The Least Common Denominator
Historians and sociologists avoid a taboo subject they can’t mention, or else their careers would evaporate. There’s a good reason for this tradition. It prevents every stupid idea from becoming widely accepted but guess what, that information dissemination model has failed. With so much disinformation accepted by so many people, it’s time to speak openly.
With so much history to examine, historians have plenty of examples of the rise and fall of nations and empires. The data show that people do stupid things, where stupid can be interpreted to mean self-destructive acts that were not the result of careful contemplation. Just take the…why bother giving examples. You can find plenty of examples. That is the interesting aspect of this problem, the reason for this post.
The least common denominator is “The least common denominator (LCD) is the smallest number that can be a common denominator for a set of fractions.”
When applied to groups of people, this concept has names like “The squeaky wheel” or the “Vocal minority.”
No matter what name is used, this group of people always wins, creating every form of government imaginable, from the monarchies of antiquity to liberal democracies. Scream loud and you will get your way, especially if you know guys with guns. There’s something about having weapons, the ability to kill other people at will, that causes the LCD (Least Common Denominator) crowd to get excited.
All societies are LCD based. Variations between global areas are nothing more than reflections of what the vocal and connected minority wants, whether its authoritarianism as in China and Russia, liberal democracy as seen in Western Europe and Australia, or anarchy as expressed in the United States. These choices and how they are instantiated are the legacy of millennia of cultural development.
In other words, there’s nothing we can do about it.
Bottom line:racism is the LCD; war is the LCD; paranoia is the LCD; fear and superstition are both LCDs; so get used to it and stop dreaming about a better world. It may come but only when the global LCD has been found and…
I don’t know what that will be…