In 2009, documentary director Franny Armstrong presented to the world one of the most controversial non-fiction works about the environmental crisis of the beginning of the 21st century: The Age of Stupidity.
Unlike other documentaries with similar themes released previously, The Age of Stupidity was one of the few that put its finger on the sore point, pointing out that human beings are not only responsible for one of the biggest global problems facing all of the planet’s biodiversity. , but that also speaks about his 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 at.
But the reasons presented by this work They are not the only ones with the power to lead us to think that we live in the age of stupidity. Throughout the Earth we have shown ourselves incapable of managing all kinds of problems that affect us all and that we do not even care enough to coordinate efforts to manage them.
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Signs that we live in the age of stupidity
This is a compilation of crises and collective problems that either do not concern us or we simply try to combat in a non-responsible manner, with a mixture of vanity, laziness and individualistic mentality.
What they all have in common is that they are the result of a lack of will to cooperate, leave the comfort zone and use rationality for something other than constantly oiling the machine of consumerism: producing and buying. Since the Internet and new information storage technologies have existed, 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 up to the task.
1. We are destroying the planet
It is the reason with which we started the article, as well as one of the most serious, so it could not be missing from this list. The environment is basically the most important thing we have, since variations in it can wipe out entire populations in a matter of minutes. However, we continue to act as if recycling by separating waste is the pinnacle of responsibility and civility, something reserved for the kindest and most disciplined citizens.
The reality is that although individual actions count, those efforts based on the “willpower” of each individual are of no use.
Everything indicates that to stop the devastation of the planet, collective commitments, drastic changes in the economy and in the production model, and even intelligent management of the way we group together to live in cities. None of this is even considered, justifying it with individual freedoms and the 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 overlook that, for that to be true (even if only in appearance), we would have to avoid in to the extent possible at least regions in which 100 out of every 1,000 babies do not reach their first birthday, just as it happens today. We have the money to do it but, unfortunately, we use it to buy products made with the exploited labor of those areas.
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3. Conspiracy theories
On December 14, 2012, a 20-year-old young man showed up at an elementary school in the American town of Sandy Cook and shot dead 27 people before ending up committing suicide. It is one of the bloodiest massacres in the history of the United States of America, but for many people, such events simply did not exist.
And there is a relatively popular theory according to which what happened at school that day was actually a setup created by the Obama administration to justify policies that limit gun ownership. To this day, in fact, several fathers and mothers of children who died in the massacre are harassed and threatened by deniers furious at the “crocodile tears” that according to them these victims shed.
This example expresses in a few words everything that is wrong with the existence of conspiracy theories and The reason they are a symptom of the age of stupidity.
In order to defend a vision of the world that fits with one’s own ideals, one is even capable of creating the most convoluted explanations, those that cannot be questioned by the available evidence, 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. Exploitation of women
Even today, centuries after we began to defend the theory of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, we continue to allow half of the population to be confined to the domestic spherebeing penalized for acting with the same freedoms as men.
Even in those countries in which both sexes formally have the same rights, it is still normal to compliment unknown women on the street, harass them in nightlife contexts, expect them to work in the office and at the same time be in charge of all the work. home, and they are given less attention at work (even if they hold a leadership position).
It has never been clearer that there is a problem that goes beyond the laws, but even knowing it It is very common for this debate to be avoided with the excuse of focusing first on “those places where women are worse off”, that is, those who live in other countries. Something that is not done with any other problem that can be treated through politics.
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5. Religious fanaticism
Today 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 above the freedoms of others.
From hate messages and calls for violence to political pressure to prevent education from scientific knowledge that contradicts dogmas, through threats that are published on the Internet for everyone to see and viral videos with clearly homophobic content, fanaticism has proven to be another reason why we live in the era of stupidity. Neither scientific nor technological advances by themselves are enough to eradicate it.
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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 do not make sense. Obviously, there is no rational reason why what generations before us did should mark some very specific guidelines of action that we must follow so as not to betray our roots.
On the other hand, we also know that identity politics always leads to situations in which violence and authoritarianism prevail, since it justifies certain political measures with 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 there comes a point where we forget its harmful effects. Today, a good part of the inhabitants of many regions of the world refuse to share economic and political spaces with other people for identity reasons, while others try to consciously eliminate any trace of cultural differences of ethnic minorities so that their own cultures are imposed in a hegemonic manner.
The age of stupidity is also shown in our inability to learn from mistakes. National withdrawal, associated with conservative and extreme right-wing parties, is seen as something normal, which does not even have to be questioned when a people is threatened from abroad… 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 the people.