Mental illness has always been rampant in Humans. It is unfortunately one of the defining characteristics of our species: the bigger the brain, the wider the diversity of mental diseases that can exist: narcissism, megalomania, paranoid disorders, schizophrenia and Messiah complex are some of the necessary ingredients that make a great leader today. Mental disease is an evolutionary advantage for these individuals: when you don’t follow the path of logic, you can carve your own world within a world: your own version of history, purpose, your own dogma. If you’re good at it, the world can be yours, and this is what Trump and Putin successfully achieved. Their fake news empires created a conspiracy version of reality that suited them, taking along with them millions of people. Their version of reality is not fake, it is as real as it gets: a parallel world where they are the Messiah, and everyone else needs to follow them. If they craft their story carefully enough, you end up with almost 1 in 2 Americans believing that their election was rigged, and at least 1 in 2 Russians supporting the invasion and deletion from the map of Ukraine and its people. Their critical ability has been compromised, hijacked by Putin’s alternate reality propaganda machine. It’s really not that hard, it just takes a “leader” who is mentally unstable enough to dare. These leaders are not “smart” or calculating: remember, they are mentally sick. They are taking huge risks, including the risk of pushing the planet towards a very quick nuclear apocalypse.
This was supposed to be the Century of the Self. And it is panning out to be one, only not in the way we expected or envisioned: while certain facets of society have turned inwards in a healthy way, seeking enlightenment and understanding of the human condition and its mental malaises, others have gone the opposite way: narcissism, selective filtering of evidence, blissful ignorance towards morals and social justice and other cognitive malfunctions, are the results of a long-thriving capitalist system that taught us, and only wanted us, to care about our own immediate needs, wants, and the products that satisfy them. We became oversaturated with jobs, needs, fake news to the point where there is no attention span left to cater for reality.
This is not a Century of the Self. It is the century of ignorance. We have nothing to live or to fight for anymore, and the war in Ukraine is not even about nationality, language or religion. It is about capitalism and money. The nuclear apocalypse will come suddenly, while everyone is staring into their smartphone. This world is putting itself to sleep.
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books