Stupidity

The pressure that has been brought to bear upon the native people, since the cessation of armed conflict, in the attempt to force conformity of custom and habit has caused a reaction more destructive than war, and the injury has not only affected the Indian, but has extended to the white population as well. Tyranny, stupidity, and lack of vision have brought about the situation now alluded to as the “Indian Problem.”

I have no patience with the stupidity of the average teacher of grammar who wastes precious years in hammering rules into children's heads. For it is not by learning rules that we acquire the powers of speaking a language, but by daily intercourse with those accustomed to express themselves with exactness and refinement and by copious reading of the best authors.

With stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain.

How unbelievingly, carelessly, and senselessly most men live on earth, as if there were no such difference in another world ... No one driveth or forceth them to hell, and will they go thither of themselves? ... Did you but see yourselves, what we see by faith, (believing God) and at once behold the saints in heaven, the lost despairing souls in hell, and the senseless, sensual sinners on earth, that will lay none of this to heart, surely it would make you wonder at the stupidity of mankind.

It seems to me certain that more people are killed out of righteous stupidity than out of wickedness.

When men can hate without risk, their stupidity is easily convinced, the motives supply themselves.

The jury system puts a ban upon intelligence and honesty and a premium upon ignorance, stupidity and perjury.

The stupidity of people comes from having an answer to everything. The wisdom of the novel comes from having a question for everything... it seems to me that all over the world people nowadays prefer to judge rather than to understand, to answer rather than to ask, so that the voice of the novel can hardly be heard over the noisy foolishness of human certainties.

In politics stupidity is not a handicap.

But it is much later in the game now, and ignorance of the score is inexcusable. To be unaware that a technology comes equipped with a program for social change, to maintain that technology is neutral, to make the assumption that technology is always a friend to culture is, at this late hour, stupidity plain and simple.

Public opinion reigns in society because stupidity reigns amongst the stupid.

It is not a dream, it is a simple feat of scientific electrical engineering, only expensive — blind, faint-hearted, doubting world! [...] Humanity is not yet sufficiently advanced to be willingly led by the discoverer's keen searching sense. But who knows? Perhaps it is better in this present world of ours that a revolutionary idea or invention instead of being helped and patted, be hampered and ill-treated in its adolescence — by want of means, by selfish interest, pedantry, stupidity and ignorance; that it be attacked and stifled; that it pass through bitter trials and tribulations, through the strife of commercial existence. So do we get our light. So all that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combatted, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle. (Tesla at the end of his dream for Wardenclyffe)

We never really know what stupidity is until we have experimented on ourselves.

I've lived a very long life, and I've seen a lot of stupidity. But very little of it beats the stupidity with which we have been downsizingÂ…Don't be surprised that morale is very low. The contempt for top management is dreadful. And the present generation of management is not going to regain the trust of their people. It is our greatest disadvantage in this country today.

Oh, the beautiful utopia, the lovely Christmas dream we can make as soon as we admit that those who govern represent a superior caste, and have hardly any or no knowledge of simple mortals' weaknesses! It would then suffice to make them control one another in hierarchical fashion, to let them exchange fifty papers, at most, among different administrators, when the wind blows down a tree on the national road. Or, if need be, they would have only to be valued at their proper worth, during elections, by those same masses of mortals which are supposed to be endowed with all stupidity in their mutual relations but become wisdom itself when they have to elect their masters.

The stupidity of the average man will permit the oligarch, whether economic or political, to hide his real purposes from the scrutiny of his fellows and to withdraw his activities from effective control. Since it is impossible to count on enough moral goodwill among those who possess irresponsible power to sacrifice it for the good of the whole, it must be destroyed by coercive methods and these will always run the peril of introducing new forms of injustice in place of those abolished.

The real question of government versus private enterprise is argued on too philosophical and abstract a basis. Theoretically, planning may be good. But nobody has ever figured out the cause of government stupidity and until they do (and find the cure) all ideal plans will fall into quicksand.

The difference between genius and stupidity is that even genius has its limits.

Boredom and stupidity and patriotism, especially when combined, are three of the greatest evils of the world we live in.

It is not always easy to diagnose. The simplest form of stupidity - the mumbling, nose-picking, stolid incomprehension - can be detected by anyone. But the stupidity which disguises itself as thought, and which talks so glibly and eloquently, indeed never stops talking, in every walk of life is not so easy to identify, because it marches under a formidable name, which few dare attack. It is called Popular Opinion...