Understanding Stupidity

by James F Welles, Ph.D. Table of Contents PR F!C PR F!C UPD!T D  "#TR$DUCT"$#  D F"#"#% STUP"D"T& The 'iterature(Stupidity as #ormal("ntelligen)e( Judgments(Coping*(Contributing Fa)tors(!nimal Stupidity(The +olution of ,uman Stupidity( The $ntogeny of ,uman Stupidity  T, SC, -! !S !D!PT". 'anguage(#orms(%roups(Roles  T, SC, -! !S -!'!D!PT". Per)eption( go(!n/iety(-ental "llness( %enius( 'earning  T, CU'TUR!' 0!S"S $F STUP"D"T& Religion("deology(Communi)ation(Politi)s( )onomi)s (So)iety(Te)hnology(!rt  ! ,"ST$R& $F W ST R# STUP"D"T& 112 %ree)e(Rome(The Crusades(The Renaissan)e( The Reformation(The !meri)an Re+olution(Fran)e and #apoleon (The %erm Theory in -edi)ine(Communism(World Wars (The 0ay of Pigs(.ietnam(Watergate  -$D R# !- R"C!# STUP"D"T& Pluralism("mage('anguage(The -edia(%o+ernment( The )onomy(So)iety(Foreign Poli)y(The n+ironment(!rt( du)ation("dentity  T, FUTUR $F STUP"D"T& !#D ."C . RS! Failure('imitations(Reformers(Crises(S)ien)e(-yths( 3Freedom3(-orality(,umanity P"'$%U 0"0'"$%R!P,& !DD #DU-

http455666.stupidity.net5story75ust).htm

By James F. Welles UNDERSTANDING STUPIDITY An Analysis of the Unnatural Selection of Beliefs and Behavior in Institutions and Organization Ta le of !ontents Introduction "efining Stu#idity The Schema as Ada#tive The Schema as $alada#tive The !ultural Basis of Stu#idity A %istory of Western Stu#idity $odern American Stu#idity The Future of Stu#idity and &ice &ersa Availa le from' $ount (leasant (ress Bo) *+* Orient, -. ++/01234*+ (rice' 54./0 #lus 5+.03 #ostage and #ac6aging 777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777 54./0 ISB- 32/8+11*/2320

Preface Whenever I had occasion to tell someone I 9as 9riting a oo6 on stu#idity, the reaction 9as invaria ly the same:a delayed smile to##ed off y a slightly nervous laugh. This #rovided nearly daily confirmation that I 9as dealing 9ith a ta oo to#ic. There is something shameful a out stu#idity, and mentioning it in #olite com#any in an inoffensive 9ay 9as commonly regarded as an a969ard form of comic relief. Beyond that, there 9as often an e)#ression of amused interest that such an off2color to#ic 9ould merit serious attention. Originally, the attention 9asn;t su##osed to e so serious. The oo6 9as to e light and <ocular. It too6 on more of a serious tone as I came to realize ho9 incredi ly im#ortant stu#idity is. It can e amusing= it certainly is interesting= ut 9hether or not 9e can afford to continue indulging in our traditional lundering 9ays is very much in dou t. Stu#idity is sim#ly too im#ortant to e dismissed as some tragicomic source of humor. A ove all, this is a oo6 a out #eo#le, and it #resumes to say something #rofound a out 9hat eing human means. Almost everyone 9ho 6no9s me 9as im#licitly if not too di#lomatically a##reciative of the fact that I 9as underta6ing the tas6 of e)#laining stu#idity to the literate 9orld. Who etter >ualified than I:an e)#erienced e)#ert on the to#ic. In #ersonal, academic and usiness matters, stu#idity has edeviled my est efforts for years. There is no #oint denying the o vious' I have a dee#, a iding interest in the to#ic. %aunting me almost daily during the 9riting of this oo6 have een vivid memories of my most stu#id failures. Again and again I have re#layed my most grievous mista6es. Why did I trust her? Why did I elieve him? Why didn;t I s#ea6 u#? Why didn;t I shut u#? -one of these #ersonal e)#eriences a##ears on the follo9ing #ages even in an indirect sense. All e)am#les #resented are dra9n from the im#ersonal #u lic record. %o9ever, my motivation 9as intensely #ersonal. If this oo6 can hel# save anyone the e9ildering confusion I have suffered 9hile trying to ma6e some 6ind of sense out of 9hat #eo#le say and do, then the effort to 9rite it 9ill not have een 9asted. $y conclusions that not only do things not ma6e sense ut that they really should not e e)#ected to may e incorrect, ut I do feel com#elled to offer these comments in the ho#e that they 9ill at least generate some serious interest in ridging the sciences and the humanities. (lease ear in mind that the focus of the oo6 is not on the individual elements discussed:the schema, neurotic #arado), #ositive feed ac6 system, etc: ut on the 9ay they 9or6 to #roduce a dysfunctional 9hole. In this res#ect, I #resume to have unified #sychology y sho9ing ho9 the various fields of #erce#tion, cognition, learning, etc. relate to each other. As for the structure of the oo6, only a fe9 #assing remar6s are needed. !ha#ter I is a general overvie9, 9ith the asic dimensions laid out and asic contentions, 9hich are develo#ed in follo9ing cha#ters, #resented for initial consideration. If !ha#ter I s6i#s a it from one #oint to the ne)t, !ha#ter II is loaded 9ith filler material 9hich should hel# clarify my case. (erha#s it should have een called @"efinitions and Aualifications@, as it really is a collection of many ideas and o servations 9hich sim#ly must e #resented as a matter of laying the ground9or6 for the arguments that follo9. !ha#ter III has very little to do directly 9ith stu#idity' It is a #resentation of the @Schema@ as a functional #sychic mechanism. This material is #resented ecause one must understand ho9 the schema hel#s us ada#t in order to a##reciate ho9 it contri utes to malada#tation, 9hich is the su <ect matter of !ha#ter I&. !ha#ter & is a consideration of stu#idity in a cultural conte)t. !ha#ters &I, &II, and &III deal 9ith stu#idity #ast, #resent and future res#ectively.

Florida. Finally. 9e #layed a real life version of @Trivial (ursuit@. +/48. JFW Orient. %is suggestions that I generally sha#e u# 9ere not al9ays heeded. historian and author. they 9ere #rofessional. S#ecial than6s go to !. de ts of gratitude are o9ed to several #eo#le 9ho hel#ed along the 9ay. a (eace !or#s &olunteer in Jamaica. for his faithful and im#assioned corres#ondence on stu#idity during the early stages of this oo6. William %. hel#ed me attain an a##reciation for the multifaceted a##roach needed to ma6e a oo6. O.or6 and at %oliday (ar6 in Fort Cauderdale. %e is one of those rare reeds in the esta lishment 9ho is self2assured enough to a##reciate off eat ideas. $c-eil. Bratitude is also e)tended to $r. ut they did so er my attitude to9ard the tas6 at hand. and they cared. invaria ly 9ith thorough and satisfying results. res#ectful gratitude is offered to the resource li rarians in Breen#ort. -e9 . Over an e)tended #eriod of time. so let it e said of them' They 9ere hel#ful. There is too little good said in the 9orld. I 9as trivial= they #ursued. Oct.Although the comments and conclusions #resented herein are all very much my o9n. .s develo#ment. Ingamells. 9hile su#erseded. %e #rovided an outline 9hich. -.

etc. ehavior. -ot until I finished the oo6 did I realize I have challenged this idea y alleging that normal human ehavior can e malada#tive. so it 9as not until the end of the oo6 that I realized I should ma6e a statement 9hich #ulled it all together as I did in the e#ilogue. I did not set out to do this' the #ieces of the #uzzle sort of fell into #lace as I 9ent along. it 9as not the 6ind of oo6 9hich 9as laid out first 9ith the results clearly in mind efore the first 9ord 9as 9ritten. Blan6 of U.. 9e 9ill find a 9ay to overcome ourselves and ado#t a ehavioral #rogram set for long2term survival. +//0. (erha#s my influence 9ould have een greater if I had done a etter <o of #lanning this oo6 out. "ar9inian thought assumes that anything normal in life is ada#tive: e it anatomy. Since a revie9er:"r. -ot until I reached the last cha#ter did I realize I 9as really dealing 9ith the limitations of science :the ethical dimensions of ehavior 9hich are eyond the range of science #ro#er. y their very nature. etc. ut I have to admit it is more due to Forrest Gump and Beevis and Butthead than to me and my efforts. ehavioral trends tend to e)cesses unless limited y counter2trends. A full understanding of human ehavior 9ill egin 9ith #sychology ut must go eyond it and deal 9ith meta#hysics and morality. ECi6e9ise. coloration. ut as I 9rite this in A#ril. I develo#ed a model for the mechanism of malada#tive ehavior. I have no9 decided to ma6e a summary statement of the mechanism on #age t9o. it is all the rage.F The final realization for me as a reader 9as that I had ta6en !harles "ar9in to tas6. Blan6 for the headers 9hich no9 adorn the to# of each #age' he found the te)t y itself unfathoma le and intimated headings 9ould e hel#ful guide#osts. the reader can also than6 "r. We all 6no9 that a normal ehavior can e malada#tive. (erha#s if enough #eo#le ta6e this oo6 to heart. . Almost as an aside. ut I am #ro#osing that human ehavior is a ma<or >ualification to "ar9inian thin6ing ecause. It may e that oth "ar9in and I are right:that normal ehavior is immediately ada#tive ut at the #rice of ada#ta ility. #hysiology. Thomas O. of !onnecticut. so they have een added. it 9as a #roduct of induction. Storrs:had such difficulty understanding the oo6. I 9ish I could claim some credit for this #henomenon. Dather. I do not 6no9. Unfortunately. 9ith some forethought and organization ut 9ith inferential conclusions 9hich sur#rised even me 9hen I finally read it.Preface Updated It seems that almost overnight stu#idity has s9itched from eing ta oo to eing a fad. -early every 9ee6 some commentator in the media holds forth on the to#ic. stu#idity is in:for ho9 long. Still.

#. let us note that stu#idity is generally #roduced y the interdisru#tion of t9o common#lace mental faculties:a self2dece#tive ina ility to gather and #rocess information accurately and a neurotic ina ility to match ehavior to environmental contingencies. ut y 9ay of introduction. Actually. This emotionalGsocial dimension as it contri utes to grou# cohesion is usually overloo6ed y rationalists. Schiller. #. Any o <ective analyst may easily discern all 6inds of logical inconsistencies and #erce#tual a surdities in someone else. ut that ty#e of analysis is invaria ly ased on a rational evaluation of factual data. thus ma6ing their analysis flat and some9hat irrelevant.s religious schema. devoutly held schemas are functional not ecause they effectively define and address #articular #ro lems ut ecause they hel# ind self2dece#tive #eo#le together.Against stu#idity the very gods Themselves contend in vain. * !onflicting or contradictory data from the e)ternal environment is deflected or deflated y the elief system. The !aid of "r#eans. %o9ever logical. III. +H . they usually omit this central #oint and leave the reader 9ith the same vaguely em#ty feeling he 9ould have 9ere he to see a #roduction of *am#et 9ithout %amlet. 9hich develo#s into a fundamental religion. it is a normal. neat and smug self2contained te)ts in cognitive #sychology may e. As such. 8. dysfunctional #sychic #henomenon 9hich is caused 9hen a schema formed % #in$uistic iases and socia# norms acts via the neurotic parado& to esta #ish a positive feed ac' s%stem (hich carries ehavior to ma#adaptive e&cesses) This oo6 is really devoted to elucidating the interactions of the enumerated s#ecifics of this #rocess. Understandin$ Stupidit% sam#les Stu#idity is the learned corru#tion of learning.

dysfunctional #sychic #henomenon 9hich is caused 9hen a schema formed % #in$uistic iases and socia# norms acts via the neurotic parado& to esta #ish a positive feed ac' s%stem (hich carries ehavior to ma#adaptive e&cesses) This oo6 is really devoted to elucidating the interactions of the enumerated s#ecifics of this #rocess. 9e 9ill use a mi)ture of t9o a##roaches to ans9er the >uestion @What is stu#idity?@ One is to consider the conditions Bar ara Tuchman. As such. %o9ever. relevant information must e availa le to the #erformer. An additional factor in the analysis of folly 9as @Best interest@. In terms of our technological a ility to use tools to ma6e tools. our intellectual ca#acity to solve com#le) #ro lems <ustifies the gratifying conclusion that 9e are intelligent. @Stu#idity is the learned corru#tion of learning@. 9e 9ill learn much a out the limitations of science and the non2"ar9inian essence of human nature.F am#le. I . Although 9e 9ill eventually discard all of these considerations as inade>uate for the #ur#ose of defining stu#idity scientifically. In more general cognitive terms. it is dismissed as the o##osite of intelligence. ut this <ust sheds more shade on the to#ic. 9e loo6 #retty stu#id. Dooms could e filled 9ith the oo6s 9ritten on the to#ic. if this is true. 9ith folly eing the studied achievement of @Worst interest@. a matter of this im#ortance deserves a hearing in its o9n right. 9ho is in a 6no9ledgea le state a out the given situation= *. If it is understanda le that so much energy and effort should e devoted to the scientific study of intelligence. ut our vaunted technological and intellectual genius is readily ent to destructive #ur#oses 9hich harm rather than hel# #eo#le. it is a normal. 9e are not intelligent enough to 6no9 9hat intelligence is. it is some9hat e9ildering to find the much more common. deemed necessary for an act to >ualify as a folly' +. let us note that stu#idity is generally #roduced y the interdisru#tion of t9o common#lace mental faculties:a self2 dece#tive ina ility to gather and #rocess information accurately and a neurotic ina ility to match ehavior to environmental contingencies. all things considered. !ertainly. Although students of human ehavior have #ointedly ignored our ram#ant stu#idity. it has e#istemological. It is also true that young #eo#le are turning to drugs and suicide for the esca#e they ring from a 9orld in 9hich adults hy#ocritically #reach #eace 9hile #re#aring for and #ursuing violence. -o one could even 6ee# u# 9ith the scientific literature #roduced in the field. So even if 9e are intelligent. 9e are truly a9esome. in The !arch of Fo##%. Thus. it leads to ut one over9helming conclusion:and no ody 6no9s 9hat it is. many have made careers y #ounding intelligence into the ground. as vast as this literature is.et. it has never een tested on intelligence tests.F there must e other #ossi le 9ays of reacting availa le. actually dangerous and #otentially devastating #henomenon of stu#idity totally neglected. The only thing 9e 6no9 for certain is that 9hatever intelligence is. 9e tend to flatter ourselves y eing accurate 9hen it suits us and #artial 9hen it #leases us. social and moral dimensions. The other a##roach is to ans9er. Further. At est. Basic social #ro lems a##ear and rea##ear generation after generation in culture after culture. In this 9or6. ut y 9ay of introduction. it is only #art of the truth. as 9e first e)amine and then dismiss them. so 9e do not 6no9 9ho and 9hat 9e are. One could read the entire literature in the social sciences 9ithout finding so much as a single reference to it.F the act must e malada#tive for the #erformer= and H.I) Introduction Who are 9e? What are 9e? Why are 9e? When see6ing ans9ers to these eternal >uestions. . -ot only have 9e failed to match our a ility in mechanics and engineering 9ith a com#ara le level of e)#ertise in #olitical and social relations.

he again recovered. stu#idity is the failure to gather and use information efficiently. that there could not #ossi ly e too much 6no9ledge and that an e)cess of information could not #ossi ly e unhealthy. 9ith each doing 9ell if he 6no9s something a out anything. At the national level. There 9as a case of a terminal cancer #atient 9ho 9as given a useless drug EJre iozenF and recovered.e. The general #o#ulation and even most government em#loyees are etter off not 6no9ing 9hat is going on ecause the !IA. . so such im#ortant matters may e hidden from us. In terms of >uantity. self2dece#tion has een considered only in terms of the use or a use of information #resent 9ithin a cognitive system:that is. U#on learning the drug 9as useless. %o9ever. availa le information is #revented from getting @Into the system@ Ei. Thus. (ure. The reason that ignorance does not al9ays indicate stu#idity is that some information could seriously disru#t e)isting #sychoGsocial systems 9ere it to #enetrate the cognitive defenses. In terms of >uality of information.In an e#istemological conte)t. motivation can #lay a role in ignorance if some relevant. #eo#le must com#romise on oth the >uantity and >uality of their information. Both 9ords may e used to indicate the condition of @-ot 6no9ing@. there is a secret as#ect to human life:things 9hich #eo#le do. usually indicates stu#idity in that im#ortant data are #resent and gathera le ut unheeded. Agnosticism is the cognitive state 9hen information is #hysically inaccessi le Eunavaila leF to an individual or organization. on the other hand. Ignorance. as many doctors 9ell 6no9. innocent agnosticism is not really stu#id. a #erson 9ould have to @Jno9@ something in order to deceive himself a out it. he had a rela#se. it is im#erative to distinguish et9een the related #henomena of @Agnosticism@ and @Ignorance@. so e)clusion may sometimes e some9hat ada#tive. %o9ever. #eo#le limit themselves y s#ecializing:sacrificing readth for de#th. Delevant data are sim#ly not #resent in the environment in a form discerna le to the sensory a##aratus of the living system E#erson. relevant information a out matters of im#ortance. Unfortunately. %o9ever. This is li6ely to occur 9hen a #erson senses that learning more a out a #articular matter might force him to undergo the most traumatic. 9ith each acce#ting 9hatever is suita le. too much candor can also e disastrous. At all levels. not insignificant detail. ut they descri e different 9ays of maintaining that condition. acce#ted and incor#orated into the cognitive #rogramF. im#ortant material is not al9ays rought to conscious light. misleadingF and usually stu#id for one to refuse to gather ne9. This is really a rather com#le) #rocess. 9hen considering stu#idity in relation to 6no9ledge and data #rocessing. in that it does not indicate an ina ility or un9illingness to learn. and that should EtheoreticallyF e im#ortant material. terrifying e)#erience one can e called u#on to endure:he might have to change his mind.. #eo#le de ase themselves y >ualifying their standards:sacrificing validity for a##eal.e. Traditionally. although most of us should not 6no9. grou#.F. etc. only to have a final and fatal rela#se 9hen learning that drug 9as useless. these com#romises not only fail to #rotect #eo#le from an overload of trivia ut can 6ee# them from 6no9ing 9hat is going on in their 9orld. At the individual level. This 9as a case in 9hich elief itself 9or6ed a miracle cure= it 9as 6no9ledge that 6illed. A given system can #rocess only so much information so fast.. Biven a su#erstrength #lace o. as stimuli must e at least su#erficially #erceived efore eing re<ected y the system as eing threatening to the e)isting elief structure or @Schema@. every government has its covert and of o#eratives 9ho s6ul6 around doing 9hatever is necessary and im#ro#er. JBB and James Bonds are set u# to etray the ideals 9hich hold civilization together. 9e must ac6no9ledge it is also self2dece#tive Ei. Thus. It might e assumed that @Jno9ing is good@.

As a means to short2term ada#tation. The dou le standard is >uite sim#le' that 9hich is acce#ta le is acce#ted= that 9hich is un#leasant is sus#ect. When stu#idity is in full glory. -o Behaviorist. so stu#idity is an ar itraryGsu <ective #henomenon. the desire to 6no9 is often tem#ered y a sense that learning more 9ould e emotionally distur ing. ear in mind 9e all have defense mechanisms to #rotect us from a9areness of em arrassing cognitions and #sychoGcultural mechanisms to hel# us co#e 9ith the unsettling cognizance of our inevita le death. the invention and develo#ment of our s#ecial strategies are functions of a commitment to a #articular lifestyle defined y our culture and sha#ed y our e)#eriences. %o9ever. so the ehavioral 9orld ta6es on the izarre. This is a schizo#hrenic reaction 9hich #ermits us to co#e 9ith distinct ut interacting features of the human condition. ho9ever. The monumental is trivialized and the crucial disdained as an afflicted mind loc6s in on and #ursues its o9n 9orst interest 9ith unrestrained a andon. could #ossi ly account for the diversity of the 9orld. the most discre#ant cognitions are someho9 matched u# in the most im#lausi le 9ays. In the short run.As im#ortant as the >uantity or >uality of 6no9ledge #resent in a system is the attitude to9ard gathering more. it is ada#tive in that it hel#s an individual ad<ust to his cultural grou#. In most situations. On the other hand. This com#licates any consideration of stu#idity. Once #eo#le gather information. It might e ideal if all data 9ere treated e>ually. ignorance #romotes a common characteristic of stu#id decisions:irrelevance.s values y #ermitting him to acce#t any o vious contradictions et9een the real and ideal. 9hen @Jno9ing@ is one of the defining criteria for the condition. Thus. Unfortunately. more inclusive elief structure. Often. The neurotic #arado) #romotes ehavioral #atterns 9hich are su <ect to immediate short2term reinforcement although the long2term results 9ill e clearly negative. ut #ersonal iases #redis#ose #eo#le to e selectively ignorant. if a #erson is ma6ing a #oint not to find out relevant information in his environment. o vious relevancies are ignored. In this cognitive conte)t. stu#idity may <ustly e vie9ed as oth ada#tive and malada#tive.s rain egins y treating all #ossi ilities as eing e>ually #ro a le. achievements initially hailed as 9or6s of genius may later e e)#osed as moronic Eas ha##ened 9ith the $aginot Cine and the KdselF. Further. stu#idity is a classic e)am#le of the @-eurotic (arado)@ in action. de#ending on 9hether they li6e it or not. chaotic >uality of a Wonderland gone erser6. In terms of intellectual develo#ment. If a #erson does not 6no9 9hat is going on.s a ility to associate various cognitions EideasF in relevant causeGeffect relationshi#s.s model of functional re9ards. it a##ears that stu#idity is a very normal 9ay for the human mind to com#romise 9ith its o9n emotionally ased ina ility to deal directly 9ith information coming from the #hysical environment and re9ards from the social environment. #eo#le are ham#ered y their reluctance to learn more. the condition of @Jno9ing@ a##ears to e of little value 9hen one attem#ts to determine if an act 9as stu#id or not. The child. he might do something malada#tive. is that not even stu#ider? If it 9ould seem so.s religions nor the attle science has had to 9age against oth ignorance and agnosticism.F . EA drug addiction 9ould e a common#lace e)am#le of this asic #sychoG#hysiological #rinci#le of learning and life. the determination of @Delevance@ is >uite <udgmental. !ause Geffect and meansGends relationshi#s are coined at random. "eeds once considered stu#id may turn out to e rilliant. -evertheless. although usually learning is hel#ful:#articularly if it leads to a stronger. For each of us. ut it is not stu#id as such. While much is made of the human rain. they treat it in one of t9o 9ays. the amount of stu#idity in the 9orld suggests that the rain might also #revent or inhi it such functional associations 9hile it #romotes irrelevant connections. Cearning cou#les certain stimuli 9ith certain reactions.

individuals or grou#s may ecome victims of their o9n e)cesses as inner directed ehavior ecomes im alanced and disru#tively self2defeating. The Bolden $ean may indeed e the est #olicy in most situations. net effect of stu#idity is negative. With the >ualification of ar itrariness in mind. In the a sence of critical self2e)amination. #ositive feed ac6 system. 9hateverF is #romoted through enhanced social cohesion and coo#eration. it ecomes clear ho9 there can e so much stu#idity around although it is. rational.s stu#idities.netes 9hen either factor Elogical information #rocessing or social cohesionF #redominates to the disru#tion of the other. Static human systems usually cannot co#e 9ith themselves nor the conditions they create. short2term com#romise 9ith grou# cohesion. As long as a functional alance et9een #olar e)tremes is maintained.F o <ective. Thus. 9hich functions as an intrinsically gratifying. it is malada#tive over the long run. ut it is #recisely this 9hich is made #ro a le 9hen a ehavioral or cultural trend develo#s into a self2re9arding. must automatically as6 himself if the o##osite e)treme might not also have #roduced a similar effect. Behavior may then go to e)tremes ecause it is reinforced y the schema. stu#idity can e vie9ed as a normal #art of the human e)#erience. organize and act. creates ne9 #ro lems. It is only 9hen it goes to e)cess that it tends to ecome stu#idly malada#tive. a #attern of activity ecomes re9arding in and of itself regardless of its e)trinsic conse>uences. Accordingly. insight and ideas and conform for the re9ard of social acce#tance. ut its universal #resence cannot e understood 9ithout recognition of its role in hel#ing #eo#le ada#t to their immediate situation. the student of stu#idity. Such a disru#tive im alance develo#s 9hen. Survival 9ithin the system is #romoted if one is so stu#id as to acce#t the system. In a given situation. An organization evolves to deal 9ith a set of given circumstances and.If stu#idity is ada#tive. through internally induced. Deal stu#idity. grou#. One of the reasons a student of human ehavior has difficulty generalizing a out stu#idity is that oth o##osite e)tremes can lead to stu#id ehavior. Our cultural life is really a very human trade2off et9een these t9o de#endent features' +. When this occurs. a system ecomes removed from moderating influences of the e)ternal environment. these immediate gains are countered y the long2term loss of induced inefficiency of information #rocessing. sustaining. in that it hel#s one fit into his immediate surroundings. Krgo. 9hen citing a cause for the condition. self2 reinforcement. It is a mechanism of cultural selection 9hich 9ill e found 9herever #eo#le s#ea6. Of course. and *. ut the grou# loses its ca#acity to ad<ust to its surroundings as mem ers sacrifice their individual integrity. internal re9ard system for such conduct. self2dece#tive rea6do9n of the feed ac6 mechanism et9een ehavior and the environment. . in the long run. 9hat might e regarded as stu#idity may in fact e a healthy. short2term survival of the system Einstitution. This is e)actly 9hat stu#idity is :a schematically generated. It then either ada#ts or stu#idly tries to maintain itself until it is re#laced y the ne)t institution in the cycle of human organization. it may e stu#id to do too much too soon or too little too late. logical #rocessing of information. as it inhi its innovations and constructive criticism of the social environment. malada#tive.F grou# coo#eration and cohesion. ut that leaves contradictory o##osites having e>ually stu#id results. Also. it should e noted that most #eo#le 9ho find stu#idity in others <udge efficiency of #rocessing information and usually do not even consider the social dimension of decisions affecting institutional life. the ottom line. %y#ersensitivity and insensitivity can oth have negative effects. in attem#ting to solve #erceived #ro lems. It is im#ortant to ear in mind that such stu#idity in moderation may e an effective defense mechanism 9hich #romotes self2confidence in an individual and coo#eration 9ithin a grou#. Both overreaction and underreaction may e counter2 #roductive. %o9ever. Individuals ad<ust to the grou#.

%ence. much of the mishandling of data is systematic and ased on social values im#licit in language as a cultural rather than com#uterized #rocessing medium. While it is difficult to study ho9 #eo#le don. One common assum#tion is that if 6no9ledge is misused. there 9as some rea6do9n in the rational system of the mind. It is also the source of the @$otivated ignorance@ 9hich characterizes the human #ro#ensity to e not <ust uninformed a out ego2defining issues ut iased y the values im#licit in the linguistic system used to #rocess data. Just as many Freudian defense mechanisms are generated 9ithin individuals 9ho fear self26no9ledge. The dra9 ac6 of this intellectually limiting. they usually oth im#art information and convey their grou# identity. contrived com#lacence is that it all ut guarantees frictional com#etition and conflict 9ith other e>ually malada#ted grou#s. %o9ever. Such tactics may #rove to e malada#tive. One might reasona ly e)#ect that such com#etition and conflict 9ould 9eed out stu#idity so that the more intelligent systems 9ould eventually #revail. ut the la els E9ordsF used for these categories often #ic6 u# emotional connotations 9hich distort the #rocessing #rocedure. so it seems that com#etition merely re#laces one stu#id system 9ith another. Canguage categorizes e)#erience so that generalizations a out the environment are #ossi le. As effective as stu#idity may e in #romoting coo#eration. ut this is the #rice for the immediate re9ard of enhanced social cohesion. The evaluation of the informational com#onent of language then ecomes ine)trica ly ound u# 9ith the emotional life of the individual or grou#. Canguage has t9o asic functions in society' it #ermits #eo#le to e)change information as it #romotes coo#eration. Canguage is asically a coding system #eo#le use to accom#lish t9o interrelated ends' information is conveyed and grou# cohesion is maintained or increased. This can e done y loc6ing disru#tive in#ut as 9ell as y inventing #leasing images and ideas. In fact. It also means that critical information is often couched in terms and tones acce#ta le to all:9hich in turn means a lot of criticism is muted and stu#idity glossed over. 9e must consider ho9 and 9hy #eo#le do not use certain information readily availa le to them. $uch is made of the rain as a system for #rocessing information. if not induced. This emotional element thro9s off <udgment/12or #rovides a shifting asis for analysis. stu#idity develo#s 9ithin a society to inhi it unacce#ta ly accurate cognitions of oth #ersonal and institutional ine#titude. it is even more human to s#ea6.s ca#acity for effective learning.s success in creating an ar itrary 9orld that 9ill ma)imize coo#eration of grou# mem ers. it disru#ts a system. If it is human to err. anyone 9ho 9ants to understand 9hat ma6es everyone else so stu#id 9ould do 9ell to consider the factors 9hich contri ute to this most common mental state.t do something. they can e e)cused from eing too concerned a out the difference. The ans9er has to e that some facts are emotionally distur ing and 9ould e emotionallyGsocially disru#tive if #ermitted to #ass through the cere ral 9ord #rocessor. This social as#ect of language e)#resses common values and #resumes common assum#tions. it a##ears that there is at least as much stu#idity no9 as ever efore. and it is in language systems that 9e find a ma<or source of human stu#idity. When #eo#le s#ea6. It is this emotional factor 9hich #recludes o <ectivity 9ithin any linguistic system. stu#idity is est construed as a social defense mechanism #arallel to the Freudian defense systems 9hich #rotect individuals from an overload of a9areness. Stu#idity necessarily follo9s from the com#romise reached y #eo#le as they alance these t9o factors. Along 9ith . On the other hand. ut there is relatively little interest in ho9 information is not used or is misused. If this leaves #eo#le 9ith the o#tion of eing ruled y a unch of idiots or a #ac6 of fools.This rea6do9n necessarily follo9s from stu#idity. Understanding is sacrificed for the sa6e of social cohesion and cultural sta ility.

. The asic #ro lem 9ith the rationalGintellectual model of the rain as a com#uter is that of the self2 generation of ugs. %o9ever. (erce#tion is a #rocess of discrimination. In human terms. 9ith stimuli deemed @Im#ortant@ getting attention denied the trivial. 9ith the meaning of @$eaningful@ eing a out as ar itrary as anything can e. What he does sense is an emotional satisfaction that #recludes any o <ective analysis on his #art Eand 9hich is incom#rehensi le to any outside o serverF ecause one does not consciously engage in self2analysis 9hen cognitions are successfully shunted into emotionally acce#ta le if irrelevant categories. de#ending on the value structure of a #articular society. correcting a #rogram Ei. In com#uter terms.. It is modifia le y e)#erience as the individual interacts 9ith the environment. stu#id ehavior ecomes increasingly common as a schema loc6s the #erce#tion of im#inging stimuli and an understanding of issues andGor creates su stitute stimuli and idiotic ideas through fantasies. The mind is really a socially conditioned filter 9hich a given e)#erience may or may not #enetrate. that his actions are counter2#roductive in terms of that set of values. %o9ever. stu#idity is #er#etrated su consciously. The net result is that selected data are ar itrarily construed to conform to and confirm the e)isting cognitive #rogram:the Schema. and it defines the ehavioral re#ertoire availa le for res#onse to them. and minor ad<ustments are >uite common and usually occur 9ith little or no emotional reaction. 9ith the result that actions ecome increasingly ina##ro#riate and even counter2#roductive. Some stimuli get favored treatment and are em#hasized 9hile others are ignored.idiosyncratic forms of individual stu#idity. The #aranoid may #erceive something trivial as threatening so as to <ustify his fear. After stimuli enter the system. In the rationalGintelligent model of ehavior. the more im#ortant a matter is as an ego2defining issue.e. since the emotional com#onent of information interferes 9ith the accuracy of its handling. discriminative stimuli guide actions so that ehavior is @A##ro#riate@ and li6ely to lead to #ositive results' ehavior is considered to e under @Stimulus control@. should e)#erience 9ith an o <ectGevent e limited.e. Alternatively. they are then organized into @$eaningful@ units. First. This #rocess of organizing is linguistic categorizing. someone else might #ass over #otentially u#setting stimuli as too distur ing to contem#late. changing one. and this model is actually fairly descri#tive of ho9 the mind routinely handles unim#ortant matters. The schema #rovides oth general and s#ecific e)#ectations a out their relations and may fill in information. Society defines a9areness of reality as it funnels fictions into our consciousness. in that the agent cannot sense. 9hat is deemed im#ortant is in no 9ay a function of o <ectivity. !om#uters invaria ly have ugs. The a##ro#riate com#uter model in this vein 9ould e an electronically unsta le machine 9ith a defective #rogram 9hich functions to 6ee# the hard drive steady y #reventing ma<or alterations of its #rograms. the greater the role of the schema vis2a2vis immediate stimuli in sha#ing attendant ehavior. The rain does not treat all e)ternal stimuli e>ually. It is the frame of reference for the #erce#tion of stimuli. 9ith his value system. To #ut it the other 9ay. The induced su <ectivity underlines the essential social nature of stu#idity. In virtually all cases. the #rocess of data in#utF. any #rogram is inherently malada#tive ecause of its necessary and inevita le im#act on #erce#tion Ei. information gets into the system as a result of selective attentional #rocesses. The act of #erce#tion can e ro6en do9n into t9o se#arate ste#s. The schema is the asic elief structure of the individual. ut the rain has uilt2in emotional iases 9hich fade in and out de#ending on the nature of the @In#ut@. mem ers of a society e)hi it collective forms of idiocy 9ithin the conte)t of:or reaction against:social values. .s mindF is necessarily emotionally involving and therefore done only reluctantly. 9hich commonly results in illusions and mis#erce#tions.

it is im#ossi le to a##reciate the tragedies of those 9ho failed not ecause they 9ere 9rong ut ecause they could not overcome the uilt2in idiocy of their cultural environment. one of the sad ironies of life is that most innovators must fight the system in order to im#rove it. This. Such 9as the case in +/*/ 9hen. the esta lishment stifles critical analysis so as to th9art im#rovement and #rotect the schema for as long as #ossi le. as they tended to lose good clients and 9in enduring enemies y o <ectively inter#reting the facts. financial houses hesitated to forecast declines in usiness. In this sense. one must conclude that most failed to ada#t to changing conditions. We cannot even imagine ho9 much etter life might have een for all of us. This is ut a single e)am#le of the lind egotism so common in stu#idity:the reluctance to #erceive un#leasant realities. At that time. usually su conscious reaction. Again. A ne9 idea is not <udged o <ectively y an inde#endent standard ut is regarded #rimarily as a challenge to the #revailing egoGsocial system.The schema is a ver alG ehavioral construct through 9hich situations are #erceived in a linguistic conte)t 9hich systematically distorts incoming information so as to reinforce itself at the e)#ense of contradictory. What is not so o vious is that the ne9 conditions 9ere often #roduced y the institutions themselves. the schema can oth hel# and hinder the individual as he attem#ts to deal 9ith #ro lems in his environment. 9e must em#hasize the inherent ar itrariness of the entire #henomenon. months efore the crash. As a function of e)#erience. The schema is a self2sustaining cognitive #aradigm 9hich maintains its emotional ase y mis#erceiving the environment through ver al la eling of stimuli. focusing attention on schema2confirming #erce#ts so that these data can e #rocessed 9hile reality testing on the rest of the #erce#tual field is sus#ended. only to have the article re<ected ecause it 9as @(essimistic@. functional relationshi#s. e)#erience and the created schema can inhi it innovation and contri ute to the #ersistence of ehavior 9hich once 9as ada#tive ut has ecome o solete. the schema may limit insight:the act of #ulling together various facts into novel. Only secondarily can the cognitive content of ne9 information e #rocessed consciously on something li6e its o9n merits. It is im#ortant to note that accuracy 9as treated as an irrelevancy in this case. The garnered data then serve to strengthen further the schema as they are incor#orated into it. Stu#idity thus results oth from and in #erce#tual limits on learning 9hich #revent a system from recognizing its o9n intrinsic limitations. It has something of a hy#notic effect. This is the asic mechanism of stu#idity. 9hen stu#idity reigns su#reme. . Agnosticism in the general usiness community 9as #romoted y 9ishful thin6ing. These values sustain the status >uo y #reventing recognition of #ro lems created y the im#act of the institution on its environment. &ery fe9 organizations encourage e)cellence. This #erce#tual failure occurs concurrently 9ith the general schematic restriction on the develo#ment of any novel modes of thought or ehavior. This is an emotionally ased. When #ondering the #assing of many great human institutions do9n through the ages. There is no #articular virtue in holding or changing a given schema e)ce#t relative to the environment over time. distur ing data. Indeed. %o9ever. Although 9e all delight in the trium#hs of the crac6#ots 9ho contri uted to the advance of civilization. Turnover of organizations is inherent in the human conditions in that a schema tends to limit values to those a##ro#riate to the circumstances #resent 9hen it develo#ed. as it necessarily causes #eo#le to e out of sync 9ith their environment. in turn. %o9ever. is an uncertain ase. the #erce#tion of 9hich is confounded y linguistic ias. The schema is an advantage 9hen the #erson confronts a #ro lem similar to one already solved. Alvin T. as each time it gets easier to deal successfully 9ith such situations. Simonds sent an article to Nation+s Business suggesting a usiness decline. so most transcendent achievements first had to overcome entrenched o##osition from the esta lishment.

dress. These re#ositories for the dysfunctional contri ute nothing to the nation. is regulated y norms:social standards for acce#ta le ehavior. It 9ould e a surd even to suggest a scale for measuring their monumental 9aste and #athetic inefficiency. To maintain a grou#. 9e need not ela or malada#tive. The ultimate in the chronic stu#idity of institutional life is. for e)am#le. or honest. of course. Secondly.s health or 9ealth. This #rovides. They are usually trying to #rolong a social relationshi#. The #oint is not that 9e all ma6e mista6es ecause 9e are not #erfect ut that 9e cover them u# for each other ecause 9e 6no9 sooner or later it 9ill e our turn to goof u#. #rovides a #lace of em#loyment for the ho#elessly ine#t: the government.s 9orst interest. The relative im#ortance of these t9o functions 9ill vary 9ith conditions. stu#idity has another ally 9hich inhi its effective co#ing 9ith #ro lems. These norms encourage stu#idity y #roviding a systematic #attern of reinforcement conducive to conformity for its o9n sa6e. incidental @-oise@ in the human system:the errors #eo#le ma6e from sheer inadvertence. It is the acce#tance and a##roval of mem ers 9hich first induces and then sustains a common schema and its system of values that form individuals into a grou#. In considering stu#idity. casual #ursuit of some #articular achievement. In such a situation. First of all. $ost social grou#s e)ist for t9o related functions' grou# maintenance and goal achievement. This trend is clima)ed as social inertia comes to disru#t effective reaction to the e)ternal milieu. %o9ever. But if 9e do not ela or them ecause they are not sym#tomatic of any significant.s inherent stu#idities is that goal achievement must often e traded off so as to #er#etuate an organization 9hose e)#ressed #ur#ose is to accom#lish that goal. they contri ute indirectly to the self2res#ect of a nation 9hich. 9hich may e fine for the s#onsors ut 9hich necessarily ma6es the credi ility of the media at least sus#ect. one of society. fatigue or accident. daily routine of most social life. As sacrifice is the nature of com#romise. and 9ith com#romise the normal state. the asis for the cozy relations of the media and their s#onsors. im#erfect #eo#le are not even trying to e o <ective. That is. most #eo#le live in a genial. they overcome this #otential image #ro lem 9ith sincere #ronouncements and very thorough coverage of events not in the s#onsor. Within the formal conte)t of 9ritten la9s and rules. that maintaining the grou# may ecome an end in itself. in its stu#id magnificence. it is im#ortant to note that society #olitely hides our im#erfections ehind a self2dece#tive illusion of mutual assurance. of course. no one is #erfect. Stu#idity is grounded on this asic fact. !ivil service ureaucracies are notorious centers for such useless 9or6fare #rograms. . institutional and other9ise.I Along 9ith its linguisticG#erce#tual mechanism for #reventing recognition of reality. underlying ehavioral #rinci#le. Brou#s undergoing this #rocess egin to se#arate from reality and define their o9n e)istence 9hen the #ro#er handling of and res#onse to incoming information demands socially intolera le ad<ustments of grou# #rocedure and structure. manners. stu#idity is actually encouraged y the asic nature of grou# interaction. etc. ma6ing goal achievement a little less li6ely or more difficult. modes of s#eech. It is in this dual nature of grou# function that one finds #ressures for oth accuracy in and distortion of 6no9ledge. This is the mechanism y 9hich social life esta lishes conflicting standards for rational ehavior. some accuracy may have to e sacrificed. if they are an overall drain on society. or to learn a out themselves. 9hen they interact. Usually. cognitive incest o literates any #retense at logical <ustification for self2sustaining acts.

