| Stupidity: Marked lack
of intelligence or marked presence
of unconscious ignorance.
Stupidity is, in various ways,
one of the important 'unacknowledged legislators of mankind' and an
important force of history. The main
reason is that political leaders, priests and
clergy abuse their authority to
mislead the none-too-intelligent majority of those they lead.
If people were more intelligent, on
average, or more learned (with real knowledge, that includes
accurate knowledge about one's own ignorance), the vast majority of politics and religion either would not exist at all,
or would have a different content and effect.
This does not only apply to ordinary men, but also to their leaders of all kinds: There also are the
stupidity and ignorance of the intelligent, and indeed one of the
weaknesses of democracy is that it
allows the not-very-intelligent democratically elected to lead the
not-at-all-intelligent majority. (A related weakness of monarchical
systems of government are whole
generations of hereditary kings without any special talents whatsoever.)
It is difficult to do much about this,
apart from universal eugenetics, for which there is certainly not
enough knowledge at present. Until then, the general rule is Schiller's
"Gegen die Dummheit kämpfen selbst die Götter vergebens" -
Against stupidity even the Gods battle in vain.