After further research, thinking and pondering, I now feel confident to present to you my final, "official", Eight Principles of Incompetence:
Zeroth Principle: Incompetence is driven by intellectual sloth.
First Principle: Incompetence surrounds itself with incompetence.
Second Principle: Incompetence is ethics-impaired.
Third Principle: Incompetence abhors transparency and accountability.
Fourth Principle: Incompetence does or says anything to defend itself.
Fifth Principle: Incompetence always supports incompetence.
Sixth Principle: Violence is the last refuge of incompetence.
Seventh Principle: Incompetence is nothing but consistent with itself.
Allow me to explain succinctly each principle, along with a few examples in support of each.
Zeroth Principle - As I have written before, "Intellectual sloth is a human character flaw. It pushes any person who is guilty of it to wallow in ignorance, finding security in absolute ideologies, philosophies of thoughts, tenets of faith or various dogmas, without seeking to understand them fully or even less to question them. A person guilty of intellectual sloth is constantly in search of the quick-and-easy and instant gratification (...) Incidentally, a person guilty of intellectual sloth is egocentric and selfish, even greedy, in his/her immature search for facility and instant gratification. Furthermore, such a person refuses to accept any fact of reality which confronts, rattles, or even invalidates, the comfort of one's “convictions”. To this effect, such a person will be arrogant, if not contemptuous, towards anything and anyone that confronts his/her ignorance generated by intellectual sloth".
To this, I also added that one who is afflicted with intellectual sloth is often deluded by intellectual vanity and invariably becomes a slave of expediency. Furthermore, everything is about image and appearance, instead of substance. Truthiness, instead of truth. All of these characteristics underlie incompetence - whether as nations, as communities, as citizens, as blue-collar/white-collar workers, as parents, and/or as thinking, reasoning human beings. In short, intellectual sloth transforms any adult person who is guilty of it into an irresponsible and reactionary child or adolescent, who lives only in the “now” while remaining blind to “yesterday” and “tomorrow". Such a person thus becomes incompetent - in dealing/composing with reality, or in at least trying to understand it.
Examples in support: Religious fundamentalism; Trent Lott (R-MS)'s "brilliant" idea of an electrified fence to curb illegal
First Principle - Incompetents do not realize their own incompetence (intellectual vanity, remember?) and rarely recognize de facto competence in others. In addition, the incompetent distrusts anyone who shows signs of actual competence, should he/she somehow recognize it, because competents not only make the incompetent look bad, but are most likely to question him/her. Furthermore, incompetents find security and comfort in echo chambers - consequently, loyalty to self, as well as to same ideology/beliefs/party, overrides all considerations in the incompetent's petty mind (i.e. cronyism rules). To this effect, incompetents will seek to bring all those around them to their level. Therefore, incompetents are always surrounded by like-minded, and likewise, incompetents. In addition, in this context, incompetence always rewards incompetence. Some call this "functionning inside the bubble", I call it "herd mentality" (especially in the context of the Fifth Principle).
Examples in support: The neoconservatives' dismissal of "science", "objectivity", and "truth" as guises for an ulterior, leftist agenda; From the Bush administration: Harriet Miers, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales, Michael Brown, et al.; The Washington Beltway social circle of MSM/punditry elites; And, again, so many other examples, which are exposed and discussed all over the internet (including in virtually all of my previous entries).
Second Principle - Consider the characteristics bestowed upon incompetents by their intellectual sloth, as outlined in the Zeroth Principle, along with what I have written before: "(...) it is a fact that those individuals who are 'corrupted' by power are inevitably revealed at their core to be selfish, greedy, covetous, paranoid or fearful. Consequently, these use power expediently as a tool for the wasteful satisfaction of their every whim, want and need, or as a weapon to aim recklessly at their outwardly-projected inner demons. In short: only incompetents abuse power". Incompetents cheat, lie, misuse, "backstab" and abuse anything and everything in order to get their way - and they always make perfectly quaint rationalizations, as well as giving themselves a deluded moral highground (or authority), to justify their wrongdoings. In other words, incompetents are morally hypocritical and ethically impaired, because of their intellectual sloth-driven reasoning/emotional immaturity, egocentricity, intellectual vanity/intolerance, and slavery to expediency.
Examples in support: Have fun with this Google search and this one as well; It goes without saying that there are so many examples, which are exposed and discussed all over the internet (including in virtually all of my previous entries).
Third Principle - When you take into account the Zeroth, First and Second Principles, it becomes all too clear why incompetents prefer to do whatever they do under the cover of concealment and/or secrecy ... and thus why they abhor transparency and accountability. Not surprisingly, whistleblowers, which are inherently viewed as "traitors", constitute a veritable danger in the intellectual sloth-driven paranoid, petty minds of incompetents.
Examples in support: The Office of the Vice-Presidency under Dick Cheney: a few of numerous examples here, here, here and here; The US Federal government hid a $1.3 trillion loss last year; Try also this Google search for size; And once again, it goes without saying that there are so many other examples, which are exposed and discussed all over the internet (including in virtually all of my previous entries).
