Views from an American living in Portugal
Well said. Especially about "woke." I bristle at that. It was an unfortunate conservative follow-up to "ALL lives matter."
Thank you for sharing the link to the video. I was unaware of Bonhoeffer's theory--I wish it wasn't being played out so painfully, so clearly, around the world now.
Hi Nancy. What a great post! I think your post is so relevant today and around this small planet of ours, evil people have figured out the way to manipulate people. I like the video very much but I would add my comment that people become stupid because they fear something and are often times eager to eradicate their fear without even checking to see if the fear is valid. I came here from Texas and knew all about the border. The things people tell me about the refugees and migrants trying to find a better life are so far out there and when I tell them that what they’ve heard is absolutely false, they don’t believe me. It is because they want their fear to go away and to make it go away they turn to hucksters and liars who validate that fear and suggest the cruelest ways to get rid of the fear. By that time the stupid people believe that any means to rid themselves of the thing they fear is justified so that they can be “safe.” It is truly his theory come full circle. It is sad that the few who do evil can convince so many stupid people that they are right just by playing on their fears and prejudices. Let’s hope Chega does not add to their right wing seats in the future. Right now, Portugal seems to me to be far less divided than the US and I hope it stays that way.
"Don't ask where was God in Aushwitz. Ask where the Christians were". In the short film shown at one of the exhibits in the Budapest Holocaust memorial).
"After freeing the Israelites, Moses thanked the Pharoah for teaching them building skills."(meme on the Internet).
I try really hard to not let the "people are stupid and they suck" mindset overwhelm me. So I support teachers and librarians any way I can...
As a Floridian (Sarasota) it is tough to live here. Top it off, the majority of my neighbors do not see what is wrong with our governor. Unfortunately, most moving here (I sell real estate) are "like-minded conservatives". I am headed to Portugal in the fall to house hunt. Counting the days when I don't have to live around books being banned from our new library around the corner and history being re-written.
Thank you for this..We will soon be in Portugal, happily leaving FL in the rear view mirror, but also realize no place is perfect.
Re: Bonhoeffer’s theory ... thanks for the education, Nancy. Those with the authoritarian streak work to actively build “stupidity” into their take-over scheme by dumbing down education making adults more docile & subservient.
Thanks for a thought-provoking article. It is true that many ultra conservatives live in ignorance and denial - not necessarily because they are stupid - but because they are afraid of "the other" - and that somehow if you have more, they have less. I look at a Germany that finally took responsibility for the Holocaust. It took a while, but you can see evidence of their contrition all over Berlin. I have yet to see any nation take responsibility for slavery which has gone on for thousands of years.
omg. thankyou for this video. and for your entire post. i've tried to conceal my feeling about the stupidity that abounds, but this set me free.
Thank you for a well written thought provoking article. I am from Florida and now living in Portugal. . It is sad and scary what has happen to Florida in the political arena. As well as around this world.
From the video: “In conversation, one feels that one is not dealing with a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like, that have taken possession of him.”
This is so true! Impossible to break through those defenses.
And I have my own slogans in response;
Life is too short to spend it on hatred or revenge. Find what brings joy to you and others.
Very moving Nanc; thank you. It is worth reflecting that the oldest currency in the world is not gold or jewels but people. Desert raiders, vikings, whatever you wish; when they raided a village or coastal town, the people in it were poor, probably subsistence level poor. So there were no gems or coins to take, but people. There is documented evidence that Arab raiders took slaves from Iceland and sold them in the markets of North-West Africa. This is not in any way to excuse slavery, just a statement of fact.
Thank you for the information on Bonhoeffer. It might also be of interest to consider Hanlon's Razor, that states, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
I eagerly await your next post. David... from Carvoeiro.
Wow! Fantastic post! And thank you for the video. I'm sharing it with everyone! (Except some of my own stupid people) :-( I guess we all have them.
Love Bonhoeffer. Thanks Nancy!
Thanks Nancy. I’ve read quite a bit of Bonhoeffer with Cost of Discipleship being my favorite, but his theory of stupidity escaped me all these years. Thanks for the video.
Well written. I, too, had never heard of Bonhoeffer's theory, but it is pretty on point.