!onflicting or contradictory data from the e)ternal environment is deflected or deflated y the elief system. acce#ta le method of alancing the many factors 9hich interact in our social lives. This emotionalGsocial dimension as it contri utes to grou# cohesion is usually overloo6ed y rationalists. K>uality. (eo#le rarely change <ust for the sa6e of accuracy. The #rocess of maturation is one of falling into the o#inions of those in one. Only 9hen the #rocess nears com#letion.s religious schema. ut that ty#e of analysis is invaria ly ased on a rational evaluation of factual data. 9hich develo#s into a fundamental religion. thus ma6ing their analysis flat and some9hat irrelevant. Truth comes to e 9hatever conforms to the ver al environment as the mem er comes to elieve in the assum#tions of his #eers rather than regarding them as hy#otheses to e verified. The asic re>uirement of all religious organizations is not that they e logical ut that they 6ee# in touch 9ith their mem ers. Any o <ective analyst may easily discern all 6inds of logical inconsistencies and #erce#tual a surdities in someone else. a schema 9ill not e altered unless an e)ternal re9ard is more a##ealing than the discomfort of changing the schema is emotionally 9renching. such as eliefs in "emocracy.Cife in grou#s is a given of the human e)#erience. The ne9 orn must learn all that is needed to survive. Although the term @Deligion@ is traditionally defined in reference to the su#ernatural. neat and smug self2contained te)ts in cognitive #sychology may e. they usually omit this central #oint and leave the reader 9ith the same vaguely em#ty feeling he 9ould have 9ere he to see a #roduction of *am#et 9ithout %amlet. The #sychological asis for such idiocy is the #ositive feed ac6 system that socialization and the schema create and maintain. (eo#le may e critical 9hen ideals are not realized. !a#italism. Only such a system could account for fiascos li6e the Kdsel. %o9ever logical. ut it . it usually is so ecause it is a com#romise synthesis of reality cum mentality. Only the more su#erficial things Eli6e fashionsF change <ust for the sa6e of change. It is note9orthy that this is only indirectly related to reality. can it e la eled as clearly stu#id. ut they rarely criticize the ideals themselves. so it is defined to suit the vie9er. Such a condition may e functional and is a normal. ut he also develo#s a sense of elonging 9hich #recludes criticism of the fundamental assum#tions of his culture. ut su mission y the individual consolidates the collective mental ha its of his egocentric grou#. it 9ill e used in this discussion to refer to any com#elling elief system. To do so automatically classifies one as an outsider. This commitment to the grou# does not really ma6e the system less sensitive overall.s o <ect ut 9ith the nature of the elief. -ot only does the initiate learn a #articular language E9ith all its #erce#tuallimitationsF. 9hether the o <ect of the schema is su#ernatural. the #rocess of schematic crum ling is sim#ly too am iguous in the early stages to e defined as such. the Bay of (igs invasion of !u a and Watergate. Freedom or 9hatever. devoutly held schemas are functional not ecause they effectively define and address #articular #ro lems ut ecause they hel# ind self2dece#tive #eo#le together. the im#ortance of the internal re9ard system is often underestimated. When socialization com#letes this #rocess of mental control. When attem#ts are made to com#rehend ehavior in terms of ma)imizing #ositive outcomes and minimizing negative results.s immediate surroundings. Thus. and it is the irth grou# that #rovides #rotection and information as this #rocess of socialization #roceeds. Jee#ing in touch 9ith the e)ternal environment is secondary or #erha#s coe>ual. and most #eo#le 9ould #refer to elong than e critical. unless they have internalized o <ectivity and learned to a ide y the res#ect for data demanded y a disci#lined methodology li6e that of science. much of this consideration of stu#idity 9ill e dealing 9ith @Secular religions@. Actually. When this com#romise is itself com#romised. Our concern is not 9ith the nature of the elief. This may entail some cognitive constraint. If a elief is unreasona le. natural or man2made.

F sustain the grou#. ut honesty and o <ectivity do not al9ays stand in the 9ay of success. a conflict et9een systems . If the 9ar in &ietnam might #ossi ly once have een 9inna le or even <ustifia le for the United States. *. If identifying the @Best interest@ of a #arty is difficult for anyone. Also. he mentioned Brant. creeds may ma6e #eo#le 6no9ledgea le ut una9are. Alternatively. #ride ecomes a #rime motivating factor for #er#etuating 9hat is argua ly a mista6e:that is. to an e)ternal o server E9ho himself can never e totally o <ectiveF. if oth are a##lying for the same <o . At est. -aturally. 9e return to the nemesis of ar itrariness: y 9hat standard is stu#idity to e <udged? The creed? The o server. %e s#o6e to e accurate. even though the 9ay may e self2defeating. ut 9hat he often fails to consider are the further @Bivens@ that are not elements of his o9n schema. as the 6ind of 6no9ledge gained is used to +. not to o tain a #articular effect and nevertheless managed to ecome (resident and !hief Justice of the Su#reme !ourt. William %o9ard Taft 9as an amusing e)am#le of remar6a le insensitivity in social relations.might seem that 9ay. Such creeds have a self2dece#tive. One of the asic mista6es made in evaluating ehavior as stu#id stems from the assum#tion that #eo#le are really trying to achieve a #articular goal:even one in their o9n est interest. As malada#tive ehavior #ersists. grou#s need not only elief systems ut statements of those eliefs as rallying #oints for their sense of identity. those #ossi ilities #assed a9ay years efore the fighting 9ound do9n to its disgraceful conclusion. They are not guides for ehavior of the mem ers ut ver alizations 9hich #romote grou# cohesion y #roviding su#erego2satisfying <ustifications for 9hatever must e done. $any #eo#le function more in a #articular 9ay than to9ard a #articular end. For e)am#le. as attention must e directed in9ard as 9ell as out9ard.s drin6ing #ro lem in a eulogy to the former (resident. These #ronouncements are the @!reed@ of the grou#.s creed? Boal achievement? "es#ite o vious incongruities. For e)am#le. then 9e should not e sur#rised at the #ersistence of malada#tive ehavior:even if no one 6no9s 9hat it is. hy#notic effect on grou# mem ers and inhi it the develo#ment of any sense that 9hat they do is malada#tive. some fool may e committed to eing honest rather than to ma6ing favora le im#ressions' he is sim#ly honest and lets im#ressions ta6e care of themselves. in that it 9as idiotic in t9o different 9ays at once. #eo#le 9ould rather go on eing 9rong than admit it and ta6e corrective measures. The military effort in &ietnam actually turned out to e unusually stu#id. the data that are gathered from the outer 9orld are #rocessed not in their o9n right ut in terms of the internal schema. It induced internal conflict 9hile ecoming an international de acle. Although situation ethics may carry most individuals far in a 9orld of su#erficial im#ressions. The internal re9ard system of the self2sustaining schema can #romote a course of action totally irrelevant to anything in the #erceiva le environment. stu#idity is found 9here a system disru#ts itself.F hel# the grou# co#e 9ith its environment. the res#onses of the system might a##ear irrelevant to the given conditions. and H.F sustain the grou# schema. #eo#le may decide unconsciously that it is in their emotional @Best interest@ sim#ly to hold on rigidly to their creed rather than try to ad<ust their ideas to fit either their actions or incoming and #ossi ly distur ing its of information a out reality. concerned or not. in that they are engaging in ehavior inconsistent 9ith their creed. and he then ma6es the mista6e of asserting that the mem ers are stu#id. Often. This creed rarely fools our classic outside o server. Thus. ut the s#ecific goal of getting the <o is secondary to his asic commitment to honesty. Once again. and courts someho9 get themselves associated 9ith statements a out @Justice@. The gutters may e filled 9ith #eo#le li6e that:too dum to deceive in a 9orld of scams. Such a #erson might lose out to an im#oster. the military claims that @(eace is our #rofession@. %e is usually >uite >uic6 to note 9hen a given grou# is ehaving in 9ays contradictory to its e)#ressed values.

the e)act o##osite' this is the hy#ersensitive stu#idity of overreacting not only to incidentals in the environment ut #erha#s to fantasies as 9ell.g. When an organization has to trade off a logically #erfect system 9hich ma6es sense 9ith itself in order to find a alance 9ith the #sychological needs of im#erfect #eo#le.F may e induced y stu#idities that are mutual or com#lementary. Both ty#es have their #laces in the dynamic disorder of the human e)#erience. 9ise (rince. In terms of laying an egg. All the elements of stu#idity ecame concentrated in the White %ouse as the est and rightest set a out creating the #erfect disaster. -ot only is there this cognitive dra9 ac6 ased on the tendency to9ard uniformity of o#inion among mem ers of an isolated grou#. many modern rulers content themselves 9ith fa9ning syco#hants. In the conte)t of the stu#idity of a system struggling against itself. then grou#thin6 is oth #ossi le and #ro a le. Once again.. status seems to demand that those 9ho ma6e the most im#ortant decisions have information #resented to them #reselected and #ac6aged in #redigested form. no mem er is li6ely to ris6 his grou# status or mem ershi# y #ointing out fla9s in the considered #olicy. It e)em#lifies the most dangerous of all #ossi le com inations' smart #eo#le in #ositions of #o9er ehaving stu#idly. By far the most common is that of #rinci#le:a system too committed to itself to ad<ust' its re9ard system ecomes so internalized that it ceases to res#ond effectively to e)ternal change. 9ith o##ortunism of the moment su stituting for develo#ment y a guiding schema. @Isolation from reality is inse#ara le from the e)ercise of #o9er@F. ut that they usually create one in 9hich they cannot survive 9ith their elief systems oth honored and intact. the !ourt 9ould have found it >uite difficult to function effectively 9ith such an unreasona le restriction. ho9ever #leasing it may e to analysts 9ho #refer logic to life. In the a sence of e)ternal feed ac6 and internal criticism. there is also an inherent danger in modern ureaucratic systems that leaders derive some sort of #erverse satisfaction and #restige from eing removed from reality. anything less than the #erfect #lan is sure to go a9ry. 9ho once suggested he might s#onsor a !onstitutional amendment 9hich 9ould re>uire all decisions of the Su#reme !ourt to @$a6e sense@.Ee.. . and in more general terms.s Ca9 Ei. it is at least consistent 9ith the general iological #rinci#le of re#lacing living systems 9hich 9ere once ut no longer are the est ada#tation to an altered environment. insulated from outside o#inion and 9or6ing on a #olicy already strongly endorsed y the leader. there are asically only t9o ty#es of stu#idity. Ar itrariness not9ithstanding. religious grou#s. The Jennedy2condoned Bay of (igs invasion remains the classic e)am#le of grou#thin6 in all its stagnant glory.e. social reinforcement 9ill sha#e the ehavior of those sharing common assum#tions. In accordance 9ith Deedy. The miracle is not that such leaders ma6e so many stu#id decisions ut that they ma6e so fe9. one a##reciates the good nature of #eo#le li6e Barry Bold9ater. One s#ecific form of rigid stu#idity as induced y social norms deserves s#ecial mention ecause it has een identified and studied so intently. It occurs 9hen a decision ma6ing grou# is highly cohesive. etc. values and eliefs. The other ty#e is. The #eculiar thing a out human systems is not that they create so much of their o9n environment. as one might e)#ect. Of course. Under such conditions. recriminations and 9orse. countries. If this is a less than ideal #rocess. tightly 6nit and of #eo#le too committed to their common schema to save themselves. so 9hat might egin as legitimate com#etition can degenerate into misunderstandings. Dather than surrounding themselves 9ith truthful advisors as recommended y $achiavelli to his theoretically ideal. @Brou#thin6@ is a very intense form of stu#idity as it 9or6s its magic on a small. it is necessary to #oint out the com#romise nature of the human condition. This ty#e usually leads to chaos. &ietnam 9as a dou le yol6er. If it is #ossi le to e too coo#erative. @$a6ing sense@ is a out the last thing a human system should e e)#ected to do.

When #resent. !om#romise and alance are the first victims 9hen #eo#le sto# caring enough to note the stu#idity surrounding them. As the schema ecomes a religious elief. #reventing their o9n realization. By itself. When ideals ecome stum ling loc6s. reformers ecome #ersecutors and strive to reduce life to some grand order through change. the most irrational decisions can e reached 9ith ma)imal attention to decorum and minimal concern 9ith reality. When. Or #erha#s they induce riots and 9ar in their >uest for harmony and #eace. The esta lishment 9ants to stay esta lished' if it can e fair and retain final control. that is e)actly our situation today. there is something ve)ing a out a 9histle lo9er #ointing out that the system does not 9or6. It #rovides us 9ith ideals to live u# to and hide ehind. Small 9onder. 9e su##ress the o##ressed. When control comes not through reason ut #rimarily through conflicting #o9ers. 9e 9al6 all over someone. so if 9e acce#t the a surd. Almost everyone.In general society. the #urveyors of righteousness are al9ays ready to ma6e the country @Dight@ again:or for the first time:if the #eo#le can stand it and the 9orld can afford it. Again. the lac6 of critical analysis ty#ical of all stu#id systems stems from the moral commitment of mem ers to their grou# creed. The main #ro lem reformers must contend 9ith is that the game is stac6ed against them. 9e have a tenuous future at est. as it invaria ly #romotes 9hat it should #revent and #revents 9hat it should #romote' that is. to varying degrees. Our ver al creed not only allo9s us to descri e our 9orld ut also hel#s us 9or6 together in it. ut it has minimal #ersuasive im#act. Invaria ly. ut mostly it is sim#ly an e)#ression of humans attem#ting to function in a 9orld of ar itrary com#romise. failings and e)cesses of the esta lishment do engender chec6s on themselves. The ultimate danger really is to e found in the e)tremism that such indifference #ermits and fanaticism #romotes. then. and unfortunately. In such #laces. falls under the illusion that the esta lishment 9ants to e fair. our actions are com#romises 9ith all the many factors of life 9hich im#inge u#on us. 9e deserve the disastrous. in the name of fairness. ut #revailing institutions are asically indifferent to @Fairness@.s rights. it is counter2#roductive. One ty#e of o servation is that there is a mismatch et9een creeds and deeds. 9e may ecome a it <aded and acce#ting of stu#idity as a condition so common that 9e no longer even recognize it as such. there is something 9rong. Usually in the names of im#rovement and #rogress. In America. it is removed a second ste# from reasona le criticism. there is something 9rong. (erha#s this is <ust a ac6handed tri ute to the a9esome #o9er of stu#idity that 9e can elieve such a thing. It is rather incredi le that anyone 9ith an IA e)ceeding his age could entertain such a notion. This can e stu#id. All this sho9s is ho9 #o9erful stu#idity . stu#idity is easy to recognize. They might 9rec6 the economy in their efforts to im#rove the standard of living. and in a 9orld of conflicting a surdities. It can ma6e a #erson aggravated and an aggravation. Also. it 9ill e. Just 9hat is 9rong is never clear. there is something 9rong. EThe initial se#aration from logical control occurs 9hen the linguistic system of the grou# inhi its negative evaluation of fundamental assum#tions. since the 9ords used to convey information convey im#licit values as 9ell. the miracle is not that 9e get along so #oorly ut that 9e get along at all. so nothing is li6ely to distur the almighty or the attitude of religious 9orshi#ers >uite so much as a fe9 #ractical o servations. eing @Dight@ is of no #articular advantage in a dis#ute. that there are often discre#ancies et9een our ver al and real 9orlds. When. in the name of <ustice. This #ro lem is inherent in the human condition. At least 9e have structured our domestic #o9er conflicts so that confrontations are channeled through the halls of government and the courts.F Of course. Deformers arise among the disenfranchised and #roceed to add their #articular rand of stu#idity to those already flourishing.

long2range enefit to humanity. has already #roved successful in hel#ing #eo#le learn a out themselves and their institutions. It is e)#ecting too much of science. 6no9ledge does indeed ma6e us free. many #eo#le are right andGor stu#id. It seems o vious at this #oint to consider the a##lication of o <ectivity to the social domain in the ho#e that the social sciences might undercut our #roclivity for individual and collective malada#tive ehavior. The solution 9ill e found in the relevant a##lication of 6no9ledge. All the horrors and cruelties 9hich used to e the #rovince of the devoutly sectarian Eas evidenced y their 9itch hunts and in>uisitionsF have een e)tended and e)#anded u#on y the devotees of secular Ei.e. atomic #o9er. #olitical and economicF institutions. and the more s#ecific the conte)t. gene s#licing. I This ar itrarily ased indifference to those 9ith good ideas underlines our #ervasive stu#idity in social relations. But all this success in a##lying 6no9ledge comes u# short of humanity and leaves one 9ith the feeling that the success is that of a detached system 9hich has ta6en on a life and #ur#ose of its o9n rather than that of one filling some com#assionate need. It is very much to our credit that 9e are so clever as engineers:efficient at inventing and uilding all 6inds of so#histicated machines and contra#tions. anyone can e oth right and stu#id. unfortunately. although the influence of esta lished churches may have 9aned during this #eriod. 9hich in its #ure form is morally neutral. Thus. 9hich is the function of scientific research.is as a factor in social life. As all <udgments are ar itrary. in an incom#rehensi le 9ay. What is clear is that the esta lishment is indifferent to those 9ho are right ut #o9erless. In fact. The real #ro lem confronting the foes of stu#idity is not one 9hich can e solved y gathering more 6no9ledge. all too availa le and all too recent. our undenia le successes in matters technical ecome all the more curious. The fundamental and total immorality of the -azi regime scars the conscience of civilization ecause it #roved. By contrast. 9hich is a matter of technological ethics. It has also #roved useless in #roviding any sort of ethic to direct the a##lication of 6no9ledge gained to any clear2cut. 9ith each #lus seemingly counter alanced y a minus and each advance accom#anied y ne9 #ro lems. religious elief is still as #o9erful as ever as a factor sha#ing human ehavior. to com at such forms of socially induced su <ectivity. it is. Although 9e re<oice in the >ualitative im#rovement in health attri uta le to medical science. %o9 those data and #ossi le solutions to #ro lems relate to society in general is another crucial #ro lem in itself and some9hat eyond the sco#e of true science. one of the ma<or shifts in our mental 9orld in the #ast fe9 hundred years is that 9e tend more and more to elieve in human institutions 9ith a religious fervor #reviously directed to9ard assumed su#ernatural forces. etc. ut it is seldom clear 9ho is 9hich and 9hen. All science can legitimately contri ute to the a##lication of 6no9ledge to #ro lem solving is limited to #ro<ections of li6ely future results and sometimes sam#le test case studies. Institutions #romote it y eing inherently conservative. the overall #light of humanity has een #oorly served y those 9ho a##ly 9hat 9e 6no9.s What@ in technology:moon9al6s. A list of ma<or human achievements 9ould read li6e a @What.. This is 9ell 9orth considering. Science is es#ecially good in the narro9. If a 9orst2case scenario is needed to ma6e the #oint. As #reviously noted. It e)#ands our a ility to @"o@ 9ithout #roviding any 6ind of human value or humane ethic other than . immediate sense of gathering information a out a s#ecific #ro lem or set of conditions. heart trans#lants. in the form of the social sciences. telecommunications. if indeed our faith in science is <ustified and if the a##lication of scientific analysis to human ehavior 9ould lead to a reduction in stu#idity. ecause the mighty tend to <udge everything according to their o9n self2serving standards for cultural sta ility and 9orldly success. the etter. trying to im#ede any significant changes in the status >uo. Science. Scientists can try to e o <ective and may ma6e us more 6no9ledgea le ut not etter.

a sense of in<ustice and etrayal. our failures are self2generated. it seems <ust that much 9orse 9hen 9e realize that it 9as not <ust technology gone mad for the sa6e of technology. 9e could render human ehavior com#rehensi le. Again. It 9as the logically calculated use of the most advanced technology of the times. %o9ever. The develo#ment of ne9 disru#tive ideas is . ut neither #rovides us 9ith the understanding 9e need to hel# ourselves. Science hel#s us learn a out nature. 6no9ledge and ethics in human affairs is that of the increasing moral im#erative for coo#eration. The lesson is very sim#le for anyone 9illing to heed it. If this is the est 9e can do. crime. riots. The sad fact is that if it could ha##en in Bermany then. ill2clothed. #eo#le continue to suffer in sloth and a#athy:ill2 housed. They are oth morally neutral and offer humanity no ethical #rece#t 9hich 9ill #rotect us from ourselves. It 9ould e very stu#id indeed to thin6 that it could not ha##en again or any9here else. electromagnetism. $uch #sychological research has gone into the study of humans as #ro lem solvers. Science and technology are oth methods' the one hel#s us learn. 9hich is all 9ell and good ecause 9e can and do solve #ro lems. 9hile technological success has #romoted the gro9th of human #o#ulations. genes. com#uters have made disru#tive innovative thought more difficult and individual creative thought anachronistic. Kthics could then e a function of 6no9ledge rather than religious ta oos in the 9ay our technological e)#ertise allo9s us to ma6e informed rather than mystical decisions a out our interactions 9ith nature. ill2fed: 9hile a self2content middle class smugly convinces itself it is someho9 morally su#erior to the disadvantaged.o#erational efficiency. 9e are indeed in a mess. civilized culture of the times attem#ting to realize a #olicy deemed to e in the est interests of humanity. y the most educated. In fact. virtually no attention has een directed to9ard analyzing our considera le a ility to create difficulties and even less to our ina ility to resolve them. s#ace. (erha#s if 9e understood our foi les y a##lying the schematic model for stu#idity advanced in this oo6. an elite 9ith a mission to #urify the 9orld y re#lacing diversity 9ith righteous order:all these elements are common in many societies today. In contrast to our great achievements in technology. In science as 9ell as music. starvation. 9ith the greatest of universities and a culture of such readth and de#th that it has never een sur#assed and rarely e>ualed. a frustrated feeling of su#eriority and most es#ecially. -ationalism and racism. Bermany 9as the center of civilization. Trou le 9e do have. and government charity doles out <ust enough useless hel# to 6ee# the disenfranchised ho#elessly de#endent on the long s#oon. Bermany 9as #reeminent= in #hiloso#hy as 9ell as engineering. (overty. it very certainly could ha##en some9here else some other time. 9ars Ereal and #otentialF all confront us every day on the ne9s. (erha#s 9e 9ould do etter if 9e recognize that 9e and the institutions 9e elieve in are the causes of our #ro lems. of course. Worse yet is the realization that all the cultivated learning in the 9orld seemed to encourage rather than #revent the most des#ica le a use of #o9er ever. ut at the turn of the century. the other hel#s us do. On the one hand. -either is a control system. Ironically. On the other. %ence. the most distur ing as#ect of the tragedy is that the -azis 9ere so efficient in a cause so #erverse. drugs. 9e are rather deft at dealing 9ith natural #ro lems= our scientific and technological trium#hs are all over natural #henomena:the human ody. Bermany #redominated:and this 9as the era 9hen the leaders of the -azi em#ire received their education. One e)am#le of the interaction of e)#ertise. the miracle is not that 9e have so much trou le ut that 9e have so little. If this 9as the most evil if not stu#idest misa##lication of force in the #ursuit of an ideal. it 9ould have een distur ing enough. If anything li6e the Cast Deich had occurred any9here else or at any other time in history. and 9e cannot correct them ecause those in #o9er 9ho created them sim#ly do not recognize them as #ro lems solva le 9ithin the system. disease. and technology #rovides us 9ith the means for effecting change. 9e have our dismal failures in human affairs.

more and more #eo#le dealt 9ith each other as e>uals. flourish and then #ass a9ay for lac6 of effective self2control: too much or too little. 9e have turned our right to e original over to the amassed media. As a classic e)am#le of the neurotic #arado) in action. A more e)treme e)am#le of amoral stu#idity is the 9ay 9e are 9rec6ing our environment. Oddly. In a more realistic vein. ho9ever. Thus. For variety. Whether 9e ever reach such a state 9ill de#end to a large degree on the role stu#idity #lays in our future. 9e are 6illing our la6es and streams. 9ith each item adding to someone. stu#idity remains. indulgent 9ay versus those 9ho 9ould save it y systematic. a##ears and rea##ears in successive civilizations 9ith such monotonous regularity that if 9e are to rea6 the #attern and endure. ut it is asically ha#hazard. Than6s to our failure to #lan resource develo#ment. li6e religious fundamentalists. they 9ill reach a com#romise:to 9rec6 it y systematic. 9ater and air. Once again. 9e 9ill have to ans9er to that over9helming >uestion never >uite #osed efore' %o9 can 9e e so stu#id? -otes . 9e de#end on old2line fanatics. !onformity in dress. y #romoting misunderstandings. the immediate. Thus.more difficult ecause technology is standardizing our cultural 9orld. These indulgences eget. If it is rather trite today to o serve that our technological e)cesses are challenging our morality. 9hich #rovides oth the s#ice of and dis#utes in life. Without realizing 9hat has ha##ened.s an6 account regardless of long2term conse>uences for society in general. the legal system and the media. #oisoning our forests. It 9ould e nice enough if this 9ere a #lanned #rocess. 9ith each idea adding to our collective ha##iness. it 9ould e nice if someday all e)istent dis#utes could e settled fairly rather than y force or formality and that all decisions reached 9ould e functions of reason rather than irrationality. It is most li6ely. #rotesters 9ho assert their right to live and reathe and 9ho gather strength from the o vious soundness of their #osition that if things continue at the current rate. there soon 9ill e no environment left to des#oil. S#ecific cultures rise. short2term #rofits 9hich technologically advanced cor#orations net s#ur them on in their commitment to des#oil the land. With the #olitical #o9er structure eing 9hat it is. This is the most com#elling change at 9or6 in our culture. creative thin6ing 9hich #romotes unity is no9 the res#onsi ility of some undefined. the attle of those 9ho 9ould 9rec6 the 9orld in a random. controlled #lanning. ut 9e are surrendering our rights to the shado9 esta lishment. We isolate ourselves from inter#ersonal contact 9ith headsets #lugged into oom o)es #laying synthesized music or endure #refa ricated laugh2trac6s on sit2com T&. and #romote it. %o9ever. chaotic. (o9er sharing ased on rights meant that more and more often. it is still 9orth noting that this develo#ment may decrease the li6elihood that com#romises in the future 9ill e reached on the asis of <ustice rather than on the asis of #o9er. 9ill e unimagina le. Stu#idity can oth #revent survival. centralized esta lishment. turning rain into sho9ers of acid and are generally strangling our life su##ort system. that stu#idity 9ill transcend survival ecause 9e do not understand our limitations. to u#set the cultural >uo. this constitutes one e)am#le of manic stu#idity due to the lac6 of an overseeing schema as gro9th 9ithout develo#ment has #roduced change 9ithout #rogress. controlled #lanning. it is only the confrontation 9ith our technological e)cesses that is forcing reason u#on us. ehavior and thought is #romoted y centralized control in the fashion industry. ho9ever. and it may lead us to a lasL 9orld in 9hich variety. y ma6ing us more acce#ting of our limitations.

Sometimes it is @Intelligent@= more often it is @Stu#id@. and the average #erson is never 9ithout it. stu#idity. !onsidering ho9 little intelligence and ho9 much stu#idity there is. In fact. In defining our mental life and sha#ing our ehavior. it cannot e that stu#idity is not a fit to#ic for scientific investigation. These generally #laced humans.s closet of shame. there 9ere a cou#le of Bermans. !onsidering its im#act on history.s ho9M We can e stu#id <ust y eing ourselves. "r. 9ho 9ere remar6a ly ignorant.s influence. As this is the age 9hen gays. inattention. 9e 9ill have to ac6no9ledge and e)amine that 9hich is oth em arrassing and shameful. Although the focus of this 9or6 is on stu#idity. #erha#s it could also e the age 9hen stu#idity is ac6no9ledged. cognition and ehavior. She rendered her victims @Inca#a le of rational choice@ and lind to distinctions of morality and e)#edience. our characteristic interactions 9ith the environment are all directed y the same asic mental #rocess:the #rocess y 9hich our schemas sha#e #erce#tion. What other ma<or religions of the 9orld have to say a out stu#idity 9ill not ecome clear until the ec6oning field of !om#arative Stu#idity comes to flo9er. !riticism of human idiocy 9as discouraged. it is really a study of ho9 the human mind functions. Ci6e9ise. Degardless of the la els used. clumsy associations. delusion and lind folly:a##arently everything contri uting to malada#tation ut stu#idity. historians have #leased their readers 9ith accounts of humanity. Ceo#old CN9enfeld had . and !hristians came to regard the truth a out a fool as a ty#e of indecent e)#osure and strictly ta oo. %o9ever. confronted and even understood.s 9ondrous #rogress. and in this #articular matter. our 6no9ledge of stu#idity is not limited to 9hat historians and #sychologists have not 9ritten a out it. Those shelves are. ad memory. then neither is intelligence. #oor <udgment. as $r. One of the se)es and one of . mis#erce#tion. it really is incredi le that this im alance in the literature has e)isted for so long. %erodotus noted that man 9as ro ed of reason y @Infatuation@. 9ea6 character. ecause if it is not. only @-early@ em#ty. Whatever the cause for this condition. er die Dummheit #u lished. it thrives unnoticed in humanity.II) Definin$ Stupidit% -aturally:that. it <ust #lugs along uno trusively in a manner unnamed ecause it is so common as never to have een named anything at all.F In the !hristian tradition. the one is totally neglected and the other virtually #ounded into the ground. Beniuses dis#lay it= su#erior #eo#le flaunt it. EIt is 9orth noting this a9areness of the moral dimension of Ate. lac6s and even 9omen have come out of the closet. fortunately. and if 9e understand stu#idity. If 9e really 9ant to have a full understanding of the human e)#erience. ut the !hristian attitude certainly contri utes greatly to the nearly em#ty shelves in Western li raries 9here the hundreds of oo6s on stu#idity should e. Of course. lunder and folly 9ere glossed over y Jesus in deference to the sensi ilities of his follo9ers. mischief. ut most of the time. ecause there have een a fe9 #ioneers 9ho dared delve into stu#idity des#ite the ta oo. in ancient Breece. -evertheless. !lemens. it 9as the goddess Ate 9ho 9as res#onsi le for infatuation. In +/3/. etc. the schema so routinely causes #eo#le to act in their o9n 9orst interests that stu#idity can e considered one of the fe9. stu#idity 9as not defined from a medical vie9#oint. deities 9ere res#onsi le for everything. true cultural universals. @Some9here et9een the angels and the French@. First. #sychologists follo9ed the #ath of greatest acce#tance in their concentration on intelligence to the total disregard of stu#idity. Traditionally. oy Sam once o served. In this 9or6. ut rather its road forms 9ere classified as multi2dimensional functional failings of a faulty intellect:meaning dullness. 9e 9ill understand ourselves. this oo6 is ased on t9o fundamental contentions' 9e cannot really understand ourselves 9ithout understanding stu#idity. of course. stu#idity certainly deserves a hearing 9hich is at least fair if not e>ual to that granted intelligence. Fortunately.

