The problem smart people have, is they can't use the excuse of being stupid.
Let's look at an example. It's simply not believable that Obama, who was quite intelligent and had the best data in the world available to him, did not see the destructive social-trend of postmodernism sweeping across America, for decades. Yet he said nothing. One would naturally wonder, was he passively in favor of it, or even directly involved? The avoidance is peculiar, and leads intelligent people to questions.
Similarly, it's simply not believable that the high IQ members of what is being called the "Intellectual Dark Web" (IDW) have not seen the destructive economic-trend of corporatism sweeping across America, for decades. After all, they have been the recipients of ideological persecution from the corporate media. And it's not just this IDW group suffering, it's the whole country.
The American people have directly told us the economic problem—yelling at the top of their lungs for decades—about wall street scams, fake news, 1984-like tech intrusions, the big pharma death industry, the toxic food supply, environmental destruction, military industrial warmongering, and industrial outsourcing via globalism. Notice the yells are heard across party lines, everyone is pissed about something on that list. Yet we are supposed to believe the smart people in the IDW simply did not hear these screams?
The common denominator here—the majority of Americans' complaints can be traced back to industries/sectors in the S&P500 (the 500 largest corporations). It's a problem with institutions, and more specifically with the legal-programming of these institutions (shareholder primacy, not the interests of society). Why would we be surprised—the people who's interests are being ignored by the system, are rationally furious and disillusioned with said system.
When studying the IDW, we can remove stupidity as an explanation, and so there are only so many remaining explanations for the extreme avoidance of the institutional problem...
EXPLANATIONS FOR THE AVOIDANCE
- Ignorant of How the Corporate Sector Works. This benevolent explanation acknowledges that this group has very few experts from the corporate world (i.e. a blindspot). For example Jordan Peterson's background is academic and small business, he has no high-up corporate experience, and admits he "doesn't know enough about economics, barely anything." Same with Sam Harris, Steven Pinker, Dave Rubin, Stephen Hicks, etc. However Eric Weinstein (Thiel Capital) and Nassim Taleb (trader & risk mgmt) do have some relevant experience. Also notice that the only prominent ex-corporatist in this counter-culture movement, Steve Bannon previously of Goldman Sachs, was also the only person to identify corporatism directly as the root problem. So I don't rule out ignorance as the explanation, but it's just darn hard to believe this intelligent group doesn't see the elephant in the room, especially given their suspicious strategic avoidance (see #2 below).
- Ideologically Biased, thus Strategic Avoidance. This explanation would say the IDW leans economically right, and thus tends to strategically avoid "left-wing talking points" (just as the left does everything to avoid discussing postmodernism). They clearly favor certain automatic responses—pretending massive government-sponsored corporations are "just businesses, like a neighborhood bakery," and "don't worry, competition will naturally fix the problem" in oligopoly/monopoly market structures, and "we just need less government" even though massive government is required to support these massive corporate structures, and the classic corporate propaganda of "the individuals did it to themselves." These are tactics to avoid discussing the obvious institutional problems. Again, it's hard to believe this high IQ group doesn't see these institutional problems, unless they are truly ignorant of how big industry works (see #1 above). Q: if the IDW are independent minds, not collectivist party liners, then why do the vast majority of them think/react near identically on this topic?
- Afraid of Attacks from the Corporate Sector. Another explanation would be that they are aware of the elephant, but as self-employed individuals, know that targeting said elephant would end their cash flows. You know, it's one thing to run narratives counter to postmodernism, you will certainly draw attacks of the corporate media (as they all know), because you are interrupting their social engineering programs. But nobody goes against corporatism itself, in actual action (not just harmless pontificating like Chomsky), and lives to tell about it. The only serious move on corporatism we've ever seen, was Steve Bannon vs the establishment, 2016. Bannon actually publicly declared war against the system (corporatism), defined the war clearly as "populists vs corporatists," and gathered an army. Well, everyone saw what happened to him—hit with the full offensive capabilities of the S&P500. Do you really want to poke that $25 trillion market cap bear?
