Dunning Kruger America
American clown show
Julian Macfarlane 14 lut 2024
Helmotz Smith & Larry
Now that the Ukraine war is dragging to a close and NATO is running out of willpower, money, guns, tanks and artillery shells, with shaky economies, unstable politics, too many angry farmers and new wars (domestic and foreign) to worry about, it’s time to remember just how it all began.
Easily, lightheartedly, stupidly –
if you don’t know anything, everything looks easy.
False assumptions and false history explain how Washington and the NATO it controls got into this mess.
The focus is on the war in Ukraine – why NATO has lost; why Russia has won, as I and some others predicted they would in March 2022—not because we were smarter than anybody else—but rather because we weren’t delusional.
Smith concludes thusly.
Russia hasn’t collapsed, run out of weapons, the ruble isn’t rubble and Putin is still there. The Russian economy, says the IMF, grew more than any G7 country last year and its military, says General Cavoli, is stronger and those who were then sure that “Putin is finished”, now tremble for their foundations. And maybe NATO has ruined itself.
False assumptions, false history
Smith puts America’s failure down to monumental hubris.
- Assumed Russian economic weakness. They believed that the Russian economy was weak, easily demolished and that Putin’s rule was based on sharing the loot with underbosses. Sanctions would cripple the economy and cut the underbosses’ takings and they would get rid of Putin and that would be that. Maybe Russia itself would break up. “Cripple the economy”, “Ruble to Rubble“.
- Assumed Russian battlefield incompetence. They swallowed the “Three Alibis“. Russians were no good at war and only beat the Germans because Hitler made stupid decisions, it was cold and they had endless manpower resources. The work of David Glantz’s team was forgotten.
- Assumed NATO superiority. They believed that NATO training, weapons and everything else were wonderful, superior and “game changers” – ooh, so powerful! Russian weapons were junk, they were running out of them, superior NATO training and weapons would make the disheartened and untrained Russian oafs run screaming in terror.
- Bad history. They swallowed the postwar falsification of history – captive nations, “communist subjugation of free people” – all Nazis were Germans and Hitler drove the trains. Nazi collaborators became brave freedom fighters who dreamed of the American Way. We knowingly let Nazis into our countries? No way. So when Putin talked of Nazis in Ukraine, they knew he was just making it up.
What Smith does not do, however, is explain why the US makes these mistakes, contrary to easily available fact and all reason.
This “hubris” obviously comes from a sense of superiority. But where does that come from?
We see this in children yearning to be something they are not – in the mirror and seeing himself as an idealized parent, which is not nothing like what their overweight, beer swilling Daddy.
Back in the 18th century that parent was the British Empire. Now the child has grown up to become….? The American Empire.
And empires by their nature justify their abuses of power through the assumption of superiority— and most importantly the inferiority of those they would bend to their will.
So it is that the American Empire thinks it is the only real “civilization”. White Man’s Burden was Britain’s – but it has been reborn as America’s Burden –“indispensable” as the world’s whitest black man once said. It’s tough – but someone has to do it!
The US started by “civilizing” the North American continent – following on the efforts of the British.
The Indians had been hard hit by smallpox and the Americans conferred on the survivors the benefits of forced relocation, reservation life, poverty, alcoholism, diabetes, early death and all the other hallmarks of “civilization”. a
The US abolished chattel slavery and substituted wage slavery. It took 55% of Mexico, along with a lot of brown people who were useful in building railroads and working the land – and when they weren’t they had to be somehow gotten rid of. “Repatriated”.
North of the border, the Canucks tried to keep up. They did their best with little genocides, killing kids in residential schools. In the end, however, they were always the US’s adopted little brother.
Or if you like, the horse’s ass.
Canadians have always had to make do with hand-me-downs – first from the Brits; then, since World War II, from the “you-alls” south of the border.
Cognitive dissonance; moral dissonance
Since all empires are predatory and expand through exploitation, theft, and war – always for the benefit of a few and never for the well-being of the many— they have no moral foundation and are inherently narcissistic and sociopathic. But human nature endows most of us with an innate capacity for empathy and care, which generates a kind of natural ethics. That Golden Rule thing.
Oh, I forgot the Gold Standard was replaced by the Dollar.
How to get the citizens of an empire to comply with their rulers” lust and greed?
How can the Rulers themselves rationalize their own actions, at least to the family beagle? In the end, Hitler, who loved dogs (German dogs!) and passed the world’s first animal rights legislation was not born a monster— just a man gone very, very, very wrong. There but for the grace of God go… You know the rest.
How did Adolph live with himself? Self-deception, of course — the best way of dealing with cognitive dissonance– for anyone, regardless of intelligence or position.
Truth as strategy
The Russians, however, are not trying to create an empire, just to protect their culture and their country. To them, facts matter, values matter – the truth is the best strategy.
That’s one reason why Putin in his recent interview with Carlson devoted so much time to explaining real history— although he’s done that many times before.
He was establishing a context – a background— against which the truth can be seen. Despite all the talk in the Western press about the interview being “PR” – it was nothing of the kind. For a number of reasons, the main one being that the truth works better in the end, Putin does not do “PR” – or propaganda— which is what PR really is.
Smith’s article implies more than political stupidity— for me, a political pathology, whose symptom is Dunning Kruger on a national and international scale.
