Home Opinion Featured Articles The Dangers of Our Stupidity

The Dangers of Our Stupidity

Politics Democracy Day

Democracy is supposed to be rule of the people, by the people, and for the people. Surprisingly, there is a great lack of knowledge in the society. ‘For the lacking of knowledge my people perish’, says the Good Books.

In order to rule effectively, the citizens need political knowledge. If they know little or nothing about government, it becomes difficult to hold political leaders accountable for their performance. And that seems to be the case confronted by the country – because public knowledge about politics is disturbingly low. In addition, the public also oftentimes does a poor job of evaluating the political information that is put out or do know.

This state of affairs has persisted despite rising education levels, increased availability of information thanks to modernization, and even rising IQ scores. Most people are of the opinion that, it is the result of rational behavior, not the stupidity from partisan politics to which I strongly disagree.

The members of parliament (peoples’ representatives), academia, opinion leaders, the clergy and traditional leaders are of the view citizens must be prepared to obey unquestionably any idiotic action. Such widespread and persistent political ignorance and irrationality strengthens the case for limiting and decentralizing the power of government.
The indication is that, it is the banditry and stupidity of the peoples’ representatives, alongside academia, opinion leaders, the clergy and traditional leaders which have created the stagnation of development.

Most people lose sight of fact that, our undeveloped state, stem from the “Dangerous Partisan Political Stupidity” which remains a serious handicap to any meaningful advancement, if the country is to develop.

I’m seriously constrained and restrained to respond to statements from a Senior military colleague whose indecision cost the military untold disciplinary issues. Age-wise, he is very much ahead of me. Militarily, was at the pinnacle of the establishment hierarchy during the turbulent period of military putsch on two occasions.

However, some pronouncements of his give cause to worry about. His penchant of impending gloom which border on civil disobedience must not be viewed as a mere rhetoric. Why is he very obsessed with such idea of uprising? At a point in time he banned from entering any military unit. He is advised to be smart than the path he treading.

There are different definitions of smart and stupid. For some, stupidity is what you find watching videos of drunk people jump from the top of a flight of stairs, only to have the railing catch them between the legs And for others, it is people who score low on an IQ test. While others think stupidity applies to everyone they disagree with.

An Italian economist Carlo Cipolla, states that, stupid people are those that cause losses to other people and themselves, without anyone gaining from it, this I couldn’t agree more than this.

“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.”

In taking cognizance of the Basic Laws of Human Stupidity, Cipolla divided people and their behaviour along a couple of lines: the benefits to others, and the benefit to themselves. From here you find four types of people:

Bandits: people who gain at others expense
Helpless: people who benefit others at their own expense
Intelligent: people who provide gains for both themselves and others
Stupid: people who cost others without gaining, or even losing, something themselves

Within the helpless and bandit categories, there is a gradient towards stupidity. If giving you GHs100 will cost me exactly what it benefits you. In a same vein, someone stealing GHs100 from me costs me exactly what they gain. Despite the scenario painted most actions are not 1-to-1 and aren’t related like this.

If actions were always 1-to-1, then the gains and losses would balance each other out. GHs100 lost is GHs100 gained, for the simple reason that, the taking everything into account the money in circulation hasn’t changed.

For example “if all members of a society were perfect bandits the society would show no activity and there would be no major disaster.” However, when the costs start stretching out above the gains, we lose the overall. While this might not be so bad for small individual actions, when the people in question occupy important positions, then, the repercussions are all the more damaging and damning, just like the banditry and stupidity rearing its ugly head in the parliament.

To make matters worse, there are more stupid people in circulation than we expect, which makes it more difficult to deal with, than the bandits, as their actions seem to defy logic and rationality.

To say the least, stupid people are dangerous and have a detrimental effect – as reasonable people finds it very difficult to imagine and understand their unreasonable behavior. It is for these reasons that, it is said: “A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.” It is about time as citizens “we rise above political fanatics to be less “Stupid”.

Whether you adhere to Cipolla’s definition of stupid or maintain your own, it is clear that actions which incur losses to everyone involved are the worst of the bunch. While our individual actions might be scattered across the political spectrum, we should all be aiming for right decision and make decisions that benefit all.

Why must we accept banditry and stupidity from those in important places? It is because they think are not squarely in the stupid basket. We enjoy watching people fail because of our disorderly selfishness. We have to recognize stupidity and banditry is a cost to everybody. If acts and actions are from people thought of as important, then it is the society suffers at large.

I have arrived at a conclusion that, those who exhibit stupidity and banditry harasses others, for no reason, for no advantage, without any plan or scheme and at the most improbable times and places. There is no rational way of telling if and when and how and why, stupid bandits attacks.

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