The Dumbest Species on This Planet
Is it me or are we the dumbest species to inhabit this planet and potentially the Universe? Maybe I just don’t get stuff, maybe my power of understanding is too miniscule or maybe, just maybe, we truly are the most idiotic species this planet has ever seen. If it is me, then at least I’m in good company.
“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” — Albert Einstein
“One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ can beat teamwork.” — Edward Abbey
Stupidity is a slow but fatal form of cancer for humanity and humanity is in turn a slow and fatal form of cancer for planet Earth. At least slow on our timeframe, on the planet’s timeframe we are lightning fast. Just as cancer uses the lymphatic and blood system to move throughout a victim’s body and wreak havoc, so has mankind made use of rivers and seas, earth’s blood vessels, to spread its disease to the farthest corners of the map. From the Great Rift Valley in Africa this cancer has spread and it has now reached as far away as the dark jungles of the Amazon, the barren tundra of Siberia and the frozen wastes of Antarctica.
But what has spurred this massive migration? For our ancestors it was palpable things: better hunting grounds, better grazing lands, a more defendable position or perhaps a better climate. But for the modern man, the man of the post agrarian world ,the motivation was similar but different. He was still after the best grazing lands, the best hunting grounds and the most resources but his final purpose was not to feed his family or tribe but to get rich, wealthy beyond measure in a unit of measure that he invented: currency.
I often like to imagine a great alien spaceship stumbling upon this little blue marble in the infinity of space and an exploration party returning to report on their findings about this strange new world.
“The dominant species call themselves humans. The main preoccupation of the population seems to be obtaining something they call “money”. They seem to have developed an addiction to “money” and they are harming themselves and damaging the planet beyond repair in order to obtain this “money”.?” the explorer reports
“And is this money hard to extract? How rare is this element on the planet? Where are they mining it? Is it something that is vital to their biological survival?” the captain would ask.
“That’s the strangest part, this money they are chasing is their own creation. It isn’t real at all. There is an infinite amount of it. There is a competition every year to be inscribed in a book called Forbes that lists the people that have collected the largest amount of this imaginary tokens . That seems to be regarded as the pinnacle of achievement.”
And as I lay in bed crafting scenarios of what aliens might think of us for the irrational way in which we treat our life sustaining environment, a quote by the former president of the most powerful country on this planet always pops into my head.
“We’ll be fine with the environment. We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses” — Donald Trump, Interview with Chris Wallace, Oct 18, 2015
My hear sinks because I know we’re headed down a path of no return. For many of this planet’s other inhabitants it’s already too late. The animal population has declined by 60% over the past 50 years and over one million species are at risk of extinction. Countless more have passed on into history without even making the S&P 500 flinch. The reality is that nobody cares or those who care enough to do something about it are powerless to do so.
This hit home in a painful way for me as I was watching a documentary entitled “Untamed Romania” with my mother, who came to visit me (we live in different countries). It’s a beautiful documentary and available on Netflix so I recommend it if you have a chance to see it. As we were watching a pack of wolves on a winter hunt through a forest, my mother seriously asked me what was the point of having wolves and why don’t we just shoot them all. I took a long look at her and thought to myself “how is this person my mother? Thank goodness she was to busy to educate me as a child and I did that on my own”. Humans only see value in something if that thing is valuable to them.
We have broken Frank’s rule number two and have gotten high on our own supply. We have become addicted to our own creation to the point where we value worthless paper and numbers on a computer above things that should be basic human rights like clean air, clean water, free healthcare, free education, affordable housing let alone the environment and other species of plants and animals. We hear the same old expired quotes: “there’s no such thing as a free meal!” or “you either get free stuff or you get freedom”. The wolves have convinced the sheep to defend the wolf. The wolf of wall street of course. The ultra wealthy have amassed mind boggling fortunes while the rest work for scraps. The top 500.000 richest people on our planet, about 0.01% of the population holds about 46 trillion dollars while 100 million fell into extreme poverty in 2020. There’s no money for infrastructure or hospitals or public healthcare but some people are spending millions on “artwork” made in paint by a toddler. The money and resources are there, the distribution system is flawed.
The system is broken, there’s nothing trickling down. It looks like indeed every law can be broken when you have the money, even the law of gravity. There’s a trickle, but it’s trickling up. Actually, it’s more like a flood, a great vortex picking up your money and giving it to Gates, Bezos, Musk and the like. You are being encouraged to spend, tricked into debt and modern slavery while they accumulate fortunes. Get credit cards, get a second mortgage, get that nice car you can’t afford or need. Spend to support the economy! Ah, the economy, this almighty beast that nobody can control that’s pumped up by legal counterfeiting by the Federal Reserve. We speak in awe of these things as if they have a life of their own, as if they aren’t all our inventions. Stocks, ETF, options, cryptocurrency, derivatives, complex financial instruments that are purposely made so that nobody understands them, all of them are inventions of humans. They aren’t real. Trees are real, water and food are real, air is real. These are the things we should be investing in, making sure they will support human life indefinitely.
If the penalty for a crime is a fine, then that law only exists for the lower class — Final Fantasy Tactics, 1998
When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money. — Alanis Obomsawin, 1972
To summarize my rant, I hold little faith in the future of this species. The greed of a few coupled with the stupidity of the many is a fatal cocktail. I’m not talking about my lifetime or even the next five hundred years but if you could time travel and go a few thousand years into the future, I doubt you will like what you see. I don’t claim to have the solutions but I’m pretty sure that this idiotic species would find a new system pretty quickly if the will would be there and the resources would be allocated towards it. But I know they won’t be and I wish I didn’t know…