The result is that, within the bubble, a single thought takes on the momentum of a cheese rolling down a hill, followed by those who don’t think whether it will be edible if they do, indeed, catch it. The failure of the bubble dwellers to think outside the incestuous, circular, mindset within the bubble means that bad ideas are not challenged. It means that, within the bubble, the focus is not on whether to do it but rather how to do it. Ideas rapidly become, or even arrive as, a fait accompli and while there is often extensive debate on the best way to implement them, the hard question – (should we do this?) – is never asked.
And the reason for this is that bubble people only consider those within the bubble to be “popular.” Those outside the bubble can shout and scream, but their views are ignored or, even, disparaged.
Bubble people tend to run headlong into things without looking at the wider implications of what they are doing.
So, am I a contrarian? No, if anything I’m a populist amongst the wider population that exists outside the bubble and thinks bubble people need to gain a sense of perspective.
But, there is something else. Unlike those who have called me names in the past and who will no doubt do so in the future, mostly those who now call me “contrarian” do so with a degree of approval and, in some cases, respect. They are the ones who, somewhere deep inside them, think that the bubble should be more permeable, that ideas should not be shut out just because they do not fit the current real-politik. Those who may, one day, if they feel brave enough, speak out against the group-think that defines the bubble.
They secretly hope that one day, I may pop that bubble and everyone will start to think for themselves, and ask questions not to follow sheepishly, lemming-like, over the edge of the flat earth they have defined for themselves.
And to them, I say “thank you. It’s nice to be recognised. It’s nice to be listened to by the very people who mostly want to pretend other views do not exist.”
But I also have to say, thank you for calling me a contrarian: unfortunately, you are wrong. It’s the people in the bubble, minorities making decisions that majorities, of which I am a noisy, not silent, representative, see as contrary. For we are the true populists, our views are popular. We are just not heard because you have created a membrane so thick that reason cannot permeate.
After all, the silent majority is hoi poloi, it’s the great unwashed, it’s the people. The common people. The people of common sense. It’s that, not me, that the bubble people fear.
The popping of the bubble would be a very popular move.
So I’m not contrarian: I’m not arguing for the sake of it. I’m certainly not arguing against a populist view, although I do often argue against views that are popular within the bubble. I’m not arguing because I want to get noticed (hell, look me up on Google – I really don’t need to stoop to trolling to get my name about). I’m arguing a contrary position because it’s logically formed and it’s right and, equally importantly, likely to be populist.