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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Brainy Bunch O'Bananas

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“Someone recently pointed out how much Barack Obama's style and strategies resemble those of Latin American charismatic despots — the takeover of industries by demagogues who never ran a business, the rousing rhetoric of resentment addressed to the masses and the personal cult of the leader promoted by the media. But do we want to become the world's largest banana republic?”
— Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institute
Charisma. It trumps common sense every single time. The kool kids are drawn to it like flies to flypaper. And the not-so-cool kids are drawn to whatever the kool kids are drawn to. Then the grown ups have to clean up the bloody mess. Here we go again.

If you've lived through a world war (and survived) you've seen it coming. First casualty is common sense. The kool kids see cute people in Holyshitwood becoming fabulously wealthy, so they figure if they emulate these cute people they'll become fabulously wealthy too, without having to do any heavy lifting, like, you know, developing some skill that can lead to gainful employment.

Then the cute people, who are basically morons with a talent for entertaining, begin to believe their agents' hype and their fans' adulation, and make the astonishing leap to self importance. This scenario creates a feedback loop that, well, feeds on itself.

Then, after the vast majority of kool kids discover that becoming fabulously wealthy requires fabulous talent, fabulous effort, fabulous luck, and frequently all of the above, they become fabulously disillusioned and begin looking around desperately for someone to blame for their miserable little lives. And, of course, there is never a dearth of scapegoats when you need one.

This creates a perfect-storm setting for a charismatic kool guy who steps up to plate and takes the world by storm, as it were. This kool guy organizes the disillusioned kool kids by focusing their attention on the most convenient set of scapegoats, which generally includes the previous leadership and the juice.

Now you have a virtually unstoppable frenzy of stupid shit run amok, so to speak. And the race to the finish line begins, where the prize is the winner's right to define it: will it be a glorified banana republic, or a new birth of freedom?

Stay tuned.

Post #953 Brainy Bunch O'Bananas

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