Then in +/0/ came (aul Ta ori. even World War I could not sha6e the author. Janis. 9e do indeed live in a ..s The Natura# Science of Stupidit%:a su#erficial if entertaining collection of anecdotes culled from history:and in +/13 John Fischer. The first oo6 in Knglish on the to#ic 9as A Short Introduction to the *istor% of *uman Stupidit% E+/H*F. 9ar. her oo6 #rovides more case studies of leaders caught u# in themselves. deli erate and malada#tive. feudalism. Although she honors the ta oo against the 9ord @Stu#idity@. As the same act may e inter#reted as oth stu#id and reasona le Eor rilliantF. they are neither com#rehensive nor analytical ut do com#rise 433 #ages of source material for any reader of %ungarian in need of e)am#les of idiocy grou#ed under convenient headings. and although the oo6 9as u#dated in +/*+. etc. the term is used li6e an e)treme s9ear 9ord:a #ut2do9n for those deemed intellectually inferior. and failed. although this tactic normally reveals more a out the attitude of the user than the cognitive a ilities of the designateEsF. semantics. For e)am#le. A Teutonic cure for insomnia. Although the term @Stu#idity@ does not a##ear in the title. This is more a 9itty com#ilation of thoughts and e)am#les than a scientific treatment of the #henomenon and ranged so far afield that some su <ects ear only a tenuous connection 9ith the to#ic. fashion. As a dis#araging term for mem ers of an outgrou#. Bar ara Tuchman. Originally #u lished at the rate of one #er year from +/H4 through +/P3. ut his 9or6 is intolerantly narro9 in that he recognized the Bi le as the only legitimate standard for elief and ehavior. and "ther *arassments. #sychologist !harles Dichet had -+homme stupide #u lished. eing really a reezy essay on human folly.s em#hasis on a elief system 9as 9ell #laced. Groupthin' E+/4*F. Janis and $rs. slavery. Finally. If they do @Q@ it is stu#id= if 9e do @Q@ it is smart or necessary. etc. the 9ord @Stu#idity@ often indicates little more than a iased evaluation of ehavior. contri uted three oo6s to the shelves.s general cultural revie9 The Stupidit% Pro #em. E$uch of the material #resented in !ha#ter &I is derived from e)am#les analyzed y $r. this is seldom done. this 9or6 e)amines stu#idity in a Bi lical conte)t and is essentially an attac6 on esta lished religions.s lead. %e dodged the issue of defining or classifying stu#idity ut dealt 9ith the idiocies of drugs. It is concerned 9ith a s#ecific cause of stu#idity ut has some general value to anyone interested in the to#ic and #rovides a num er of good case studies of ho9 leaders ma6e oth faulty and sound decisions. su#erstitions. a retired %ungarian <udge. to generate any general interest in the to#ic. ut he settled for everyone else eing generally inferior in intellect. only the first found its 9ay into Knglish' From the *istor% of *uman Fo##% E+/8HF. Ci6e most other contri utions. #olitical enemies voting to reduce the federal deficit may e considered socially irres#onsi le.s oo6 The !arch of Fo##% E+/4PF rates a #lace 9ith the others. for e)am#le. ecause of the e)isting ta oo. it is im#ortant to distinguish et9een the term and the #henomenon. Ci6e many oo6s. %e might have inferred. unfortunately. Usually.the races 9as less stu#id than the others.s conviction a out the se)ualGracial distri ution of stu#idity. #referring the cum ersome @Woodenheadedness@ and ne9s#ea6ish @Un9isdom@. $a) Jemmerich had Aus der Geschichte der mensch#ichen Dummheit #u lished in +/+*. Follo9ing Ceo#old. y Irving C. 9ealth. "r. %o9ever. 9hile our cronies do the same thing ecause it is a fiscal im#erative. Tuchman.F When considering @Stu#idity@. The term may e used to designate a mentality 9hich is considered to e informed. $a). y Walter (it6in. In +/+/. that 9hite men 9ere su#erior in stu#idity. IstvOn DOth2&Lgh. it 9as misnamed. elongs on the shelves ne)t to the volumes <ust cited.

each generation finds a ne9 9ay to mess itself u# ecause 9e do not ehave even li6e 6no9ledgea le rats. As 6no9ledge accumulates. Although there are very fe9 s9orn Dationalists left. -or could they a##reciate ho9 9asteful it 9as to divine #hiloso#hical systems 9hich 9ere internally consistent ut functionally useless ecause they e)isted only in s#lendid isolation. Jno9ledge accumulates= 9isdom does not. regardless of ho9 de ilitating that may e. confusion as to the relationshi# of 9isdom to 6no9ledge im#eded our understanding of ourselves for years. Oddly enough. Bod vs. one that is overe)#anded and overe)tendingF. An internally consistent schema may e re#ressively flat to the #oint of oredom for those 9ho hold it 9hile eing maniacally disru#tive to those around them. T9o hundred years ago. stu#idity is most often a limited and limiting e)#erience #attern Eor. In fact. In fact. meaning 9ise. Worse yet. every one of them is y one standard or another. There are really t9o de#endent as#ects to schematic stu#idity' one is that a schema induces stu#idity. Something going on in the environment is not matched in the cognitive 9orld ecause the e)isting schema is too emotionally entrenched to #ermit an accurate a##raisal of incoming data. it and they may lose out to more ins#iring elief systems of com#eting grou#s. sometimes. in that each is a com#romise of the eliefs u#on 9hich a society is ased. so do misconce#tions. eliefs. the "evil. Dationalists elieved that as 9e learned more a out our 9orld 9e 9ould ecome 9iser. Dationalists thought that #eo#le dealt 9ith reality in an analytical. evil. As for a schema eing stu#id.#erce#tual 9orld of @A@ and @-ot A@. etc. Further. They did not #erceive healthy ehavior as a alance or lending of social needs 9ith environmental conditions and grou# goals. even a schema of @O#en2mindedness@ can e stu#id if it inhi its the develo#ment of clearer #erce#tions and an a##reciation of the etter ideas among those availa le. 9e still learn #retty much as do rats. These do as much to sha#e our ehavior as do immediate circumstances. For all our vaunted s6ills in communication. so the la el @Stu#idity@ may e)#ress nothing more than a tem#oral estimate made according to ar itrary standards su <ectively a##lied to e)isting conditions. As a #henomenon. changes through time may alter #re<udiced evaluations. the mind is an instrument for elief :not for 6no9ing nor for learning ut for elieving:and usually. Almost every schema induces stu#idity in that a schema is a elief system 9hich inhi its the formation of com#eting eliefs. hostile ideas and discomforting #erce#tions. forms of ehavior and everything else e>ually. su#erstitions and idiotic ideas and eliefs of all sorts. it is caused y a elief loc6ing the formation or function of one more relevant to given conditions. It is really this motivational dynamic of our social nature 9hich ma6es our ver al schemas inherently malada#tive and us so chronically stu#id. it 9as #resumed that #eo#le sought to understand their 9orld and 9ould eventually achieve an accurate and internally consistent #icture of its com#le)ities. This is the chief dra9 ac6 of the li eral schema. First and foremost. many students of human ehavior are still encum ered y the flattering assum#tion that #eo#le are reasona le and 9ise:as in *omo /sapiens/. schemas 9hich dominated and then died litter the y9ays of history. 9ith emotions under the direction of cognitive factors. 9hich tends to treat all cognitions. it functions to maintain a schema. If a schema cannot motivate #eo#le to do anything more than <ust elieve and e)ist. At the other e)treme. That elief is no longer tena le. In any case. The Dationalists could not com#rehend the nature of stu#idity. and the other is that a schema is stu#id. since it is through our cognitive 9orld that the stimuli 9e #erceive are inter#reted. the ideas it #romotes and the ehavior it #ermits. reasona le manner. In the eighteenth century. it 9as e)actly such effete thin6ing . It 9ould e much easier for us to understand and acce#t this 9ere it not for our conce#tual legacy from the Age of Deason. 9ith little 9isdom #assed on from one generation to the ne)t and even less develo#ed through education. intelligence or humanity ecause they vie9ed the universe as an e)#ression of ideals in logical conflict 9ith their o##osites:good vs.

The #ro lem can then e divided into #arts through controlled dissociation. Delevant facts may then e integrated in an assem ly reflecting functional relations. etc. If organized. Inattentiveness can lead to the confusion of unrelated events. $ore im#ortant. and although Jant never >uite got around to saying so. the #erce#tions may e faulty. a solution can e found through imaginative integration of ver al sym ols into a ne9 synthesis leading to an im#roved relationshi# 9ith the environment. they may e mani#ulated in a faulty fashion Enot at all or too muchF y an imagination 9hich is too 9ea6 or too strong. As #sychologists have een una le to formulate an o#erational definition of intelligence. The ehavioral res#onse may not e tested. First. a #erson may e <udged a @Success@ according to 9ealth. The Teutonic schemas 9ere eautiful in their logical consistency. %o9ever. or there may e an ina ility to isolate factors from events 9hich are concurrent ut unrelated. The #erceived facts must then e coded in a conce#tual shorthand E9ordsF 9hich lend themselves to mental mani#ulations.e.that characterized the unenlightened Bermanic revival of the ancient Bree6 tradition of im#ractical #hiloso#hy in the eighteenth century. Our ias is inherent in our schemas. 9hich ma6e us oth ar itrary and su <ective. a situation must e #erceived as a #ro lem. It is crucial to ear in mind that the use of the term @Intelligent@ or @Stu#id@ to descri e a #ro lem solver de#ends on the degree of success or failure #erceived. they may e disorganized. humans have #roved to e rather iased <udges. ehavior may e guided y an ina##ro#riate schema. Of course failure might also result from the influence of un6no9n factors on those 6no9n and understood. At the grandest level of generalization. as in so many others. even 9hen a relevant schema is o#erative. information may e ignored. The selection of the s#ecific criterion used is culturally #redetermined y the <udge. Finally. Kngland ruled the seas. the scientists in their structured roles and carefully controlled la s have een una le to do any more than the Dationalists to render analysis of the ne ulous conce#ts of human nature and intelligence @Dealistic@. . there are only t9o valid criticisms of #ure reason :one is that it is #ure= the other is that it is reasona le. France ruled the land. lac6 of success might e due to the fact that the #eo#le involved are not even see6ing a solution to the given #ro lem. We are ar itrary in the selection of criteria y 9hich 9e <udge. stu#idF. it may e misa##lied in any num er of inventive 9ays. For e)am#le. they might sim#ly ma6e an emotional res#onse 9hich is directed more to9ard relieving tension than finding a long2 term solution to the situation confronting them. This concise summary of the #ro lem solving #rocess contrasts shar#ly 9ith a com#ara le consideration of the many faces of stu#idity. functionally valua le and intellectually valid. Unfortunately. It may e illogical Eand therefore irrelevantF or too logical Eand therefore una##ealingF. ut they did not relate to anything real. $ista6es might cancel each other out ut more #ro a ly com#ound each other. they may e misinter#reted. Unsuccessful ehavior is o viously li6ely to result from any error in the #ro lem solving #rocess. If accurate. If #erceived.. First. This is assumed to indicate intelligence and can e ro6en do9n into a num er of identifia le com#onents.s ac6ground and com#letely ar itrary Ein that t9o <udges sitting side y side may disagree due to their ac6groundsF and often irrelevant Ei. In that age. status. (oor language s6ills can contri ute to the formation of slo##y sym ols and clumsy conce#tions. or it may e #oorly tested. #o9er. In this matter. If they do indeed #erceive a #ro lem as such. num er of children. health. they have had to settle for trying to solve the #ro lem of @(ro lem solving@. If correctly inter#reted. and Bermany ruled the air.

su <ective <udgments are made. One of the fe9 consistent things a out #eo#le is that 9e very seldom inter#ret our o9n ehavior as stu#id. there 9ould undou tedly e much less stu#idity. To continue 9ith the e)am#le cited a ove. $any of these 9ere really <ust accidental and in no 9ay due to foresight. -o one sat do9n to discover fire. a #olitician 9ould #ro a ly <udge success y the criterion of #o9er. Usually. @If you drin6. 9hereu#on it #rom#tly shriveled u# and died. o vious lesson to e dra9n from 9hat 9e #erceive and do. !olum us searching for east Asia and Frenchmen follo9ing the cod. you 9on. and then. 9hatever stu#idity is. Kach #erson dra9s his o9n conclusions to suit himself. 9e tend to ecome etter ada#ted to ourselves than to our environment. First. As 9e are inclined to assume credit for anything #ositive and attri ute lame else9here for anything negative that occurs around us. Over +33 years of un iased scientific studies have conclusively demonstrated that 9e are ar itrary creatures inca#a le of ma6ing un iased studies. as is illustrated y a #ro a ly a#ocry#hal anecdote a out a confrontation et9een an alcoholic all#layer and his reform2minded manager. since 9e can dra9 the damndest conclusions as to 9hat is going on in our #erce#tual 9orld. model fails. The 9orm 9riggled around >uite ha##ily until #laced in a second glass containing alcohol. these indicate only that human ehavior is so varied that it can e inter#reted according to any num er of standards to su##ort any num er of causal e)#lanations. @Sure. in that money can e counted. <udgment is iased y the e)isting schema. 9ith ar itrariness and su <ectivity contri uting to the usually self2confirming result. es#ecially 9hen 9e are involved in it. ut clever accountants can render financial affairs su <ective y a little creative finagling. The first is that the only thing 9e can really 6no9 a out ourselves is that 9e cannot really 6no9 anything a out ourselves. as <udging ehavior is such an inter#retive #rocess. 9ealth lends itself to o <ective measurement. $ore s#ecifically. America 9as discovered y -orsemen lo9n off course. the mind sha#es #erce#tions according to a given emotional dis#osition.s schema im#oses on his e)#eriences and #erce#tions. 9ith e)#eriences commonly teaching us lessons 9hich are inherently iased to9ard the e)isting schema. 9e tend to favor e)#lanations 9hich confirm our sense of self2esteem. the evaluation of a #erson. 9e often attri ute to intelligence significant discoveries sim#ly ecause they are considered ma<or achievements in the develo#ment of civilization. Ta6en together.t have 9orms. it is easy to la el an act as @Intelligent@ if it can e and is construed as successful. If you need evidence of our ar itrary nature. and this is 9here the ehaviorists. criteria for <udgment are ar itrarily selected. revie9 the more than *03 com#eting and often conflicting theories a out human nature 9hich have een #ro#osed y ehavioral scientists. In general.@ re#lied the #layer.The fact that 9e are so consistently ar itrary has t9o ma<or im#lications for the student of stu#idity. %o9ever. !onsistent 9ith humanity. 9hereas an industrialist might <udge y 9ealth. The manager called the #layer into his office one afternoon and #laced an earth9orm in a glass of 9ater. Kvery ste# "alton too6 to his atomic theory 9as either 9rong or .@ The single. o vious lesson to e dra9n here is that there is no single. It is this #ositive feed ac6 system et9een our <udged actions and eliefs 9hich induces us to #ersist in ehavior 9hich others construe as stu#id ut 9hich 9e consider as necessary or intelligent. <ust 9hat e)actly is eing re9arded or #unished Eand even 9hat constitutes success or failure:or even 9hat constitutes a re9ard or #unishmentF is never >uite clear. In the iased 9orld of ar itrary <udgments. it is induced y the iased <udgments a #erson. Were 9e to do so. %o9ever. @See that?@ e)claimed the manager. #articularly of our o9n ehavior.s tendency to flatter itself. The second ma<or im#lication of ar itrariness is that it #ractically guarantees 9e are going to e stu#id ecause it inhi its our recognition of 9hat stu#id ehavior is. 9ithin that limited conte)t. Although success is a re9ard and failure is a #unishment.s mentality according to the results attained y his ehavior can e grossly misleading. Of course. #lanning or directed thin6ing.

logically inconsistent. EOf course.F Karlier. %o9ever. We 9ould e most successful in understanding ourselves if 9e not only as6ed the right >uestions correctly ut had no #redetermined criteria for defining our results. %o9ever. One o vious #ro lem is that the >uestioners have human minds. in a general sense. and our #rofoundest discovery 9ill e that intelligence and . Why stu#idity? Because it is u i>uitousM Because it is eternalM Because it has een neglected and ignoredM Because it is found in over9helming a undance in every #hase and facet of the human e)#erience. and #eo#le are la eled @Intelligent@ 9hen the strategy em#loyed in #ro lem solving suits their s6ills and #roves to e successful. Failure may #ro#erly e regarded as stu#id 9hen it is caused y the a##lication of an ina##ro#riate schema or the misa##lication of an a##ro#riate schema to a #ro lem. efforts to elucidate the underlying schematic #rocess have yielded little ut confusion for centuries on end. in ehavioral terms. this 9ill not e a alanced account of human ehavior ut an attem#t to redress an e)isting im alance. our most #rofound interest is not in the incidental rea6do9n of relevant schemas ut in the inherently deleterious nature of the social #syche 9hich tends to ma6e all elief systems and their ehavioral sets malada#ted to each other and the environment. the term @Stu#idity@ is often used to indicate a ehavioral strategy that failed. 9ith ignorance eing the aversion to gather more. The amount of 6no9ledge in a system can y indicated on a scale e)tending from agnostic Ehaving no dataF to gnostic Ehaving all relevant dataF. etc. This is the source of logic Ethin6ing in ordered ste#sF. Overall efficiency of the system is measured relative to the achievement of @A##ro#riate@ goals. 9hen 9e use mathematical sym ols rather than 9ords to facilitate com#le). We 9ill analyze not only ho9 #eo#le succeed ut ho9 they fail. effective reaction strategies. the resultant models fail to reflect the entirety of the human condition ecause of our ina ility to >uantify social values and s#iritual intangi les. @Intelligence@ is the la el a##lied to the successful a##lication of a schema relevant to a given #ro lem in a #articular conte)t. a com#ounding occurs 9hen an ina##ro#riate schema is misa##lied. When using 9ords. ut if they do not. e)ce#t as a to#ic in #sychology te)ts and <ournals 9here it is over9helming y its a sence. com#uterized thought. mis#erceiving data. 9hich means that analysis tends to e oth linear and iased.F 9hich can contri ute to malada#tive ehavior. and it #uts us at a disadvantage 9hen trying to understand the com#le)ities of nature. this investigation of ho9 the human mind 9or6s 9ill em#hasize stu#idity. as most of us do. Of course. -evertheless. a failure really does not reflect stu#idity if it 9as due to the influence of un6no9a le factors. although all failures are not necessarily stu#id.. at most. -one of these e)em#lifies intelligence. The functional strategies availa le as #ossi le co#ing res#onses are determined y #ast e)#erience and #erceived circumstances.e. and the discovery of #enicillin 9as made #ossi le y slo##y la techni>ue. We 9ill consider #eo#le not only as #ro lem solvers ut as #ro lem creators. this a##roach is clearly of limited value in the study of the living 9orld. then to 9hat does the term @Intelligence@ refer? @Intelligence@ is the a ility to #rocess information efficiently:meaning. Although the la els @Intelligence@ and @Stu#idity@ are easy to a##ly in everyday life. #eo#le can thin6 of. that data are related to relevant. our trium#hs in unraveling the secrets of the #hysical universe have een #ossi le ecause 9e can hold all other conditions steady 9hile 9e selectively alter one varia le at a time and o serve de#endent reactions. (erha#s it is time to consider the #ossi ility that something is 9rong 9ith the >uestions eing as6ed or the >uestioners as6ing them. We 9ill e)amine ho9 human ehavior can e oth ada#tive and malada#tive. Thus. On the other hand. 9hether they are e)#licitly intended or su consciously hidden. faulty sym olizing. Thus. 9e revie9ed riefly the mechanical malfunctioning Ei. only one thing at a time. ignoring data. By 9ay of contrast. For e)am#le. in 9hich the dynamic interde#endence of systems is really the #ro#er su <ect for investigation.

Usually. more to the #oint of our analysis here. a #erson may 9orry himself sic6 if he is unfortunate enough to 6no9 a out a threatening situation over 9hich he has no influence 9hatsoever. Ci6e9ise. getting the ne)t fi) is most com#elling and in his immediate. Just as many factors related to information #rocessing may render a schema malada#tive. Since determining malada#tivity de#ends so much on the ar itrary selection of the referent time scale and the standards and #ers#ectives for <udgment as 9ell as the su <ective evaluations of the <udges. having 6no9ledge can e malada#tive. When considering the 9ays y 9hich the human mind #rocesses information. ut 9e shall focus on three ar itraryGsu <ective facets im#ortant to understanding stu#idity:information #rocessing. that et9een stu#idity and ignorance is usually reci#rocal. although a #erson may 6no9 his drug addiction is malada#tive over the long haul. stu#idity may 6ee# #eo#le ignorant y inhi iting ehavior 9hich 9ould #ermit corrective learning. . "ata #rocessing systems are most malada#tive 9hen they ma6e dysfunctional associations among its of information. Stu#idity also results 9hen information that is #resent and correct is misem#hasized or misinter#reted.g. li6e @Jno9ing@. For e)am#le. short2 term est interest. The relationshi# of 6no9ledge to stu#idity is very circumstantial. although there may e some social advantage to certain cognitive indiscretions. The #erson 9ho ignores 9arnings of an im#ending disaster e)em#lifies the condition of eing data2dum . -or should stu#idity e vie9ed as a disru#tion of an @Intelligence mechanism@. When #eo#le interact 9ith their environment. Ignorance often e)ists ecause a schema loc6s learning relevant to survival. ut there is certainly no advantage in eing overloaded 9ith useless information. ut 9hile these la els indicate o##osite evaluations. and it can e construed as stu#id andGor intelligent de#ending u#on the circumstances and the <udges. certainly com#licates the relationshi# of 6no9ledge to stu#idity. the more successful his ehavior is li6ely to e. If #eo#le sim#ly do not have relevant information availa le to them in a #erceiva le form. While it may e to a com#any. a misinformed #erson misinter#reting inaccurate data. more #rofound 6inds of stu#idity are #roduced from a com#le)ing of different #ossi le source errors:e. they are eing self2dece#tive and #ro a ly stu#id. $ilitary history. On the other hand. they are eing @"ata stu#id@. A #articular act can e construed as @Intelligent@ or @Stu#id@ de#ending u#on the #erceived degree of success achieved. they are agnostic. Stu#idity is thus made more li6ely 9hen there is not enough information Ea #arty is to some degree uninformedF. Worse yet.stu#idity are not o##osites ut si lings:that they contrast 9ith one another li6e t9o faces on the same coin. if they ignore availa le information to the im#airment of schematic accuracy. #rovides a litany of 9arnings unheeded or misconstrued. 9hen there is too much EoverloadedF ut most commonly 9hen it is 9rong EmisinformedF. Our self2dece#tive nature tends to ma6e us stu#id and. if they misinter#ret information. Thus. so is the determination of @$alada#tation@ another very ar itraryGsu <ective facet of the general co#ing mechanism of the mind. Of course. %o9ever.s advantage to control more than a fair share of resources. the more one 6no9s a out a situation. This co#ing mechanism is multidimensional. this may e malada#tive for its su##orting culture. If the relationshi# et9een stu#idity and 6no9ledge is circumstantial. they do not indicate different cere ral #rograms. #articularly. it. a #ositive feed ac6 system may then ma6e ehavior increasingly malada#tive to the environment. it is im#erative to remem er that the normal cognitive state is that of self2dece#tion. #articularly if one has no co#ing res#onse availa le.. There is a co#ing Eor res#ondingF mechanism in action. their ehavior is directed y a schematic cognitive #rogram. EmalFada#tation and relevance. Instead.

of course. Finally. Thus can a #olicy e oth ada#tive and malada#tive. it may e >uite easy to recognize. irrelevant 9ays. as the Shah of Iran. and at least not detrimental to the environment. It can #ointedly disru#t communication and ad<ustment to other human systems. usiness grou#. and stu#idity is ehavior counter2#roductive to the 9elfare of the #erformer. a ehavioral trend goes to a self2de2feating e)cess. eneficial to humanity in general. Its record in #romoting #ollution and the desecration of nature is unsur#assed in the annals of government. it 9as an ideal solution to a real #ro lem. The develo#ment of the tele#hone might serve as an e)am#le of an invention 9hich 9as a success all three 9ays.s o9n est interest may e malada#tive in the e)treme. $alada#tation usually indicates that the co#ing mechanism really is not @!o#ing@ ut is sim#ly res#onding in counter2#roductive 9ays. Such e)cesses usually indicate a #o9er structure caught u# in the neurotic #arado)' e)cesses are #romoted as entrenched values oth reinforce esta lished #atterns of ehavior and render criticism less li6ely and less effective. #olitical re#ression and human e)#loitation are all e)am#les of malada#tation induced y the inherent tendency of cultures to function as #ositive feed ac6 systems. As a ottom line. As indicated a ove. In reality. In a more common ut less s#ectacular fashion. On non2 recycled #a#er. etc. no ma<or negative im#act on the environment 9as suffered. %o9ever. a #olicy engenders ne9 #ro lems as it solves the old y em#hasizing success in the first. $r. The first is an individual system:a #erson. @Self2interest@ is really the final criterion of <udgment. The ne)t is the social conte)t of the su##orting culture:other individuals and grou#s. The American industrial com#le) is a #rime e)am#le of a dynamic association of similar organizations concentrating on their o9n short2term enhancement 9hile contri uting to the demise of the common life su##ort system for general society. Is ehavior malada#tive for an individual? %is reference grou#? The environment? Behavior can e malada#tive relative to any or all of these referents. it 9as ta6en over y the industries it 9as designed to control. If it is difficult to generalize a out and define malada#tation. su <ective <udgments may e #redetermined y the ar itrary selection of the referent itself. A system can e internally inconsistent. In any situation. individuals may alter their <udgments a out a #olicy as they ecome a9are of une)#ected and clearly negative results. and it can #revent accurate feed ac6 from the environment. Bell and his family #ros#ered= society 9as #rovided 9ith s#eedier communication= and. It is most easily dismissed as a misnomer' it should e called the Industrial (rotection Agency or the Knvironmental (ollution Agency. there is the ultimate ar iter of fitness: the #hysical environment. to the long2term detriment of the ca#acity of nature to sustain the human e)#eriment. nonada#tive ehavior indicates that the co#ing mechanism is res#onding in 9asteful. a dominant su grou# controls its su##orting culture and may e living eyond the carrying ca#acity of the general society. In a short time s#an. the #ursuit of one. Usually.s res#onse to the #ollution and e)#loitation of our natural resources 9as the Knvironmental (rotection Agency. the determination of relevanceGirrelevance re>uires oth ar itrary . Technological overdevelo#ment. An intelligent #olicy is one 9hich is advantageous to the #erformer. Over a longer time s#an. and -icolae !eausescu of Domania found. e)ce#t for some unsightly 9ires. Ferdinand $arcos of the (hili##ines. When attem#ting to determine 9hether an act is ada#tive or malada#tive. In most cases. limited category at the e)#ense of the others. The government.turns out to e a rather im#recise guide for determining 9hether or not an act is to e deemed stu#id. a #attern of ehavior can e construed as ada#tive y those 9ho #rofit from it 9hile it is condemned y those 9ho must endure it. there are thus three concentric fields for ehavioral ada#tation. team. !ommonly. in 9hich case it is malada#ted to itself.

Behavior is invaria ly inter#reted in a conce#tual conte)t. They are usually considered malad<usted and are not.@ As 9ith a oons. a #atriotic ha96 construes a !ongressional vote for a large defense udget as lauda le. If ehavior is not dictated y necessity. #ur#ose can e created y a commitment to grou# norms. Indeed. human ehavior is sha#ed y an o##ortunistic schema 9hich is consistent only in the ease 9ith 9hich it yields to immediate circumstances. the #ur#ose of a doctor as6ing. 9hereas a frugal2minded economist 9ould regard the same act as fiscal madness. it is #ro a ly a cultural thro9a9ay. With regard to an o <ect. The final criterion y 9hich relevance is <udged is that of #ur#ose. Of course. In general. ad<usted to the cultural values society has enshrined as sacred. In such cases. If a friend and an enemy do the same thing. In terms of the e)am#le <ust cited. The conte)t of an o <ect or ehavior does much to determine:indeed. Because the <udgments concerning the condition of @Jno9ing@. t9o different inter#retations are li6ely. Unfortunately. Acce#ting grou# standards can e stu#id in that it defines ad<ustment in terms of a single. When the #ur#ose is sim#ly to survive. a #olitical ally voting for a large defense udget is #atriotic. The #rocess egins 9hen an initially successful #attern of ehavior ecomes routine= 9hen it serves to loc6 innovation. !hurchill o served' @A a oon in a forest is a matter of legitimate s#eculation= a a oon in a zoo is an o <ect of #u lic curiosity= ut a a oon in your 9ife. In a similar 9ay. Deformers 9ho then call for im#rovements in the schema are regarded as a source of distress. 9hen a leader s#onsors a #ro#osition. #ersonnel Ethe #eo#le 9ho act andGor <udgeF and #ur#ose. The ar itrary criteria y 9hich relevance may e <udged are' conte)t. totally ar itrary value system. The one vie9s the #urchase of vast amounts of military hard9are and the maintenance of a siza le military force as necessary for national security= the other considers the money s#ent as an intolera le drain on our financial resources. ar itrary #ersonal considerations #lay a ma<or role in evaluating the relevance of ehavior. develo#ment ceases and is re#laced y stagnation. so 9ith ehavior. life is a moment to moment struggle for short2term e)istence. In his office. conte)t is not merely a matter of #hysical location. it is li6ely to receive a favora le reaction from his follo9ers. Such a schema might e la eled @$eismG-o9ism@ as any other morality is sim#ly an unafforda le lu)ury. There is often a real cultural loss 9hen attention afforded an innovation and its considered 9orth ErelevanceF are oth only secondarily determined y its inherent 9orth. it #romotes failure. The status of the innovator may either add to or detract from the value an offering is accorded. It 9as <ust such a . ut it is the o server 9ho ar itrarily selects the conte)t in 9hich relevance is <udged. 9hereas an o##onent doing so is a rec6less s#endthrift. The critical factor is the relationshi# et9een the actor and the o server. the co#ing com#le) is #ractically #re#rogrammed for stu#idity. This social dimension is a ma<or determinant in grou#thin6' e. in fact. most schemas are directed to9ard maintaining a status >uo. ut 9hen it ecomes an end in itself. @%o9 are you?@ may vary 9ith the setting. This #articular 6ind of ve)ation is a gro9ing #ro lem today. 9ith no thought given to long2term ramifications of ehavior.. Thus. it #ractically defines:<ust 9hat its relevance is. Survival is a asic #ur#ose of life. they may e so committed to themselves that they self2destruct. For e)am#le. tragedy often stri6es 9hen 9e let 9ishful thin6ing #re<udice andGor #revent o <ective analysis of our interactions 9ith the environment. the #rocess of ada#tation and the nature of relevance are so ar itrary and su <ective. it is li6ely an initial #rofessional in>uiry' on the street. as Western !ivilization moves from ma6ing #eo#le e>ual in rights to similar in thought and ehavior. as Winston S.s ed is a cause of the gravest concern.decisions and su <ective <udgments.g.

If conditions have deteriorated to the #oint that a malada#tive course of action is the only one availa le. self2confirming attitude on the #art of -ASA officials 9hich contri uted to the disaster of the s#ace shuttle 0ha##en$er in January. To the e)tent that this is a valid #oint. Another condition thought to characterize stu#idity is @!ounter2#roductivity@. What 6ind of inconsistences? We are re9arded for lying and cheating. In the first case.s est com#romise of com#etence is to find an environment in 9hich a decent level of efficiency can e sustained over a long #eriod of time. survival and not stu#idity is the only consideration. most #eo#le are street 9ise enough to resolve such #arado)es #ragmatically y see6ing tangi le re9ards and leaving ethical considerations to the em#ty2handed. !om#anies s>uander millions on an e)ecutive. Stu#idity is commonly considered #ossi le only 9hen and 9here ehavior is o#tional. In a more #ositive vein. an overam itious system finds itself una le to co#e 9ith the #ro lems confronting it. In such a situation. In the second case. stu#idity can lead #eo#le into an environment or situation in 9hich they cannot function effectively ecause their ehavioral o#tions are unsuited to the conditions at hand. it is one of the 9onders of humanity that such ehavior can clearly e so common.gratifying. We are advised to e mee6 and hum le y the #o9erful and mighty. -ations slee# 9hile their enemies march.s #et #ro<ect 9hile re<ecting #roducts or im#rovements 9hich 9ould net them millions and more. The $orton Thio6ol engineers res#onsi le for the ru er seals EO2ringsF et9een the ooster roc6et segments sim#ly did not 6no9 if they 9ould function at the lo9 tem#eratures #revailing at the scheduled time of lift2off ecause they had never een tested under such conditions. +/48. the engineers. The #leasing. it is >uite easy to cite the conditions thought to characterize stu#id ehavior.s level of com#etence as to overreach it. im#rove their circumstances. On the other hand. this #roved to e an un9arranted assum#tion. uncontroverti le evidence to the contrary. Cife. On the other hand. the normal human mentality #rotects us from ourselves so that 9e cannot recognize the irrationality of our elief systems nor the inconsistencies et9een them and our ehavior. inconsistent. it is <ust as stu#id Ein the sense of eing 9astefulF to underreach one. to the e)tent that some healthy fantasies are realized. %o9ever. Unfortunately. it may have een some9hat stu#id to have ecome o)ed in in the first #lace. These sim#ly cannot #erceive their o9n ehavior as stu#id ecause it does not a##ear to e so in terms of their o9n schema. 9or6ing assum#tion 9as that everything 9as A2OJ unless there 9as clear. A #erson really could e <ustly accused of eing stu#id <ust for doing as he is told. For etter and 9orse. In the a sence of clear2cut data indicating li6ely malfunction. . With such cognitive aids. We commonly indulge ourselves y holding self2 serving. Usually. #aranoids defend themselves in the face of nothing. a system fails to develo# its #otential ecause it really is not challenged and therefore is not functioning as efficiently as it might. unrealistic eliefs 9hich characteristically contradict our ehavior. although our su#erego value system tells us 9e should e fair and honest. A stu#id schema #romotes its o9n demise y directing its devotees to ehave in 9ays @(erceiva ly@ in their o9n 9orst interest. #eo#le can live in mental 9orlds 9hich transcend reality and. Such cere ral ootstra##ing is common in humans and #rovides #ositive su##ort for the co#ing mechanism 9hich also can e so malada#tive. e)#ressed reservations and 9arnings of #ossi le malfunction 9ere lithely overridden y com#any e)ecutives and -ASA administrators committed to the launch schedule and hence #redis#osed to assume the seals 9ould 9or6. 9ith a reserve ca#acity availa le for co#ing 9ith emergencies. The cru) of the matter is that stu#idity is #erceiva le as such y all ut those engaged in it at the time. 9e may derive some #sychological and social enefits from the ar itrary and su <ective 9ays 9e misinter#ret our ehavior. Although recognizing stu#idity is a very ar itraryGsu <ective #rocess.

