Why Brexit and Trump Happened
The most disappointing aspect of Brexit and Trump’s presidency is that it has highlighted that the public is not smart enough to make important decisions. This is not because we are not educated enough, nor is it because of subliminal messaging or the Russians. It is because of the process of GroupThink, which is causing us to be incapable of thinking independently.
Unfortunately, the person with book smarts is the person who is going to succeed in life. This is because the current education system only accepts one type of thinking. The gifted bassist, the talented painter, the natural public speaker, will unfortunately become another accountant, the annoying salesman, the unfulfilled bus driver. Non-academic skills are ignored and as a result of society thinking there is only one type of intelligence, children then come out of school thinking they’re stupid because they are not good at math or English. And on the other end of the scale and possibly more dangerously, you have the rich children who have had academic learning forced into them, come out of school thinking they are really intelligent because they did well in their exams. Society then tells them that because they got high results, they have to become doctors, bankers and lawyers. This then creates the doctors who don’t care, the greedy bankers, and the non-ethical lawyers.
And then what about the people in the middle? It is clear that Western society emphasises a lifestyle where everyone should be different. You’ll see ‘Be yourself’ or ‘you are special’ posters plastered on play centres and school walls. And don’t get me wrong. This is great. But the problem is that humans are being taught to think one way and consequentially, they can only be different in limited ways. This has introduced two types of people: the hipster, and the person who hates the hipster. The perfect example of this is social media. On instagram, people are being constantly judged to portray themselves in a certain way. They need to put up a picture when they are abroad, when they are with friends or when they are doing any form of ‘living in their own unique way’. They are then rewarded with likes. “I got x amount of likes so people think I am ‘living in my own unique way’. But if everyone is trying to be different, then everybody is the same. The hipster fallacy. And the same then applies to the person who tries to judge the hipster. They are so concerned with not being identified as a hipster so they can ‘actually’ be different. These people then argue against each other to prove that their way is the right way of living, while the wealthy live their lives of privilege, and the poor suffer in silence. We are becoming robots who are being deceived by our concept of what being different means.
And what is the result of all of this? Well people like Donald Trump and Nigel Farage get to the highest ranks of power because they have had the resources to be academically intelligent, despite clearly lacking emotional intelligence. Then, those at the lower end of society never meet their potential and are told by society that they are stupid. This negatively affects their self-esteem, which increases their chances of developing mental health issues. And finally, the middlemen, which probably includes you reading this and me writing this, spend our time trying to fit into society’s blueprint of how to be different.
So how can we stop this? Well firstly, start calling people out on emphasising the importance of academic intelligence. This can be achieved through money and resources, so it is giving the wealthy an unfair advantage. For teachers and parents reading this, try to cultivate the alternative forms of intelligence that your students and children have. It is more important that you have a child who is passionate about something with average grades than one who has high grades and no idea what he or she wants to do. Promote their potential and this will prevent their future problems. And finally, the people in the middle. The only way to stop society determining your actions is to stop allowing society to judge you. Do what YOU want to do and stop other peoples’ irrelevant judgments influence your behaviour. Go to Thailand because you love Thai food, not because everyone else goes. Go to the concert because you love the music, not so you can get a good snapchat, and don’t spend time with your friends because you would look good on an album cover together. Spend time with your friends because they make you feel positive emotions. You don’t need to be different. You just need to be fulfilled.
The Motus Movement.