The Sucker Complex

THis article went masivly viral The Sucker Complex

I think part of the problem is society needs villains to unify it behind a universally disliked target, but the villains we have are not evil enough, so we end up turning on each other. The Iraq war and the War on Terror, at least for a year or so, united most of the country against two putative villains, Saddam Hussain and Bin Laden. Same for the Cold War and the Second World War. But Xi Jinping is no Stalin or Mao.

What we have now is an entrenched bureaucracy and oligarchical ruling class that is more immovable and impervious to change than probably at any other time in U.S. history. The Forbes 40 list is the same people for over a decade now, and some names have been there for decades. No amount of Senate hearings or invective on Twitter will bring any to bear any sort of punitive action against Fauci, for example. Remember #arresthillary? Nothing came of that, not surprisingly. Our political enemies, domestic and abroad, are too inept or too banal suffer the same consequences they would if they were actually evil.

The examples the author lists are somewhat weak or easily countered. For example he writes, “”Jussie Smollett staged a hate crime, and was convicted of such.” But doesn’t the fact he was convicted and received widespread ridicule everywhere disprove the author’s point. It’s not like these actions do not go unnoticed.

By in large, people in tech, law, finance , etc. are making a lot of money and while being ethical and hard-working. The fear that society is overflowing with opportunists who are just looting the system or getting by without work, is somewhat overblown. I understand the author’s frustration, but incompetence, favoritism, lying (except perjury), and nepotism are generally not crimes, and few people are able to get by without doing the necessary work. For every Hunter Biden, there are probably tens of thousands of people who make an honest living. Also, plenty of non-famous people also engage in shitty behavior too, but it’s not newsworthy.

The reason why Elon was not punished further is because he didn’t derive any financial gain from his actions. He was just being a dumbass, and was fined and restricted by the SEC accordingly for making materially misleading statements.

It’s not so much that America deserves the pathetic state of its leadership class, but that the market has selected for it, in much the same way market forces affect almost everything else in society. Private sector credentials tend to be much more rigorous than the bar set for public office, which is is how you have a situation in which Google will only accept .2% of applicants, yet Biden, who epitomizes and embodies mediocrity, is somehow president.

I posit if given a choice between professional/career success and material wealth and status, versus competent leadership, most people would probably prefer the former. This is rational from an individual standpoint. Making a million dollars probably confers a much greater gain to one’s wellbeing and overall happiness, than qualities such as ‘leadership’, which is harder to quantify or in which the benefits are not as obvious.

Millions of words traded on social media since 2020 about Covid, such if masks and lockdowns work or about the effectiveness of vaccines, yet the only winner are social media companies when people click the ads. Two years and hundreds of millions of words later, and we’re nowhere closer to understanding the origins of Covid. Think of all the friendships ruined and undue stress over Covid disagreements, all for nothing.

Doomsayers have a terrible track record overall, whereas successful people have the fruits of their labor to show. No matter how bad things seem to be politically or how dysfunctional or divided America seems, the same people keep getting richer and richer, doing what works for them. They thrive no matter who is in power (Trump for example made the bulk of his fortune in the late 70s and the 90s, under democratic presidents). With the stock market making new highs every week in spite of the virus and other overblown problems, people are making more money than ever, juxtaposed with a society that seems more broken than ever. It’s obvious that the wealth of the private sector has become so unmoored from the comparably threadbare public sector.

Entertainment must compete for the audience’s attention, but politicians and religious leaders are not subject to the same sort of competitive forces, so rather than having broad appeal, only appeal to the very constituents that hold the keys to power, which are a small minority. An e-celeb on YouTube or Twitter delivers much more value compared to Biden, who at this point is struggling at feigning any sort of modicum of leadership or competence. It used to be that when the President spoke, people listened, but they would rather rather watch Elon Musk be interviewed by Babylon Bee, and who can blame them.

A disengaged, disinterested public means that our leaders will similarly assimilate such indifference, yet it’s this poor quality of leadership that creates the very disengagement. Ultimately, leadership will not improve until the incentives change.