The White Savior Industrial Complex; Forrest Gump Syndrome

By Xah Lee. Date:

i wrote a lot recently attacking the American Left bleeding-hearts camp (for lack of better term). This is the camp of people that's always pro-active about green, peace, human rights, animal rights, women's rights, (poor) people's rights, help Africa, help the blind, deaf, cripples, …. They hang on their mouth all day and night are terms like: rights, justice, racism, sexism, equality. (but they have no heart for anyone they disagree with)

Forrest Gump

this group is particularly active on social networks, from penniless to affluent guys. Often they are slacktivists. (for example, the recent nymwar anti-Google movement is a good example of antics of this camp)

usually i write looong, and tons of articles. (like: eloquent'n'prolific!)

but y'know the “tl;dr” syndrome? (“tl;dr” = internet slang for “too long; didn't read”.) What's a short version?

it occurred to me, “Forrest Gump Syndrome” is a good epithet to adopt. You know Forrest Gump? A stunted imbecile, but as long as you have a good heart, you will become a millionaire, a sports champion, a war hero, save the world, and get the girl, too!

for any social issue, you can easily decide which is the Forrest Gump Choice. Just imagine yourself to be a idiot of IQ One, but have a GOOD HEART. Then you'll know, the correct policy for a better world!

For long version, see Bertrand Russel's “What I Believe”. Love without Knowledge = disaster. Google it.

Or, also check out FEELINGS OF INFERIORITY (Industrial Society and its Future) by the unabomber.

The White Savior Industrial Complex

whitemen go home
«Left, Invisible Children's Jason Russell. Right, a protest leader in Lagos, Nigeria / Facebook, AP» image source

Recently, i've been thinking of a name for a phenomenon. I just found the proper term: “The White Savior Industrial Complex”.

[The White Savior Industrial Complex By Teju Cole. At , accessed on 2012-03-22 ]

From Sachs to Kristof to Invisible Children to TED, the fastest growth industry in the US is the White Savior Industrial Complex.

The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.

The banality of evil transmutes into the banality of sentimentality. The world is nothing but a problem to be solved by enthusiasm.

This world exists simply to satisfy the needs -- including, importantly, the sentimental needs -- of white people and Oprah.

The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.

Feverish worry over that awful African warlord. But close to 1.5 million Iraqis died from an American war of choice. Worry about that.

I deeply respect American sentimentality, the way one respects a wounded hippo. You must keep an eye on it, for you know it is deadly.