Late game problems: The downside of ethical intelligentsia

There’s been lingering chat about late-game difficulty for a while now, so I wanted to flesh out a big one I can’t help but recognise: people getting too smart and ethical.

There’s a reason why practically every regime in history has targetted academic centers. Smart people are often a fairly tangible threat. At present, high education has no downsides whatsoever, which I might question given so many great philosophical, rationalist, and ethical movements inevitably kick up trouble for their establishments.

Better informed people recognise injustice at home and abroad and in past and present in greater detail. With academic networks, they often discuss, analyze, and soon enough activise about that injustice. Successful protest movements often have an intelligent base, and the smarter they are, the better they are at getting their point across.

In authoritarian states, the solution is fear and propaganda, which ultimately stunts the educated society you may’ve hoped for, but in liberal ones it’s increasingly complex, costly, and ultimately utopian reform at pace with humanitarian and technocratic thought, which is far more difficult to keep up with.

I think a hypothetically ultraliberal, highly-educated society would soon demand reparative justice, the rejuvenation of the third world, new civil rights, neo-democracy, carbon-negative economies etc. (take your pick)


I guess USA is weird case, since they keep cutting spending on education and research (obsession with market solutions).
They also are main exporter of conspiracy theories (sarcasm), and uneducated population is very good target for USA enemies.

So education and technology should be much slower to build up, and must have lower default value.
Educated population should have some political bias compared to uneducated population.


Makes sense. I’d also like to’ve seen fake news rebalanced stronger to be more of an issue in step with the conspiracy phenomenon we’ve seen in the west.