Lately, Gumshoe has heard and read the term “useful idiots”. Personally, I never thought that a certified “idiot” would be deemed “useful” for any practical purpose. However, after further contemplating this term, Gumshoe arrived at the following observations and conclusions:
People (unknowingly) can be manipulated. Think of playing to the emotions rather than to logic. Think of panic! Force or fear? Flight or fright or freeze. A Las Vegas casino. The Irish Lottery. Free lunch! “This is a once in a lifetime offer!” “The great leap forward”. (Courtesy of Mao Zedong). How did that work out?
People (knowingly) can be manipulated. Groupthink. Herd mentality. Lemmings falling off the cliff. Establishment of the mantle of “victimhood” and the sense of entitlement. “You owe me!”
Ignorant people can be manipulated. Think of, “If it feels good, do it!” No thought of the unintended nor the unforeseen consequences. “I thought the gun was not loaded”. “I’m ok to drive after a few drinks”. “He only hits me because he loves me”. “I dare you!” “It’s only a flesh wound”. (God bless Monty Python and the Flying Circus!)
Educated people can be manipulated. Think of yesterday’s “experts” that are today’s “fools”. Possibly even today’s “experts” that will be tomorrow’s “fools”. The earth is flat. “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”. (Run!) “Even God can’t sink this ship“. (The builder of the Titanic). “It’s a gifted wooden horse from the gods”. “I’m just experimenting with drugs; I won’t get addicted”. “Eating tomatoes will kill you”. “You can surely fly with wax wings, Icarus”. (said by Daedalus). Oops! The sun.
People (unwillingly) can be manipulated. Think of Hobson’s choice. Think of the movie “Jaws”. Think of the movie “The Exorcist” (No more pea soup for me, thank you)
People (willingly) can be manipulated. Think of the Nazis and the “Big Lie”. Utopia dead ahead; we had to destroy the village in order to save it. (???)
People can be manipulated, period (.)or exclamation point(!) “Don’t remove this mattress tag under federal penalty of imprisonment”. Yikes! Don’t shoot G-Men! (Machine gun Kelly)
Now, all of these groups of people are labeled “idiots” by their “manipulators” who deemed them “useful” to a defined purpose or goal. Think of a one-time use of a Q-tip or Kleenex. (Yucko!)
Or . . . perhaps, simply refuse to be manipulated by anyone or group by using your God-given intellect, reason, and free will – Let’s not become denizens of “The Brave New World” (Thank you, Mr. Huxley!)
PS: Idiots are not us! Apologies offered to imbeciles, cretins, dimwits, knuckleheads, nincompoops but not to members of Congress, Hollywood elites, and Ivory Tower professors.
Note: The term “Use Idiots” has been attributed to our good Marxist comrade Vladimir Lenin. I trust that his “red ass” is still frying in “collective” hell. Amen!