I’ve spoken before about the perplexing problem we have of elites who are not only destroying our civilisation – they will inevitably end by destroying themselves. How on earth can this have happened?
Nassim Taleb has some ideas on this subject in his essay on the “Intellectual-Yet-Idiot” Class.
It does seem increasingly obvious that our so-called intellectual elites are quite unable to foresee the consequences of their actions. When their decisions turn out badly they are unable to understand why and, more worryingly, being essentially mediocrities with no deep understanding their instinct is to deny reality rather than question their own beliefs.
There’s a lively discussion on the topic at Vox Popoli. This discussion raises another fascinating possibility – that high IQ individuals are in fact to a considerable degree excluded from positions of power and influence.
Even a cursory glance at the history of the West over the past century makes it pretty clear that during this period most western countries have largely been ruled by people who are, to put it mildly, not very bright. Back in the 70s British historian Corelli Barnett pointed out the disastrous consequences of the ineptitude of the British ruling class in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (in his superb book The Collapse of British Power) so the problem is certainly not new.
What is new is that a reasonably large number of ordinary people seem to be slowly realising that they are being ruled by elites who don’t have a clue what they’re doing.