There are many things that one can point to in the current age as the cause of what we are experiencing. Social crisis is always the result of many factors. There is never one single cause. Even so, examining the individual causes has some utility. It helps provide a little sanity for those living through it. If nothing else, it is like the band playing on the Titanic in that if provides those who are condemned to live through the crisis with a bit of dignity as they sink into the abyss.
Anyway, one of the things that has made modern life such a mess is the vast chorus of nitwits who fill our lives with their voices. They repeat whatever has been placed in their hymnals by people with agendas. One person says something that gets them some attention and then everyone repeats it. The thing is, these people position themselves as authorities on various topics, so when they repeat what they hear, they inevitably lend authority to it. The fact is, they know not what they say.
A good example is this post at the ironically named American Conservative. The post is the generic libertarian boilerplate about the creative destruction and how this means retail will go the way of the buggy whip. In this case, the writer argues that GameStop, the company at the heart of the short squeeze initiated by a gang of retail investors, is a dead company that has no future. He thinks the run up in their shares was due to nostalgia for a bygone era of retail.
The post is complete nonsense, but it is popular nonsense repeated by these sorts of people on many different platforms. In this case, the writer is Addison Del Mastro and he is, according to his bio, the assistant editor and social media manager of The American Conservative. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and writes on urbanism, place, and popular and cultural history. According to his resume, he has never worked in the private sector.
That last bit is typical. Few people in any type of media job have ever worked in the dreaded private sector. Mr. Del Mastro is probably a great guy who does a bang-up job as the social media manager, but he is wholly unqualified to have an opinion on this topic or anything related to it. Maybe he can offer an informed opinion about the social media aspect, but otherwise, the cleaning lady at American Conservative is better qualified to discuss business and finance.
The great conservative philosopher Joseph de Maistre observed that “False opinions are like false money, struck first of all by guilty men and thereafter circulated by honest people who perpetuate the crime without knowing what they are doing.” This is exactly what we see with the mass media. The public square is flooded with the sound of the ignorant repeating falsehoods they heard from one another. It is a cacophony of half-truths, distortions and outright lies repeated by the unqualified.
The fact is, if you want to understand the GameStop story, you need to know a little about finance and have some experience as a day trader. You should also know how to read a financial statement. At the minimum, that lets you examine the facts and sort the truth from the fiction. Unless you are inside the group that pushed the stock or on the other end of it, you know you are only getting some of the story. That would be the basis for good media analysis or responsible commentary on the story.
That sort of humility is not what we get from managerial man, the type of person who takes up space in the media. Knowing practical things like how to read an income statement is for prols. The managerial man does not have time for that. That is why the media is stocked to the gills with people who know nothing. They spent all of their time accumulating esoteric credentials that they can wear as moral signifiers. These impress the other managerial types. The result is a class of know-nothings.
This is not a new phenomenon. Last year First Things published an interesting article on the Russian intelligentsia prior to and during the revolution. The intelligent was a member of the intelligentsia. Unlike an intellectual, who is a curious and educated person, the intelligent was its opposite. The art of not knowing practical things was a big part of the life of a Russian intelligent. They took pride in not having practical skills or having a useful occupation.
This is close to what we see with managerial man. At all levels, even those who see themselves as critics, they have made sure to never learn anything useful. At the bottom layer, where the media exists, the result is a vast collection of chattering skulls with no useful knowledge of their own. Above them is a vast army of people with no idea how anything works. They crash about from crisis to crisis, hoping the big machine they inherited rights itself before something bad happens.
The remarkable thing about the media is their confidence. These people repeat things with total conviction and certainty. They don’t seem to notice that they are just channeling what they heard from other chattering skulls or what was fed to them by people with an obvious agenda. These hyper-confident morons fill the public space with whatever idiotic thing they heard last. The result is we are inundated by the blather of people who have turned ignorance into a virtue.
The thing that has prevented our ruling class from bringing the roof down on all of us is the system they inherited was very strong. It evolved over many generations of struggle by a competent people with a good foundation. But even the toughest structure will eventually succumb to the wrecking ball of incompetency. Eventually, the collection of jabbering airheads we see in charge of society will push the wrong combination of buttons the end times are upon us.
A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.
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