Banning Plastic Bags

“What about the morons?”

“Ah. Morons never do the wrong thing. They get their reasoning wrong. Like the fellow who says all dogs are pets and all dogs bark, and cats are pets, too, and therefore cats bark. Or that all Athenians are mortal, and all the citizens of Piraeus are mortal, so all the citizens of Piraeus are Athenians.”

“Which they are.”

“Yes, but only accidentally. Morons will occasionally say something that’s right, but they say it for the wrong reason.”

That piece of dialog is from Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum. Earlier in the dialog between Belbo and Casaubon, Belbo claims that “there are four kinds of people in this world: cretins, fools, morons, and lunatics” and that a normal person is “just a reasonable mix of these components, these four ideal types.”

I am persuaded that politicians in India are not normal people in the sense Belbo means it. They are an unreasonable mix of the ideal types, mostly moronic. What got me thinking about this was the ban on plastic bags that is scheduled to go into effect in Maharashtra next week.

Here is what happened. End of July saw not only unusually heavy rains – a cloudburst, actually – in Mumbai, but also record high tides. Mumbai, never having an efficient storm drainage system, succumbed to massive flooding and millions lost property and hundreds died as well.

Now comes the moronic reasoning. You see garbage everywhere in the streets in Mumbai. Garbage has plastic bags. Uncollected garbage lying in the streets can block drains during a storm. So ban the plastic bags around the state of Maharashtra to avoid flooding in the city of Mumbai.

If you will permit me a brief digression at this point. You may ask, why are we ruled by morons? Sweetheart, we are ruled by morons and cretins because the vast majority of us are morons and Continue reading “Banning Plastic Bags”

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