- Employed Directly/Indirectly by the Corporate Sector. The most malevolent explanation would be that key IDW members are already on the payroll—that this is just another manufactured propaganda outlet, like the corporate media oligopoly, but designed to provide an "alternative" which placates the revolution. Strategically this could be done by giving the population some acknowledgment that socially leftism is "okay, kinda bullshit," while economically continuing corporatism. As a strategist who has spent over a decade in the corporate world, it is what I would do. Since corporatism is about profit maximization, it's a good trade—sacrifice a pawn (some leftism), it doesn't cost anything except a bit of corporate media narrative retooling, and it protects the king (corporatism). With just a bit of controlled opposition and distraction strategies, you can delay the revolution N years. It's also possible these are unpaid employees of corporate interests. Take leftists for example, it's not like most actually receive a paycheck from the corporate media, they spread the propaganda for free because they believe (or pretend to)—that's how good propaganda works (i.e self-replication).
Or some combination of the above. Note: use of the term "corporate sector" above refers to corporate America's business interests, not the broader definition of the term which is the entire business world.
The IDW says it values honest open discussion, and judges arguments by their merit. And yet we see an odd avoidance on this topic, which is at the root of so many American problems. It is simply not believable that these right-tail IQ outliers (i.e. extreme pattern recognition abilities), with high analytical skills, have completely missed this obvious pattern.
HOW DOES AVOIDANCE OF CORPORATISM PLAY OUT, LONG-GAME?
First, it's important to understand that system-deep institutional problems are not going away, rather they have been growing for decades. These unaddressed and extremely urgent problems, have driven a demand for extreme solutions—first Obama, then Trump/Bannon (and Bernie), and who knows what next.
While I happen to like these guys, you just can't ignore one side of a socioeconomic problem, as it's all intertwined. America's socioeconomic problem is postmodernism (social) AND corporatism (economic). And Jordan Peterson of all people should know this—the corporate media wields postmodernism as a weapon, to deliver him beatings (hoping he'll shut up).
The IDW acknowledges the former (postmodernism), while oddly and stubbornly ignoring the later (corporatism); the mirror opposite of what left does. But let's assume they "win" and achieve a cultural revolution, while the same economic system holds—what do they really end up being in the end? Simply more eloquent pro-corporatists to replace the painfully transparent old pro-corporatists? Decades more of status quo corporatists telling you everything is fine? In the support of corporatism (intentional or not), is a 150 IQ Jordan Peterson less dangerous than 90 IQ Jim Acosta?
MOST PROBABLE OUTCOME
Historically corporatism has succeeded in silencing, buying off or otherwise subverting, the opposition. That's what it did to the journalistic integrity of the traditional media industry starting in the 80s, it simply bought the entire thing! And remember, corporations also own the new tech media industry, which this group is allowed to broadcast on.
With its control of all major assets, and its apolitical and opportunist nature making it able to play all sides, it's not hard to see how corporatism has been so successful in dealing with opposition voices. Unfortunately I don't really see any reason, at this time, why this trend would change because of this new group.
COMMENTARY: PETERSON, SHAPIRO, WEINSTEIN, RUBIN (PANEL, JUNE 29, 2018)
The avoidance behavior was glaringly obvious in this panel where Eric Weinstein started disrupting the narrative by flirting around the edges of the institutional problem, although never actually naming it "corporatism." This was some hard-hitting realism which seriously disrupted the other three's feel-good capitalism story. My comments are in brackets. Also, I'm not trying to take the following comments out of context and have included timecode, but I think these quotes accurately reflect their positions...
- "A lot of the people at the very top understand why these games are fragile...the games are still serviceable...but if you actually understand how the games are played...you understand just how quickly this thing [the system] could turn."—Eric @ 20:10min.
- "There was a phase change in the economy around 1970, that I can not get people to focus on [welcome to the club, Eric!]...if you look at GDP...and median male income...both going up until 1970...and then one of them flatlines and the other keeps going. We've built up two plus generations of experts lying about what happened [modern corporatism happened, the experts are servants of it]." —Eric @ 27:46min.
- "Everything that got built during that time has an embedded growth obligation, if it doesn't grow at this rate, it's going to turn pathological."—Eric @ 28:55. [Right, that is the nature of a profit maximizing machine not programmed for a steady state, nor to care about damage to society (i.e. externalities), once the easy profits are gone, it must eat its own society. We programmed it by law to do that!]
