Is smart doomed?

Faced with a massive failure of the Wall Street Casino, it would seem that enlightened leadership would take a shot at reforming the system to prevent a repeat swan dive. So far, that hasn’t happened. True, President Obama (the closest thing we’ve had to an intellectual leader since Clinton, who was too stupid to understand that messing with the help was bad form) has been busy trying to restore confidence in the system by propping it up- but is propping up a bad construct the answer?

Should Wall Street be torn down and rebuilt in a saner fashion?

Probably, but after reading about “Weishaupt’s fallacy” I’m prepared to say that Wall Street and Main Street are both doomed, until we either have a smarter general populace or toss away our entire system of democracy and hand it off to a benevolent dictator.

Who is this Weishaupt guy? It’s well explained in a post by the Archdruid- but, the time frame of our American Revolution- and the word “Illuminati” should give you enough of a clue. Believe it or not- there were other things happening around the world in 1776, we just ignored them in US History class. Weishaupt thought that smart people should evolve to power:

The problem with Professor Weishaupt’s fantasy of an illuminated Bavaria was a bit of bad logic that has been faithfully repeated by intellectuals seeking power ever since: the belief, as sincere as it is silly, that if you have the right ideas, you are by definition smarter than the system you are trying to control. That’s Weishaupt’s Fallacy. Because Weishaupt and his fellow Illuminati were convinced that the conservative forces in Bavaria were a bunch of clueless boors, they were totally unprepared for the counterblow that followed once the Bavarian government figured out who the Illuminati were and what they we

via The Archdruid Report: The Political Ecology of Collapse.

Unfortunately, our system which was originally designed only to let a small subset of the general population vote – now lets everyone have a shot at choosing leadership and deciding on things like casinos- all guided by soundbite ads and buzzword slogans.

So, if we have a group of smart people come up with a plan to solve Dayton’s woes, like too many leaders for a dwindling number of followers, it’s going to fail too- because the system gravitates to the lowest common denominator: the highly overrated American Voter. And, it’s our fault. We’ve taken “debate” to a new low with our “moderated forum” style of political conversation- we’ve given the average voter something like 150 decisions to make from Coroner to Congressman, and we’ve dumbed down the system to 2 parties- the red and the blue- take a side.

With the Internet, the amount of information available is infinite, transparency is growing, but that requires even more work for voters to inform and evaluate the limited choices. We have a simple 2 party system in place to manage a very complex country- and it’s straining our ability to think outside the accepted.

With 10% unemployment here and not much indication of changing- we are setting ourselves up for the rise of a charismatic leader who may not have our best interests at heart. I’m sure some of you think we may already be there with Obama, but, maybe he is just the harbinger of what’s to come.

Studying history tells us that when the masses aren’t valued, neither is the institution that controls them. In short, just taking away Wall Street bonuses will do little to create employment- and employment is what we need.

If we accept that brave new leadership can’t solve the problems with bold mastery of the current system- maybe, the answer is to work hard to educate the masses on the true issues at hand. Maybe, it’s time to simplify elections so that we vote for fewer representatives- at fewer levels. Or maybe, we’re just doomed?

Until we value smart over popular, we’re going to get more of the same.

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