Any trite generalization in this regard 9ould have too many e)ce#tions to e of any real value. on the other hand. ut it hardly encourages inventive enter#rise. it might e said that an honest #erson #uts himself at a short2term disadvantage 9hen dealing 9ith liars. as caused y an irrelevant schema. It is interesting to note that all the a ove factors hit the smartest hardest. Such factors may e genetic or chemical. so even consistent stimuli may elicit chaotic res#onses.s (ollyannas. To the e)tent that schematic rigidity inhi its the ado#tion of corrective measures to reduce the causes of e)isting #ro lems. In searching for intrinsic causes of human im#erfections. Stu#idity is not a restricted form of intelligence ut a normal mental function in its o9n right and an e)#ression of our cultural rather than our genetic heritage. In addition. Usually. or 9here distances are for idding. ut 9hen change does come. as on the #lains.society loses not only y a dro# in general res#onsiveness of everyone ut #articularly from the loss of creative ideas from the right. in a relatively constant environment. seacoasts are areas of cultural interaction. if indeed any such thing ever e)isted. In such situations. There are. Thus. A sense of morality is a human universal. run the ris6 of finding their nefarious successes hurt them in the long run. cheats. esta lishing itself instead as a stum ling loc6 to functional res#onses. this cannot e ta6en as #roof of a genetic asis for the trait. Further. Where trans#ortation is difficult. The o##ressive heat and humidity in the $iddle Kast and much of India no dou t #layed a role in the develo#ment of the fatalistic indigenous religions. age and drugs may #lay roles as 9ell. as it could e the legacy of a common culture or. li6e fatigue. language #lays a ma<or role in determining the standards availa le for evaluating the morality of ehavior. An acce#ting.While failing to #erceive their o9n ehavior as stu#id. as in the mountains. can #lay an indirect role in the develo#ment of stu#idity. in that it allo9s a degree of ada#ta ility denied any strictly rational ehavioral system. as in the cases of drugs or #oisons. it ceases to e a guide at all. Thus. 9hich is caused y the many factors 9hich limit the cognitive s6ills of those 9ho test #oorly on conventional IA tests. When a schema finally does rea6 do9n under stress. In this 9ay alone do such factors contri ute to stu#idity. Some of the environmental factors 9hich reduce ada#ta ility are climate. eliefs are less li6ely to e challenged and ecome more firmly entrenched. other factors. Of course. %o9ever. These. Although stu#idity is a ehavioral universal. In an a solute sense. #honies and frauds. diet and disease. ut the rilliant can suffer greatly. a system runs the ris6 of rea6ing rather than ending. 9ith the many cultures differing only as to the s#ecifics of their various ethical codes. unfortunately for all the 9orld. $ost em#hatically. Kvery living system is going to e)#erience a certain amount of stress= it is in danger 9hen ehavior ecomes increasingly malada#tive as stress increases. any num er of environmental factors 9hich #romote malada#tive ehavior. The . in each and every case. The dull may get a it duller. ada#tation is then all the more difficult. it is most reasona le to egin 9ith a consideration of genetics. no sim#le and direct correlation et9een success and any one system of EimFmorality. Beogra#hy. of course. This occurs 9hen the schema ceases to e a guide for successful co#ing 9ith the environment. ne9 stimuli may elicit an outmoded reaction #attern or #erha#s none at all. #assive life style is ada#tive to such stultifying and sultry conditions in that it 6ee#s one from overheating. !limate has a more direct role in effecting stu#idity. stu#idity is not mental retardation. there is. Detardation may also e caused y head in<uries and infections. #eo#le usually do see themselves as morally <ustified as they #ursue their 9orst interests. for e)am#le. a function inherent in culture. more #ro a ly. stu#idity can e vie9ed as a short2term ada#tive strategy. fi)ed eliefs may e >uite functional. all such restrictions on the develo#ment of normal mental functions are irrelevant to the to#ic at hand. ut they really do not contri ute directly to stu#idity. At est.

When indulging in such stu#idity. in that one cannot afford to e too sensitive to the rigors of his surroundings. a culture tends to th9art the develo#ment of stu#idity. In the #ast. Whatever the conditions. our nutritional needs. Alcohol is one of our milder stu#efiers and may have made civilization oth necessary and #ossi le. ele#hants and mon6eys selectively eating fermented fruit E#resuma ly for the effect rather than the tasteF. y eing actively engaged 9ith the environment. relevant schema effectively. the standard rules no longer a##ly and emergency measures must e ado#ted if the system Eindividual or grou#F is to survive. for much of the year. $ore nota ly. under e)treme conditions. ignorance commonly en<oys a reci#rocal association 9ith stu#idity' this can ta6e the form of a #ositive feed ac6 system in 9hich ignorance egets stu#idity 9hich egets further ignorance. The @Soul@ is one of the longest2lived attri utes 9hich is alleged to se#arate us from easts 9hich seldom 6ill their o9n 6ind and never en masse. Thus. As 9or6ing is a 9ay of learning. If confusion is a stu#id state. 9e must e fast. Just 9hat the distinction is has long een a su <ect of s#eculation. although in different #ro#ortions. #eo#le have a tradition of deli erately stu#efying themselves artificially to hel# them esca#e self2im#osed stress. As if cultural stu#idity is not enough. In such a situation.tro#ics are stu#efying in that they afford too much food and comfort naturally and #rovide too little stimulus for #eo#le to develo# their #otential. Thus. the moderate and varying climates of the tem#erate zones encourage #eo#le to interact vigorously 9ith the environment as they ma6e continual ad<ustments to changing seasons. The esca#e afforded y alcohol from the long2term stress of concentrated associations of to9n life may have #ermitted the develo#ment of civilization. the harsher the environment. On the other hand. aggression and stu#idity: ut not distinct in 6ind from our fello9 creatures. Sometimes. callous. ut an alternative e)#lanation is that they gre9 grain for the #roduction of alcoholic everages. 9or6 9as a 9ay to 6ee# 9arm. An alternate vie9 is that 9e are indeed distinctive. The standard sa9 is that nomads settled do9n to cultivate grain for food. As mentioned a ove. insensitivity to the #oint of callousness can e an advantage. 9ith the hy#ersensitive sometimes rea6ing do9n under climatic and 9or6 induced stress duller com#atriots may hardly #erceive. In more general terms. While there are re#orts of irds. as 9ith learning. It may e e>ually stu#id for a #erson to e either too slo9 or too fast in reacting to a situation. stu#idity is the failure to a##ly the a##ro#riate. odily functions and ehavioral ha its are all considered ty#ically animal:#erha#s e)treme in some cases. any of the normally stu#id e)tremes may e the o#erational ideal. they usually dis#lay certain sym#toms characteristic of their condition. language is thought to e a distinguishing human characteristic. %o9ever. clarity in the e)#ression of trenchant thought can e offensive and thus stu#idly disru#t social coordination and coo#eration. Stu#idity can e due to as 9ell as cause oth insensitivity and hy#ersensitivity. some students of human nature aver that there is nothing >ualitatively distinctive a out our s#ecies' according to this vie9. so the climate encouraged an active 9or6 ethic. It is found in the animal 9orld ut is limited in oth degree and 6ind. in all animal s#ecies. Judging 9hen conditions are a normal enough to re>uire the a normal res#onse is one of the ultimate su <ective tests anyone can face. Kven 9ithout artificial stu#efiers li6e alcohol and narcotics to hel# them. the more stu#idity is #romoted. By 9ay of contrast. 9e are <ust a #articular lend of many traits commonly found. rec6less or other9ise intem#erate. #eo#le routinely achieve irrelevance y adhering to or see6ing out a malada#tive schema. Other sym#toms of stu#idity are often o##osite e)tremes rac6eting functional means. #eo#le drug themselves en masse. and it is:as long as it is defined as the 9ay . it is interesting to note that humans are e)treme in their cultivation of stu#idity. While considering e)tremes.

s schema for action. *. It suggests that organisms may e #re#rogrammed to learn certain ehaviors as #art of their normal develo#mental #rocess. verte rate ehavior favors individual and in2grou# survival at the e)#ense of the e)tended society. given it a distinctly human t9ist. The res#onses of adults of a s#ecies 9ill thus e similar to the degree that they share similar genes and e)#eriences and different to the degree that the general #atterns of ehavior can e refined y uni>ue e)#eriences of each individual. Stu#idity ha##ens to e one of those many ty#es of ehavior 9hich 9e share 9ith our relatives. Birds. Outside the la . drag the victim to the nest. drones drone. the #rogram may e very limited and 6eyed tightly to a fe9 critical environmental stimuli. it runs to com#letion.s evolutionary #ast. While higher verte rates can e individualistic. as long as there is no scientist around to #lay Bod. The common feature in all cases of stu#idity is that a given #rogram of res#onse loc6s a more relevant reaction. In the event of divine intervention 9ith any ste# in the ritual. no choice in the matter. Usually. the same learning #attern is found' it can learn to #ress a ar to o tain food ut cannot learn to #ress a ar to avoid a shoc6. 6ill some form of #rey. than6s to language. This is the #henomenon of @(re#aredness@ and is e)em#lified y the facility 9ith 9hich irds learn to fly and #eo#le learn to s#ea6. While @(re#aredness@ indicates a #ositive legacy from an organism. The usual routine of the female is to dig a nest. It is im#ortant to note that the #rocess of learning. and H. the #rey is removed from the nest after the eggs have een laid ut efore it is sealed. @(re#aredness@ and the Barcia Kffect suggest that learning can e #romoted or inhi ited y a #re#rogrammed mental set in an organism. The only reason this is not considered a classic e)am#le of stu#idity is that the 9as# has. it 9ill e sealed any9ay. This is the effect of the schema on humans:it ma6es learning of certain things easier and others more difficult. the rest of the ehavioral #rogram 9ill e continued lindly. although it has een rendered #ointless. a##arently. In insects. 9ith no ad<ustment to information feeding ac6 from the environment. animals of all 6inds may e fooled y mimicry and deceitful dis#lays of mem ers of their o9n and other s#ecies.humans communicate. and it is usually >uite effective. for e)am#le. there is remar6a ly little individual variation.: ut 9ithin each caste. for e)am#le. The nest uilding ehavior of the digger 9as# #rovides a classic e)am#le of the ina ility of an animal ehavioral system to ad<ust to altered conditions. For a rat. In contrast to the #re#rogrammed nature of insect ehavior. Once the schema starts the se>uence of action. social ehavior of verte rates in general has een #romoted and achieved y +. "ifferences may a##ear among the caste grou#s of social insects li6e ees :9or6ers 9or6. may e tric6ed into #laying hosts to the eggs E9hich usually loo6 something li6e their o9nF and young of the scores of rood #arasites 9hich . This se>uence might e considered the insect. lay eggs on it Ethe larvae from 9hich 9ill feed on the carcass after the eggs hatchF. verte rates are characterized y an o#en genetic #rogram. dooming the offs#ring to a tragedy of larval dimensions. We have <ust #erfected it and. #lace it in the nest. The average #igeon 9ill learn to #ec6 a disc to o tain food ut 9ill not learn to #ec6 a disc to avoid a shoc6. is #reconditioned in many s#ecies y a iological dis#osition to learn actions that are crucial to survival. the Barcia Kffect demonstrates that there are iological #redis#ositions in some s#ecies to favor the learning of certain lessons over others in the la .F the formation of su grou#s 9ithin the general society. It is #re#rogrammed to follo9 a set #attern of ehavior. 9hich is so crucial to the verte rate 9ay of life.F #recision in recognizing and res#onding to individual grou#mates y the learning of idiosyncratic ehaviors. and then close the nest.F enriched communication systems. If. etc.

the #o9er of dullness made our last million years such a struggle and contri uted to our acce#tance of our struggling condition. they had to e res#onsive to emergencies and ready to ad<ust >uic6ly 9hen circumstances demanded a s#eedy and novel reaction. the #atterns of ehavior 9hich are learned in the routine of daily life may e malada#tive in a short2term emergency situation. refuse to learn or omit from rec6oning. young to the e)clusion of their o9n.. They had to e calm. This 9as demonstrated e)#erimentally y B. those 9ho reacted to cold. This asic duality of a long2termGconservative. The animals may sim#ly e dis#laying emotion and releasing tension 9ithout #resuming to influence that great chim# in the s6y 9ho ma6es it rain.g. Insensitivity #rovides a asis for stu#idity in that 9hat 9e do not 6no9 can indeed hurt us. At the same time. to the e)tent that #eo#le 9ere inured to suffering.e. the . For e)am#le. If alance 9as the 6ey to survival. and in e)actly the same 9ay. suffering 9as an acce#ta le 9ay of life and death. for 9hat 9e do not 6no9 cannot 9orry us. the hosts end u# rearing the #arasites. Ci6e9ise. rather than a reliance on num ers to carry the s#ecies through. In the case of the cuc6oo. short2termGinnovative mentality made each ste# in cultural ada#tation an o#timistic gam le at est. ut either e)treme Ei. To the e)tent that fighting and 6illing determined survival. a use and in<ustice died out. it 9as a alance of e)treme #otentials su <ectively a##lied to naturally and culturally selecting conditions' e. our ancestors had to e ada#ta le ut not too ada#ta le. lood and suffering 9as of survival advantage in our not so distant #ast. insensitivity to9ard 6illing. S6inner.s chim#anzees suggests a mental a ility to associate effects 9ith noncauses. ehaving as if they thought their actions caused the #roduction of food. insensitivity eased the 9ay. Thus. li6e the #rimates and #articularly ourselves. or so 9e li6e to elieve. %o9ever. the @Dain dance@ of Jane Boodall. As 9ith all of our other s#ecial traits. so one measure of stu#idity is 9hat 9e fail to consider:9hat 9e fail to #erceive. ut meaningful generalizations a out our #sychic evolution are difficult ecause 9e are a com#romise of all the incongruities of life.. Those 9ho 9ere insensitive to such conditions endured and transmitted their #assivity to their descendants. higher verte rates evince the cognitive ca#acity to live in a 9orld of fantasy. as it rarely 9as a solutely clear at the time of decision if conditions 9arranted a ne9 #olicy to deal 9ith the #ro lem at hand. the mammalian life style em#hasizes e)tended learning in fe9er. Further. acce#ting. %o9ever. on the other hand. the ehavior does not necessarily indicate the cognitive 9orld of the #erformers. human stu#idity is the culmination of a long train of develo#ment sha#ed y our evolutionary #ast. Thus. Ad<ustment of ehavior to novel necessity is very much a learned #rocess ty#ical of the more ada#ta le mammals.s @Su#erstitious #igeons@.F. This necessarily means there is a #remium on the ada#ta ility of the individual in times of crisis.infest the avian 9orld. thic62 s6inned and slo929itted to survive the harshness and oredom of daily routine. in this case as 9ell. This selective #ressure 9as some9hat alanced y the simultaneous elimination of those insensitive to immediate threats and dangers. Of course. Beyond sho9ing the a ility to co#e more or less successfully 9ith reality. In contrast to this long2term dis#osition. it is reasona le to assert that such ehavior indicates mammals can carry malada#tation to ne9 levels of confusion. rutality 9as a necessity and sym#athy a lu)ury. %o9ever relia le they may usually e. sensitivity to environmental stimuli is necessary for survival. slo9er develo#ing individuals in contrast to more rigid ehavior #atterns in s9arms or schools of >uic6er develo#ing insects or fish. 9ith the mean of sensitivity as the alanced ideal. In general. hy#oGhy#ersensitivityF can cause a stu#id res#onse. For e)am#le. The irds came to ma6e idiosyncratic <er6ing movements in res#onse to randomly scheduled food reinforcement. hunger.

do not change. the child can re#resent y mental image o <ects no longer in sight. he 9ill e forced to resort to reason 9hen the sacred and o ligatory rules are challenged y #eo#le 9ith other rules or y an amoral environment. in that o <ects sometimes do change and yet #eo#le 9ill cling to their original images rather than ad<ust to an altered reality. For a young child. This is the first ste# in the construction of a general religious elief system 9hich 9ill guide and limit future ehavior. The underlying. 9hatever they are. Whatever limitations culture may have. the individual 9ill find himself mista6enly trusting the untrust9orthy or sus#iciously dismissing honest #eo#le 9ith sincere intentions. 9hat a scra9ny little runt you areM@:and have the added advantage of #re#aring the child for the adult 9orld in 9hich accuracy is commonly sacrificed to di#lomacy. Statements contrary to the o vious may e more comforting than the truth:@$y. It is >uite common to say to a small child. Kven some adults never get eyond this stage. The 9onder of human culture is that anyone manages to gro9 u# 9ith anything li6e sanity and sense. 9ith routine #roviding a sense of safety in a 9orld 9hich is often strange and . Also at this time. it certainly is efficient at transmitting stu#idity from one generation to the ne)t Eas 9ell as develo#ing itane9F. the child is hel#less to esca#e the est efforts of his #arents to distort his self2image and sense of im#ortance. By this age. #arents are lind ecause they 9ant to e. As he matures. !hildren receive a asic lesson from their #arents and other adults 9ho gain some #eculiar #leasure in denying reality to them. !onsider the fact that most #eo#le start life 9ith the handica# of #arental love. A cognitive correlate of trust is the conce#t of o <ect #ermanence. They hate change. the child forms a asic information #rocessing schema. the child develo#s a fundamental sense of trust or mistrust. Their cognitive e)#ectations are very #recise. this is the lindest. 9hich is formed y the age of +4 months. The older child comes to realize that stated rules are e)#ressions of mutual agreement. the system of assumed 9orld order the young child inherits from his #arents is a moral necessity to him. and. In the first year. !lassifying and grou#ing the sym ols is accom#lished according to the s#ecific language of the social grou#. The age of t9o years is the age of language.s cognitive 9orld of ideas. This has #otential for stu#idity. %e then may e #ulled in a num er of directions 9hile trying to im#ose unity on the chaos of this e)#erience.human #syche 9as sha#ed for long2term tolerance and acce#tance of difficult conditions 9hile eing res#onsive to short2term challenges of the moment. indeed. a sense of rules and order also develo#s and undergoes transformation 9ith maturation. a rule is reality and is sacred ecause it is traditional. 9hich is another source of future stu#idity' later on. 9ith actions and o <ects eing re#resented y ver al as 9ell as visual sym ols. young children are really asically conservative. and for nearly t9o decades. Although the idea of rules may change. For all their inventive #lay. su##orting assum#tion is that o <ects are consistent:that they remain the same not only 9hen vie9ed from different angles or distances ut even 9hen they cannot e vie9ed at all. This is the #rocess y 9hich information is sorted and organized into categories 9hich may or may not reflect relevant relationshi#s found in the environment. the asic rules of life. As 9ith others 9ho love. and most of us get a dou le dose. Of all forms of emotionally induced lindness. Along 9ith the develo#ment of a child. as anyone 9ho has dared change a 9ord in a edtime story 9ell 6no9s. @What a ig oy you are@. different #erce#tions can e associated 9ith a #resuma ly constant o <ect. They are seen to function y #romoting social coo#eration through individual constraint. Thus.

F the self2conce#t. Although it can cause stu#id ehavior y the 9ay it oth functions and malfunctions.un#redicta le. Benerally.F the self2ideal and P. It is im#ortant to note that the schema #rovides a sense of security eyond its functional ca#acity to #rovide accurate #redictions of events. it ecomes the @!ognitive ma#@ of the individual. its common #resence indicates that the schema must also e.F ethical convictions. Whatever its fla9s. *. the more tenaciously the schema is held. H. truly ada#tive. -otes .F the 9orld2vie9. to a significant degree. the more uncertain the e)ternal 9orld a##ears.s reality and contains +.

fine tuning of itself even in cases 9here it remains a asically malada#tive ehavioral #rogram. Thus. it defines the mental life of the individual. If it hel#s to visualize this discre#ancy.. Assimilation is the #erce#tion of stimuli and the incor#oration of e)#erience into an e)isting schema= it is accom#lished y assigning an o <ect or #henomenon to an esta lished cognitive category. a #erson may freeze li6e a ra it transfi)ed y headlights.s range of cognitive ad<ustment. thin6 of the schema as a vee 9ith the ver al attitudes of the data trac6 re#resented y one arm articulating at a #oint 9ith the other arm re#resenting the normative attitudes of the ehavioral trac6. routine ehavioral acts and comments overla# at or near this #oint of contact. ver al conce#tsF and ehavior E#hysical actionF. there is often a discre#ancy et9een e)#ressed creeds and attendant activity.s voca ulary.s attem#t to reorganize his e)#erience into a system 9hich #rovides oth some assurance of #redicta ility and a asic strategy for ehavior. Such a situation is incom#rehensi le in that it cannot e evaluated and dealt 9ith 9ithin the conte)t of the e)isting schema. Accommodation is the change or modification of the schema due to the assimilation of ne9 information. In e)treme cases. %o9ever. The asis for inter#reting environmental stimuli is the schema:the cognitive #rogram EBer' 1e#tanschauun$F 9hich acts as a tem#late for #erce#tual e)#erience and #rovides e)#ectations and e)#lanations a out o <ects and their relations to each other. Thus. The distance et9een the t9o arms re#resents the emotional #otential uilt u# y a #erson trying to maintain a #ositive. The learning #rocess can e ro6en do9n into t9o interrelated ste#s' assimilation and accommodation. If the discre#ancy is more mar6ed. learning of novelty is made less #ro a le and more difficult y #reset #atterns of thought 9hich limit an individual. $inor ad<ustments and modifications of the schema are very common and occur 9ith little or no a9areness or emotional distur ance. 9here y esta lished e)#ectations are confirmed and reinforced and res#onses made more su tle. an event may e so totally une)#ected that there is no reaction. there may e no a9areness that a discre#ancy et9een creed and deed e)ists at all. While #roviding asic notions a out #rinci#les of nature and theories a out ho9 the 9orld 9or6s. the correlation et9een the t9o trac6s dro#s as circumstances ecome more challenging and the #erson ecomes more self2conscious. the schema oth fosters and inhi its further learning. As a frame of reference for information. The resulting schema is the individual. . "uring such an e)#erience.III) The Schema as Adaptive The rain of an infant may e the lan6 ta let envisaged y Coc6e. As the character of the maturing individual ecomes defined. When the emotional involvement is minimal Enear the #oint of the veeF. as defined y the individual.e. and the #erson e)#eriences the emotional discomfort of cognitive dissonance until ehavior can e redirected into more a##ro#riate forms or redefined in more acce#ta le terms. ideas and ehavior. the mind sha#es e)#eriences decreasingly according to immediate stimuli themselves and increasingly according to linguistic inter#retations of and emotional reactions to #erce#tions. "aily. the environment does not dictate human ehavior ut #rovides a conte)t for its e)#ression. su#erego image 9hile doing 9hatever must e done to co#e successfully 9ith the real 9orld. ut as it develo#s into the mind of an adult. $oving from the #oint of congruence to9ard the o#en end of the vee. emotional or #hysical. It is #articularly good at #romoting learning of refinement. it is sha#ed y oth e)#erience and language. the defense system falters. the schema encourages self2corrective. Although social intercourse #lays a role in structuring oth ideas Ei.

Finally. Actually.s o9n est interest. etc. Accumulated minor ad<ustments can add u# to a significant schematic alteration 9hich 9ould e traumatic if forced in one ste#. Such attitudes are data ased and #rovide a ver al 6no9ledge system to 9hich incoming its of information are com#ared or contrasted. !onformity is the standard and intellectual integrity a threat to short2term..s need to 6no9 a out the environment.an6ee fans. The determination of @Best interest@ thus turns out to e >uite an ar itrary #rocess. When the system. One of the saving graces of a schema is that it can easily ma6e minor ad<ustments: changes 9hich reduce rather than arouse emotional tension.s values are internalized. $ost im#ortant of all to students of stu#idity. attitudes may e rooted in a #erson. malada#tive ehavior:that is. For e)am#le. ad ne9s to anti2. ehavior counter to one. . immediate com#lacence. There are three factors 9hich may contri ute to the formation of attitudes. It is im#ortant to note that the creed of a grou# functions as a unifying force. This #oint is easily demonstrated y a #lay on a standard form of humor' @I have some good ne9s and some ad ne9s' the . and not #articularly amusing to anyone. is that it can interfere 9ith logical analysis of #ro lems. This is crucial if stu#idity is deli erate. Socialization internalizes this system so that it defines 9ho and 9hat a mem er is and does. and #erce#tion is s6e9ed to favor the schematic >uo. democracy. First of all. values and ideas 9hich the reference grou#. informed. As a young #erson matures or an initiate conforms. This #rocess is com#ara le to the gradual evolution of one s#ecies into another y the accumulation of genetic mutations.%o9ever. su##ressed or e)#ressed. This is good ne9s to . ho9ever. Along 9ith their function of evaluating information. It is y interacting 9ith the environment that #eo#le reveal their attitudes:the eliefs.an6ees 9on last night@. attitudes also act to #romote the achievement of goals deemed to e 9orthy. such systems are concrete e)#ressions of ideological creeds 9hich #romote grou# unity. This inherent com#romise is ty#ical of the human condition and dis#lays itself as emotional conflict. attitudes determine 9hat a #erson considers to e his @Best interest@. e)ternal re9ards and #unishments ecome antici#ated and ehavior ad<usts to #reconceived e)#ectations. To achieve and maintain a healthy alance. heroic Ecom atF or sim#ly accidental' the evaluation of the act de#ends very much u#on the circumstances and the attitude of the <udge.g.s language and norms have molded into a schema. as an individual matures.an6ee fans. attitudes may e e)#ressions of the value system of the individual and #rovide him 9ith the self2satisfaction of internal re9ards. (olitical and economic systems Ee.F are often misconstrued as descri#tive of ho9 societies interact 9ith their environments. in all ut the total conformist. Deason is used to rationalize. The asic #ro lem 9ith such an evaluation is that <udgment is so @Attitudinal@. necessity Eself2defenseF. One of the inherent dra9 ac6s of intense grou# loyalty. the e)treme case of homicide may variously e considered a crime EmurderF. there must e a dynamic trade2off et9een the short2 term social needs of the grou# and the long2term intellectual im#erative of information. the individual feels himself to e #art of a homogeneous grou# of #eo#le comforta le 9ith themselves regardless of 9hat they are doing. the #resence of the schema tends to dominate the #rocess of assimilation y defining #erce#tion in #rogressively restrictive terms and y the formation of attitudes 9hich evaluate #erceived data. Attitudes may also e ado#ted ecause of e)ternally a##lied social re9ards and #ressures of normative grou# influence. The unac6no9ledged goal of most grou#s is maintenance of the schema. Attitudes determine 9hether a given fact is construed favora ly or unfavora ly. to maintain self2esteem and to e)#ress vie9s. ca#italism. along 9ith ehavioral rituals 9hich are also inding.

9ith each #articular language necessarily iased and restrictive as it defines #erce#tions in terms of the s#ecific culturally determined categories to 9hich the encoded sym ols are attached. 9e fill out our ver al categories 9ith discrete items or events. ut as a correlated side effect. While ma6ing the human #syche uni>ue.s est interest may not e identified as such y a necessarily iased language system.$inor ad<ustment ma6e it #ossi le to retain the schema 9hile ehavior ada#ts to novel circumstances. !ollectively. Kach language segments the environmental continua Emotion. our ver al tradition #rohi its @Freedom of e)#erience@ from the human condition. certain salient characteristics 9hich mem ers of some #erceived grou# share in common Es6in color. there are dra9 ac6s. When 9e deal 9ith #eo#le. largely language de#endent. etc. 9hen #eo#le in @O##osing@ cultures e)#erience the same stimuli differently. feel and evaluate e)#erience. these #rovide the cognitive conte)t in 9hich mem ers of the language grou# thin6. On the other hand. For e)am#le. It is through 9ords that @Delevance@ is determined for each of us y our culture. including the e)#anded mental ca#acity to e oth very intelligent and very stu#id. usually. as it #ermits vague and am iguous leaders to do some9hat more or less than they should 9hile their follo9ers can elieve their cause to e sacred. for e)am#le.s cognitive 9orld Ethe ver al arm of the schemaF. every grou# is some9hat com#romised y the very human tendency to indulge in @Stereoty#ing@. ut the many grou#s of #eo#le ecome se#arated from each other ecause their different languages segment the common environment into different categories. color. The mechanism of successful schematic ada#tation to novelty is. individual variation may then e ignored and generalizing carried to the e)treme that all #eo#le 9ho can #ossi ly e #laced in a given #igeonhole are lum#ed together mentally under the la el for that category. it sha#ed the human #syche y the very nature of 9ords. It is the linguistic re>uisite for categorizing 9hich ma6es the human 9ay of e)#eriencing nature different from that of all other s#ecies.F are considered determining factors in evaluating the grou# in general. These are really audi le sym ols 9hich re#resent selected. For the sa6e of e)#edience. -ot only do 9e lose information to stereoty#ing. generalized as#ects of the environment. language is a code. In this sense. As the schema is formed. . as no one can esca#e the su <ective im#act that the s#ecific ver al values of his given reference grou# im#oses.s great religious and military conflicts had their origins in #erce#tualG#hiloso#hical differences of com#eting grou#s 9hich found they could not live in oth the same and different 9orlds. These enhance self2esteem y giving favora le inter#retations of the actions of the individual and his reference grou# and negative stereoty#es to rivals and o##onents. This is a #rocess of @Overgeneralizing@ to the #oint that im#ortant discrimina le e)#eriences are treated e>ually. accuracy and o <ectivity of #erce#tions are sacrificed for and y eu#hemisms. Such conflicts underscore the #oint that language functions as a @"efining system@ for #eo#le. As ne9 ehavioral norms emerge. sound. language. As 9e go through life. so too may an identity crisis or conflict gradually evolve as traditional values are de2em#hasized for the sa6e of grou# coo#eration in ne9 circumstances. This is ideal for a stu#id society. Although categorizing #ermits the streamlining of some #erce#tions for the sa6e of mental efficiency. This ias of the language system is ased on the descri#tive categories and la els used to construct a #erson. Canguage #ro a ly evolved as a means of #romoting grou# coo#eration. they often s>ua le a out their #erce#tions and reactions rather than enlightening each other 9ith com#lementary vie9s of the 9orld. etc. What may really e relevant to one.F into various ar itrary categories. as it is language that #rovides the asis for our cognitive life. religion. most of history. Sad to say. Only in su#erficial matters can alternative inter#retations e acce#ted as interesting or humorous 9ithout eing threatening. 9ith ehavior eing sha#ed y the structuring of our reactions to 9hat 9e construe to e relevant.

The change to a detached attitude and then to a dehumanizing outloo6 9as facilitated y the use of eu#hemisms. li erals and #ractically everyone else. social integration is all the rage. near missesF can e redefined out of e)istence 9hile fantasy #rovides a rosy #icture of 9hat self2serving e)#erts at the FAA EFlying Accidents AdministrationF can tric6 themselves into inter#reting and elieving. in dealing 9ith &ietnam. Thus. Thus. @Affirmative Action@.s est interest in those terms. accuracy of overall #erce#tion and o <ectivity of inter#retation are sacrificed to ver al a##eal as #eo#le focus on #articular stimuli at the e)#ense of others. some aviation accidents Eand even more so. While e)amining the role language #lays in the formation and functioning of the schema. @Boo6s@ 9ere to e converted into @Body counts@ y @Surgical air stri6es@ 9hich 9ere to #recede @(acification@. As a means of sharing e)#eriences. In contem#orary American society.s. although it is so commonly acce#ted as a goal that it is hardly ever even mentioned amidst the rhetoric a out @!ivil rights@. so no9 race is routinely re>uired to e a consideration in hiring and #romotional #rocedures. through long historical association. 9ith @Segregation@. encoded e)#eriences act as a asis for com#aring the #resent 9ith the #ast and for #ro<ecting future e)#ectations. A fe9 years later. Although it is a synonym for @"istinguishing@. Canguage further serves as a memory system. @"iscrimination@ has een e>uated. ut as a means of #ermitting #eo#le to tal6 to and a out themselves realistically. ma6ing the individual. In the #ursuit of @K>uality@. in that categorized. . Along 9ith defining e)#erience. it is too iased to allo9 accurate self2analysis. the !onstitutional mandate of @K>ual #rotection of the la9@ has een su verted. stereoty#ing. and contrary to a ruling of the Su#reme !ourt.s schema a #roduct of and contri utor to the grou# creed. language sha#es the schema y directing attention to certain facets of the environment 9hich are deemed im#ortant y the ver al value system. events of e)#ected significance receive the most attention and analysis:#articularly if they #ose either a serious threat to the schema or an o##ortunity for a trium#hant achievement 9orthy of the Su#erego Seal of A##roval. categorizing. language is >uite efficient. The a use of this last term in current language is most revealing a out #revailing am iguity in defining acce#ta le means of achieving an im#licit goal. -aturally. It 9as as difficult to argue against such strategy as it 9as easy to mis<udge American. ut those #assionately committed to integrating society have ta6en over the means of their historic adversaries. We should not forget that it also functions as a communication system. minority grou#s have ecome s#ecial favorites of la9s 9hich have ecome means for com#ensating them for #ast e)#eriences and current conditions. Kach language system has an inherent tendency to em#hasize certain e)#eriences 9hile others are trivialized. the -i)on administration had a similar #ro lem <udging its o9n est interest and literally got hung u# on the terminology of @K)ecutive #rivilege@ and @-ational security@. The 9orst that can e said a out language in this regard is that it allo9s #eo#le to remain firmly in touch 9ith their delusions. Dacial discrimination 9as su##osed to have ecome legally unfashiona le in the mid2+/83. defining. The -i)onians 9ere also easily dis#osed to use derogatory terms for the enemy:meaning the #ress. focusing and memorizing. @Women. 9e have considered it as a system for encoding. the Johnson administration egan 9ith a humanistic 9ay of thin6ing and tal6ing a out the 9ar ut ended u# follo9ing the lead of the military. What 9e no9 have in the field of @!ivil 9rongs@ is a rash of Affirmative Action la9s 9hich re>uire discrimination as a means of achieving integration.For e)am#le. the #rocess of memory formation is systematically s6e9ed off y omitting some events that ha##ened and including others that did not. Of course.s li @ and @"iscrimination@.

