They say ignorance is bliss; and that might be true, if the lies you believe are the comforting kind. But unfortunately, in this land of fear-mongering paranoia and deliberate disinformation, ignorance tends to make for some very bad policy decisions. But, “reality” itself seems like kind of a fluid concept these days…well, at least it is for all us God-fearing conservative-type countries.
Yesterday, a British marketing research organization called Ipsos MORI released the results of a fascinating survey covering 14 developed countries. The thrust of the survey was to discern the degree of disconnect between the perceived reality in those countries, and the actual reality. The differences explain a lot, particularly about America.
When all the results were counted up, America scored second place in ignorance about itself…right behind, oddly enough, Italy. And, just ahead of Poland.
It’s hard to say exactly why all of these countries are so wrong about themselves. And maybe wrong is a little more accurate than ignorant here. “Ignorance” implies a deficit of any knowledge; “wrong” means you have some knowledge, it’s just incorrect. And that’s exactly what you’d expect if a large portion of your news media were devoted to…say…lying, misleading, and otherwise deliberately spreading disinformation.
And that does seem to be the case, because if there’s one major trend here, it’s this:
People, particularly Americans, tend to vastly overestimate the “bad,” “scary” or “threatening” things, and underestimate the good things.
Which is sort of what you’d expect for a nation held in the thrall of fearmongering propagandists. For example, Americans overestimate the number of:
- Immigrants, by 2.5-to-1
- Unemployed, by 5-to-1
- Teen pregnancies, by 6-to-1
- Muslims, by 15-to-1
By contrast, we underestimate the number of
- Christians, by about 1/3rd
- Voters, by about 10 percent
Indeed, one of the more interesting things here seems to be a kind of universal persecution complex. For instance, ALL of the nations that were majority Christian seemed to believe that Chrisitans weren’t the majority, and that they were being invaded en masse by hordes of Muslim immigrants. Particularly the United States.
Can’t imagine why that might be.
Indeed, a whopping 78 PERCENT of Americans identified as Christian, while 1 PERCENT identified as Muslim. However, the Americans surveyed believed that 15 percent were Muslim, and 56 percent were Christian. So, here’s one crushing disconnect from reality in America:
- Christians Believe that they only outnumber Muslims by about 4 to 1
- IN REALITY, Christians outnumber Muslims by 78 to 1
And, here in “Godless America,” Jews and more secular types don’t fare much better. According to this survey, Christians also outnumber agnostics by about 6 to 1, atheists by 20 to 1, and Jews by 43 to 1.
Kind of puts a damper on the whole “persecution” complex, doesn’t it?
But, we’re not picking on religion here. It’s just one of the more fascinating and telling examples of how reality itself can become kind of a fluid concept…depending on the lies you want to believe.
Incidentally, the least ignorant countries: Sweden, Germany and Japan.
Seems those godless, liberal-socialist democrat types are pretty good about keeping in touch with reality after all.