We all are aware that we live in a dangerous world. Some of us even believe that the situation is due to conspiracies theories, that are intelligently addressed by superior minds… Thinking as a physicist, and trained to use the Occam’s razor (“Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.“) to simplify our scientific vision of the world, I am inclined to accept the not so well-known Hanlon’s razor of philosophy (“never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”) when it concerns my attempting to understand what is going on in the world now. The Occam’s razor has been applied successfully in science and so I expect that a simple rule, like Hanlon’s razor, be enough to better grasp the actuality. Because, you know, when economist and politicians (I mean the ones that do nothing else but political activity, like the ancient ruling Monarchs, using and abusing of humans and destroying the earth planet wanting to expend trillions to go to Mars that is already known to be lethal to humans) persist with political, economic and financial measures that, before hand, are known to fail since they don’t include the human factor, you know that the persistence of stupidity has shown to be outdated and lethal to human beings, and at the same time destroying our beautiful planet. The actual crisis of capitalism seems to be the result of faulty readings of the great classics in the economy, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, Keynes, Polanyi. Economist and politicians they have read only the first pages of the book, when all vision was still unfolding, failing to read what they have all said, that economy must be at service of society, and not the other way around.

So, the understanding of the role of stupidity in human affairs must be regarded as a serious study. To simplify, I would define stupidity as the lack of good sense. Stupid is the guy that cross the street while texting a sms…Stupid is the politician that argues the need to satisfy the markets or the need to pay the debts like the mafia guy once did while appealing to the “moral duty” to pay the debt!…The Flemish painter, Quentin Matsys, well depicted the stupid guy, and I purposely insert his paint in this post, just for your understanding. Look into details…

Probably, Goethe was the first thinker to pay attention to the role of stupidity in human history… I finish with some quotations from wikipedia. Carpe Diem…

Another similar quotation appears in Goethe‘s The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774):

…misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent.[12]

Similarly, Jane West‘s The Loyalists (1812) includes:

Let us not attribute to malice and cruelty what may be referred to less criminal motives. Do we not often afflict others undesignedly, and, from mere carelessness, neglect to relieve distress?[13]

A common (and more laconic) British English variation, coined by Bernard Ingham, is the saying “cock-up before conspiracy”, deriving from this 1985 quotation:

Many journalists have fallen for the conspiracy theory of government. I do assure you that they would produce more accurate work if they adhered to the cock-up theory.[14]