The 90% Apocalypse Revisited

What we got in 2008, unfortunately, was the (allegedly) leftwing flop of the right-wing flip—people were just as stupidly faithful in Barack Obama's power to make it all better, as they were in George W. Bush's power to save them from terrorists—and you know—werewolves or whatever.
Way back in 2005—you might recall that was the year after George Bush somehow got retained in his role as perpetrator-in-chief of the American empire—I was trying to figure out just how it could be that, over and over again, the American people were just sitting there, like a national doe in the headlights of a particularly obvious and dull-witted fascist predator.

Of course, intuitively, I understood it was the traditional reason, the crafty ability of the rich and powerful to keep the poor and powerless perplexed and bovinely obedient. All it takes is a little fear (and after 9/11 there was more than a little of it), mixed with a cynical dose of don't worry your pointed little heads, just keep burying your futures on your credit cards, and the government will kill all the big, bad terrorists (with a bucket of collateral gravy!—yum!).

Add that to America's favorite fastfood  ideology (always provided in plentiful amounts by Republicans)—unmitigated bigotry for pretty much any minority that can be captured, segregated and preferably lynched—and you had a good schematic for what we were going through.

I knew that whatever it was that was keeping people so bloody passive had something to do with the above, and a kind of moral exhaustion from seeing right overturned at every turn, but I wanted to get some kind of quantification to explain to me how the dreadfully dim Dubya could still be lording it over the USA, in spite of the fact that he was such a clearly inept dullard.

Well, I had this one bit of alleged data. Turns out George Dubya was not as stupid as he seemed, at least not on paper. Somehow, he had an estimated IQ, based on SAT and military entrance exams, of 125! On paper, he was smarter than his opponent in the 2004 presidential campaign, John Kerry (OK, not saying that much) and the thing is, Dubya was smarter than the vast majority of Americans.

It was in light of this revelation, or apocalypse, that I wrote the following piece, entitled The 90% Apocalypse. I think it could easily be applied to that Republican lapdog, Barack Obama, and I suspect will apply to just about any president we are likely to get, who isn't hardwired to a bank of supercomputers. Human intelligence has simply run out of gas trying to effectively, much less compassionately, administer the USA, or the manageable components of its empire, or the unmanageable reaches of a 7-billion-person planet. As for the dimmer, dumber, voters? Well, the democratic process continues to affirm the hopelessness of our condition, given the vivid, vain need for flash-evolution to massively boost our meager collective intelligence.

Note that this article was first published on a group whose topic was Tarot cards. My purpose in posting it there was to illustrate how easily faith (for example in things like Tarot cards or politics) could be manipulated to dire ends. You would be right to conclude that such a message was one the faithful were disinclined to engage.

THE 90% APOCALYPSE (October 15, 2005)

According to IQ charts,1 the IQ corresponding to the 90th percentile is about 120. That means that people whose IQs are 120 or lower make up 90% of all the people tested, and as a rough measure a vast majority of all the people. By comparison, showing that tested IQ is not necessarily any guide to performance, George Bush's IQ is claimed to be 125, which supposedly makes him smarter than 95% of all the people tested. That certainly means he is smarter than the vast majority of you lot. Well, you know that of course, he's STILL the Emperor, and you're reading a Tarot group. Now, I raise this point about intelligence, noting Paul Krugman's analysis of people's general tendency to have faith instead of wits: 

"Right now, with the Bush administration in meltdown on multiple issues, we're hearing a lot about President Bush's personal failings. But what happened to the commanding figure of yore, the heroic leader in the war on terror? The answer, of course, is that the commanding figure never existed: Mr. Bush is the same man he always was. All the character flaws that are now fodder for late-night humor were fully visible, for those willing to see them, during the 2000 campaign. And President Bush the great leader is far from the only fictional character, bearing no resemblance to the real man, created by media images." 

