Robert Anton Wilson states that ‘stupidity has killed more people than all known diseases known to medicine or psychiatry’. Food for thought. When are we going to start to get smarter?-and I don’t mean academically or technologically. We all know that a scalpel can be used to save a life or to end it. The difference is in the intention and intelligence of the hand that is holding it. It would appear that the hands holding a lot of the ‘scalpels’ in our society do not have sufficient intelligence to use the power they have for the betterment of everyone.
Lately we have experienced the effects of trusting those hands to run our economy – that hasn’t worked out too well. In all of the televised debates and interviews that I have seen I have hardly ever heard the term ‘greed’ mentioned. In fact everyone ran for cover and no one has taken responsibility for their actions. In a litigious society it is dangerous to admit fault or complacency. A law suite might not be far behind. So the game of ‘pass the parcel’ goes on. The ‘Tao Te Ching‘ states:
Failure is an opportunity.
If you blame someone else,
there is no end to the blame.
Therefore the Master
fulfils her own obligations
and corrects her own mistakes.
She does what she needs to do
and demands nothing of others.
Sage advice and I wonder when all the blaming has settled down will the mistakes really get corrected by those who made them. One of the saddest things about this ‘stupidity’ is that the crisis has taken the focus away from a number of even more pressing issues, such as environmental sustainability and global economic inequality. Another way to look at the ‘meltdown’ is as ‘creative destruction‘ ( a term coined by the economists Joseph Schumpter). Schumpter went on to explain that at such points in society’s evolution, innovation and creativity get released.
Apart from the release of creativity and innovation let’s hope that we can become collaboratively smarter and realize that our challenge is not economic – the question we should be posing is ‘How can we get collectively smarter?’