Our history is full of awful ideas that somehow became reality. Then again, it’s no secret…the world is a messed up place. Nevertheless, you would think that at some level, someone would realize, “these ideas are bad” and not go through with them. But here we are, and these ideas are now reality. Today we’re going to be taking a look at just how messed up these ideas actually are. If you’re easily depressed, we recommend closing this list right now and reading something else. How about our cute puppy list? Proceed at your own risk! These are 25 awful ideas that became reality because people are messed up.
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Even the most reasonable people have fallen for these. And no, we’re not going to name any names here.
Who doesn’t want to “take control of their life” and make a lot of money? And yes, “multi level marketing” is just a fancy word for pyramid scheme.
Salem Witch Trials
20 people were executed, fourteen of them were women, and 2 infants died in prison. These were all legally sanctioned killings due to mass hysteria and the messed-up-ed-ness of people.
Instead of fighting directly against your opponent, you can just pay somebody else to do it on the other side of the world.
The ripples of slavery and racism are still felt in the US and around the world today.
One could say that this is the classic case of capitalism gone too far.
Entire groups of people (Jews, Gypsies, Poles, etc) were decimated during the Third Reich.
It only works because we are scared of something that kills fewer people per year than rogue toddlers with guns. And no, we are not kidding. Toddlers with guns do in fact kill more people per year in the US than terrorists.
It seems that people are willing to pay any price to survive. Martin Shkreli isn’t the only one that does this.
Also worth noting, because the US doesn’t have a single payer system (state run healthcare) that can negotiate drug prices with Big Pharma, Americans pay far more than other countries for pharmaceuticals. In effect, Americans are subsidizing the rest of the world’s healthcare. Even drug companies located abroad (in Europe and Asia) rely on making back their initial R&D costs in the American market.
In some countries, this accounts for a large portion of the GDP.
And now all the sane people of the world have to put up with this madness.
The Rwandan Genocide
A lot of the killing was actually done by regular people. Just neighbors going around and chopping up their neighbors because they had a different last name.
By definition, it only works because everybody is looking out for their own selfish interest.
Basically any “ism” that leads to the suffering of many because of the greed of a few.
It worked for a while…
This is basically when somebody buys up patents and then goes out suing people who infringe upon them.
People are willing to infect your computer in order to sell you stuff.
People came from all over Rome to watch gladiators kill themselves in the Colosseum. Once that was over, they watched peasants get torn to bits by wild animals.
Even in western countries, this was quite popular until the early 20th century.
The Gatling Gun
The first machine gun was actually invented by a doctor…yes, a doctor. Dr Richard Gatling noticed that many of the men fighting in the American Civil War were dying of disease on the battlefield rather than bullet wounds. He thought that if he could invent a gun that would allow one man to do the work of a hundred, then that would lead to smaller armies and fewer lives lost. Unfortunately, the militaries of the world didn’t agree with his plan. Instead, they decided to outfit every soldier with a machine gun and the rest is history.
Note: to some extent Dr. Gatling was right. Following the World Wars, our weaponry has gotten so advanced that for the last 70 years countries have been rather disinclined to fight one another. In fact, at the moment we live in the most peaceful period of human history (in spite of what you hear in the news, which is primarily the result of 24 hour news cycles and the internet…the world used to be a lot, lot, lot worse than it is today).
In the words of Winston Churchill, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”
Even the guy who started it (L. Ron Hubbard) said it was a bunch of malarkey.
Jim Crow Laws
After the Civil War, former slaves began to rise through the ranks of society and gain both economic and social status. The fact that former slaves had this freedom angered much of the southern White population. Unfortunately, the Northern states eventually lost the political will to keep protecting southern Blacks and what followed came to be known as the Jim Crow Laws (legally mandated segregation). These laws effectively excluded southern Blacks from civil society until the 1970s. By preventing Blacks from becoming educated, voting, and improving their lot in life, these laws single-handedly created the massive divide seen between Blacks and Whites to this day.
Note: some southern states like Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas are still lagging significantly behind the rest of the country in terms of life expectancy, literacy, GDP, health, etc. primarily due to the fact that nearly half their population was disenfranchised for nearly 2 centuries.
Photos: 24. Nina Aldin Thune via wikimedia commons, 16. flyingorcas via flickr, 15. Dean (leu) via flickr, 14. configmanager via flickr, 13. Clinton: Gage Skidmore via flickr; Trump: iphonedigital via flickr, 12. Gunner Ries (Amphibol) via wikimedia commons, 10. bookmama via flickr, 9. Alexandre Dulaunoy via flickr, 8. Starkus01 via wikimedia commons, 5. Matthew Trump 2004 via wikimedia commons, 4. http://nyphotographic.com/ via jphotostyle.com, 3. pictorialevidence via wikimedia commons, 1. Fibonacci Blue via flickr