In the t9o dimensional 9orld of the schema. This changing of one. su##ression. undenia le #erce#tions may force an uncomforta le a9areness on an individual Eor discussions in a grou#F 9hich eventually lead to a ne9. he did. and if a 9ay of fitting them in can e found. living out the e)#ressed creed:that is. so in such situations.e. ho9ever. the schema #romotes co#ing 9ith some #ro lems 9hile limiting the a ility to recognize even the e)istence of others. 9hen the discre#ancy is so #ronounced as to ma6e #eo#le self2con2scious. etc. all routinely condoned and defined y the #revailing language system. language can ecome a arrier if #erce#tion and cognition ecome s6e9ed off and distorted for the sa6e of iased values. The vast ma<ority of #eo#le do almost all their learning in the immediate #resence of others 9ho serve as teachers or role models. numerous Freudian defense mechanisms Ee. A sense of elonging is one of the most com#elling factors in the human e)#erience and the feeling of isolation a tem#ering sensation un#leasant to most..s mind is the last resort. Interestingly enough. it 9ill e. so he 9as etrayed y the leaders of his o9n community. he endeavored to live u# to stated standards= unli6e most. In the a sence of 9histle lo9ers. and for most #eo#le. oth individual and grou# efficiency is enhanced. The social 9orld is really a sym olic environment of su <ective <udgments. language ma)imizes the #otential of a social grou# to coo#erate at 9hatever is acce#ted as necessary. If none can e found. .As a elief system. information from the reality of the ehavioral environment is often redefined y the social im#erative of language. In this case. as they are comforting and reassuring even 9hile they are misleading. A grou# is defined as @Individuals 9ho share a common set of norms. Ironically. and 9hen co#ing has to e treated as heresy. Ci6e most great re els. !hrist 9as crucified for fulfilling #ro#hesies and em odying ideals. al eit at the cost of im#roving the schema. Such a #erson may e a great model for the dis#ossessed ut is very dangerous for the esta lishment. %o9ever. it #romotes coo#eration among mem ers y inhi iting an a##reciation of e)actly 9hat it is they are doing or to 9hat e)tent they have either over2 or underdone it. re#ression. The usual reaction in such a situation is to @Save the schema@ at the e)#ense of learning a out and ad<usting to the environment. eliefs and values@ Ei. socialization #roceeds as initiates learn a##ro#riate ehavior and correlated linguistic values 9hich ma6e grou# mem ers out of an assem ly of individuals. %ence. An individual may find himself e)#eriencing momentary cognitive dissonance 9hen finding incoming data from the 9orld of @"oing@ contradicting or conflicting 9ith his ideology:the system of ideas uilt on his esta lished eliefs. ut social values are #refera le. The schema #romotes co#ing 9ith ac6no9ledged #ro lems if the discre#ancy et9een ver al eliefs and necessary ehavior is emotionally tolera le. 9ho are usually crucified to the degree that they live u# to the creed. and they had no difficulty recognizing 9hat course of action 9as in their o9n est interest. his 6ic6ing money lenders out of the tem#le 9as an e)#ression of his intolerance for organized im#urity. although it normally functions as a screen et9een #eo#le and their environment. For e)am#le. living u# to the ideals:can also e aggravating to the devout 9ho flout their eliefs in daily life.g. #articularly if it tends to isolate an individual from his social grou#.. (hysical reality may e a etter source of information. Thus. the data are usually re<ected y the defense mechanisms mentioned a ove. they res#onded in a manner re#resentative of any leaders 9ho 9ould e dis#laced if their #romises 9ere realized. #sychological and social disru#tion result from the delusive mental set of stu#idity. Thus. In more e)treme cases. The ehavior of any mem er is usually of conse>uence to all other mem ers. the social su##ort of the grou# is vital in that it defines e)istence. rationalization. more inclusive schema.F function to 6ee# individuals content 9ith their su#erego value systems. Incoming #erce#tions are com#ared to the esta lished schema. a schemaF.

a reference grou# is all the more effective in im#osing its values on mem ers if it surrounds their heads 9ith halos and arouses in them a sense of holiness. traditions. Of course. They are the customs. They #rovide the means grou# mem ers use to e)ert su tle and indirect #ressure on each other to thin6 and ehave a##ro#riately. Along 9ith sha#ing ver al attitudes into ethical values. As identity 9ith a grou# develo#s. a self2conscious sense of o edience to e)#ectation is re#laced y a devoted commitment to common values. it is 6no9n as his @Deference grou#@. The fully functional mem er is a colla orating com#onent of the grou# and contri utes to #er#etuating grou# norms y coo#erating 9ith colleagues. as#irations and goals of the mem ers. -orms function to induce conformity 9herever social organization is found.g. e)#ression and ehavior for the individuals 9ho consider themselves mem ers of the grou#. Such common e)#eriences #rovide the asis for the formation of attitudes 9hich e)#ress the emotional values of and ma6e certain 9ords loaded terms to mem ers Ee. The most effective eliefs structure oth the consciousness and the conscience of grou# mem ers. They then serve as the criteria that sustain the attitudes and o <ectives of the grou# as mem ers. @Bood !hristian@ to the local holy and @Old Si9ash@ to loyal gradsF. the reference grou# #rovides a standard or ase of com#arison for evaluating one. #rovide strong #sychological #ressure on mem ers to honor the norms y conformity. The result is similarity if not uniformity of thought and action :a condition 9hich can e regarded as normal or intellectually de#ressing. #redetermined 9ays a out relevant o <ects and events. <udgments and inter#retations of #erce#tions tend to9ard conformity. When a grou# determines the set of values an individual uses for <udging ehavior. fashions and other unofficial criteria of conduct 9hich organize the interactions of individuals into the codified ehavior of grou# mem ers.-orms function in the formation of the schema y #roviding social reinforcement E#ositive and negativeF to the develo#ment of oth the linguistic value system and the ehavioral control system. Of #articular im#ortance in formation of the schema is the role norms #lay in sha#ing the attitudes of grou# mem ers. By sha#ing ver al attitudes 9ith emotionally ladened terms. The est that can e said for the functional value of norms is that they #romote grou# coo#eration. e)#ressing its essential values. Usually. the eliefs they #romote and sustain 9ill gain the status of inner ideals. If they do this. In fact. Identification is com#lete 9hen the norms ecome internalized and function as su conscious re9ard systems. standards. -orms and attitudes then ecome mutually reinforcing ecause the attitudes of the grou#. grou# norms serve to regulate the ehavioral actions and interactions of mem ers y #roviding oth a communication net9or6 and social su##ort for each individual. In fact. That is. since attitudes are the evaluative com#onents of the schema. These give the in2grou# a sense of identity and a degree of solidarity #ro#ortional to the hostility 9hich may e directed to9ard conflicting out2grou#s. sentiments.s o9n ehavior as 9ell as that of others. Beliefs condition the e)istence of any social grou# and ecome all the more firmly entrenched if they are sanctified as they are inculcated into the schemas of the devout. it . grou# attitudes are formed as mem ers concurrently share e)#eriences. norms and the ver al attitudes they engender ma6e it very li6ely all true2 lue mem ers 9ill thin6. The emotional attitudes then ecome even more effective in #romoting conformity to norms as they assume the mantle of moral righteousness. elieve and ehave in socially acce#ta le. @Ci erty@ to revolutionaries. it is through social norms that 9ords come to e evaluative la els 9ith #ositive or negative connotations for grou# identity and survival. rules. feel.. the initiate ecomes a mem er to the degree that he focuses on the norms of a s#ecific grou# and guides his actions according to them. attitudes. Once a elief is ensconced in the schema to the #oint of unilateral res#ect. It is grou# norms 9hich define grou# values y sha#ing the language. These loaded terms and the attitudes they signify #rovide standards of thought.

When the grou# is threatened or im#acted y e)ternal forces Enatural disasters or conflicts 9ith com#eting grou#sF. in cultural life. ver al value system. Being a human system.F 9here the disgruntled can vent their emotions 9ithout much li6elihood of anything eing settled or distur ed. This tactic of inflating academic sym ols does not really address the #ro lem of learning. This #rocess can go to an e)treme. the American variant is su <ect to different inter#retations on the domestic scene y usinessmen and la orers.defines @$oral realism@ 9hich su##orts and transcends the @&er al realism@ of attitudes e)#ressing its asic values. Although intense cohesion may e entirely a##ro#riate during tem#orary emergencies. the schema serves as a rallying #oint. a #o#ular elief can ecome e)tremely #o#ular even if #o#ularity is not directly de#endent u#on accuracy or veracity. #olicemen and #reachers. it rarely achieves an ideal +33R efficiency rating.D. as coo#erating mem ers all sharing the same values reinforce their common eliefs a out reality. if outmoded. For e)am#le. la9yers and la orers all tended to em#hasize their common nationalistic schema and conformed to #atterns of thought and ehavior in the est interests of their country. etc. 9ell defined value system. long2term cohesion of totalitarian states is the ar itrary concoction of leaders committed to . as formed y common norms. This #rocess of schematic inter#retation is some9hat com#licated y the dynamic interactions of the given reference grou# 9ith its environment. short2term effect on some images and is therefore good #u lic relations. In terms of schemas. Such an e)treme may e ideal. commitment to it intensifies and cohesion is enhanced. a field is dominated y a factor Ean idea rather than an alleleF not ecause it is su#erior to com#eting items ut sim#ly ecause it is more common. does function to reduce frictional conflicts 9ithin a given grou#. in +/P8. a grou# may sacrifice its standards for the sa6e of cohesion. they do reduce #sychic and social tension y #ermitting #eo#le to e)#ress their grievances and release their emotions. By 9ay of contrast.S. For e)am#le. letters to editors or !ongressmen. the grand @Westernschema@ is su <ect to national variations 9hich define the citizens of the Western nations on the international scene. Of course. $any cultures #rovide forums Esoa# o)es. This self2#romotion of a elief system through intensifying reinforcement is 6no9n as @The Bold Kffect@. a self2reinforcing fad 9ill ecome a mania. there 9as a tendency for su grou#s and individuals to #olarize y #erceiving and inter#reting events according to their o9n est interests 9ithin the larger conte)t of the national su#ergrou#. ut it has a #ositive. With such social su##ort. so as to avoid hurting their feelings. If co#ing 9ith given #ro lems is too difficult 9ithin a static. Further. !hristians and Je9s. This fact alone enhances the li6elihood that. a lag or tension is characteristic of a dynamic schema. etc. #u lic hearings. as ne9 ehavioral norms conflict 9ith a #reconditioned. the forced. Although nothing may e settled y such rituals. A legitimate goal of any society is to 6ee# dis#utes 9ithin reasona le ounds. a ne9 or altered schema may achieve mass acce#tance if it once is esta lished in the minds of a sim#le ma<ority of grou# mem ers. 9hich is e)actly 9hat the common value system of a shared schema renders more #ro a le. having een first descri ed y (rofessor Thomas Bold. if the standard of success is grou# cohesion. the cultural im#act of any #articular schema is diluted y the many inter#retations it receives from the individuals and su grou#s 9hich com#ose most reference grou#s. students un>ualified to receive di#lomas may get them any9ay. F. The ram#ant #atriotism of Americans in +/PP e)em#lified this #henomenon' usinessmen and an6ers. ut the schema. In general. The #rocess is a6in to genetic drift in that in cultural life. A classic e)am#le of this #henomenon is the Song Singing of Ks6imos:a ritual in 9hich t9o dis#utants com#ose insulting songs 9hich they sing as loudly as #ossi le at each other.

as it #romotes coo#eration 9ithin and among grou#s. it is accom#lished y role #laying. or environmental. Within a grou#. %is favorite method 9as the induction of mass hysteria through the use of sym ols. For the sa6e of contrast. Along 9ith the language of the ma<or reference grou#. in an educational institution. faculty mem ers and students all have interacting roles to #lay relative to each other. $ost of these are made su consciously and follo9 neural #aths of least resistance leading to social #aths of greatest acce#tance. Only in herds. as in the case of the ha#loid drones of ee colonies. Among humans. There may e any num er of roles. If 9e shift our focus of attention from the schema to the individual #erson. administrators. There are leaders and follo9ers. %e #rovided something they valued and 9anted to elieve in:themselves. %o9ever. The rules are la9s and norms 9hich define ho9 the role #layers should interact. as each of us is a mem er of a num er of different reference grou#s. all usually defined in terms of their mutual interactions. each su grou# has its o9n identifying <argon to hel# its mem ers define their #lace and fulfill their roles. 9hich is a @Cife role@. an individual is a mem er of a caste. and such grou#s are characterized y the lac6 of differentiation of mem ers. As a mem er of each grou#. 9e find that each is #artisan to many schemas. the individual has at least one role to #lay and has an a##ro#riate schema to guide his thoughts and actions as he shifts identity' e. !ohesion can also e artificially sustained y deli erate attem#ts of leaders to y#ass the rationale of the schema and a##eal directly to the emotions of the #eo#le. %itler 9as #ast master at arousing enthusiasm y the structured use of the irrational. -aturally. They have roles and rules for this #henomenon of coo#erative conflict. from su#ergrou# to su grou# to individual and for each role. At each level. the asic #rinci#le is that all mem ers of a grou# share a common schema 9hich they inter#ret according to their s#ecific roles.. of course. "etermination of caste mem ershi# may e genetic. (eo#le are #eculiar in that they usually com#ete for sharing. it is interesting to note the fundamental difference et9een human roles and insect castes. a >ueen. floc6s and schools Eof fishF can masses of e>ual individuals e found. In all situations. as e)em#lified y the >ueens. salutes and national games. de#ending on the #ersonalities of the #articular #layers. interacting role #layers the sets of guiding e)#ectations they need to gain the re9ards and avoid the sanctions of the reference grou#.themselves. A #erson is a citizen of a country. . Such interactions can e formally defined y la9s or rules as 9ell as informally regulated y norms and ta oos.g. %is goal 9as the develo#ment of an ethnicGracial #ride. 9hich develo# under the influence of royal <elly. and his incredi le success in achieving that goal 9as due to his dealing directly 9ith the attitudes of his follo9ers. @Dights@ and @Truth@ usually have little meaning and less im#act on decisions a out ehavior. uniforms. In highly social insects. !onformity to e)#ectations is usually the est #olicy. The logical im#lications of the -azi ideology had their o9n a##eal to some ut 9ere largely EdisFmissed y most. an em#loyee of some organization and a mem er of a family. etc. and the 9inners and losers are usually #retty clearly defined in terms of a commonly acce#ted and dis#ro#ortionate re9ard system. thin6ers and doers. the em#hasis must e on coo#erative role #laying. a 9or6er. These differences in schematic inter#retation give the various. there is considera le room for individual variation. a standard #loy of such leaders is to con<ure u# or create e)ternal threats and crises so as to #romote cohesion and <ustify re#ression. It is a soldier. anarchy and mass riots are the e)ce#tion and indicate a rea6do9n of traditional norms. for all of its adult life. marches. 9ith at most only leaderGfollo9er designations. there is a schema to e ado#ted and a##lied y #eo#le cast in roles that shift 9ith issues and circumstances. rule ma6ers and rule rea6ers. Also note that in all grou#s of animals 9here coo#eration is vital. For e)am#le. a man can e a son to his father 9hile eing a father to his son.

as most com#eting grou#s are usually distinctly se#arate 9ith fe9.s core schema. On the other hand. In many cases. A usiness e)ecutive 9ho moonlights as a card carrying musician can #lay such conflicting roles comforta ly enough. of course. Thus. @Fitting in@ is usually something of a @Cu e <o @:a matter of confirming e)isting eliefs y telling #eo#le 9hat they already 6no9 and doing 9hat they e)#ect 9ill e done. $oving out9ard from this central. Behavior in any situation is an e)#ression of the self dra9n out y the given role a##lied to s#ecific conditions. certain attitudes and elements of ehavior remain constant and define the @Self@. Doles and situations are often said to dehumanize or @"eindividuate@ the #eo#le caught u# in them. Unfortunately. as meeting the e)#ectation of one grou# may cause censure y the other. If #laying a #articular role means hiding one. if any. and not even a##arent under routine circumstances. #laying roles in different grou#s can occasionally create dilemmas and contradictions in ehavior:es#ecially 9hen one tries to e loyal to conflicting reference grou#s. the self consists of #erce#tions. Benerally. If there is any inconsistency in ehavior. motives and e)#eriences fundamental to identity. As a manifestation of the individual. it can e socially deleterious to ury oneself in a role. As a #erson shifts roles 9ith changing circumstances. such distinctive role #rograms can e se#arated su consciously so that #sychic duress is minimal or a sent. an individual may not e a9are of the inconsistent or contradictory demands different roles may e ma6ing on him. a #erson trying to alternate conflicting roles does have a #ro lem. material re9ards 9hile the su#erego value system of another reference grou# t9inges the conscience. each #erson has multi#le. $ost of the time. Of course. An e)am#le of this might e a student 9ho #lays teacher for an interim. In fact. a #erson has e)actly as many roles as there are grou#s a out 9hose o#inion he cares. ho9ever. since the human mind has a great a ility to com#artmentalize roles into #articular settings. "uring a disaster.s real self. A #erson e)#eriencing such a role conflict has to choose or com#romise et9een e)ternal re9ards and asic morality. many roles. ut it is very human for individuals to ta6e narro9 . While it may e #sychologically distressing to hide from a re>uired role. consistent essence of character.Also. Such #ro lems may remain #otential. then that is the #rice that must e #aid for the social re9ard of acce#tance. su#erficial attitudes and ehavioral #rograms designed for the various roles to e #layed:each slightly different and each relating to a different reference grou#. a successful usinessman during the 9ee6 and himself on Saturday. An e)am#le of this might e the !hristian usinessman 9ho 9rings his hands over the ethics of ma6ing a cutthroat move to advance his career in the cor#orate hierarchy. a #erson may e a good !hristian on Sunday. this is a crucial conflict if the <o is related to relief efforts and #u lic safety. %o9ever. #u lic servants may favor their families over their <o s. A given individual has. it can e distressing. an individual may e forced to alternate et9een conflicting roles. A common ty#e of role conflict occurs 9hen one role offers immediate. the strategy most conducive to successful role #laying is one of conformity to reference grou# norms. role #layers have little rituals:manners and mannerisms:9hich facilitate communication and coo#eration 9ithin and et9een grou#s at all levels of organization. in that most #eo#le do so most of the time. Although it is normal for #eo#le to #lay roles. common mem ers' not many usinessmen are also mem ers of a union= nor are there many Je9ish !hristians nor many sailors in the army. Occasionally. a crisis may force a #erson to choose a role:forcing recognition of 9ho he really is. Thus. K)#ression of the self y role #laying may not al9ays e healthy. it may #ass unnoticed as the conflicting roles normally are se#arated y time andGor s#ace. this is not much of a #ro lem.

the im#ortant #oint is that the am iguity of @Best interest@ is due to the ar itrary nature of role de#endent <udgment. <ust mal#ractice suits. For e)am#le. legally oriented society.s intentions #rovide no relia le standard. ut that is not enough in our contem#orary. mind you. and it sho9s that one of the roles doctors #lay is directed to9ard 6ee#ing themselves in usiness as they attem#t to #lay the role of healers. Kven a #erson. Of course. doctors 9ould e acting in their o9n est interests sim#ly y acting in their #atients. %o9ever. if not their victims. as a com#arison of Benerals Beorge S. There is an inherent am iguity in the e)#ression @%ealth #rofession@. one suggestion 9as to shorten the #eriod a #atient 9ould have to file such a suit. For a grou# to realize its goals. This 9ould e fine for the doctors. This can ma6e it difficult to determine 9hether or not a #articular act is stu#id or not. For instance. loo6ing after their o9n 9ealth as they loo6 after their #atients. motivation. Of course. An e)am#le might e the archety#ical @(ig@ #oliceman 9ho loves to #ush #eo#le around and gets a9ay 9ith it as long as official 9ord of his a uses can e contained 9ithin the #recinct. the leadershi# role has t9o interrelated functions:goal achievement and grou# maintenance. there is a duality intrinsic to many roles and an inherent am iguity in determining <ust ho9 effective any leader really is. For e)am#le. so most doctors #lay t9o roles. health. Unli6e s#orts events. K)#ression of the self is also affected y the fact that each role has as many dimensions as it has functions. It 9as the Allies. Ideally. the leader must coordinate the roles individual mem ers #lay. most of them do this most of the time. it is ecause there is am iguity in life. Kven the ha##y state of @Being oneself@ in a congruent environment can e oth ideal and in<urious. One 9ay to succeed in this res#ect is to uild on the fact that mem ers sharing a common schema 9ill tend to assume mutually su##orting roles 9hich #romote cohesion. For the student of stu#idity. a #erson may have to em#hasize one as#ect of it to the neglect of others. (atton and "9ight ". Although their s#ecific ehavioral roles differ. mem ers 9ill interact effectively if there is common agreement a out the desired goal. good fortune in World War II that oth found their a##ro#riate niches and #layed their #ro#er roles. Boal achievement re>uires organization. disease is certainly older than medicine. This 9as demonstrated y the reaction of the American $edical Association to a rash of mal#ractice suits 9hich recently #lagued its mem ers. 9hen games end and teams dis and. A #erson may act in his o9n 9orst interest in one sense 9hile #laying out the re>uirements of a conflicting role. as they may e misguided . A res#onsi le leader accom#lishes a given tas6 9hile maintaining or enhancing grou# identity usually y eing a good role model. in team s#orts. trust and friendshi# of mem ers. For e)am#le. Brou# maintenance de#ends on mutual res#ect. (atton 9as goal oriented and one of our est com at commanders= Kisenho9er 9as more the di#lomat s6illed at maintaining grou# cohesion. if the role has ecome limited or the environment artificially contrived.roles to uncritical e)tremes. A num er of #ossi le reforms 9ere suggested to reduce such suits: not mal#ractice. Kven 9ithin a given role. sanctions and concentration on relevant environmental factors. Kisenho9er ma6es clear. A #otential #ro lem of and for such #ermanent grou#s is that they ecome committed as much to maintaining their roles as they are to fulfilling them. $edicine is a usiness. est interests. If there is am iguity in this 6ind of role #laying. A resultant decision or act may e deemed stu#id y a <udge 9ho considers that 9hich 9as sacrificed to e more im#ortant than that 9hich 9as accom#lished. the #layers at various #ositions have different roles 9hich 9ill interrelate smoothly as long as everyone is committed to the ideal of 9inning. #ersonality #lays a #art in 9hat 6ind of leader a given individual is. many challenges a society faces are eternal and are dealt 9ith y grou#s 9hich seem as #er#etual as the #ro lems they never solve. ut the medical #rofession is 9ell enough esta lished to have structured am iguous roles for its #ractitioners.

and most ehavior to9ard these goals is guided y general constraints Ela9s and ethicsF. Only in e)treme cases is a schema dominated y an @Knd@ to the #oint that a totally unscru#ulous #erson Eli6e a %itlerF 9ould do literally anything to attain it. All things considered. In the face of am iguity. it is clearly malada#tive. etc. Of course. @Best interest@ turns out to e >uite unrelia le as a guide for evaluating stu#idity. In this s#ecific case. and #ro lems of the street overcome nostalgia. For e)am#le. the change in attitudes to9ard minority grou#s 9as accom#lished as a9areness of the inconsistency et9een idealized goals and ehavioral reality made #eo#le uncomforta le 9ith their traditional values and norms. in the field of civil rights. eliefs change. and 9e see it in eastern Kuro#e today. Ci6e9ise. a sense of identity. #eo#le 9ould e clearer a out their goals and more easily find a##ro#riate means of achieving them. the change from discriminating against lac6s and 9omen to discriminating for them mar6ed a great change in attitude to9ard the races and se)es ut no change in attitude to9ard discrimination. one may fall ac6 on a more general schema to find a asis for defining a #ro#er role. to the e)tent that the schema inhi its effective ad<ustment to the environment. In American society. remained the same.and shortsighted and ultimately 9or6 against him. As a guide for a #erson attem#ting to co#e 9ith an uncertain environment. so stu#idity is thus often induced ecause a #erson can easily find some emotionally a##ealing standard to <ustify his actions to himself and 9ill then #ersist in ehavior 9hich may 9or6 to his actual detriment. the la9 itself is as am iguous as la9yers can ma6e it. The schema is a general guide 9hich #rovides a >uasireligious ethic for ehavior. ho9ever ill suited to the ne9 end. 9ealth. 9hich are determined largely y the emotionally loaded terminology of the reference grou#. EIt is a virtual Bodsend that the la9 of @$alice of intent@ 9hich gives the media license to li el does not also a##ly to the medical #rofession. 9hile the means. is to survive at all. The goals fli#2flo##ed from segregation to integration. as most of us see6 to achieve our goals. the schema is ada#tive until eing oneself ecomes too costly in terms of schematic values. We sa9 this in the South in the mid283. When values ecome tarnished y the realization that they have ceased to e servicea le. Then the attitudes 9hich define the self must change if the schema.F. certain forms of ehavior are #roscri ed and others condoned.F Am iguity is com#ounded y the fact that. only in e)ce#tional cases Eli6e loving !hristiansF do #eo#le live y a schema 9hich defines success in terms of ho9 they ehave rather than 9hat they achieve. the official schema is the la9. in most cases. the crucial criterion for admittance is not a #ros#ective #atient.s state of health ut his a ility to #ay.s. That is. Ca9s #rovide guidelines for ehavior and courts ar itrate 9hen conflicts cannot e settled informally. If there 9ere less am iguity in life. $ost #eo#le have general goals Eha##iness. reducing #erceived conflict and esta lishing a #rogram for res#onse in confusing circumstances. so Americans often fall ac6 on usiness #rinci#les as guides for <udging ehavior. for hos#ital administrators. -otes . This may or may not e consistent 9ith the goals. Of course. a #rogram for directing ehavior and. Treatment egins only after #ayment is guaranteed and forms for medical irres#onsi ility are filled out. in even a modified form. For e)am#le. A schema #rovides a set of eliefs E9hich #ass for an understanding a out the universeF. a role is sha#ed y a schematic com#romise of means 9ith ends. he needs to ta6e his la9yer and accountant. -orms and attitudes are recast into ne9 molds as schemas are altered in res#onse to #ro lems 9hich can no longer e ignored. $a<ority grou# mem ers transcended their #sychological inertia 9hen they realized they 9ould e more comforta le 9ith accommodation than 9ith continued resistance to social #ressures. When a #erson goes to a clinic. Such a <udgment is usually am iguous ecause it is invaria ly ased on an ar itrarily selected standard. most im#ortant of all.

.

9ords 9ill e redefined so as to convert dissonance into confusion. it 9ill also e malada#tive to the e)tent that uilt2in iases com#romise data so that #erce#tions 9ill conform to e)#ectations and desires. schemas tend to e conservative. The discre#ancy et9een ehavior and su#erego values 9ill thus e reduced at the e)#ense of identity. This #rocess of ada#ting institutions to ne9 #ur#oses is a normal #art of cultural life.P3. the schema 9ill strive to save itself. Just 9hen and ho9 much change is needed are very su <ective matters. What it needed 9as a modern system of cor#orate administration 9hich could guide it through the challenges induced y changes of styling in the mar6et#lace. This a##roach may e effective in resolving an immediate #ro lem. 9ith the devout satisfied <ust to re#eat ha itual res#onses. so if challenging data or distur ing #erce#tions cannot e ignored or re<ected. In addition.s ehavioral #rogram E9hich #resuma ly 9as ada#tive 9hen formedF might ecome malada#tive as conditions change.F adhere to an o solete ver al value system 9hile ado#ting ne9 ehaviors. it has een for relief efforts s#onsored y oth church and state to assume the urdens of an economic system ignorant of the suffering it fosters y indifference. ut it means that the item may come to have a function different from if not at odds 9ith its original role.s and early . The rituals may then serve as reinforcing re9ards in and of themselves 9ithout reference and often 9ithout relevance to the environment.s car com#any in the +/H3. cultural identity may ecome confused as organizations and institutions ta6e on ne9 and #erha#s incongruous roles. For e)am#le. and the schema is inherently iased a out maintaining oth its integrity and e)istence. 9ith language strained to match u# altered ehavior to esta lished values. la or #ro lems due to the "e#ression and the gro9th of government controls accom#anying World War II' 9hat it had 9as a leader 9ho clung stu ornly to an anti>uated system 9hich 9as totally une>ual to the demands of the ne9 era. 9ords are revalued to lend ver al su##ort to #revailing ehavioral norms. *. #eo#le are dis#osed to use 9hatever is at hand E e it a tool. grou#s usually end traditional schemas to ne9 #ur#oses. Benerally. rather than dro##ing old schemas and creating ne9 ones suited to emerging conditions. organization or ideaF to deal 9ith a #ro lem. 9ith norms organizing ehavioral systems into rituals that #revent effective res#onses to significant change. %a its may originate as functional #atterns of ehavior ut later may serve more to #romote grou# com#lacence than grou# com#etence.s. The result 9as that Ford slid into third #lace in sales ehind Beneral $otors and !hrysler. Thus. altering ehavior to fit fantasies may also e malada#tive. It is #atently stu#id to hang on to a dysfunctional schema 9hile leaving o vious needs unattended. As in the case of cognitive dissonance in an individual. Thus. A case in #oint 9as %enry Ford. a system ecomes irrelevant to itself. In the e)treme.F adhere to o solete ehavioral norms 9hile . In oth cases. tension 9ill motivate society to achieve consonance. If fundamental conditions change significantly. While this gives a society a sense of continuity. maintaining a schema may e malada#tive. While an a##earance of continuity 9ith the #ast is maintained.I2) The Schema as !a#adaptive %o9ever ada#tive a schema may e. At 9orst. there are three methods y 9hich 9e can induce irrelevance' +. such rituals ecome sacred and form the tra##ings of a religious system. a schema. In general. On the other hand. ca#italism does not feed the hungry= it feeds those 9ith money= charity and 9elfare feed the destitute. Such rituals can e a ma<or stum ling loc6 in ra#idly develo#ing organizations in that ne9 #ro lems emerge 9hich are unrecognized so their solutions remain eyond the ritualized co#ing mechanisms of the esta lishment. The resulting cognitive state may then ecome one of schematic dissonance. %o9ever.

There usually tend to e fe9. anyone 9ith valid criticism is made an outsider. At est. if nothing else. sensing sym#toms of #ro lems efore anyone else does and ma6ing co#ing easier than might e #ossi le later. The second method is that of the #hony li eral 9ho agrees that change is necessary ut never gets around to it. This systematic distortion of information ma6es human societies characteristically self2dece#tive. its environment and its e>ually stu#id neigh ors. so society stum les smugly along 9hile at odds 9ith itself. due to the misleading nature of 9ords.s early 9arning systems. The first method is the Knglish mode of clinging to tradition 9hile moving to9ard resolution of real #ro lems. Thus. com#romiseF is one of virtuous #ragmatism' one ada#ts as necessary and ma6es it a##ear to e ideal. Thus. society may e ad<usted ut not @Accurately@. criticism 9ithout #o9er is largely 9asted. 9here cran6s and comics can e tolerated as amusing diversions. The asic 9or6ing assum#tion is that everything is <ust fine. since grou# s#irit. !om#romises are made some9here and may shift around de#ending on conditions. The resistance of organizations to criticism is inherent in the human condition. %o9ever. The e)isting schematic dissonance is usually su conscious. An e)am#le of this #rocess is found in the o#timist 9ho tries to convince himself and anyone 9ho 9ill listen that necessity is @Dight on@. accuracy and integrity. criticism has a #lace on the fringe. internal criticism is of limited value as a control mechanism for gro9th and develo#ment of a social system. #roducing little ut 9oe for the e9ildered critic himself. #articularly 9hen they are not. In fact. When not dismissed out of hand as a cran6 or an outsider. in the +/83. and current ehavior is the realization of historic tradition and religious morality. as ostracism is a common re9ard for honesty. and it ma6es #eo#le inherently stu#id.es men@ #romoting their careers y corru#ting the mighty. This distortion is the mechanism y 9hich the schema res#onds to induced dissonance. This is ut another e)am#le of ho9 the neurotic #arado) contri utes to stu#idity. The third method Ei. su#erego values. ehavioral norms and e)ternal reality. agreed that the schools 9ould have to e integrated: someday. he is often treated as if he caused it. While a critic may thin6 he is #erforming a service y calling attention to an o vious #ro lem.s.e. in that incoming information a out ho9 the system interacts 9ith its environment 9ill e distorted to favor the short2term survival advantage of the grou# in #o9er. In general. It is a##arently im#ossi le for any culture to e accurately ad<usted to its #ast traditions.#rofessing ne9 values.F devise a com#romise conflict et9een necessary ehavior and converted values. !riticism is invaria ly disru#tive. ut the com#romise conflict condition is y far more common than the t9o e)tremes. All three methods reduce dissonance y distorting information: y denying reality andGor inventing fantasy. the only really effective control of develo#ment comes not from inside ut from #hysical limitations E9hat cannot e doneF and com#etition 9ith other grou#s 9hich are also out of touch 9ith themselves. Outside criticism is deflected and internal feed ac6 is su##osed to e #ositive reinforcement from @. All three are malada#tive in their o9n 9ays. critics should e considered society. (erha#s there are so fe9 effective critics ecause anyone 9ith any rains at all >uic6ly finds that most human organizations <ust are not set u# for effective criticism. is disru#ted 9hen unrecognized #ro lems are made e)#licit. Actually. if any. 9ith #eo#le dis#osed to elieve they are living u# to their ideals. The history of the %ouse of Cords is an admira le e)am#le of a traditional system retaining its tradition and little else 9hile !ommons tends to reality. Such distur ances are un9elcome to those in #o9er. the need of the esta lishment to maintain the a##earance of internal order and the image of com#etence among those in #o9er is most com#elling and ma6es a##reciation of legitimate . A fol6sy e)am#le 9ould e the American 9ho. and H. as it dis#erses stress over oth fields. this is the est of all 9orlds #ossi le at this moment.. effective critics 9ithin any organization.

It is a feature common to schematic systems and ma6es stu#idity a normal #art of the human e)#erience. #erce#tion is a directed #rocess. $is#erce#tion is limited. <ust 9ait until 9e solve it@. 9hich re>uires the o server to e actively involved in the #rocess. At est. Any individual or organization ta6es in only a fraction of the data availa le. this can #ermit the system to function effectively in a limited milieu in 9hich attention can e directed to9ard #henomena considered relevant to ac6no9ledged #ro lems or ec6oning #ossi ilities. At 9orst. distorted andGor inventive data gathering. This ty#e of #ro lem creating elies the asic assum#tion of ehavioral scientists that ehavior is ada#tive. Actually. the very human catch #hrase. $alada#tive ehavior is thought to e anomalous:some 6ind of rea6do9n of the normal ada#tive mechanism. Thus. the record of failure of human civilizations confronts us 9ith an unsettling >uestion' ho9 can any mechanism 9hich is su##osed to e ada#tive e so incredi ly ad at its <o ? $uch as 9e #refer to accentuate the #ositive and o#timistic. %o9ever. o##ortunities for correction and im#rovement may e sacrificed for the sa6e of a #leasing facade.s o9n tightly 6nit coterie. ut the organisms. This goes a long 9ay to9ard e)#laining the dysfunctional attitude of America. 9ith certain elements in the surroundings receiving inordinate attention and others eing ignored. so that it 9ould reflect accurately the general state of the environment. it might e ideal if it 9ere selected at random. Cife goes on. Both of these are uilt less on ra9 data than on misinter#retations y mem ers committed to the a##earance of grou# #erfection. Ceaders can achieve a sense of order y #roviding all mem ers of the reference grou# 9ith a social milieu 9hich distorts their cognitive 9orld to9ard acce#tance of the status >uo. 9ho have surrendered their inde#endence of thought to the grou# 6arma. !onfirming data get all the attention 9hich can e lavished u#on them y syco#hants. One of the main #ro lems #eo#le have is that a schema 9hich functions in solving a #ro lem may hinder the solving of #ro lems created y the initial solution. Since information gathering must e limited. The reluctance of mem ers of the cli>ue to voice o <ections to a##roved #olicies usually leads to an illusion of unanimity and a false consensus. Whether in the concentrated form of grou#thin6 or in the more diffuse forms of general stu#idity. All situations are not created e>ual' one may invite a favora le inter#retation 9hile another egs to e ignored. The result is grou#thin6. misinter#retation of data inhi its effective ad<ustment to #ro lem situations. the strength of this general #henomenon of misdirecting thin6ing y social su##ort ecomes most intense in a leader. societies and s#ecies #ass a9ay. it a##ears that life is characterized y mechanisms uilt2in for the demise of systems.criticism difficult at est. grou#thin6ers are only half ignorant:they ignore only contradictory information. the system #uts itself out of touch 9ith the general environment. These are solved if the ad<ustment is antici#ated as eing to the advantage of the ad<ustors. Along 9ith the inevita ility of death and the im#ressive #redominance of e)tinction in the fossil record. Thus. 9hich in its #ure form is characterized y cognitive com#lacence and #romoted y lissful ignorance. Being inversely #ro#ortional to the size of the grou#. it is #rimarily through mis#erce#tion that 9e ecome malada#tive. #eo#le select information stu#idly. since stu#idity is ased on the su <ective nature of #erce#tion. @If you thin6 9e have a #ro lem no9. . Situations 9hich demand that the #erceivers ma6e #sychic ad<ustments may e considered @(ro lems@. First of all.s mighty cor#orations to9ard #ollution' the com#anies formed to e)#loit our natural resources are asically indifferent to the mess they create for everyone to live in ecause there really is no #rofit in cleaning it u#. In the case of our o9n s#ecies.