Fourth Principle - Because of the previous four principles, incompetents never take responsibility for their wrongdoings, or those of other incompetents within their "circle". This is what I wrote before: "Incompetents will do and say anything to defend themselves and other incompetents, including disassembling, obfuscating, lying and blaming others". Here's something else that I also wrote previously: "They lie, they misrepresent, they use decoy arguments and make ad hominem attacks. For them, the use of duplicity, of secrecy, of arguments of (non-existent) conspiracy, of fact (and non-fact) selectivity/cherry-picking, of quacks/fake experts, as well as putting forth logical fallacies, are simply means to an end." For incompetents, everything is about spin and truthiness - never about facts and truth. Even when they are blatantly caught, incompetents continue to react and reason with their intellectual sloth-driven infantile/adolescent immaturity - they will deny that they did anything wrong or that they have lied, then they will blame/attack (read: character assassinate) their "accusers". I call this: "Lie and Cry".
Examples in support: Tony Snow on Bush's veto of the last stem cells research bill: "This is the President putting science before ideology"; Today's pearl of wisdom from Gen. Petraeus in support of the never-ending Iraq occupation; The White House on Cheney having exempted his office from a presidential executive order designed to safeguard classified national security information: "It’s a little bit of a non-issue"; I provide more examples here and here; Also, have fun with this Google search; And yet again, there are numerous other examples which are exposed and discussed all over the internet (including virtually all of my previous entries).
Fifth Principle - Because of the "herd mentality" of incompetents (see First Principle above), they will always support and/or rabidly defend other incompetents - after all, in the incompetent's paranoid and petty mind, if one of his/her "kin" is allowed to be exposed, then surely he/she would be next! Consequently, incompetents use profusely the Fourth Principle (above) whenever other incompetents require support, protection or defense.
Examples in support: The (infamous) 109th Congress's tacit support of the Bush administration; I also give you Plamegate; Again, dixit the White House on Cheney having exempted his office from a presidential executive order designed to safeguard classified national security information: "It’s a little bit of a non-issue"; Again, I provide more examples here, here and here; And yet again, there are numerous other examples which are exposed and discussed all over the internet (including virtually all of my previous entries). Caveat: because of their inherent intellectual sloth-driven mendacious nature, incompetents have no qualms turning against another incompetent, should this poor sap be utterly (and hopelessly) exposed - as a result, other incompetents will use (again) the Fourth Principle profusely to "distance" themselves from another such "terminally-besieged" incompetent individual (a current case in point discussed here, as one example among many).
Sixth Principle - (This axiom originates from the works of Isaac Asimov). Here is what I wrote before: "Intellectual sloth reaps ignorance. In turn, ignorance festers fear which, as we know all-too-well, acts as a powerful motor in driving irrational thinking and actions. Furthermore, fear is quite expert in the exercise of nullifying any semblance of intellectual and emotional maturity in people – in other words, fear transforms a supposedly adult (and thus mature) person into an irresponsible, reactionary, judgement-impaired, and comfort-craving, child or adolescent. One who searches for easy and absolute answers (...) And such intellectual sloth, through the fear which it causes in those people guilty of it, eventually brings in turn the incapacity (or lack of willingness) to deal face-to-face with the unknown and the uncertain. Thereafter, the table is set at last for intolerance and hate to arise: the eternal and real justifications (although never self-admited) behind violence in any of its shapes or forms".
To this, I later added the following: "Ignorance breeds fear. Fear fosters hate. In turn, hate leads inevitably to violence (...) when will we acknowledge the fact, once and for all, that it is the incompetents among us who consistently promulgate violence as a solution for anything, to everything? (...) we must strive to forget nevermore that rationalizations supporting the use of violence - other than the need for the rightful exercise of self-defense when set upon by a genuinely clear, present and immediate danger - invariably constitute deceitful fabrications meant to conceal, disguise or justify incompetence ... including our very own for embracing such mendacity." Ergo: violence is the last refuge of incompetence.
Examples in support: The beating to death in Texas of an innocent (Mexican) man following a simple car accident; The Iraq War; The recent "conquest" of the Gaza Strip by Hamas; Michael Graham's solution to counter the positions of Hillary Clinton and Michael Moore; The prevalent rattling of sabers for an intervention against Iran (with more examples of such insane rattling discussed here, here, here, here and here, among many others); Last year's reckless bombing of Lebanon by Israel; And yet again, there are numerous other examples which are exposed and discussed all over the internet (including many of my previous entries). Heck - just scan through the History of Humanity, while you're at it ...
Seventh Principle - As long as incompetents do not acknowledge their affliction with intellectual sloth, they will stubbornly refuse to change. Some people call this hubris. To this effect, incompetents are known to repeat the same mistakes again and again, because of their arrogance and utter fright at being exposed for what they truly are - and thus, they find themselves unknowingly enacting Franklin's, and/or Einstein's, very definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Examples in support: Go back to those examples given for the previous principles. Also, there are numerous examples which are exposed and discussed all over the internet (including virtually all of my previous entries). Heck - and as I have written before - simply keep on reading/watching/following the news - this principle is likewise being verified again and again, day in and day out ... in fact, all Principles presented herein will be verified over and over.
So, there you have it - my Eight Principles of Incompetence.
I have presented these to you in the humble hope that henceforth you will "amuse" yourselves at spotting them (whether singly or in combination) whenever you read/watch the news - at least, I know I will ...
Peace - and keep on rockin'.
(Originally posted on 06/22/2007. Time-stamp modified to 06/23/2007 in order to act as a "re-post")
(Cross-posted at DKos at Suzie-Q, at Diatribune, at Progressive Bloggers, and at Progressive Historians)