MANSFIELD: The Coming New Age of Anti-Intellectualism

 

One of the stark byproducts of the continuing coronavirus outbreak is the confirmation of the fact we here in America are witnessing the nascent stages of a new Dark Ages, a coming time where science and learning are discounted in favor of gut feelings, political propaganda, and beliefs based on prejudices rather than truth.

In spite of the fact that trained epidemiologists and virologists are attempting to apply their years of study, training and knowledge to the current pandemic, a great many citizens choose to instead believe the nonsensical bleating of a demagogue whose primary goal is not to find a solution to the crisis but instead to maintain his grip on power. We are saddled with a president that surrounds himself with sycophants who echo his demented feeling of “Why should we waste a perfectly good pandemic when we can use it to rack up some cheap political points by denying reality and truth?”

Never mind that by ignoring the advice and warnings of the worldwide medical community and our trained scientists, we have a core group of Americans who are completely willing to put the lives of their fellow citizens at risk if it aids them in reelecting their prized fool. These folks have become adroit at pushing reason out of their minds if that’s what it takes to keep the levers of power in the hands of angry, reactionary, white males who feel that it’s their birthright to dominate the politics of our country, fairness and democratic principles be damned.

The pandemic has given these anti-intellectuals all the reason they need to engage in their fantastic beliefs that their way of life is under attack and the solution is to once again rush out to buy more guns and ammunition, as if they and their families can eat bullets if food shortages begin to occur. Or at least they can protect their stockpiles of staples from the hordes they unreasonably imagine will be coming to rob them of.

As a society, we have unwittingly — via a steady diet of dystopian horror films, games and literature over the last few decades — created a class of folks in America who can’t separate fiction from reality and actually believe that “End Times” are at hand. Interestingly enough, citizens of other countries, such as Japan, view the same garbage and are not driven over the edge by it.

However, in our country, “End Time” nightmares are stoked by purveyors of weaponry and militia-style survivalist food and gear — people who are reaping huge profits as the fears of these foolish citizens are exploited and made corporeal.

In truth, in all societies and cultures since the beginning of time, there always have been groups of anti-intellectuals who wallow in their own stupidity. Too lazy (or limited in brainpower) to excel, they jealously attempt to tear down knowledge, to bring it down to their subaltern level.

Harkening back to their basic instincts, these intellectually challenged individuals attempt to reduce survival to the triumph of the physically fittest or best armed — those who have the most firepower, not brainpower. They view everything through the prism of a zero-sum game; for them to win, someone has to lose, and that someone is the “other,” be they minorities or the intelligentsia.

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier mansfieldfATgmail.com. Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsIn

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