Stupid, willingly unknowing or knowingly unwilling?

Many times when things go wrong, it is said it’s because people are stupid. But this is just too simplistic and untrue. Yes, there is a (large) minority of morons out there, but people in general are not stupid. Mankind has achieved too much to be labeled stupid.

So what then is it that makes so many people act like idiots so often? It’s not stupidity, but unwillingness to think. People do not want to think. To think means you are responsible for the outcome and consequences of your thinking and therefore you have to act accordingly. And people don’t want to take responsibility or act, especially when things go bad. The deeper they get into trouble, the less responsibility they want to take and the less they want to think. But by some sort of instinct, they feel that they ought to and it makes them feel guilty. So, like a herd of sheep, they’ll bless and follow anyone who gives them a justification for not thinking.

When things go well, people feel good about themselves for making the right decision to listen to their designated thinker. When things go wrong they don’t have to take the blame, feel guilty or assume responsibility, let alone act to make things better. By not thinking, people feel they are somehow relieved of responsibility, while that line of (not) thinking is what makes things go wrong in the first place. “It’s not my fault” is the helpless phrase they keep repeating to everyone to convince themselves. It’s not my fault I lost my money, I bought the same stocks as everyone else. It’s not my fault I can’t pay my mortgage, the bank said I could. It’s not my fault I don’t have a job, nobody has offered me one. It’s not my fault the car broke down, nobody told me it could. The last one sounds outrageously stupid and it is, but it’s what people do too often. Thinking apparently takes too much time and effort which is better spent on reality TV shows. And society and government seem all too happy about this behavior. There is less and less emphasis on independence and self-support. The worse off you are, the more you are rewarded and the better off you are, well, shame on you! Been thinking for yourself haven’t you? If society stimulates being mediocre and punishes being outstanding, a mediocre society is what you get. This can lead to a vicious circle in which less and less (intellectual) resources are available and prosperity will eventually decline.


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