Such selective ignorance of stimuli is characteristic of the schema as a mechanism for mis#erce#tion and a #rogram for stu#idity. the data may e totally re<ected out of hand. as 9hen the ra it is transfi)ed y headlights. 9hich acts as a filter through 9hich stimuli must #ass. This is the asis for the fa led ostrich strategy for avoiding a9areness of threats or other un#leasantries. ho9ever. The #rocess of #erce#tion is not accom#lished y analysis of discrete its of information in inde#endent isolation. on the other hand. Beyond this normal range of #erce#tion and ad<ustment. This accounts for the over9helming ma<ority of informational its 9hich are #ic6ed u# y any system:they are sim#ly too routine to 9arrant one.t. the 9hole system may freeze. Thus. fear creates threats. As long as everything fits e)#ectation. #eo#le routinely add their o9n 6no9ledge to data they do receive from the environment and com#ound the mi)ture 9ith a it of imagination. if 6no9ing 9ould hel# or #ermit co#ing. As one might sus#ect. this #rocess #rovided the asis for $ar6 T9ain. and its #erce#tion is favored over other #ossi le effects. the #erceiver 9ill immediately #ic6 u# on any as#ect of the environment 9hich does not >uite fit the schema. if necessary and #ossi le. Anything e)ce#tional 9ill e noticed and. this 6ind of defense can e stu#id. It is effected y the uilding of a #icture of the environment. data 9hich do not conform to the e)isting gestalt contri ute little. That desired end is commonly antici#ated. In fact. This e)em#lifies the role the schema can #lay in creating mis#erce#tions y #ro<ecting itself onto stimuli. in that they conform to e)#ectation. A good e)am#le of this #rocess is the o livion of a driver to most of the stimuli continually om arding him as he goes along. As indicated a ove. As many <urists have found. A certain effect is usually desired 9hen one underta6es a course of action. the schema tends to limit e)#ectations of ehavioral results. Ignoring 9arnings is not much of a 9ay to defend oneself. This selective ignorance is the result of the schema. 9ith conflicting data misinter#reted or lended 9ith some fa ricated facts to fit into e)isting definitions and #atterns of thought. the schema can e a limiting and de ilitating factor 9hen it #revents a##reciation of events 9hich 9ould e emotionally distressing if ac6no9ledged. the schema is inherently conservative. In the act of mis#erce#tion. %o9ever. 9itnesses may testify to #erce#tions 9hich are really more im#ressions created y their o9n schemas. Of course. the #icture constructed is not ased on the data. 9ith traffic #atterns in the normal range and the road right 9here it elongs. This is the #rocess y 9hich fantasy #rovides data to fit the schematic gestalt so as to im#rove a it on reality. the driver may e una9are of even his o9n #resence. Incoming data are used to solidify or modify the schema so as to ma6e it more refined if fundamentally unsound.s @(erce#tual defense@.s attention. negative . The ver al arm of the schema really is a cognitive construct 9hich consistently contri utes to #erce#tual misinter#retation. In the mind of a #aranoid. The #hysiological asis for this #rocess is that the threshold level for threatening or an)iety2arousing stimuli is higher than that for neutral stimuli. all the data and nothing ut the data. This #ro lem is #articularly im#ortant 9hen actions can have long2term. Along 9ith contri uting to mis#erce#tions of the environment. so modification is ased dis#ro#ortionately on information 9hich confirms the schema as 9ell as some invented material 9hich ma6es an e)#erience easier to acce#t and retain.s comment that he could remem er everything that ha##ened and some things that didn. ad<ustments 9ill e made.If stimuli fit the #erceiving schema. In a light vein. they arely register and are #rom#tly dismissed. This defense #rotects us from the an)iety that 9ould e aroused y #erceiving threatening stimuli. In e)treme cases. If the discre#ancy et9een the ne9 stimulus and e)isting schema is too great. the schema may ad<ust itself a little to allo9 for future variations similar to any e)#erienced.

it is the reality #rinci#le. (eo#le may also ma6e themselves feel etter y #ro<ecting their o9n #ro lems or shortcomings on to others. so that #eo#le deli erately limit their e)#eriences to situations 9ith 9hich they can co#e effectively. as the schema develo#s. thus distorting the self2image to9ard one more favora le than 9arranted. the etter the material 9ill e remem ered. 9hatever they are. ending incoming data to its o9n su##ort. The schema 6ee#s #eo#le ignorant to9ard and therefore uniformed a out certain undesira le as#ects of the environment. #ositive feed ac6 enhances self2esteem and #romotes self2confrontation in situations 9here one e)cels. $ore im#ortant. Thus. negative feed ac6 a out oneself tends to e su verted or disru#ted. This self2destructive tendency is #rimarily a result of a failure of self2#erce#tion. (eo#le sim#ly do not see in themselves traits they do not 9ish to see. it ecomes directional. the #oison accom#lished its intended #ur#ose of 6illing agricultural #ests and carriers of disease. If there ever 9as a case of fantasy. Thus. shame or an)iety. misinter#reting situations and generally ma6ing itself decreasingly accurate as a re#resentation of the totality of reality and increasingly a source of self2 gra2tification for the eholder. This is a legacy of the rationalist tradition 9hich #osits that #eo#le live in a real 9orld 9hich they test to decide logically 9hen and under 9hat conditions they can safely satisfy their needs. A #rime e)am#le 9ould e the difficulties created y the use of the insecticide ""T. a certain amount of o <ective information does #ass through the #erce#tual and ideological filters so that #eo#le can co#e 9ith culturally a##roved #ro lems. %o9ever. limitations are #laced on #ossi le associations and general relevance of ehavior. they may e misinter#reted y the agent into a favora le ver al conte)t so as to minimize em arrassment. unantici#ated conse>uences as 9ell:it s#read throughout the environment and concentration 9ithin #redators as it #assed u# the food #yramid to the decided detriment of a num er of s#ecies including our o9n. oth negative and #ositive reinforcement systems are at 9or6. True. The net result of these t9o factors is that #ositive feed ac6 is increased and criticism reduced. This is the asis for the general ca#acity of human organizations to self2destruct. In this #rocess of #romoting a #ositive self2image at the e)#ense of accuracy. a degree of success is achieved y circumscri ing reality. In general. -aturally. Although this may ma6e #eo#le feel etter a out themselves. there is the element of fantasy in . even the initial successes of a schema may 9or6 against it if it is rigorously a##lied to situations eyond its range of definitions. it is easier to learn material 9hich is consistent 9ith the schema. ut it had other. y categorizing #erce#tions via ver alization. thus ma6ing further criticism less li6ely. there y leading to reactions 9hich are irrelevant. Finally. deflecting conflicting data. since the more ela orate the connections. These results 9ere as une)#ected as #erce#tion of them 9as un9elcome. malada#tation is virtually inherent in any system 9hich is committed to maintaining its integrity 9hile im#osing itself on reality. it does not hel# them ad<ust their ehavior to their overall environment. On the other hand. This #rocess of mis#erce#tion in turn de#ends on associating stimuli and cognitions y constructing ela orate com#le)es 9hich integrate incoming data 9ith the e)isting schematic net9or6 of related elements. Of course. There is am#le e)#erimental evidence that negative feed ac6 lo9ers self2esteem ma6ing further confrontations 9ith the self aversive and less li6ely. it ecomes #art of the schema. Des#onses ecome less and less relevant to environmental stimuli and more and more reflections of iases of the schema. In addition. As entering information connects 9ith a 6no9n element. If s#ecific acts must e #erformed. Accordingly. image enhancement is accom#lished and accom#anied y s#ecialization. At est.conse>uences. This means that human affairs do not tend to 9or6 out for the est= they tend to 9or6 themselves out according to their o9n natures. one of the great stum ling loc6s to understanding is the #resum#tion of the @Deality #rinci#le@.

consistent set of #erce#tions and eliefs. ut the com#romise struc6 is usually more iased than alanced. most selves are disorganized and inconsistent.s #restige than its o9n inherent 9orth. There is something of a !atch2** in this situation. Worse yet. Stu#idity is a common result 9hen the schema im#oses itself on reality or disru#ts contact 9ith it. self2see6ing is #romoted y social su##ort. immediate #ro lems 9hich must e solved #ragmatically. so 9hen the reference grou# #rovides favora le reinforcement Ea##rovalF to mem ers. When there is conflict among these interacting as#ects of the human condition: 9hen one #erceives the necessity of acting in a manner not condoned y society.the schematic 9orld 9hich ma6es ehavior #otentially inde#endent of actual circumstances. #eo#le self2 consciously committed to the #ec6ing order of life are often #re<udiced to ideas according to the status of the source' the higher2u#s have good ideas= lo9er2do9ns do not. #rinci#le of @O#en2mindedness@. This <ust ha##ens to e the invaria le result of the com#romise nature of the schema. younger #eo#le tend to e self2see6ers= older #eo#le tend to e self2#reservers. the only thing clear to an o server is that this is ut another of the very ar itraryGsu <ective dimensions of the human condition. on the other hand. it is e)#ressed as a conservative dedication to the status >uo. The self2confidence . Just 9hich strategy 9ill e em#loyed or ho9 much ris6 9ill e ta6en de#ends very much on 9ho is ma6ing the decision and 9ho is ta6ing the ris6. In general. is directed to9ard self2enhancement y #roviding for the future. To the e)tent that the schema tests reality. Self2#reservation is a asic. The intrinsic com#romise in the latter case is one of alancing self2#reservation against self2see6ing ehavior. reality often fails the test. The theoretically ideal self is an organized. 9aste time reading a oo6 in order to determine that it 9as not 9orth reading. since their schema tends to favor its esta lished 9ays as it ecomes more entrenched through the years. they are some9hat restricted in #erce#tion y the language of and in means y the norms of their reference grou#. Another factor contri uting to the develo#ment of stu#idity is a false sense of the @Self@. (eo#le live in a gritty 9orld of real. The inhuman ideal that #eo#le are or should e e>ually o#en to all information #resented to them must necessarily e com#romised so that they can achieve some 6ind of alance et9een a decent e)#osure to #otentially good ideas and a 9asting of time. Knhanced self2assurance encourages #eo#le to assert themselves as individuals. #eo#le usually resort to that only after an act or decision so as to rationalize an emotionally #referred res#onse. As for #ersonal communications. for e)am#le. a case of stu#idity is #ro a ly in #rogress. Self2see6ing ehavior. Along 9ith the asic duality of the individualGsocial self is the duality of the staticGdynamic self. It sustains its integrity y distorting #erce#tions and selecting information according to malada#tive ideologies. When the ego interferes 9ith effective learning. the self 9ill lend short2term immediate survival 9ith some 6ind of <ustification com#rehensi le to anyone concerned enough to care ut not o <ective enough to e critical. in that one must. it ma6es inde#endence more li6ely. The #ro lem is that these are things the schema routinely does. the #re2screening techni>ues #eo#le commonly em#loy are usually ased on irrelevant criteria:li6e the oo6 cover. and in co#ing. $any crucial decisions in life re>uire a #erson to ta6e a self2conscious ris6 in trading off security for o##ortunity. it serves itself #oorly. -ot only may a system e too o#en or too closed to communication. At the moment of decision for an individual confronting a #articular #ro lem. Unfortunately for idealizing #eo#le. reality #rinci#le is the li erals. When information is re<ected y a schematic defense for eing inconsistent 9ith e)isting ideas or 9hen its content is <udged more y the communicator. <ust as it may also e self2defeating over the long haul. As misleading as the rationalists. As for logic. Oddly enough. !ommunication is a selective #rocess 9ith the schema ignoring offerings deemed irrelevant and sna##ing u# #leasing material all efore evaluation. fundamental as#ect of life' in human terms. "evelo#ing a semirational system of ideas for screening out data and inhi iting communication may e self2serving in an immediate sense.

conveniently misinter#reted or referred to a committee. Such tactics are usually sim#ly denied y the esta lishment or. !onsensual validation of norms. This may in fact disru#t the grou# and can lead an individual to overreach his a ility. On the other hand. it is necessary to alter the self2identity of those involved. it must e its reaction to valid criticism. can e accom#lished y stress 9hich undermines social relationshi#s 9ithin a reference grou#. This ty#e of stu#idity is more common among individuals than organizations and may tend to shut a #erson off from #artici#ation in life. $a<or renovation of #ersonalities. "ata contradictory to a flattering self2image are loc6ed or inter#reted so that ehavior can e vie9ed in an emotionally acce#ta le conte)t. Sustaining reinforcement can e generated internally so as to maintain the inde#endence of a #articular #attern of ehavior from moderating influences of the environment. stu#idity has reached its ma)imum #otential for the system. If things are not 9or6ing out. It se#arates #eo#le from their environment and ma6es them relatively inde#endent so that they can #ursue their o9n notions 9ithout regard for their relevance or the negative conse>uences engendered. If #eo#le really do not 9ant to 6no9 something. It is difficult to overestimate the role that such a mechanism can #lay in misdirecting ehavior. $ore to the #oint. and esta lished 9ays of thin6ing and acting are discarded. 9hile much of the #otential negative reinforcement from the environment sim#ly does not #enetrate the system. As usual. the all too handy alternative e)#lanation that #ro lems are all someone else. If there is a sim#le rule of thum for <udging the stu#idity of a system. The stu#ider #eo#le and institutions do not 9ant criticism. The #rocess might e thought of as an intensification of the feed ac6 loo#. it #ro a ly is ecause they sense that learning it might e u#setting. attitudes and values is thus disru#ted. 9ith e)treme iases tending to9ard stu#efication. @We have not done anything 9rong and 9ill not do it again@. alternatively. there is usually. also 6no9n as rain9ashing. 9hich is as limited as it can e. may even #romote internal hostility against the rulers ut also may #romote a #ositive image for leaders. ut this is the #rice that must e #aid for eing o#en to the #ossi ility of individual enhancement. 9e must also ear in mind the fact that hy#ersensitivity to criticism can also e de ilitating.engendered y commonly #erceived success ma6es one 9illing to attem#t further endeavors. stu#idity is in #rogress. This is the sca#egoat #hiloso#hy of life and #er#etuates almost as much stu#idity as is #roduced. This may e fine. if the original #ersonality . The accom#anying ver al res#onse to 9arranted ut un9elcome criticism is usually to the effect that. #referring ignorance to the #ain of learning. Fortunately for sensitive egos. to #roduce effective and enduring changes in thought and action. unfortunately. it is ecause 9e are all a it vain. #eo#le can e ha##ily stu#id. 9hen negative feed ac6 is su##ressed. A classic e)am#le of this #rocess in action is the manner in 9hich dissidents are su##ressed y totalitarian regimes. !orrective reactions may e underta6en 9ithout anyone admitting anything 9as 9rong. If that includes everyone. It is interesting to note that it is one. <ustified ecause of the disru#tive nature of the criticism. 9hen in harmony 9ith their o9n limitations. By 9ay of contrast. re<ected. a alanced a##reciation of criticism and com#liments is healthiest. 9ith fantasy #erha#s adding some totally un9arranted criticisms.s fault. The motivation for such difficulty stems largely from the self2a##roval made #ossi le y the iased structuring of the feed ac6 system. #eo#le do not have to ac6no9ledge criticism in order to react to it. so long as 6no9ledge of such su##ression can also e su##ressed. The 9orst result of this disru#tion of feed ac6 for the sa6e of self2image is that it really can motivate #eo#le to ma6e errors. In such instances. For 9hatever #ur#ose.s emotional need that sets the standard to 9hich reality is molded. (olicies of su##ression may do nothing to solve e)istent social #ro lems.

%o9ever. Thus. !ognitions are inter#reted according to a given emotional state 9hich. often ma6ing aggravated social and #olitical conditions even 9orse.s mind. the schema 9hich #romotes successful co#ing also inhi its self2im#rovement. 9hich means #eo#le 9ould have to ad<ust to something ne9. fear. Dather than ado#ting ne9 attitudes or altering ehavior. When dictators revel in or deny their rutality. Whether it could or could not e is secondary or even irrelevant. $ost #eo#le have their lives set into routines so that they do not have to e a9are of themselves or anything else. "ealings 9ith such leaders should e conducted not y am assadors ut y #sychiatrists. stu#idity has gained oth another victory and victim. attuned to slight alterations in the environment.:9hich may #romote iased reactions to many im#ortant im#inging stimuli. in turn. The desire to e unconscious is very much underestimated in and y nearly every ody. The strong man. the mighty tend to #lace e)cessive reliance on the modes of thought and action 9hich rought them to #o9er' rather than eing ad<usted. it is this emotional dimension 9hich ma6es the schema so su <ective in its assessment of incoming data. the sense of identity Evalue systemF may e rendered immune to alteration y aides 9ho insulate their mentor from reality. Inconsistency in this conte)t is a##arently >uite acce#ta le:much more so than 9ould e the an)iety 9hich might accom#any self2revelation. control ecomes tenuous as unac6no9ledged forces uild to the #oint that the leader can no longer remain o livious to them. It is im#ortant to ear in mind that ad<ustments or malad<ustments of the schema are usually determined as much y emotional factors as y any o <ective value of cognitions themselves. as it really ecomes a matter of . hate. humanity thrives on the difference et9een reality and its most acce#ta le inter#retation. In fact. !ertain o <ects and e)#eriences elicit s#ecific emotions:love. may e altered y those or future ideas and actions. The only thing to e gained y tin6ering at this #oint 9ould e emotional disru#tion and a resistance to 6no9ledge. there is invaria ly ma<or emotional resistance to changing one. This is a contradiction inherent in the human condition. Who really remem ers last Thursday? Was there anything really distinctive a out the tri# to the office yesterday? If not amused. As the schema attem#ts to match the #erce#tual 9ith the ehavioral 9orld. etc. #eo#le get annoyed 9hen a cran6 #oints out that the routine could e im#roved. If their ehavior can e misconstrued into a favora le conte)t. going a out their usiness as est they can 9ithout d9elling on their shortcomings. (recision is <ust too much to e)#ect from #eo#le struggling in a 9orld in 9hich motivation is as im#ortant to success as accuracy in #erceiving com#romising situations. What really matters is that it could not e im#roved 9ithout changing it. they also have difficulty controlling their actions. this 9ould ma6e them self2conscious and uncertain and #ro a ly ma6e them feel a little a969ard. Usually. This #rocess of mutually defining interactions of facts and feelings #rovides a dynamic asis for inter#reting events and evaluating ehavior. these stand2 y methods are usually e)tended. The reason 9hy such a #rogram is not routinely a##lied to inveterate criminals in #enitentiaries must e that they have internalized their o9n attitudes to the #oint that they each ma6e u# a reference grou# of one.s eliefs and ehavior. -ot only do tyrants have difficulty recognizing limitations of their #o9er. !onsistent 9ith the desire to e unconscious is the desire to e una9are of contradictions et9een one.s attitudes may then ecome sym#tomatic of neurosis. good enough. In fact. In the case of #o9erful leaders. such as it is. much #referring to feel nothing at all. In their #u lic lives. it #erforce e)ists in an emotional setting 9hich oth defines and is defined y cognitive elements.com#le) 9as so ad that it could e re#laced y something clearly etter. $ost #eo#le #refer to avoid the limelight of self2confrontation. accommodation and im#rovement. Finally. $ost minor ad<ustments are oth easy and accurate in that there is little or no emotion involved and they 6ee# the schema. most #eo#le do not li6e to feel li6e graffiti in motion.

Adverse conditions often create an)iety. Once again. The sim#le analysis of such a situation is that the #erson really is not a mem er of the grou# ut for some e)traneous reason feels o liged to conform to its norms. (ro lems arise as the schema acts to maintain a su <ective 9orld 9hich minimizes an)iety. as 9hen 9itch hunters 9ra##ed themselves in the flag during America. Finally. This can e emotionally 9renching and is usually effected only as a last resort. Im#roved grou# cohesion may com#ensate for loss of contact 9ith the environment and even oneself. reduce an)iety and heighten their self2esteem. Just elieving and elonging sustain each other >uite efficiently. a degree of dysfunction is #romoted. Of course. it can also generate an)iety in individuals 9ho feel com#elled to maintain a false front for the enefit of mem ers of their reference grou#.s ca#acity to retain mem ers and its #o9er to ring a out conformity to its norms. as mentioned a ove. in that #eo#le are not sure they can co#e 9ith the #ro lems confronting them. A #ositive feed ac6 system comes into #lay as highly cohesive grou#s #rovide a source of security for mem ers. Brou#s often maintain irrelevant standards for their mem ers. ut all that means is that self2deluding #eo#le are all the more coo#erative in effecting inefficient #olicies. The irrelevance of so much ehavior is really an e)#ression of the commitment of the schema to itself. after all other #sychic tric6s of refuting and misinter#reting data have een e)hausted. may #ermit the develo#ment of a functional co#ing strategy. It is im#ortant to note that the e)#lanation does not have to have much real effective value in terms of e)ternal conditions. An e)am#le of this might e a ad accident 9hich leaves one #hysically untouched ut mentally stunned eyond res#onse. such an a##roach to life is at least as successful in creating as in solving #ro lems. ut this is a distinct counter2current 9ithin the general trend of conformity for the sa6e of emotional security. %aving or finding an e)#lanation for their #light reduces their sense of hel#lessness and vulnera ility y #lausi ly identifying the cause of their distress and #roviding a course of action for resolving the crisis. stu#idity can create or e characterized y delusions 9hich #roduce an)ieties and difficulties 9here none really needs e)ist. 9e find this duality of e)tremes. since e)isting terminology defines the emotional conte)t in 9hich stimuli and res#onses are construed. com#liance. The functional value of the common schema is that it inds the grou# together. -eedless to say. $uch as the feeling of elonging can act to reduce an)iety. It inhi its o <ective @Deality testing@ ecause any emotionally distur ing discre#ancy et9een e)#ectation and #erce#tion is sim#ly inter#reted to mean reality failed. If it ma6es #eo#le feel etter a out themselves and their situation. It does not matter that ver al e)#ressions are at odds 9ith the ehavioral norms of the grou#:as 9hen the !rusaders 6illed for !hrist. ut it #rovides a #ractical asis for a religious elief 9hich. It is largely the emotional vector attached y 9ords to data 9hich determines ho9 #erce#tions and cognitions 9ill interact to affect ad<ustment of the schema. An e)am#le of this might e a homose)ual 9ho feels #ressured to dress and act according to the dictates of the general. the self2assurance derived from elonging may induce some grou# mem ers to underta6e self2see6ing ehavior that might distur the grou#. and intolerance for variation is itself ta6en as a sign of elonging. $ost grou# mem ers regard . Such eliefs shared y a reference grou# constitute their religious system. so do the grou#.s #eriodic @Ded scares@. if it does not disru#t learning. All this can occur 9ith an indifference to consistency and effectiveness. that is a lot. "istur ing in#ut is reduced and #ro a ly re#laced 9ith fictions and fantasies. At 9orst. As cohesion increases. there is the e)treme 9hen an e)#erience is so totally e9ildering in its une)#ectedness and e)cessiveness that it @Blo9s your mind@ right off the emotionalGcognitive scale.changing oneself. It may not e enough. straight society. As o <ectivity and an)iety are sacrificed for inde#endence from reality. as 9hen stu#idity can #revent or cause an)iety y the schema under2 or overreacting to reality. This is really the foundation of stu#idity:the emotional commitment to the schema.

s #lans and desires most often leads him to ruin. !ohesion thus tends to ma6e grou#s rather narro9 and. can e stu#efying. Kven 9hen a schema is inade>uate. the fa rication of gratifying data can e immediately #leasing 9hile serving to entrench a misleading schema.diversity as sus#icious rather than as a source of strength. The assum#tion that normal society is reasona le and realistic is #art of the Dationalists. Irrationality hel#s the slightly neurotic normal #eo#le ad<ust to each other even as it #revents them from 6no9ing themselves or achieving a long2term ad<ustment to their limitations. the elief systems of normal humans are also slightly off center. the goal is not an ideal state of mental health ut one of ada#ting to the #articular >uir6s and notions of a given reference grou#. This is 9hy @Be realistic@ and @Be yourself@ are such du ious its of advice for a #erson having difficulty relating to others. Ineffective as it may e. Stu#idity really is due to a mismatch et9een the e)ternal demands of the environment and the internal attitude of the schema. eing limited y su conscious iases and thus often irrelevant to the solution of e)isting #ro lems. In Freudian terms. the #erson is really in a losing situation. In fact. creating #ro lems that other9ise 9ould not e)ist. . For someone 9ho is trying to ad<ust to society. The schema ecomes delusive through a com ination of insensitivity and fantasy. "elusions are classic e)am#les of #sychic defenses 9hich. much conscious 6no9ledge is only o li>uely related to a restricted reality. Of course. Of course. stu#idity is a defense mechanism 9hich 6ee#s culturally for idden desires at a su conscious level. On the other hand. At any level of intensity. Thus. as o <ective accuracy has een sacrificed for enhanced esteem of mem ers. The normal human condition is a state of com#romise et9een t9o com#eting tendencies:one to test and the other to deny reality. All 9e are li6ely to 6no9 a out our society and ourselves is that 9hich is culturally acce#ta le. insulated grou# can ecome arrogant and careless 9hen tem#erance and caution are in order. Actually. Ci6e9ise. the <udgments #aranoids ma6e are commonly ased on fear and may oth <ustify and continue that emotional state rather than function to reduce a real threat. ut stu#idity also isolates us from ourselves. adding a touch of fantasy can further reduce any an)iety 9hich might e induced y accurate #erce#tions of the environment. e)cessive amounts of energy may e used to im#ose delusions on facts. #revention of an)iety and #romotion of grou# cohesion com ine to #roduce a schema 9hich is oth more and less than a reflection of reality. in that he cannot survive as such. 9ithout it. he 9ould no longer e himself. ut this is usually. A #ointedly malada#tive schema may ecome firmly esta lished as a delusive individual ignores signs of difficulty and con<ures u# signs of success. %o9ever. K)cessive insensitivity to the most o vious facts contrary to an egotist. he must ado#t a ne9 schema. for all their self2induced efficiency. since the one he has 9ill not ada#t. delusions may ma6e it a##ear to e functional. they #rovide a #erson 9ith faulty inter#retations of reality to 9hich the victim 9ill cling des#ite all 6inds of contradictory evidence. in the long run. -ot only does grou# cohesion tend to narro9 the schema. in e)cess. In such a case. This intensification of self2identification is defensive in that the #erson is his schema. limited in outloo6. To survive. For e)am#le. !onse>uently. denying reality is an e)treme= misconstruing it through the misinter#retive #o9er of 9ords is the norm. legacy and is #atently erroneous. mem ers of an overconfident. all defense mechanisms a##ear to e stu#id to the degree that they malad#atively distort reality and may not e necessary relative to e)ternal conditions any9ay. y doing so. so coo#eration is usually #romoted y #eo#le #laying their given roles 9ithout dis#laying their unsettling idiosyncracies. It is ad enough that the mechanism for informing us a out our environment is disru#ted. a malada#tive strategy. the individual is lost.

even if it is sim#ly a smile or #at on the ac6. it is time to ac6 off and reevaluate the situation and yourself. and the #ossi ilities for stu#idity in this condition are oundless. 9hich occurs 9hen #eo#le cannot su consciously acce#t the reality of their o9n circumstances and ehavior. #erha#s our collective e#ita#h 9ill read. As a defense mechanism. At the level of the individual. When the schema ecomes malada#tive to the #oint of eing #rimarily self2sustaining or self2destructive rather than res#onsive to the environment. as ehavior is more li6ely to reinforce than reduce the source of stress. In e)treme cases. having acute senses of sight.F. social acce#tance . hearing. In the case of stu#idity.. unrealistic ehavior 9hich is malada#tive. social re<ection and failure to attain goals may e the #rices #aid in order to e free from assumed emotional strain. The ma<or difference is that stu#idity is often re9arded y society. If 9e ignore for the moment the #ossi le com#lications of rain damage due to #hysical trauma Ea lo9 to the head. Just as denial is a defense against e)ternal threats. as it is a case of sheer action 9ithout guidance or control. Of course. 9hen a #aranoid #erceives threats 9hich do not really e)istF. In a more glo al sense. the Oedi#us com#le) 9as one of Freud. Such self2generated stress is #roduced 9hen the schema motivates. The delusion of @(rotective destruction@ 9hich sha#ed American conduct in the &ietnam conflict 9asan idiotic case in #oint' any time you have to destroy something in order to save it. The o##osite e)treme of e)cessive control to the e)clusion of action is the condition of re#ression.e. for e)am#le. so 9e are all manic to the e)tent that 9e act 9ithout thin6ing. for 9e seem ent on creating an environment in 9hich 9e 9ill all achieve the #erfect e>uality of e)tinction. If it is #ossi le to have human life 9ithout a schema. this is it. @In order to survive.The asic #rinci#les of ego defense 9hich function and malfunction for individuals may also e a##lied to grou#s. re#ression is a defense against internal threats. Although all mental illnesses are stu#id. The schema survives at the e)#ense of 6no9ledge. self2defeating and fre>uently #unished y society. in moderation. The schema e)cludes #otentially threatening thoughts or feelings from a9areness y #reventing their ver al or ehavioral e)#ression. %o9ever. It is interesting to note that clinical manics are often hy#ersensitive. The mind then #ic6s u# normal functioning after the trauma has #assed. re#ression can ma6e us feel a it more #leasant y hel#ing us forget distur ing events. This im#atience of lea#ing 9hile loo6ing is a com ination of sus#ended thought and an inner drive to action. (eo#le usually engage in any form of ehavior ecause of some sort of immediate re9ard. and it reduces the demand to co#e 9ith any underlying #ro lems. is characteristic of the manic. re#ression is a great 9ay to maintain order ased on the a##earance that all is 9ell. there are no defense mechanisms 9hich reduce internally generated stress Eas. A totalitarian society may also e re#ressive:#rohi iting demonstrations and s#eeches 9hich might call attention to #ro lems. etc.s favorite re#ressions. leaving the amnesiac functioning 9ithout 6no9ing 9ho he is. While classical defense mechanisms may e. and a direct if irrelevant connection is made et9een stimulus and res#onse. 9hatever they are and 9hatever the conse>uences. stu#idity itself is most similar to the clinical condition of neurosis:i. these may surface eventually. and it can e as stu#id as mania:the one as >uiet as the other is e)#losive. they self2destructed@. to the e)clusion of memories of everything that occurred efore. although often in forms unrecogniza le to the conscience in individuals or to the leaders in society. a condition of mental illness e)ists. It is as if eing too sensitive induces stu#idity in that the thought #rocess is y#assed. 9hich sim#ly is not set u# to #rocess the data #resented. any great #sychological trauma:a ad traffic accident or com at e)#erience:may e lost on the schema. misinforms and leads one to ehavior 9hich is irrelevant to the resolution of e)ternal #ro lems or the im#rovement of internal mechanisms of reaction and control. effective means for co#ing 9ith e)ternal stress. this #rocess #roduces the clinical condition of amnesia. Such a headlong rush to do things. In the case of neurosis. etc.

Indeed. In the inner circles of government. Whether this leads to madness. To #ut it luntly. e)ce#t that oth 9ere totally ine#t in their interactions 9ith ordinary #eo#le. The madness of a grou#. an e)treme case of @"ou t@ induced y a failure of reality to live u# to e)#ectations. those on the fringe may 9ell develo# schemas of their o9n. for etter or 9orse. Beethoven. Freud noted #eo#le in a grou# may act li6e children:sus#ending mature <udgment and common sense 9hen caught u# in the mass #sychosis of lindly follo9ing a charismatic leader. a schema may rea6 do9n under routine conditions due to a lac6 of sustaining reinforcement. genius or some mi)ture of the t9o is ut another matter for ar itrary <udgment. Beethoven 9as #retty damned stu#id in nonmusical matters. This is the condition of de#ression.may cause the failure to attain im#ortant goals. In schizo#hrenic #olitical systems. li6e that of %itler or $anson. ut it 9ould have een a out saving energy until the a##arent #ointlessness of ehavioral feed ac6 could e constructed into some 6ind of sensi le schema. the individuals 9arranted ostracism not <ust for eing different. Of course. Such insulation sim#lifies the immediate 9orld of the leaders ut also #romotes the accumulation of long2term discontent throughout the general society. -o one ever 9rote a story a out a little engine that 9as not sure or could not e othered. Beethoven misunderstood #eo#le ecause he lived in a 9orld of tones and emotions= Ford had the same #ro lem ecause he lived in a 9orld of steel and overalls. -ietzsche noted that madness is the e)ce#tion in individuals ut the rule in grou#s. the orthodo) channels of communication rea6 do9n so that #rotests ecome messages transmitted from 9ithin to an esta lishment unrece#tive to suggestions or criticisms. this eing the #rice #aid for the #sychic satisfaction of elonging to a grou#. It is also 9orth noting that general creativity can develo# in those ostracized. In this sense. Sometimes. This is often the e)#erience of schizo#hrenics. ut that is the #rice #aid for the creation of a far. In e)treme clinical cases. K)ce#t for a fe9 disastrous occasions. As they are estranged from a schema they never really identified 9ith any9ay. fantasy may #roduce hallucinations to com#ensate for missing stimuli. . %e 9as totally devoid of sym#athetic insight and inha ited a 9orld of his o9n into 9hich no one else could #enetrate. lost all effective contact 9ith the social and usiness 9orlds efore he 9as thirty years old. their su <ective 9orld is a decided distortion. a leader may #ressure advisers to ru 2 er2stam# an ill2conceived #rogram. derives much of its im#etus from social su##ort. in the t9o e)am#les mentioned. O viously. of reality. %o9ever. $adness of the individual. and certainly there is often something mindless in conformity. the orthodo) sensory channels rea6 do9n and in#ut is created internally 9hich oth e)#resses and <ustifies the e)isting emotional state of the individual. ut for eing dia olical. society is not usually very discerning in its 9ariness of #eo#le 9ho fail to conform to e)#ectation. far different 9orld from that 9hich most of us recognize. In the meantime. he left others to live their o9n 9ays in their o9n 9orlds. li6e that of those 9ho follo9ed Adolf %itler or !harles $anson. a stu#id #assivity 9ould have #revented effective res#onses to the environment. In schizo#hrenics. %enry Ford had little in common 9ith Beethoven. 9ith the net result in such instances usually eing #ointedly malada#tive. Inventive genius is due to the creative fantasy of introverts often incom#etent to gras# even the sim#lest #rece#ts of social life. lac6 of vigilance and acce#tance of e)cessive ris6s are common 9hen mem ers of a reference grou# and together to su##ort a mutual sense of overconfidence. their ehavior ta6es on a degree of inde#endence from and irrelevance to their surroundings. This 9as the #rice of his genius. often develo#s 9hen a creative #erson is ostracized y general society. ut he might rather sim#ly e)ert su tle influence to #revent them from e)ercising their critical <udgment. for e)am#le. 9hose schemas can #rovide emotionally re>uired comfort and hel# andGor terror and threats missing from the e)ternal 9orld.

Both A raham Cincoln and Adolf %itler 9ere gifted in eing a le to articulate 9hat many around them <ust felt. The genius #rovides an alternative #ers#ective to that of the acce#ted schema. 9hereas a genius is a crac6#ot 9ho <ust ha##ened to e right. Such #eo#le do so much so naturally and 9ell that they have difficulty relating #rofessionally to those 9ho are struggling to learn and to 9hom #erforming is in some 9ay a conscious effort. As might e e)#ected. the mind can fi) u#on a ne9 idea and concentration on it and its ramifications can e carried to logical or even a surd e)tremes. The first ty#e is the artistGinventor. this a ility must e recognized as a 6ind of genius. for e)am#le. in such a state. This reduced a9areness of the environment gives imagination a chance to 9ander. This is one of those general animal . The first ste# is to get the eyes out of focus so that disru#tive e)ternal stimuli are reduced. and he reaches that #innacle of #erce#tion y uilding faith in his o9n eliefs a out a #henomenon in 9hich he is totally a sor ed. For the creative #erson to achieve inde#endence of thought. to some degree. The second is the leaderGmessiah. motivation. It is not a commodity 9hich can e ought or sold= nor is it a matter to e settled y ar itration or reached y mutual consent= nor can it e im#osed on anyone y force. The one frames a schema 9hich accurately reflects reality or e)#resses an aesthetic state. he must. etc. there are different 6inds of genius. the develo#ment of creativity and genius seems to de#end very much on such noncognitive factors as #ersonality. It is im#ortant to note the contri ution of stu#idity to genius. Of course. The inventive genius deli erately isolates himself from society so that he can deal e)clusively 9ith a limited amount of information inde#endently.This ina ility of the great to relate to ordinary minds sho9s u# in s#orts as 9ell' no great ase all #layer has een an effective manager. The sensational form is the schema uster Eli6e Beethoven or FordF 9ho rea6s convention to redefine the 9orld. there is the conventional form of genius 9ho really a ides y the rules:the formal. If this rings one closer to the solution of a #ro lem or o#ens ne9 vistas for #ersonal or cultural advancement. they tend to regard any deviation from e)#ectation 9ith a certain amount of humor or tre#idation and inter#ret it irreverently. created est 9hen com#letely himself. All such ar itrary <udgments 9ould e easier to ma6e and there 9ould e much more concurrence in them 9ere 9e not so amazing in our a ility to learn. One reci#e for creative thin6ing is a #eculiar lend of daydreaming and concentration. since #eo#le usually use their o9n schema as the standard for evaluation. ecause e)cellence is a su <ective. For 9hatever #ur#ose it is used. %is results conclusively demonstrated asic #rinci#les of life and disease so convincingly that these re#laced age2old myths 9ith 6no9ledge and understanding. Further. It is hardly sur#rising that the decision to la el a #articular creative #erson a crac6#ot or genius is one of the more ar itrary <udgments #eo#le #resume to ma6e. inde#endence of thought is really the factor 9hich #ermits the creative #erson to move eyond mastery to inventive genius. then the rief la#se into stu#idity 9as 9orth9hile. $ost geniuses 9or6 to greatest advantage 9hen least em roiled in human society. Couis (asteur is an e)am#le of a #erson 9ho creatively a##lied the rigors of e)#erimental investigation to unconventional assum#tions. The other offers his follo9ers a schema 9hich ans9ers their needs and motivates them to live for the realization of their eliefs. The general rule is that a crac6#ot is someone 9ho ma6es a concerted effort to find a ne9 9ay to e stu#id. Beniuses of this ty#e are usually #eo#le of flair and great insight. ma6e himself o livious of his surroundings as 9ell as of #revailing e)#lanations and assum#tions. u# ringing. #ersonal e)#erience rather than a social #henomenon. By 9ay of contrast. When. stated standards: and ma6es them 9or6. Although a certain level of mental a ility is necessary for mastery of a ody of 6no9ledge. There are also different ty#es of genius in another sense' those 9ho 9or6 inde#endently of #eo#le and those 9ho get #eo#le to 9or6 for them. $ozart.

