"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."
Is this a true principle? Is stupidity more characteristic of the human species than malice? Just how unusual is malice? Is it no more to be feared than stupidity? Should malice always be ruled out without examination if by any stretch stupidity could be implicated?
I personally feel that malice is often the cause of that which we assume to be the result of stupidity. Further, when outcomes are egregious, the stupidity required would be excessive considering the people involved. Most people in top leadership positions are not stupid or else they would not be able to ascend to top leadership. Malice, on the other hand, could actually help a person ascend to a position of top leadership so long as hypocrisy is sufficient. How prevalent is the vice of hypocrisy?
The thought that stupidity explains most conspiracy theories is an attractive one. It lets us relax and dismiss evil as unavoidable since stupidity has no easy cure. But malice is something that we need to be aware of when it exists. Malice is so dangerous it is a security problem. It is something that needs to be armed against. In my opinion, it is a great mistake, it is enormously foolish, to dismiss as stupidity that which is rightly attributed to malice. It is especially foolish to ignore malice in a knee-jerk fashion without examination. If the evil is the result of stupidity, fine. But rule out malice before making that assumption. Malice does exist in the world. And where it exists, it needs to be dealt with.
Never attribute to stupidity that which is correctly attributed to malice.
John W. Redelfs [EMAIL PROTECTED]
"There is no place in this work for those who believe only
in the gospel of doom and gloom. The gospel is good
news. It is a message of triumph." --Gordon B. Hinckley
All my opinions are tentative pending further data. --JWR
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