the  PayPal  donations box (which can be found in the right hand column, fairly near the top of the page). If you could afford to make a donation to help keep this site going, it would be massively appreciated. 

More articles from

The Great Neoliberal Lie
What is ... Neoliberalism?
Who is to blame for the financial sector meltdown?
What is ... a justification narrative?
What is ... a scrounger narrative?
How can we stop our politicians from lying to us?
Infinite incompetence or Orwellian propaganda?

No comments: