Stupidity might one day be seen, if it is not already, as the biggest guiding force in human history. Studied, adopted, clearly thought-out inanity, not a kind of off-the-cuff thoughtlessness. The invasion of Iraq, brokered and orchestrated by George W Bush and willingly, slavishly augmented by Tony Blair, might be seen as one of the biggest game changers in modern geopolitical history. I remember the times, the vast marches, but soon the drums were rolling. I even contributed to the naivety by believing that getting rid of Saddam Hussein would free the Iraqi people from their murderer. Little did we know that destruction and defeat would produce even more murderous times.
We often drink in the short-sightedness unintentionally. We can be misled into a future hell. Disorder can be the result of acquiescence on the part of the public; but as the vast anti-Iraqi invasion advanced, millions came out to protest, to warn, to suggest caution around the issue of weapons of mass destruction. Admittedly Hussein’s side boasting about their weaponry failed to clarify things, but the adventure was based on some deeply well-organised clumsiness.
Stupidity allows the law of unintended consequences to rule OK. So if you took a look at the panorama of today’s problems you would see, sewn into them, what had initially appeared as a good thing being in fact a bad thing.
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Cameron’s support of the Arab Spring might be seen as another application of determined wrongheadedness. With the laws of unintended consequences cutting through the Arab world, toppling and murdering and destroying, the so-called Spring washed away the fabric of oppressive regimes and replaced it with a disorderly chaos and millions of refugees in its wake. A kind of oppressive order replaced by horrific and murderous disorder.
Even down to simple things, like holding down interest rates at a time when house prices were booming, and tempting people into undertaking an expensive move which was exposed to higher interest rates. Creating a hot market that could fold has put many more people into peril.