How to Judge Stupidity

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” – Albert Einstein

The Basic Laws of Stupidity published by Italian economist, Carlo Cipolla, in 1976 is worthy of consideration as it potentially can provide greater understanding and explanations for many man made gaffs, folly, and occurrences we are seeing in present day Clown World.

Let’s first consider the 5 Laws of Stupidity:

  1. Always and inevitably, everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
  2. The probability that a certain person (will) be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.
  3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.
  4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular, non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places, and under any circumstances, to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.
  5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.

If what Cipolla asserts is true, that a stupid person is the most dangerous type of person then let’s examine what defines a stupid person. This is defined by the third law. A stupid person is person that causes loss to themselves and others.

Let’s compare this with other types of people:

Presented on an X/Y axis. On the left side of the chart are actions and behaviors that cause loss to themselves, on the right those that benefit themselves. At the bottom are actions that result in losses for themselves, at the top actions that benefit others. Intelligent People are clearly defined as those whose behaviors and actions benefit others as well as themselves. Those who seek to to benefit themselves while causing loss to others are Bandits (Looters). The Helpless (Hapless) do things that benefit others but cause harm to themselves.

As one can see intelligent people are rare, and the stupid are legion. Most folks masquerading as intelligent are in fact bandits (looters). This defines much of our political and corporate classes, banking and financial sectors, federal government bureaucracy, much of academia, social media influencers, and even many scientists. Many of these focus actions that benefit them personally by the way of financial gain, comfort, control, prestige, power, or notoriety. The Helpless (Hapless) are those who are usually taken advantage of. These are government dependents, debt ridden working class wage slaves, those stuck in the same patterns, self defeating, abused, and co-dependent. Then there are the masses of stupid people. These people create loss for themselves and others. These are the people nobody is better off for having in their lives and are the main source of havoc, drama, tragedy, and much of the suffering in the world.

As Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does.” In accordance to the second law, stupidity is independent of any other characteristic of that person or organization. Today we are seeing helplessness as well as intelligence in the uneducated, and we are seeing bandits and extraordinary stupidity in the highly credentialed (indoctrinated). We have a full-blown leadership crisis as a result of generally accepted and unquestioned stupidity. The current ruling party defines this, neither doing things that benefit themselves nor the American people, hence dangerous. Bandit third parties are the obvious beneficiaries.

May you not confuse authority or credentials with intelligence. May you seek to benefit yourself and others.