So many of you thought, deeply believed, or deeply hoped anyway, that Bush was REALLY smart and REALLY smart enough (which is even better). In fact, as some of you may recall, 90% of you2 magically transformed Bush into an effective, indeed heroic, leader after 9/11. Of course that 90% has dwindled a little over time, and I suspect not one person reading this group (especially not this group) has the courage to admit you were one of the 90%. But it just figures most of you were part of it. I know some of you were, as I read your pro-war and pro-Bush comments back in the day. 

What the last five years have confirmed is something those in the 10% have always suspected, which is that democracy simply does not work. Its premise is and always was absurd, which is that the majority—of stupid people—will tell the minority—of smart people—what to do. For one thing, even IF that was how things worked, it would be tantamount to the horse's ass dictating to the horse's head how to horse around. Indeed, there is a popular—which is to say stupid—myth about how the asshole is the most important part of the body. The thing is, in the body politic of democracy, the asshole is about all there is to the body. 

But, in fact, smart people, being smarter than you, ALWAYS dominate stupid people, and the minority who obtain and retain vast wealth and power lord it over the rest of you and the rest of you KNOW, intuitively perhaps, that this is for the best because you're all a bunch of stupid assholes who certainly do not need to be in charge of anything—especially anything with a nuclear warhead attached to it. 

Unfortunately, the world has gotten SO very complicated and SO very hard to figure and to play, that only the very smartest people are going to be good at doing it, and they are usually not attracted to jobs involving herding cattle and sheep. So, what you get instead is that 120-130 IQ group, who are smarter than the vast majority of you, and who are smart enough to pretend to be stupid (you know, so you'll feel like they are one of you), but who are no longer smart enough. On a Tarotic note, I think we must recognize that what afflicts the world also afflicts Tarot, naturally so since it is a product of the world. Stupid Tarot, which so thoroughly dominates the market and the forums and the public consciousness, is the bloom of the same common credulous asshole that anointed George Bush "heroic leader". 

And I do not see a cure coming anytime soon, since the stupid people are not going to like their affliction bred out of the race, and the smarter people are not going to want their advantage diluted or destroyed.3 

In any case, that much-hyped American experiment in democracy is dead as Marley's ghost, and just as forlorn.

1—A number of people (no doubt disablingly liberal in their views) were upset with the basic premise of this article, that IQ was any sort of guide to general intelligence, or useful to determining the real root of the problem the nation was facing. I disagree, although I heartily agree that IQ (or intelligence) alone guarantees nothing. No doubt many lower-IQ-rated people, for example, intuitively grasped the shortcomings of Bush, and US Terror War policy, even if they might have had difficulty knowledgeably articulating that accurate sensory sizeup of our national dilemma. I knew one of these people personally at the time, whose heart was always fine-tuned to decency—thus she was doubly disadvantaged in 21st-century USA—being neither intellectually gifted nor sufficiently evil to excel on sheer ruthlessness.

The "Worry" cover of The 
Nation, November 2000.
2—Note that Bush's approval numbers eventually reached at least 92%, possible a point or two higher, as even smarter Americans stupidly put their faith in an obviously deficient leader. Only a skeptical 5-6% of Americans expressed early and open doubt in Fearless (for somebody else's kids in uniform) Bush. In fact, doing so was considered openly unpatriotic by a majority of Americans in 2001. I recall, for example, in the fall of 2001, showing some left-of-center neighbors the prophetic Nation cover from November, 2000, depicting Dubya as Alfred E. Neuman, the Mad Magazine simpleton. They looked at it and then me with total disdain, and walked away, without saying anything—ever again. Even "liberals" sucked Dubya's dick, hoping daddy would save them, in those days.

3—In retrospect, maybe less intelligent people would be fine having their affliction bred out of the race. Certainly, I suspect they would be fine with the higher intelligence of their masters actually producing higher and better outcomes for the poor, dumb, plebs—which tends not to be the case. As you may detect, I possess a certain contempt for stupid people, but also a recognition of the widespread and inclusive manner in which stupidity afflicts pretty much every human being. Also, it does seem to me the decent, and obviously the arrogant, thing to do to look out for (as well as one is able) the disadvantaged members of one's community.