While the antidote to this is the kind of truth and reason that Putin tries to express , there’s a caveat — you need a culture that values such things—and allows you to see the real issues— and listen.
Putin has learned from history. The Ukraine is not the war. The real war is elsewhere—a new kind of world war— a civilizational one in which the primary weapons are economic and industrial.
This is also a war between truth and lies—which the US is losing because it lacks not only an economic and industrial base but a moral one, as well. It has only distorted confidence and grandiosity.
It just doesn’t know what it is doing.
Dunning Kruger Misunderstood
Ironically, the concept of Dunning Kruger is well known and popular in the US—especially in business circles where it is as misunderstood as anywhere else.
So, Trump is often castigated as an example of “Dunning Kruger” which is reductively misconceived as stupid people — ie other people, not you or me—pretending to be smart. It is not “I think, therefore I am” — it is “I think that I think, therefore I am”.
Yet, reading Smith, it is clear that Joseph Biden outdoes even the Donald for all his bluster.
Creepy Joe, Sleepy Joe, Genocide Joe — whatever you want to call him – is the perfect metaphor for the US and its empire – senile, living in a past that never was, incontinent, and stumbling about semi-aware, imagining he/ it is young and heroic.
Joe is clumsy. He breaks things. Does stupid stuff. Same can be said of the US of A— which has destroyed Europe while helping Putin rebuild Russia as a world power and a new world order. The Empire of Lies is in the process of destroying itself— and all the allies that serve it. What will they do when Empire dies?
Dunning Kruger as Western culture
Best for them to join Russia and China which are not hobbled by Dunning Kruger delusionality.
They may find it hard to give up their illusions of superiority— their worldview. Dunning Kruger is as much sociological as it is psychological, reflecting Calvinist individualism in which everyone wants to be one of the Elect – the Chosen— since the vast majority of people are damned.
In Asian culture—to which Russia fundamentally belongs—people’s identities are created through social interaction and their individuality connects them to the whole, which is greater than the sum of the parts. In Western culture, “individuation” separates you from all others—it is fundamentally alienative.
When I first came to Japan, I noticed that when the Japanese do “self-introduction” they define themselves in terms of the things they share with others, not the things that set them apart, which would be the case with an American.
Dunning Kruger — and all the psychosocial syndromes that overlap with it—is not therefore just “stupid people” pretending to be intelligent—nor an inherently human failing we all share – it is a cultural pathology peculiar to the West, driving everybodyto pretend to be better than they are.
Fake people in a fake culture.
Lie artfully and you get ahead. in 2017, employers spotted at least one lie in 85% of American CVs. But they only counted 50% of the CVs as “dishonest”.
It would seem that American culture not only tolerates fakery for self-promotion— it encourages it. The result is we live in a fake culture, full of fake people.
It is all about appearances. Check out online dating, (54% lies.)
Smart people with degrees are good examples. Take Steven Pinker – a failed Harvard Zionist grammarian and pseudo-intellectual—who became a millionaire guru to America’s elites writing books in which he pretends to be an authority on things he doesn’t know about. Bill Gates loves him.
Western cultures are all about win-lose. But most people are losers who have to pretend they are winners.
Asian cultures are consensus cultures—which think win-win. They lie tactically—but not to themselves, as in Dunning Kruger.
So it is you have a country with geriatric institutions and political dementia. Run by a senile old man who can barely remember his name.
The old man’s primary caretakers don’t actually care. They have all read Pinker of course.
They just change his nappies and keep the not-quite-drooling idiot babbling about the past and things that never happened. Tell him when to nap. Tell him when to wake up. Not that there’s much difference between the two states for him. He gets bad tempered sometimes. But it’s a good job – for now– and that’s all that matters. They live in luxury – big houses – drive expensive cars and get to abuse the servants.
And they know they’re better than the hoi polloi.
As I said, Dunning Kruger is just a symptom. The real disease is venality.
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I probably written about domestic foxes before. I have a thing about foxes since I lived with one under a fish tank a long time ago when I was down and out. But that is another story.
The Russians have been breeding foxes to study domestication since 1959.
Domestic foxes are not dogs and not foxes either. It would be correct to say they are doglike and foxlike. And a little human-like.
There are about 103 genetic regions that distinguish domestic and feral foxes—roughly the same as between Homo sapiens and Homo Neanderthals. Some are of these also appear to figure in autism, schizophrenia, ADHD, Angelman syndrome—and genius!
Among other things, domestic foxes share with dogs and cats a high degree of trans-species communicative social intelligence, popularly known as “EQ” in humans and not found in their feral cousins. This is a function of the limbic system— which is often hyperdeveloped in some people “on the spectrum”. I might add that this social intelligence surpasses that of most non-human primates.
Social “intelligence” is not IQ Autists—it is non-verbal. Then again over 80% of human communication is nonverbal. You might think that being able to read nonverbal cues more accurately than others is an advantage – but it can be a handicap in structured social environments where people want to hide their real feelings and thoughts. And, of course, enhanced empathy can be emotionally painful.
If you have a dog or cat, you know they don’t lie. When you get upset, they get upset too—sometimes more than you.
Joe Biden’s dogs are frustrated and bite people. The fault lies in Biden.
As for me, I was domesticated by dogs,.
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