Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How Panic Makes People Stupid

Another reason why libertarianism will never gain mainstream acceptance: most people are emotional rather than logical, and can be manipulated into anything at the first sign of panic. Whenever something bad happens, they FRRRREEEEEAAAK OUUUUT! They abandon all rational thought and simply cling to whatever makes them feel good.

You can't make good decisions when you're too angry or scared to think straight. That's why the last person you want to be around in an emergency situation is someone who freaks out and can't stay calm.

This is exactly what we saw after 9/11. The hysterical sheep insisted that we "do something," no matter how insanely stupid or counterproductive. "You mean you would just sit there and do nothing?" they would wail, as I (and others) attempted to explain that destroying random countries wouldn't bring back the victims of 9/11. "Don't you know that we have to live in the real world?"

Years later, we now see the result of putting these knee-jerk emotional idiots in charge of public policy. The "war on terror" has been an unbelievable clusterfuck of a disaster, one for which the US will suffer for years. Yet the warmongers still criticize those of us who didn't want to slaughter Afghans. "[Fill-in-name-here] didn't even want to go into Afghanistan!" shouts Bill O'Reilly on a regular basis. Afghanistan is another miserable failure, but that's irrelevant to O'Reilly. All that matters is that "we" "did something," even if it was pointless. The actual results don't matter, it's only the principle of "doing something" that matters.

Now the emoters demand that we "do something" about the current crisis. Do something! It doesn't matter what. Just do something! Anything!

It's going to be a loooong economic meltdown...

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