Traditions and norms further tend to stunt cultural develo#ment y 9ay of the neurotic #arado). nor that 9e sim#ly have to select among various forms of stu#idity. The value gained y an occasional good idea y a mind 9andering eyond immediacy more than com#ensates for the many useless. that mind 9ill e la eled @Benius@ or @Stu#id@ according to its conformity to the demands and desires of the reference grou#. if one can set a standard for <udgment. de#ending on 9hether reality can e rought into conformity 9ith the ne9 ideas. The creative mind 9hich invents ne9 #ossi le relationshi#s among o <ects or com inations of them may e committing an act of genius or stu#idity. Imagination may thus e vie9ed as increasing the range of stu#idity 9hile #roviding o#tions for cultural advancement. ar itrary and su <ective. The #ro lem is that 9e do not set a standard for <udgment. In this conte)t. long2term detrimental conse>uences. the long human tradition of disasters orn in a surdity. This is ecause the schema automatically favors itself. %o9ever. and it can e for the etter. one 9ith alanced develo#ment might e ideal ut not ty#ically human. alternatively. While the initial reaction to any such deviation from the norm may e negative. Our schemas may 6ee# us from learning 9hat is 9hile hel#ing us. contented culture or. %o9ever. -ot only may ne9 ideas or inventions e faulty. stu#idity may e seen as the #rice #aid for the enefits of imagination. . ho9ever. short2term re9ards of conforming to e)#ectation are usually most real and com#elling. vice and folly. acce#ted ehavior may e reinforced des#ite real. There is change. %o9ever. they can serve either as eacons for guiding future develo#ment Eif they are indeed constructiveF or as sirens for luring the un9ary into fruitless #ursuits Eif they are nothing ut alluringF. As mentioned earlier. is most iased to9ard conforming to the status >uo. We can learn <ust a out anything. This method of ad<ustment #ermits social evolution in gradual ste#s 9hen novel contri utions are minor and #erha#s limited to #articular circumstances. neither ado#ting novel modes of thought and ehavior nor adhering to convention is in itself stu#id. The condition of a consistent. learn things that are not. This is not to say that #rogress is im#ossi le or <ust illusionary. every so often one such variation 9ill catch on and e a##reciated as a #ositive mutation in the cultural life of a grou#. That #rocess of evaluation. since the immediate.ca#acities 9hich humans have ta6en to a du ious e)treme. The #ro lem is that 9e are not limited y reality to learning <ust 9hat e)ists or occurs. Just ho9 efficiently 9e do this and 9hether for good or evil de#ends on our cognitive a ilities and the morality of our o9n conventional standards for evaluation. That evaluation is circumstantial. -aturally. (eo#le set any num er of standards 9hich are very much conditioned y 9ho they are. The act of reorganizing cognitions in itself is of no #articular value. (erha#s the miracle is not that 9e have so much conflict and confusion in the 9orld ut that 9e have so little. Accordingly. One very real dra9 ac6 to this #rocess of learning y evaluating ne9 creations is that there are so many mista6es. some malada#tive ehavior is sim#ly inefficiency:noise in the system. silly or even dangerous notions so common in our mental life. errors and lunders made along the 9ay. The ma<or lea#s of genius are often cognitively as 9ell as emotionally incom#rehensi le to the ma<ority in a grou#. tradition and norms all su##ort the familiar and tend to ma6e anything ne9 sus#ect. y illogical e)tensions. Canguage. #erverts the #rocess of cultural evaluation into one of self2confirmation and tends to steer evolution to9ard conformity. malada#tive ehavior may also e indicative of cognitions straying from the narro9 confines of the conventional schema. e)ce#t that it e)#ands our #otential for understanding and controlling the environment. ut the standards for evaluating them may e faulty Eor ina##ro#riateF' ergo. Canguage #re<udices <udgments y the nature of emotional values associated 9ith certain terms.

as #eo#le fail to do 9hat they should. 9e can and do coo#erate. half of the story. -otes . Unfortunately. #eo#le have flattered themselves 9ith the #leasing notion that 9e are intelligent. Decently. and those 9ho have have not usually een 9ell received. doing instead 9hat they should not:and the term @Should@ denotes a moral im#erative. They are asically out for themselves and not much interested in im#roving the system. at est. $ost #eo#le are <ust trying to get along. and the 9hole can e greater than the sum of the sacrificing #arts. The shoc6 and dismay that greeted Freud. this #rocess of self2corru#tion is inherent in human culture. For ages. The same schemas 9hich #romote social cohesion can and it seems invaria ly do corru#t learning and ada#tation and thus lead to their o9n disintegration. synergistic movements to construct more com#le) societies. and it is not as flattering as that 9hich em#hasizes our constructive nature. Although they may e unconsciously involved in coo#erative. analysts have carried on this tradition y em#hasizing the ana olic as#ects of civilization. free. and it is true. there is another side to the story. de#raved. it may e ecause 9e are not trying to do that. etc. It is a legacy of the cynics and their intellectual descendants 9ho vie9ed humanity as mean. this is. %o9ever. The sad fact of life is that there is a cata olic side to nature.s favorites. scientists have een reluctant to carry on this tradition.If 9e have so consistently failed in our efforts to esta lish a 9orld of #eace and #lenty for all. This is a moral rather than a cognitive failing. !ivilizations oth rise and fall. Bod. -ot sur#risingly. evil and stu#id.s revelations are re#resentative of the reactions of oth the #u lic and #rofessionals to theories a out human ehavior that are oth sound and unsettling. The 9hole ecomes less than the sum of its #arts as it dominates to the #oint of #reventing su grou#s from carrying out their functions effectively.

It is the legacy of ygone eras 9hich crushed the sensitive and favored the dull. de#endent on the mis#erce#tions and fantasies of the #articular #eo#le running themselves into the ground chasing their o9n favorite rain o9. ulcers and high lood #ressure of conscientious authority. it is a communication system. -o machine is uilt 9ithout it. eing a common element in all religions. In order to #rotect the guilty.2) The 0u#tura# Basis of Stupidit% What is culture? There are many ans9ers. #olitical regimes and economic systems. (oorly ad<usted children mature into malad<usted adults. if the dum are failures 9ho are una le to com#rehend that the successful ma6e and rea6 their o9n rules to suit themselves. some of the stu#idest #eo#le may e the leaders. Unfortunately. normative rules define the ehavioral #rogram of a #eo#le 9hile language frames their common assum#tions. . In every age. ho9ever. as it is different things to different #eo#le. develo#ing and transmitting it throughout a society and through time. :9hile the actual. This may e a short2term oon for society. stu#idity is routinely transmitted from one generation to the ne)t y the time2 honored mechanism of the vicious cycle. and it has een analyzed as a means for distri uting oth human and natural energy. As a >uality. it is a means of ehavioral organization y 9hich some of the more advanced s#ecies Ees#ecially so#histicated verte ratesF learn to interact 9ith their environments. !ulture is also a means of transmitting ehavior and values across generations. this one. We are the descendants of those 9ho survived the drudgery and oredom of #ast 9or6ing and living conditions. rules. each society has a s#ecific set of cultural controls:reci#es. 9ith some #eo#le eing clearly su#erior to others in this res#ect. s#ontaneous synthesis. so most are. It is oth eternal and u i>uitous. no one yet seems to have considered culture as a means for fostering stu#idity: #romoting. for e)am#le. easily offset y a 9illing dis#osition of #eo#le to s#read it and encourage its continual. at est. stress. toe the line. #hiloso#hies. #lans and instructions:9hich #rovide oth a method for structuring ehavior and a linguistic conte)t for #erceiving it. may have to e treated as e)ce#tional Ealthough self2serving ehavior in government and iased attitudes in la oratories are as common as grass is to la9nsF. As a cultural constant. then using the same techni>ues their #arents used on them to raise yet another generation of misinformed conformists or malcontented socio#aths. forgive. As a >uantifia le #henomenon. If there is some selection #ressure acting to 9eed stu#idity out of each generation. &er alized ideals then may 6ee# the disenfranchised in their #laces:e)horting them to 9or6 harder. Our forefathers 9ere the shir6ers 9ho left the fighting to the valiant and the rave. functional means used to achieve s#ecific. In terms of a schema. of course. land and culture. stu#idity is distri uted unevenly. Although the s#ecific forms that contem#orary stu#idity assumes are our o9n and some of them ne9ly minted. %o9ever. Our ancestors 9ere <ust lo9 enough on the ladder of cultural life not to succum to the an)iety. cultures usually reduce themselves to im#racticality. immediate ends are seldom ac6no9ledged y the esta lishment. For all the o serving and generalizing done y cultural anthro#ologists. stu#idity defines the hominid condition. and most artists: es#ecially modern artists: de#end u#on it for their success. it is the great e>ualizer of humanity. a##arently. short2term successes 9hich induce their o9n long2term demise. Further. the general condition is #art of our cultural heritage. it is. In our case. although the s#ecific forms it may ta6e are. (erha#s it is this as 9ell. societies. true human universal seems to have esca#ed notice com#letely. Basically. so graft and corru#tion in #olitics and su <ectivity in science. etc.

-o9. A system of technology hel#s each culture 9rec6 its environment. In more mundane matters. #o9er and status u#on the social system. ut having a elief system is a human universal. the #o9erful 9ill acce#t only those changes 9hich increase their #o9er:that is. economy. This may #rovide a one2sided. In each and all of these systems. (erha#s it is time to consider the very real #ossi ility that oth the systems and their interactions are illogical. social scientists have een trying to im#ose some order of logic on the actions and interrelationshi#s of these systems. as it concentrates human energy y #romoting conformity in oth elief and ehavior. . In their self2serving 9ays. 9ith a #hiloso#hy of life ased on false eliefs nurtured in agnostic ignorance. etc. The range and intensity of religions may differ. Islam constitutes one of the most intense forms of cultural stu#efication e)istent. each of 9hich caters to a asic human need. the mode of religious elief is the same. As a state religion. Usually. nevertheless. there is a su tle hint of stu#idity as a common element 9hich unifies culture into a disintegrating 9hole. culture is a system of ideology. %aving found it.The #erson of limited sensitivity and modest am itions finds ha##iness relatively easily. misery and des#air among the unfortunate many. oth ha##iness and #o9er are conservative forces acting to #reserve the status >uo y o##osing o <ective evaluation of criticisms or suggestions 9hich might im#rove the 9orld ut certainly 9ould change it. ut it gives #eo#le the feeling that they have at least some in#ut into the cosmic schema. This 9illingness #rovides the #sychological asis for the church and state. he strives to maintain it and ecomes the enemy of #rogress. Whether su#ernatural or su#erhuman #henomena e revered. Also. In general. changes 9hich ma6e significant change less li6ely. For the #ast t9o hundred years. Thus. elief systems are also directed to9ard su#erhuman #rinci#les 9hich #resuma ly sha#e our institutions. #articularly if and 9hen they feel they have no control over such organizations and entities:as many feel they do not in the modern 9orld. EThis dis#osition may e re#resented y the formula' !ontrol ) Belief S J.F. The #sychological asis for religion is that #eo#le are dis#osed to 9orshi# 9hat they cannot control. these institutions feed on the 9ea6nesses of #eo#le. Allied 9ith the dull and ha##y are the #o9erful and successful. First and foremost Eand incidentally consistent 9ith our o9n un iased em#hasis on schemasF. ma6ing them 9ea6er and 6ee#ing them from learning and doing things they might com#rehend and accom#lish. 9ant to retain their #ositions of influential unha##iness. Further. culture is a elief system= there is invaria ly some religious commitment to a higher order of #resumed #o9ers or con<ured eings. 9ith the church #roviding eliefs for #eo#le 9ho cannot understand and the state #roviding things for #eo#le 9ho cannot do. culture is a communication system 9hich disseminates the misinformation u#on 9hich a #olitical system is ased. 9ho often are not #articularly ha##y ut. im alanced reci#rocity. Deligion 9as originally directed to9ard su#ernatural s#irits 9hich #resuma ly influenced natural events. !ontri uting greatly to the culture of stu#idity is the 9illingness of #eo#le to su mit to higher authorities in matters re>uiring intellectual effort. #eo#le may literally @Believe in@ E9orshi#F their cultural institutions Ethe government. and a system of arts #rovides sym olic e)#ressions in front of 9hich #eo#le may hide.F (eo#le also li6e to thin6 they enter into some 6ind of reci#rocal relationshi# 9ith the incom#rehensi le if a system of elief. o servance and ritual is esta lished. culture may e vie9ed in terms of a num er of interacting com#onent systems.s favored fe9 9hile distri uting #overty. and it is this #rocess of elief:the defining feature of schemas :9hich determines the nature of human culture. and culture is the social mechanism for creating and maintaining the various religious systems of the 9orld. The #olitical system in turn is sha#ed y an economic system Eif the term @System@ still a##liesF 9hich concentrates 9ealth. inconsistent and malada#tive to the #oint that culture may e characterized as stu#id.

Thus. a #ositive feed ac6 mechanism. Although. if such a elief system and its sustaining rituals #revent #eo#le from finding a real cure or means of #reventing disease. 9hich all #eo#le have. If and 9hen such ans9ers are offered. In the a sence of any really effective medical means of co#ing 9ith illness. there may also e a long2 term loss. Inter#retation #ermits faith to continue. truly evil events are attri uted to other #o9ers 9hich serve as foi les for the #riests and those they re#resent. in moderation. #lagues. etc. itself. and culture is. although necessity clearly demands that ehavior contradict ideals. if valid ans9ers are not immediately availa le. is a##arently more comforting than having none at all. #riests are res#onsi le for #erverting no le ideals into igno le means y the very human device of @Inter#retation@.g. 9ars. In so#histicated societies. and it indeed may e. a elief in the malevolent dead #rovides a theory of disease. it tends to e)cess and ecomes malada#tive ecause it is a cultural #henomenon. most contrived ans9ers tend to e self2serving and are designed to #romote eliefs in oth the su#ernatural and the #eo#le 9ho #rovide the ans9ers. they are manufactured y the schema ecause having an ans9er. As everyone already 6no9s. y its very nature. In matters of ill health.. The role of @Ans9er man@ is #layed y the @(riest@:a religious or secular e)#ert 9ho serves as an intermediary et9een the #u lic and the su#ernatural s#irits or su#erhuman institutions in 9hich the #eo#le elieve. It offers oth an e)#lanation of cause Ethe actions of evil s#iritsF and a means of #revention Ecalling on friendly s#iritsF. @We don.t 6no9 9hat 9e. Worse yet. in some #rimitive societies.re doing@. ut also y the fact that stress and an)iety are reduced for some #atients 9ho really elieve in the medicine man and his little rituals. humans also must have ans9ers. This is the method y 9hich a code of eliefs is ada#ted to the real needs and circumstances of society. %o9ever. ma6ing the su#ernatural. recovery may e enhanced even if the s#ecific treatment is #hysiological nonsense. 9hich 9ill e considered directly. EK. This #rocess 9as ty#ically human:#eo#le rarely eing content to generalize from <ust the data at hand 9hen some more can e invented to dress u# reality a it.One real #sychological enefit to having elief systems and their su##orting rituals is that oth can serve to reduce an)iety in times of crisis' Belief systems #rovide a sense of control. If this is a short2term gain. This is the condition that originally led fantasy to add a s#iritual element to the natural 9orld. The #riest is really sort of a #u lic relations s#ecialist for the Almighty or the mere mighty. %is <o is to #ass off reality in the est #ossi le light and gloss over minor disasters. inherently. In general. and this. On the contrary. Although this may #romote grou# cohesion and im#rove morale. For e)am#le. such a elief and its attendant rituals #ermit #eo#le to face an other9ise e9ildering e)#erience 9ith some confidence. can reduce the #sychological distress accom#anying an illness. @We are hel#less and ho#eless and doomed to a #ointless e)istence y indifferent fate@ or even the more #rosaic. it can inhi it oth learning and ada#tation. religious systems are most cons#icuous among #eo#les 9ho are intensely de#endent u#on nature and have limited technical means for controlling it. those acce#ting them are not much ins#ired nor 9ell dis#osed to #ass them on. The >uestions are universals' Who are 9e? Where did 9e come from? Where are 9e going? When 9ill 9e get there? The ans9ers form an ideology. technological develo#ment egets more technology= #atriotism #roduces more #atriots= etc. and rituals #rovide a culturally acce#ta le means of action. American ideals have t9ice een tram#led y @Deal@ Americans indulging in 9itch hunts for !ommunist heretics during the #ost2World War .F Along 9ith eliefs. the success of curers can e e)#lained not only y the real effectiveness of medicinal treatment and the fact that some #eo#le recover any9ay. even if it is 9rong. this trade2off can e ada#tive. One seldom hears the entro#ically futile. #eo#le have come to misdirect their religious fervor to9ard their o9n cultural systems and even themselves. For e)am#le.

the clergy 9ere <ust trying to retain their influence among the faithful. social and economic institutions. Be they religious creeds or secular la9s.s meaning to irrelevance. It is sad indeed to note that the teachings of great religious leaders have so often een inter#reted to <ustify some of the most ar aric. only cosmetic or comic criticism 9ill e 9elcomed. These are more committed to themselves than to . An e)am#le of such a degraded ideal 9as #rovided y the !rusaders.Ded Scares. If the schema can #ossi ly e stretched to cover e)isting events. Any fundamental challenge to or >uestioning of asic assum#tions 9ill usually e dismissed out of hand as threats from the outside. It really is some 6ind of #erverse miracle that the image of #eace. What most social scientists fail to a##reciate is that they are studying religious systems. The reaction of the holy !hurch to the inroads of science during the #ast several centuries is a stu#endous e)am#le of ho9 attem#ts to maintain a schema can inhi it develo#ment of control over the real 9orld. %o9ever. disru#tive #rotests or massive emigrations cannot e denied even y the devout. -orms sanctify ehavior and certify social #rocedures as eyond >uestion. The asic #ro lem 9ith trying to reform religious institutions is that elievers tend to discount factual 6no9ledge. The social sciences are currently directed to9ard rendering cultural #henomena com#rehensi le rather than <ust credi le. Anyone 9ho dares contradict. That America is not a democracy and that the alleged @!a#italistic@ economy is government regulated mean naught to flag 9avers. @Inhuman@ attitudes and acts in history. 9hen #eo#le are most in of need a credi le cause. no religious leader could ma6e such a self2defeating admission. ut the emotional commitment of elievers to a malada#tive schema can inhi it the ado#tion of one that is etter suited to reality. it 9ill e. stu#idity is the great ally of #riests and leaders 9hen they #resume to inter#ret a creed according to need. religious eliefs are the driving force of society. This occurs 9hen un9elcome #erce#tions of cultural disintegration in the forms of violent riots. no one 9ould e so stu#id as to #oint out that the schema is a dra9 ac6 and should e a andoned for a etter one. -o matter ho9 society may falter. O viously. >uestion or even dou t enshrined cultural values is as6ing for ostracism. tam#ering 9ith #eo#le. %o9ever <ustified such an assertion might e. -aturally. One of the #eculiar things a out all religions. -ot only can inter#retation reduce a #revailing schema. most #eo#le retain their un9itting religious attachment to esta lished #olitical. distur ing criticisms do not carry much 9eight 9ith #eo#le intracta ly entrenched in the holy esta lishment. Stu#idity ma6es illogical inter#retations oth #ossi le and acce#ta le.s eliefs and e)#eriencing very much the same 6ind of re<ection natural scientists e)#erienced in ages #ast 9hen they tried to hel# #eo#le understand the natural 9orld. Facts and 6no9ledge #ale efore the values of esta lished eliefs and cherished attitudes. O viously. ut @$an@ is inter#reted to mean @(eo#le li6e us@ 9hen intergrou# conflicts arise. 9ho slaughtered infidels Eand often the devout as 9ellF in the name if not the s#irit of !hrist. e they su#ernatural or su#erhuman. is that so much of their su stance is demonstra ly false. Facts are routinely refuted y information gathered y divination:a method of gathering unavaila le information. a means of learning the un6no9a le and a source of considera le comfort and solace to those firmly committed to the #revailing religious eliefs. ut they therefore steadily had to renounce #o9er as 9e gained understanding a out natural #henomena. #urity and #rinci#le #ersonified y Jesus could foster such fanaticism in his follo9ers that his commandment to live in love could e so lost on the faithful. schemas are inter#reted rather than corrected until the system rea6s do9n. -evertheless. In a similar vein real !hristians are su##osed to love their fello9 man. (eo#le 9ould really rather elieve than 6no9. as they acce#t the self2limiting #rinci#le of confining themselves to verifia le data. In times of challenge. This #uts o <ective investigators at a disadvantage.

for e)am#le. Second. those on the outside usually have little influence and less #o9er. Finally. Dituals not only strengthen the elief of the individual ut also serve to #romote grou# cohesion. confident individual or cohesive grou# acts to deal 9ith the challenges of the environment. (eo#le a##laud and cheer them in #erfunctory fashion. and there is nothing li6e a good 9itch hunt to #ermit a culture to e)#ress its frustration and release its hostility on some ha#less soul. First. eliefs are sustained y ritual rather than relevance. Although rituals are not designed to effect o <ective change directly. #ositive results may follo9 9hen an ins#ired eliever or the united grou# co#es 9ith #ro lems. ut the ritual is certain to e re#eated four years later as much regardless as ecause of its direct or indirect. While 9e might tend to thin6 of rituals in a #urely theological conte)t :that is. Belief in 9itches and 9itchcraft is usually most intense in times of increased social tension 9hen #eo#le are faced 9ith a crisis they are una le to resolve y the institutional means 9hich created it. and #erha#s some good comes out of all that later on. although it is very nice that 9e can 9rite our !ongressman. criticism is often off the mar6 ecause it must e couched in language 9hich inhi its accurate.ou need not 9onder 9here to loo6 for our modern 9itches' our #risons are full of them. much of the criticism in Western societies could e considered ritualistic. in churches and similar institutions of s#iritual eliefs:they also #lay a significant role in secular religions. ut it certainly is most satisfying to everyone Ee)ce#t the 9itchesF. !eremonial o servances #rovide #artici#ants 9ith 9hat they #erceive as means of influencing their relations 9ith su#ernatural or su#erhuman #o9ers that are elieved to control all things. eing increasingly ceremonial e)#ressions of and for the devout and decreasing2 ly #rograms for future ehavior. rituals should not e <udged as stu#id for eing misdirected at the time of #erformance= their value should e assessed later 9hen the motivated. ho9ever. In American #olitics. so their e)#ressed grievances may e safely ignored. immediate or long2range effects on #olitical life. This may e unfair. $ostly. #arty #latforms have ta6en on a meta#horical meaning. ut grou#s each invaria ly #ic6 u# the notion that they are the one 9ith su#erior . catching and dis#osing of #eo#le 9ho 9ere eing themselves.s relation to such #o9ers. Usually. anything good ha##ening to the eliever after #rayers is attri uted to them and acts Eas did the food re9ard to S6inner. -aturally. irrelevant and stu#id. anyone 9ho thin6s that valid criticism in such messages 9ill have some #ositive effects #ro a ly also counts on the e>ually li6ely event of 9inning the <ac6#ot in the state lottery. misfortune must e caused y 9itches. Further. If rituals are asically futile efforts to effect change in some direct and immediate sense. Fortunately for #riests.any #rinci#le of ad<ustment and thus tend to ma6e any institution less and less efficient as <ustifia le com#laints accrue unheeded 9ith the #assage of time. They have een im#risoned ecause culture transmits ehavior. -ot only do individuals learn certain forms of social or antisocial ehavior. Kven 9hen criticism is <ustified. . a 9itch hunt o scures the real causes of underlying #ro lems and ma6es finding long2term solutions less li6ely as energy and attention are misdirected to9ard the rituals of chasing. 9rong. Since 9itches cause misfortune. since religious rituals are often social events. Thus. 6no9 9hat is going on and could ma6e relevant criticism are too much caught u# in the system to #ut themselves in <eo#ardy y lo9ing 9histles. relevant thin6ing a out fundamental #ro lems. 9itches or their human correlates may e targeted as convenient sca#egoats y #eo#le una le or un9illing to ac6no9ledge their o9n contri ution to the creation of e)isting difficulties. eliefs and rituals across generations y the #rocess of indoctrination. the #eo#le 9ho are on the inside. send a letter to an editor or draft a useless oo6 li6e this. #artici#ation in rituals is intended to #er#etuate or im#rove the eliever.s su#erstitious #igeonsF as a reinforcement for the ritual. Su##lication is fre>uent and sacrifice e)#licit.

The un>uestioning commitment to an ideology can ma6e com#romise difficult. While learning can e an o#ening and roadening e)#erience. Also. It is difficult to imagine and im#ossi le to calculate the misery #resuma ly su#erior #eo#le have inflicted on others. cause a culture to overreach its limitations and. Further. ut even a modest sense of su#eriority usually is enough to ma6e a eliever feel com#elled to convert others to his etter 9ays. it #rovides a means of com#rehending the environment. induce its o9n demise. #riests claim confirmation of the ideology. #articularly in times of challenge and change 9hen a 9illingness to ad<ust may e needed most. The constant attem#t of humans to ma6e #rinci#les of ehavior oth moral and rational indicates an inner >uest for a universe 9ith oth meaning and order. -aturally. their relations 9ith other #eo#le and to the universe as they #erceive it. to e less 9orthy than themselves. The failure of an organization to ada#t to changes in the environment matters little to the loyal mem er committed to o eying rules. y some standard selected <ust for this #ur#ose. if ureaucrats insist on follo9ing #rocedures sim#ly for the sa6e of #rocedure. as ha##ened 9ith -azi Bermany. A slightly inflated sense of 9orth tem#ered y some sense of reality a##ears to e the common #sychological state of most cultural grou#s. O viously. the cultural characteristic that a given #hiloso#hical system tends to ecome entrenched ever more 9ithin itself. a 9ell develo#ed ideology is conservative. and it also serves as a guide to actionEor inactionF so as to maintain as secure and static a #sychic >uo as #ossi le. If la9s are left on the oo6s long after they are dysfunctional. The #resum#tion is to hel# the un9illing y forcing o servance of rituals. ideology malfunctions as a guide for ehavior y defining right and 9rong and good and evil so that #eo#le can e 9rong and evil. This su#eriority com#le) must have een and may still e of survival advantage in intergrou# com#etition. #eo#le li6e to thin6 they are right and good Eor e)tremely cleverF and that any snafus are due sim#ly to ad luc6 or unforeseea le circumstances. An ideology #rovides elievers 9ith a raison d+etre:a logical <ustification for e)istence Ealthough it may a##ear irrational if ased on fla6y assum#tionsF. 9hereas if anything ad occurs. Teaching y e)am#le is seldom enough. for grou#s 9ith inferiority or realistic com#le)es are not notedly common. If conversion to the faith is im#ossi le. inhi iting ada#ta ility and re#ressing e)#ressions of novelty. #eo#le come to fight over their different ideas of morality 9hen they finally realize ho9 totally useless #hiloso#hical argumentation really is. (eo#le in other grou#s are <udged. %o9ever. some9here an ideologue is content in the 6no9ledge that his 9orld is consistent 9ith itself. 9hereas com#romise is usually #ossi le on #ractical matters. the commitment to ideology ecomes infle)i le to the #oint of rigidity. The ideology finds im#ractical e)#ression in the la9s and e)#licit rules of cultural organizations. secondary cause for a missionary. this sense of su#eriority can run a9ay 9ith itself. It descri es. everyone attri utes it to e)ternal forces. Kvery religion is invaria ly accom#anied y an ideology:another cultural universal 9hich #lays its role in fostering stu#idity throughout the human family.values and 9hich alone has a #rivate line to the Almighty. #roscri ing ehavior and attem#ting to im#ose eliefs on those unfortunate enough to come into contact 9ith su#eriority. Thus. In most cases. ut fanatics may tailor their o9n to <ustify e)treme acts of violence deemed necessary in their value system. to their satisfaction. the im#osition of religious #rohi itions is a 9orthy. the elief in su#eriority can realize itself y ma6ing elievers in fact su#erior to those 9ho dou t they are or 6no9 they are not. These serve to misguide such organizations. if grou#s cling to irrelevant traditions. (eo#le really need an ideology. <ust as they need food and drin6. if anything good does efall a grou#. $ilitary history indeed sho9s that most 9ars have een fought over meta#hysical issues rather than #ragmatic #ro lems ecause during intense cultural confrontations. In terms of morality. #eo#le so often ring on their o9n ad luc6 and contri ute to their o9n . ureaucracies and formal social grou#s into set #atterns of ehavior 9hich #rotect insiders from criticism as they crudely crush human as#irations. it often tends to e self2conforming and #rogressively restrictive' ergo. Of course.

as indeed in their original formation and transmission. ta oo #ro lems #ose a threat to the ideology. When it dominates to the #oint of ma6ing ideas inde#endent of and co#ing res#onses irrelevant to unacce#ta le circumstances. It is language 9hich #rovides us 9ith our asic mis#erce#tions. the family marriage. language #roved to e a most effective mechanism in that it oth inhi its a9areness and su verts communication. In fact. It #rovides an e)#lanation of ho9 the universe o#erates. and. learning. honora le leaders:all these e)#ress a @!orrect ideology@ 9hich. it is language that gives human culture its distinctive flair. The e)#lanations offered invaria ly conform to and confirm the asic ideology of the e)#lainer' re els lame the esta lishment 9hile officials affi) lame on the victims or immuta le natural forces. and the ideology is some9here in et9een trying to organize information into some rational order that 9ill. an ideology ecomes a menace to its o9n 9ell eing as 9ell as that of its devotees. 9hich culture then em ellishes and disseminates. An ideology is su##osed to e e)#licatory.demise y failing to heed clear 9arnings that they must usually e at least 9rong and #erha#s evil as 9ell:or else eing right and good is not all it. finally. #ro#riety in society. The fact that the ideology Eset of ideasF contri utes to the e)istence of shameful #ro lems y inhi iting reasona le discussion of them is largely lost on everyone. With the asic cultural #rocess eing #art of our #rimate heritage. may e tragically malada#tive. It usually does e)#lain to mem ers of a culture 9ho they are. as many mammalian s#ecies de#end u#on their considera le learning ca#a ilities in the develo#ment of their social organization and general ehavior. as this is the rational element of the schema 9hich #rovides #eo#le 9ith the illusion that they are in control of their lives and that everything is going along A2OJ. Although sense organs give us our first im#ressions of our . In develo#ing the cultural ca#acity for stu#idity to human dimensions. 9hence they came. It does not much matter that these are all stories ased as much on agnosticism and ignorance as misinter#retation and emotional con<ecture. rituals are fi)ed action #atterns for res#onding to #erce#tions. ho9ever. remain and ecome more serious until a relevant 9ay of co#ing is found y someone res#onsi le enough to learn ho9 to relate causes to effects and then. economic morality.s terms. moral tur#itude of the afflicted or any num er of other #ossi le causes. Since #eo#le seem to need credi le e)#lanations. @$a6e sense@. if not selectively a##lied to reality. Thus. %aving an e)#lanation is the iggest stum ling loc6 to getting a etter one. ho9 to res#ond to the environment. The #ro lems.s crac6ed u# to e. (overty and disease are ut t9o #henomena 9hich may e e)#lained y acts of Bod. in a sense. Beliefs are asic and irrational. in Barry Bold9ater. it is. This is not a uni>uely human #henomenon. One asic #ro lem in such a situation is that some s#ecific #ro lems are sim#ly declared ta oo and left to fester ecause they should not e)ist in the first #lace' they confront the cultural ideal and threaten the underlying elief system. avoida le message is clear:society is not 9or6ing as e)#ected. The fundamental. an ideology is constructed to e sort of consistent 9ith itself even if it is contradictory to eliefs and ehavior. learning is #aramount. Thus. and ho9 the grou# 9ill realize its end. Further. The #oint is very sim#le' #riestly sanctions of individual ehavior and cultural institutions. it is even stu#ider 9hen it #revents #eo#le from learning 9hat it #ur#orts to e)#lain. causes to cures. self2a9areness is inhi ited 9hen language #ermits us to misinter#ret em arrassing events into socially acce#ta le conte)ts. and 9hat they should do and e. unlearning and relearning are all #rocesses fundamental to the develo#ment and e)istence of culture.s #ro lems may e malada#tive not only for 9hat it is ut for 9hat it is not' it can e fatally misleading 9hen #roviding ans9ers and 9hen inhi iting >uestions. an ideology as a theoretically a stract set of idealized ans9ers to life. If it is stu#id enough that an ideology e)#lains so little so #oorly. 9hy they are. In the transformation of cultures.

the government might e criticized ut not the !onstitution. If there is a need and no money. res#onsi le enough to admit it and 9ise enough to re#lace it 9ith a etter one. in terms of the human misery of #overty sustained and needs ignored can ca#italism e ta6en to tas6. negative effects.environment. %o9ever. its o <ectivity is li6ely to e com#romised. as honest 9histle lo9ers have discovered to their dismay 9hen #ointing out corru#tion 9ithin the system. De#orters and editors are intellectual #rostitutes #ermitted to e virtuous only 9hen it suits the cor#orate and #olitical #o9ers ehind the scenes. The usiness economy res#onds to ca#ital. it is unusual for someone transfi)ed y his o9n #o9er to e o#en2minded enough to #erceive that a #et #olicy is having unintended. the state totters. heed availa le information. so its #erce#tion rarely a##ears in his mind. 9ords fi) our attitudes. The ideal of an inde#endent #ress is a myth. honesty is 9orthless. the term @$isery@ does not ha##en to e in the usinessman. #u lishers and o9ners. It 9ould e nice to thin6 that cultures 9ould develo# 9atchdog su grou#s 9hich 9ould #romote social order. it may even e a dangerous indulgence. and such candor is dealt 9ith according to Cuce. In an ideal state. When leaders regard truth as a threat. -e9s is re#orted honestly. meaningful criticism. In fact. 9hen the 9atchdog is fed y those it is 9atching. mismanagement is #romoted 9hen creeds and rituals of government ecome so rigid as to inhi it ada#tive res#onses.s Ca9:@-o good deed goes un#unished@. ho9ever. accurately and fairly.. Both are 9elcome if they #romote grou# coo#eration. anyone 9ith a modicum of sense 9ill su##ress any inchoate urge to correct rather than confirm the esta lishment. in terms of terms. ut editors are #aid to 6ee# honesty out of the media as 9ell as to direct it to9ard #ro lems deemed #rofita le to e)#lore and e)#loit. #riests crusade and cam#aign. At the first sign of integrity. For e)am#le. advertisers. -othing fundamental is critically e)amined y the @$ythia@ Ei. 9here there is money and no need. ecause stu#idity is a corru#tion of learning. a leader had est e 9ell2informed. Such criticism is regarded as disru#tive. direct the #rocess of data selection and strongly influence the misinter#retation of information so that 9e may contentedly misconstrue e)#eriences. myth ) mediaF' for e)am#le. #o9er does indeed tend to corru#t Eas Cord Acton notedF. %o9ever. To accom#lish this end.s voca ulary.s assum#tion that the system 9ill res#ond to need is flat out idiotic and serves only to hide the failings of the system from its devotees. !riticism 9ithin a system is inhi ited not only y language ut also y common if un<ustified assum#tions. if that is acce#ta le to s#onsors. For some reason. It is no 9onder that so much stu#idity is so readily acce#ted. as there nearly al9ays is in starving Africa or even American slums. !riticism is further diminished and stu#idity #romoted y the cultural su##ression of honesty and integrity. In the holy 9ars of #olitics. %o9ever. and so much of our ehavior is designed to reinforce evaluations of immediate success even as 9e sacrifice critical ad<ustments and long2term survival. Further. e o#en2minded 9ithout eing em#ty2headed and <udge all effects of #olicies o <ectively. the res#onsi ility of those in #o9er is to govern as reasona ly as #ossi le to the mutual advantage of all. Unfortunately for the #oor.e. For lac6 of effective. the #o9er to command fre>uently causes a failure to learn:as if #o9er can e or is a su stitute for 9isdom. The usiness of <ournalists is to distort and #ervert truths not acce#ta le to the esta lishment. Benerally. advertisers 9ill e #aid to create one. On the other hand. thrive and . The ne9s media are su##osed to com#ose one such element in American society. as so much of our #syche is structured to #revent its recognition. In and of itself. It is through language that @K)#loitation@ ecomes @"evelo#ment@= @Indoctrination@ is @Kducation@= and @"estruction@ is @Ci eration@. the ca#italist. ca#italism really cannot e effectively criticized as a system of economic #rofits and losses. usiness does not res#ond.