- "The market was unbelievably brilliant [real capitalism], and then there was a structural change [to corporatism], and now the question is: how do we account for these embedded growth obligations, that make liars of all of the experts, who service the institutions."—Eric @ 30:07min. [Brilliantly said, this gets into the fake economic stats, fake equity market valuations, fake venture capital valuations, fake USG debt measurements, and empty promises to society. The system must show return, and so it makes up return!]
- "When you [the system] hit steady state, none of this works anymore. It's a Ponzi scheme."—Eric @ 30:24min. [Correct, societies follow a life cycle—eventually they exit their fast growth stage, and hit steady state. But corporatism is not programmed to deal with that, and with the economic center moving East, the whole system breaks down and goes pathological. Relates to MAGA.]
- "The message that you should improve your own life, got conflated with; if your own life isn't awesome, it is because you failed to make it so. That was more true...1945-1970...when hard work usually paid off."—Eric @ 21:40min. [Right, and the machine is now seizing reward from the masses, in order to hit its own required rates of return.]
- "When you have bad behavior by institutions, it is pathological to put that on individual's shoulders."—Eric @ 44:22min. [Obviously. And so we could say corporations are pathological, as they constantly use "you did it to yourself" propaganda. See Peterson's response to this later, very important.]
The other three attempt to explain away the data points, play the classic "personal responsibility" line, pretend people have not enunciated the systemic problems, present the false equivalence of stuff = happiness, and ignore that prior century capitalism existed and was completely different from current century corporatism. Again, I like these guys generally, but am not impressed here...
- "It's personal responsibility" [long, paraphrased]—Peterson @ 16:36min.
- "You want to make ethical citizens so that they don't make mistakes that corrupt the operation of the system at a systemic level."—Peterson @ 44:31min. [Wrong, or at least irrelevant at this point; 50yrs too late. The current driver of immorality, is top-down amorality written into the core system code (bottom-up morality does not address this existing root cause). Modern corporations are a designed mechanism for removing human judgement/morality—the employed humans are by law required to maximize profit while subordinating all other concerns, especially by maximizing externalities—while limited liability protects from said externalities coming back to them. Again, by law required to, or you and your ethics will be thrown out of a job!]
- "Virtually all of those problems, are problems that people put in front of themselves"—Ben @ 23:49min.
- "You're just lying to yourself, we aren't in a crisis."—Ben @ 19:30min.
- "What we are saying is being read as self-help...basically what we are saying to people is...shut up and get on with your lives...solve your own problems."—Ben @ 17:40min. [Nice. I consider Ben a thinly-veiled corporate propagandist.]
- "So many people think that the system is irrevocably broken, that they are willing to break the system, that is not irrevocably broken."—Ben @ 19:54min. [How are you so certain it's not irrevocably broken? Because GDP went up, that's it? People are just suffering from mass delusion?]
- "Everyone is depressed but we don't know why we are depressed."—Ben @ 18:38min. [Actually people have enunciated very clearly why.]
- "It's pretty good [the system], and we could maybe make it a little better, but the capacity for humans to make a system much better than this...[expresses doubt]"—Dave @ 25:00min. [This always gets into fighting the last war with the "capitalism vs communism" false binary nonsense. Except America is corporatist. You could make it much better, for example by being capitalist (symmetric risk/return), not corporatist.]
- "The fundamental hatred of the system by many people...the system that we have [modern corporatism] is the best that has ever happened to any human beings in the history of the world."—Ben @ 25:55min. [Scary delusional. We're talking about the same corporatist nightmare teetering on the edge of collapse? What about 20th century capitalism 1900-1970? Pretty sure that was better. You are conflating the two, they are distinctly different economic forms, per capitalism's own definitions (provable). Note: everyone needs to revisit this base assumption in their model, that America's current economic system is still capitalism...it's these basic assumptions that nobody thinks to check, that get you.
- "Well, fortunately we've got something better going on here, so let's not worry about it."—Dave @ 45:31min. [LOL, did that just happen? Eric just said nobody will talk about this stuff (tell me about it buddy!), followed by complete shutdown by the host.
And yet still, that pesky elephant remains standing there. Sorry, but the postmodernist-right can't just wish away reality, any more than can the postmodernist-left.