the less critical #eo#le 9ill e a out #olicies directed to9ard achieving the end' the more #eo#le 9ant something. In fact. it may e uilding itself u#. for e)am#le. to nurse it through illness and to su##ort it 9hen it goes out to cut its teeth on its neigh ors. Only after officials have #ersisted for a long time in contrived foolishness to the #oint that their actions ecome un#o#ular and finally unacce#ta le 9ill a government to forced to do something intelligent. there is least friction if the #eo#le lead the headman 9here they 9ant to go. ut it also intensifies long2term resentment against them and fosters o##osition to them. The craftier #oliticians have found that. It often a##ears that the machine of government is designed to #roduce friction. ut it also uilds u# a lot of aggravation and resentment. stu#idity thrives at its self2defeating est in the gray area et9een the a##earance and actuality of necessity. Baining and retaining #o9er is 9hat government is all a out. While there is nothing >uite so stu#id and aggravating in #u lic life as officials #erversely #ersistent in #ursuing a #olicy clearly in everyone. The American #u lic. Oddly enough. the leader really does not lead anymore. The short2term gain of #o9er through corru#tion ma6es a mismanaged agency less ruly and more an end unto itself. constructed to rea6 do9n and o#erated for those 9ho service it. This is asically 9hat ha##ened 9ith American involvement in &ietnam and is ha##ening no9 in eastern Kuro#e. traditional #atterns of #olitical ehavior have een strengthened y the em#hasis of the role of the @Ceading man@ as a sym ol rather than as a doer. officials may find their reforms and #olicies lost to ureaucratic inertia. #o#ularity may lead to stu#idity and that this is the most effective 9ay to succeed in #olitics. #roductivity is reduced to the #oint that one might thin6 9aste has ecome an incentive.s 9orst interest. In terms of #olitical organization. 9hile stu#idity may lead to un#o#ularity. the leader is a #o#ular headman :the first among une>uals. EFortunately. giving a general tone to society and #roviding a focal #oint for the reverence of those 9ho elieve in the system. On the other hand. he need not e too circums#ect:all he has to do is find a #o#ular cause. As agencies e)#and in size. If any leading must e done. Benerally in #olitical organizations.#erish.F Klected officials. ut even 9hen victorious over #olitical o##onents. This may ma6e the @Ins@ tem#orarily stronger. As a central reference #oint. due to the tem#tation of re#resentatives to give #eo#le 9hat they 9ant rather than 9hat they need. %e also #rovides the media 9ith an o <ect of attention. When the government ta6es control of a society. #eo#le 6no9 9hat to do any9ay.s incidental gestures as re#resentative of the #eo#le ut #ays relatively little attention to 9hat he does as chief of state. so that hundreds of #hotogra#hers have someone to focus on and scores of re#orters have someone to >uote off the record. This gives stu#idity full rein to flourish in the a sence of s6e#tical criticism. self2serving machinations from the long suffering #u lic. are seldom in a #osition even to consider 9hat ought to e done e)ce#t in the neurotically #arado)ical conte)t of . as so many seem to. in our modern societies. If a #olitician really 9ants to e stu#id. they attain office ecause of their #o#ular a##eal rather than ecause they are effective administrators. 9hen such leaders are chosen. This is the #oint at 9hich ureaucracies cease to solve #ro lems and ecome #ro lems themselves. re#u lics are #articularly stu#id. li6e an elected monarch. and the idea that having #o9er is not an end in itself ut a means to hel# #eo#le is a myth #olitical #riests may use to mas6 their short2term. doctors do not #rescri e medication according to this #rinci#le. forms lasting im#ressions from a (resident. %e is <ust there. he may #lay a largely sym olic role in that. the less they 9ill e concerned a out ho9 they get it. the most effective leaders are those 9ho can ma6e #eo#le 9ant to do 9hat is necessary and ma6e that a##ear to e right. Of course. Society is there for the government:to feed it and clean u# after it. $ore and more. ho9ever. the commitment of #oliticians to their favorite #ro<ects is a motivating force unto itself and ma6es government immune to reason and restraint. The sad fact of real #olitical life is that misgovernment may actually strengthen a regime tem#orarily. The more #o#ular the cause. most of the time.

the rules of court o struct any >uest for the truth. !ommunism is economic democracy' it is collective stu#idity. selfishness and ine#titude. In fact. Bovernments not only administer stu#id la9s ineffectively ut also #rovide a #rofessional <udiciary to a##ly them un<ustly. ho9ever ineffectively. Further. For e)am#le. As unsystematic systems. One of the asic #ro lems 9ith 9hich all community leaders must contend is that the ideals and ideas they are e)#ected to use to solve e)isting #ro lems are often sim#ly common assum#tions. 9hat devotees thereof have created for themeselves is 9hat they need:emotionally satisfying religious sanctifications. the rituals are honored as sacred. At est. !a#italism really is not a system' it is economic anarchy. #eo#le need some 9ay to organize their resources. As long as these assure the li6elihood that those in #o9er 9ill retain their #ositions. the theoretical systems might etter e considered distractions 9hich 6ee# #eo#le from understanding 9hat they are doing. 9hile occasionally. if and 9hen they are revealed. <udges may intervene to inter#ret formalistic rules according to some #reconceived notion of ho9 the @Fair@ game should end. At 9orst. This is #articularly true in the field of economics:a domain in 9hich eliefs and arguments over them have clearly ecome religious in nature. it 9as ecause he 9as right relative to another individual or neutral nature. The regulation of society is considered rather irrelevant and is indirectly affected only 9hen conservatives ecome convinced the status >uo must e further #reserved and #rotected or reformers can convince #olitical hac6s it really is in their o9n est interests to a##ly some common ideal to reality. The need for systems is a cultural universal. There 9as a time 9hen #eo#le 9ere <udged y trials of com at. !alvin !oolidge a##arently thought the usiness of America 9as something holier than <ust usiness. The discre#ancies et9een the ideal and real systems are due to the com#romises #eo#le must ma6e to function. The #reoccu#ation 9ith most #olitical officials is 9ith the rituals of government. legislative or <udicial. in a 9orld of #hysical limitations. -ot only does #o9er corru#t. There 9ere also trials y 9ater and fire. Those 9ho smile 9ith derision at such <udicial mechanisms might do 9ell to ta6e a good loo6 at our modern <ousting list:the court of la9:9here hired 9its do attle to determine the morality Eguilt or innocenceF of the #erson on trial. In all seats of #olitical #o9er. egos.getting reelected. If a #erson 9as <udged favora ly. tools and la or em#loyed to #roduce them. The im#act of decisions reached under such circumstances is usually secondary to the desira ility of maintaining a modicum of decorum and giving s#ea6ers a chance to #ronounce a fe9 slogans for #u lic consum#tion. (ure economic systems are not to e found e)ce#t in the minds and tomes of economic theorists. ut it is eminently corru#ti le. The hired guns:the la9yers:use all the tric6s in the oo6 to 9in @Their@ case. Socialism is too systematic' it stifles initiative 9ith #lans for state traction. In the real 9orld. %e referred to . economic disorganizations have ideological e)#lanations 9hich are neither reasona le nor accurate. ceremony sha#es the 9ays in 9hich #ersonalities interact to solve and create real and imaginary #ro lems. <udges #reside not to get the truth ut to see that the game is #layed fairly. Indeed. The general field of economics relates to the system of allocating #roductive goods and the land. the danger of gratifying the #eo#le is usually some9hat offset y the influence of s#ecial interest grou#s. Their cam#aign contri utions are a #rinci#le source of corru#tion among elected officials and ma6e many of their acts a##ear to e as stu#id to their constituents in the short run as they may #rove to e em arrassing to the re#resentatives themselves in the long run. 9ith each detracting according to his means. ut one might legitimately in>uire as to <ust ho9 systematic the systems are. These 9ere all ased on a elief that trials 9ere moral confrontations. The actual system used y a given society is an e)#ression of its cultural ideology and is sanctioned y an economic schema 9hich defines @Dight and 9rong@ in >uasireligious terms. e>ui#ment and la or so that goods can e #roduced and distri uted. e they administrative.

-o matter 9hat the system of la or organization. and 9henever a system considers its ottom strata e)#enda le. e>ui#ment used in #u lic services. stu#idity is the ig 9inner. This arrangement is stu#id for the 9or6ers 9hile it lasts and stu#id for the #riests and their cronies 9hen it fails. While it might seem unfair to s9eaty la orers that the 9or6ers get the least out of the system. Unli6e the @Boods@ of life. In such situations. <aded educationF of #eo#le acce#ting their fate and ac>uiescing in their o9n e)#loitation. It seems that some #eo#le invaria ly lord it over others. roads. There is little consolation in 6no9ing that any system 9hich fails is li6ely to e re#laced y one that is <ust as stu#id. as a unch of andits re#lace a #ac6 of thieves. stu#idity is organized for #eo#le 9ho can merely select for 9hich fools they 9ill 9or6 and 9ith 9hich 6naves they 9ill invest their time.. etc. the em#hasis is on #olitical and social control rather than economic efficiency. %o9ever. 9hich is something less than 9hat is received y su#erior #eo#le Emeaning the #riests and their elitist e>ualsF. #overty and des#air follo9ing closely in a out that order. $ore and more. in agricultural communities. Such a system is aided y the stu#idity Ei. Along 9ith #overty. If there is one constant across all civilizations. Bigness is inesca#a le and means that civilization is characterized y collective stu#idity.. serfdom or 9hatever.e. When it comes to distri ution of the goods #roduced. This ine>uality of 9ealth is so u i>uitous that the notion of economic e>uality must e one of those theoretical ideals 9hich reformers find ina##lica le to real humans. 9or6 is #erformed y the mem ers of all castes e)ce#t the land o9ners. naturally. the asymmetry remains ut is. #eo#le generally share goods ut not e>ually' Those res#onsi le for dividing u# the goods invaria ly give themselves more than they allot to the #roducers. Bone are the good old days 9hen an individual could <ust go off and fall flat on his very o9n face. human la orF is considered e)#enda le. Stratified societies dominated y a strong #olitical organization are often founded on forced la or systems. all such systems are sanctified y #riests. so as in the caste system mentioned a ove. In most advanced societies. it is the une>ual distri ution of 9ealth. o#ined @The man 9ho 9or6s there 9orshi#s there@ and declared that @Advertising ministers to the s#iritual side of trade@. 9ho are duly re9arded for their ideological su##ort of the esta lishment.:are almost al9ays collectively o9ned either y #rivate grou#s Ecor#orationsFor governments. factories. Whatever is 9asted Ei. Thus. the larger #roductive goods:9ater9or6s. 9ho usually sim#ly re#ress threats of change. the land o9ners do a <o of sorts' they decide the allocation of la or.e. 9ith ignorance. large families are advantageous in that there is al9ays #lenty of 9or6 to e done. another inesca#a le fact of civilization is collectivism. energy and money. and those highest do least. For the sa6e of revity.s factory in #re2!rash America as a @Tem#le@. our analysis of economic systems 9ill e ar itrarily limited to a consideration of the la or force. Actually. Those lo9 do9n get less= those highu# get more. the #riests <ustify distri ution according to the 9orth of the #eo#le:inferior #eo#le get 9hat they deserve. these @Bads@ are doled out generously to those least in need of them. It is hardly sur#rising that stu#idity can #lay a very large role in economic life 9hen leaders 9ho not only acce#t ut even revere the esta lishment 9ith religious fervor allo9 their eliefs to color their critical thin6ing. the rule of thum is that those lo9est in the hierarchy do most of the 9or6. inverted. %o9ever the coercion is structured: e it through slavery. $ore of these commodities are #roduced and distri uted than can e imagined. as sur#luses are dra9n off to su##ort those 9ho organize most and #roduce least. In the usiness . Seldom is the unsta le ase of such societies a serious concern to the leaders. Usually. In caste systems. The increased #roductivity of advanced societies never #romotes e>uita le #ros#erity. the large family ecomes a lia ility rather than an asset.the ca#italist. Of course. its leaders are o liged to 6ee# their follo9ers as misinformed and credulous as #ossi le. a cultural conflict develo#s as traditional values are strained y ne9 9or6ing conditions and challenged y a different 9ay of life. as a society industrializes.

9ho tries to ma)imize #rofits in res#onse to the s#ecifics of his economic conditions. ut they invaria ly have some form of class structure as 9ell. %istorically. a #erson is 9or6ing not for himself ut for the government:the least res#onsi le institution ever to evolve. ideologies and religions that they render themselves inca#a le of <udging their o9n est or 9orst interests. (eo#le identify themselves so much 9ith causes. As 9e are seeing today in eastern Kuro#e. The #resuma ly more eternal values of o edience and s#iritual devotion are sanctimoniously contrasted y #riests 9ith the crass materialism of those 9ho indulge in the lu)uries made #ossi le y the degrading #ractice of mani#ulating 9orldly #o9er. O viously. Any human society is a 9elter of associations. 9hich is an association ased on 6inshi#. Beyond this. A #erson can gather 9hatever is needed or 9anted directly from nature and can share in the re9ards of common efforts in rough #ro#ortion to his contri ution to them. 9hen orderly means of attaining a grou# goal a##ear to e th9arted y the general society. food and shelter are assumed and honored. much less dealing #olitically 9ith such economic 9aste and inefficiency is com#licated y the confusing num er and nature of roles individuals can assume as their identification 9ith different social grou#s shifts. has een re#laced y the cor#oration man. the small entre#reneur. The 9aste to society of such conflicts of interest is the alternative to o##ression of one grou# y another. rights of access to 9ater. rights to control #ro#erty. 9ith each class system su##orted y a formal ideology and set of rituals. There is much more than irony in the fact that so many #eo#le are so 9illing to 9or6 so hard in their o9n 9orst interest. institutions. It 9ould e nice to thin6 that the allocation of material re9ards 9ould #rovide all 9ho contri ute to the #roduction of goods at least minimal means for su sistence. in the case of the American la or movement. In the #olitical domain. ut this elief tends to inhi it criticism. as 9or6ers have eagerly lined u# to e am oozled y officials lavishly #aid to #rice American 9or6ers out of the la or mar6et. Decognizing. This gives leaders free rein to #ursue their o9n self2aggrandizement. government is there doing its 9orst to see to it that each of us has the same chance to acce#t and conform to standards set y the $ediocracy. there are formal and informal associations designed to foster coo#eration and restrain disru#tive ehavior for the good of the dominant #o9er grou#. the issue of economic rights ecomes oth crucial and very ar itrary. Such ehavior is made all the more #ro a le y the human ca#acity to elieve in nonsense. es#ecially of those stu#id enough to acce#t their inferior #osition and resigned to defer their re9ards until later:li6e in their ne)t life. means that a certain amount of inefficiency is characteristic of culture. -ot only are human societies assem lages of overla##ing and sometimes contradictory associations. 9ho see6s #romotion y res#onding less to e)ternal events and more to rules. Ca or unions #rovide some unfortunate e)am#les of this #henomenon. rights did not e)ist until 9or6ers rought them into eing at the e)#ense of o9ners. The asic human social unit is the family. as a ta) #ayer. under certain conditions. a su grou# may find itself driven to disru#tive ehavior Eas 9ere trade unions in our recent #astF. rights turn out to e e)#ressions of the num ers and organizational ca#acities of the disenfranchised and those sym#athetic to their #light. although the form 9ill vary from one society to another. Dights ha##en to e very circumstantial and incredi ly aliena le. The ver al doctrine em#hasizes and the #rogram of stereoty#ed ehaviors reinforces the ideal virtues of the lo9er social orders.9orld. 9hen e)istence de#ends on the o9nershi# of land or on la oring for others. !lasses ecome castes 9hen they ecome rigidly defined to the #oint that mem ershi# is a irthright and intergrou# mi)ing #rohi ited. It is sad enough if they elieve that 9hat is good for the system is good for them. !aste societies are not human universals. Further. ut they are . ut this is usually a last resort. in turn.This. regulations and #olicies generated internally y the com#any. Their e)istence is determined y #eo#le 9ith a vested interest in seeing to it that 9or6ers get <ust enough to 6ee# 9or6ing. In #rimitive societies. %o9ever.

%o9ever. caste #osition is ritualized so as to e)aggerate a9areness of se#arate grou# identity. ut ideological and social develo#ment is usually rigidly circumscri ed. All hierarchical ran6ings of race have only one thing in common' those #assing <udgment are al9ays in the to# grou#. for e)am#le. It is alleged that the female #syche has someho9 een #ermanently sha#ed y the oft noted a ility of 9omen to have children. Those 9ho are most s6illed or 9ho #ossess some admired attri ute are treated as im#ortant or socially valua le and are granted a larger share of availa le economic. race 9ould e one of the last considerations in any culture. When feasi le. This is discriminatory as 9ell as universal in human culture. At est. there has een so much inter reeding among the human su s#ecies EracesF that there is no genetic asis for ma6ing clear distinctions among them. Thus. At all levels. su#ernatural #o9ers are at the dis#osal of the esta lishment and may e called u#on y #riests to #unish anyone 9ho transgresses the rules. have een universally and eternally victimized y stereoty#ing.s #osition is #reordained. %o9ever. if decisions could magically e made on the asis of relevant criteria.e. a caste system is the social structure ty#ically found in a self2contained theocracy.F derived considera le im#etus from articulate. so there may 9ell e a s#ecial rand of feminine stu#idity. There is usually little in the 9ay of yearnings for u#9ard mo ility or im#roved status. etc. starved and forced to live in generally unhealthy conditions. the #oor. -evertheless. human grou#s are not only se#arated ut invaria ly stratified y racial identity. Kven more rigid than designations of class or caste are those of race. This streamlines social decisions. as individual variation can e ignored and reactions 6eyed to s#ecific characteristics deemed definitive for ehavioral interaction. Anyone tra##ed in such conditions might indeed e etter off 9ere he too dull to criticize his o9n lot' ergo the asic undercurrent of tragedy in the human drama:that those most directly and hardest hit y social ini>uities are almost lessed if they can acce#t their fate rather than ecome a9are of their hel#lessness. Anyone su <ected to such stress and #ressure might have to sacrifice something to reality. It is a matter of record that many reform movements Ei. and it may e a it of logic and sanity. When religion is the esta lishment. as everyone. Beyond consideration of caste or race.common enough and re#resent e)tremes of the class system so that their intense stu#idity 9arrants our attention. The sad thing a out the long history of racism is that it is an im#ortant issue only to and ecause of those determined to ma6e it one. the do9n2trodden. efore 9e venture too far into the yet unchartered domain of com#arative idiocy. %o9ever. It may 9ell e that there is something to this for mothers E9ho do usually tend to e femaleF 9ho s#end more than *P hours a day in the #resence of children. Throughout history. a olition. u##er class ideologues 9ho 9ere morally . ut there are long2term losses to such a system in the #rotection afforded the ine#t of the dominant race and the su##ression of the gifted and a le of other grou#s. Women. the 9or6ers. all have een stereoty#ically regarded as social elements 9hich someho9 fail to fulfill the cultural ideal of success. differentiation of individuals is a given of the human condition. Decent research indicates there are real differences et9een male and female rains. Ci6e9ise. In almost all matters of #u lic im#ortance. it 9ill ignore them. e>ually stu#id. mental health. 9or6ers have een systematically fatigued. the cognitive asis for much social stu#idity is not discrimination ased on a ility ut the human tendency to generalize ehavior of differentiated mem ers of a grou# into the form of a re#resentative stereoty#e. let us indulge in an uncharacteristic it of di#lomacy and allo9 the #ossi ility that the t9o se)es are. social and #olitical re9ards. Unfortunately for racists. those in #o9er 9ill use racism to #reserve their advantages. the loss to stereoty#ing is o vious' individuals are raised u# or #ut do9n not ecause of their a ilities ut ecause they are lum#ed into a #articular culturalGlinguistic category. a culture 9ill e)#loit those it has disenfranchised= at 9orst. Along 9ith esta lished rituals. critics may e motivated to #roselytize. in their o9n aggravating 9ays..

little in the last t9o centuries indicates that our #olitical leaders are a9are of the long2term dangers inherent in their shortsighted #olicies. $odern societies have thus secularized religion 9hile ecoming religious a out secular systems. Basically. The chronic starvation in Kthio#ia is a tragic e)am#le of the stu#idity a sim#le culture can im#ose u#on itself. Just at the start of the Industrial Devolution. so they control access not only to natural ut su#ernatural resources as 9ell. All these factors can ma6e the mighty self2assured to the #oint of com#lacent stu#idity. -ot only do the esta lished #o9ers maintain the stratified system 9hich su##orts them. disease and 9ar have een. It is a sad commentary on humanity that. 9ithout some guiding sense of the long2term im#act of technoillogical e)#loitation of natural resources. "ifferential access to #rivilege and #o9er thus oth #roduces and #er#etuates social stratification. Fre>uently. We seem una le to reconcile the facts that 9e are oth slaves to our cultural 9orld and creatures of nature. intelligent leaders. technology serves only to uild u# a culture to a igger and 9orse crash. famine acts as a $althusian form of irth control since this matter is too im#ortant matter to e dealt 9ith logically y informed. are and al9ays 9ill e the limiting factors on the gro9th of human #o#ulations. ut 9hen these ne9 limits are >uantitatively e)ceeded. A ma<or factor in determining the amount and nature of 9or6 #erformed in a society is the level and ty#e of technology a##lied to the e)#loitation of its environmental resources. Such a system may then go to e)cess as the mighty reinforce their o9n self2confirming. ecause the material #ros#erity of the u##er class is usually created and maintained y the de asement of all others. It functions through time in its interrelations to other as#ects of society. to #rotect the s#ecial advantages and #o9er of the fe9 rather than to secure a minimum standard of decency for the many. so its full significance can e a##reciated only as means to malada#t a society not only to its environment ut to itself as 9ell. On the other hand. although technological develo#ment has #roceeded a#ace since that time. technology is that as#ect of culture 9hich encom#asses the tools as 9ell as the techni>ues #eo#le use in meeting their material needs. agricultural techni>ues 9hich sufficed for ages ecame ineffective as the environment changed. the same #redicta le result is inevita le. in the name of <ustice. leaders can assure themselves that the #revailing ideology sanctions their #rivileged status. starvation 9ill follo9. By using all the means availa le to them. such ruling grou#s are also in charge of the theological esta lishment. The #ro lems of co#ing 9ith e)tensive droughts 9ere com#ounded y the contrived #olices of the government to meet the crisis in a manner ased on the $ar)ist ideology of !olonel $engistu %aile2$ariam:#olicies 9hich #roved to e at least as malada#tive as the traditional means for #roviding food. . and technology cannot alter it. Thomas $althus articulated the #rinci#le that starvation. So#histicated devices and methods may e)#and the ca#acity of the environment to sustain a certain 9ay of life. In fact. ut their #osition is further secured y #o#ular elief in the system. along 9ith their su#erior #olitical and social #ositions. self2serving #erce#tions. This #ositive feed ac6 system routinely creates social ine>uities 9hich are com#ounded y la9s #assed and enforced. There. economic influence and #olitical ran6. It is note9orthy that no one in a #osition of real authority did anything to #romote irth control as a long2term #olicy for #reventing future famines. 9hen a grou# outstri#s the carrying ca#acity of its environment. (resuma ly. attitudes and eliefs at the e)#ense of o <ectivity.outraged to the #oint of action y the a##alling discre#ancies et9een 9hat society #romised and #rovided. to consolidate effective control over #roductive resources. This is a asic #rinci#le of life. there are al9ays some #eo#le 9ho amass 9ealth and then use it. They then further their interests y using their enhanced influence to gain yet more #o9er. Degardless of the level of so#histication of its technology.

although its s#ecific manifestations may e regarded as destructive y those 9ho fear change. Art serves to heighten and intensify feelings y ma6ing them e)#licit. the #arts do not add u# to a 9hole= they add u# to a lot of #arts. Beyond the #urely material and social dementions of the human condition.s overdevelo#ed nations insist on #erceiving themselves more as thriving in their o9n technological #resent than 9ithering in a s#iritually and aesthetically sterile future. #eo#le see6 to e)#ress and communicate emotional e)#eriences. there is a universal artistic dimension to culture. The greatest cultural contri ution art can ma6e is to #romote a sense of faith in the human ca#acity to control change of su#erficial as#ects of life so as to confirm or confront fundamentals. each develo#ed y single2minded engineers. self2destructive 9orld. The social im#act of technology and scientific ideology is commonly treated as an incidental s#inoff from numerous. s#ecific #ro<ects. %o9ever. a 9or6 of art is oth a #art of and a#art from reality. The hidden #itfall is not so much 9hat that standard may e as 9hat it is not:not 9hat it includes ut 9hat it omits. if the same society #rovides the standard for measuring success. Through artistic e)#ression. The material success of a technologically oriented society may im#ress those 9ho revel in >uantified analysis. the commission of machines to hel# #eo#le is clearly desira le. This creative im#ulse is undenia le. ut the omission of #eo#le from the calculations of com#uter #rogrammers is indicative of a cultured failure to #erceive that #eo#le are not here to hel# machines. art is often <udged to e stu#id y many rational. they 9ill continue to em race the idiotic as 9ell as the arren in their historic attem#t to oth e)#ress and deny themselves. Today.Although the commitment of any civilization to its 9ay of life may e irrational. there y ma6ing us self2consciously a9are of 9ho and 9hat 9e are. If the 9ay #eo#le react to art is indicative of the 9ay they feel a out life. In technologically advanced societies. #eo#le affirm their #otential to transcend and im#rove u#on their immediate conditions. -otes . it may also e regarded as >uite efficient. Unfortunately. ut human and s#iritual values have een sacrificed to the #oint that mostof us cease even to 9onder if life has any meaning eyond our self2constructed. articulate #eo#le 9ho fail to a##reciate it as essentially an emotional medium. Through techni>ues develo#ed for the mani#ulation of the senses. As a s#ecial creation.

thus #resuma ly re#resenting some un9orldly. Ar itrary #o9er 9as recognized as an inducement to stu#idity 9hich in turn undermined the effectiveness of #o9er. The fifth 9as regarded as a sym ol of the >uintessence of the other four. So. insufficient. the cu e. ut then a logical #hiloso#hy could e constructed ased u#on it 9ithout any #articular concern for congruence 9ith reality. The first four 9ere conveniently associated 9ith the four elements 9hich constituted the Bree6 9orld:earth. Too much #o9er concentrated any9here is sim#ly too dangerous. %e aroused resentment and <ealousy in others in the 9ay the Big $an on !am#us might e hated for eing so #o#ular. Ordinary #eo#le 9ere to e 6e#t una9are of the dodecahedron as a matter of something li6e @!ognitive security@.2I) A *istor% of 1estern Stupidit% To the e)tent that Western !ivilization is a distinctly identifia le historical adventure.s long and venera le tradition of #ersecuting intellectual heretics. After first #resenting his vision of the #hiloso#her26ings in The Repu #ic. thus initiating the West. 9ere in love 9ith 9hole num ers. the icosahedron and the dodecahedron. Such actions 9ere <ustified in the classical 9orld y a schema 9hich dealt 9ith oth ideals and ideas in terms of a desired moral end rather than accuracy and #racticality. Domans 9ere stu#id in #ragmatic. the Bree6s failed to develo# any system of sym olic notation to e)#ress dynamic functions.e. (hiloso#hers reveled in associating such idealized a stractions ut al9ays in static. If Bree6s 9ere stu#id in their #hiloso#hical 9ays.. Worse yet. (lato had his dou ts and concluded that la9s 9ere the only safeguard against a uses of #o9er. non2alge raic modes of thought. rendering it counter2#roductive as it ecame un<ust. Worse yet. it could not e made accurate. Any o <ect or o servation might #rovide a starting #oint for a train of thought. ho9 did these great Bree6 mathematical #hiloso#hers handle this cognitive crisis? (retty much as 9ould anyone else' they su##ressed 6no9ledge of the s>uare root of t9o. com#lete and #erfect y ada#tation andGor e)#ansion and still remain @Theirs@. #ractical 9ays. In fact. a contrived system could e constructed for a #articular moral #ur#ose:i. Far from eing thin6ers. it ecame clear to all that an e)cess of #o9er led to a com#ara le amount of stu#idity. incom#lete and im#erfect. fire and 9ater. for e)am#le. its origins are discerna le in and associated 9ith the rise of ancient Breece. 9hence they 9ere su##ressed and some lynched. Domans 9ere doers:short2range o##ortunists of the first order. the octahedron. Ci6e9ise. anyone interested in Bree6 stu#idity should note that (ythagoreans 6ne9 of five #erfect solids:the tetrahedron. 9ith his most rilliant stratagem eing moment2to2moment scheming. as it invaria ly leads to in<ustice. -evertheless. they 9ere so successful that hardly anyone no9 6no9s much less cares 9hat a dodecahedron is. and in the #urest #hiloso#hy of mathematics. they su##ressed that other scourge of (ythagorean idealism :the dodecahedron. sufficient. Since 9e still revere Bree6 thought and honor Bree6 ideals. %is assassination 9as the #rice he #aid for his over9helming success. . This #osed a threat to their schema. (ythagoreanism 9as #o#ular until its #ractitioners 9ere found to e dealing in this alarming and su versive su <ect. as it indicated that their mental 9orld 9as someho9 inaccurate. air. As Bree6 culture develo#ed and flourished. never had a long2range #lan. A verita le crisis in doctrine arose 9hen the s>uare root of t9o 9as found to e irrational. Julius !aesar. for e)am#le. As mathematical idealists. In this. it is 9orth noting that these ideals 9ere not of #hysical o <ects reduced to essence ut archety#ical models of theoretical ultimates 9hich could not #ossi ly e realized. the (ythagoreans. %is schema 9as to act to his immediate advantage. to <ustify a #articular desired #olicy: and many 9ere and still are to this day. su#ernatural and #erha#s even dangerous #o9er. Stu#idity could thus e seen as a chec6 on e)cessive #o9er.

at the very same time. 9ith nothing eing done 9ith fertilizers to re uild it as the !hinese. considering that the original . Basically. As #art of our common heritage of misunderstandings from the #ast. een so successful in their #ractical con>uests and rigid in their devotion to themselves. !onsistent 9ith their #ractical ent. so order 9as sacrificed for the sa6e of legal fictions. 9ho had nothing material to sacrifice. Some four hundred e)#lanations have een suggested for the fall of the Doman Km#ire. They deified @Ca9 and order@:a defining com#onent of the modern centurion.In its most characteristic and asic form. Winning divine favor 9as considered a matter of #aying value for value in an essentially economic religion. They 9ere sim#ly una le to a##reciate 9hat they 9ere doing to themselves and 9hat 6ind of 9orld they 9ere creating. The o##ortunity of the moment might e seized. creative fantasy and #layfulness. it 9as in a##lied intellect. For some thousand years. 9ere doing in their fields. One of them had to go. To #ut it sim#ly. this institution defined the schema and life of Western !ivilization. no tomorro9. and there emerged no genius in mathematics or science. self2 serving schema in 9hich there 9as a cons#icuous lac6 of imagination. They defined the future in terms of the #ast and had no conce#t of #rogress. The #olitical em#ire of the Domans 9as re#laced y the s#iritual em#ire of the !atholic church. They dominated for centuries and might have endured in fact as 9ell as name for centuries more had they not. the term @!rusader@ has survived as a designation of honor and virtue. for them. Doman Senators and their cronies set the tone of legislators and their lac6eys do9n through the ages as they s6inned and fleeced their 9ay through the lands surrounding the $editerranean. 9ith some of their roads and a>ueducts still in use today. the image of invinci ility and the fantasy of im#erial #ro#riety. it 9as a time of cultural stagnation interru#ted only 9hen crusaders sallied forth to visit terror and destruction on the %oly Cand. This is rather incredi le. the Doman mind 9as dominated y a conservative. The Km#ire struc6 out ecause the Domans 9ere insensitive to the social as#ects of trade and finance:the t9in under#innings of their military <uggernaut. For e)am#le. As their con>uests s#read. the lines of administration stretched to the #oint that even inter#retation of dicta could not suffice to maintain oth la9 and order. 9ith cravings for >uic6 #rofits linding those 9ith naught ut short2term gains on their minds to the social ills they 9ere creating. they uilt to last. ut there 9as little creative in Doman culture. their religions 9ere latantly commercial. It ecame a case study of the neurotic #arado) in action. Domans fully e)#ected their stand2#at. If the Domans had any genius at all. -or did Domans condescend to hel# the im#overished #easants of the lands they overran and ruined.s schema. li6e !aesar. They en<oyed the good things in life:slavery. so one more 9ill not matter. 9ith the gods certainly o9ing the Domans something in return for the sacrifices made to them. By any standard e)ce#t the s#litting of theological hairs. Dome could not survive its success. Its literature and art 9ere 9ooden. $ore #recisely. It 9as in this s#iritual void that !hristianity too6 root and flourished y a##ealing to the many have2nots. the Domans really 9ere not much fun to e around. Fertile land 9as tilled to the #oint of sterility. as engineers. the decline and fall 9as due to socio2economic im#rudence com#ounded y a monumental measure of self2induced ignorance and 9as a grand e)am#le of a##lied stu#idity:the reci#rocity of ignorance and misguided #o9er. It may 9ell e that the Km#ire fell and for hundreds of years 6e#t on falling ecause the Domans 9ere stu#id. Domans lived for the moment and there y guaranteed that there 9ould e. Dome had no future ecause it had no conce#t of a future as anything ut a continual adventure in e)#loitation. stagnant culture to last as long as their 9or6s in engineering. rutality and materialism. They delighted in framing la9s and #rofoundly loved systems.

that 9ould e to miss the #oint that they had eagerly em raced the secular norms of the age as standards for <udging their ehavior. the venality. and this ecame a contri uting factor to the out urst of secular enthusiasm for life 9hich characterized the Denaissance. As leaders of the !hurch. his great failures 9ere all moral' he cons#ired 9ith assassins. Stu#idity emanated li6e a urst of miasma from the stale closet of theology into the chaos and confusion of daily life. he never hears the truth a out his o9n #erson and ends y not 9ishing to hear it. medicine. fundamental cause of stu#idity. Buten erg. and nothing goes to e)cess li6e religious zeal. Their ne9 schema of dedication to 9orldly achievement made them lind and deaf to the institutional dissonance and dissatisfaction their ehavior engendered. Whereas until this age. On the other hand.crusaders 9ere little more than loosely organized mo s of cutthroats. it must e that the lo9est acts of cruelty and violence can e motivated and hidden y the loftiest of ideals. $ore than a millennium of criticism .netmon to every human organization. In fact. the (o#es of this #eriod E+P132+0H3F might e <udged as unfortunate e)am#les of !hristian amorality. Of #articular interest to us 9as the renaissance in stu#idity. this 9as the #eriod 9hen a ne9 religion of humanism and interest in 9orldly affairs challenged and to a degree su##lanted the dogma of the !hurch and concern 9ith the life hereafter. it is a asic. There 9as stu#idity in e)#loration. This 9as a tumultuous #eriod 9hen the zenith achieved in artistic e)#ression 9as matched y the nadir attained in #olitical morality. One unantici#ated oon of the !rusades for the Western 9orld 9as the greater 6no9ledge and a9areness of #eo#les and cultures rought ac6 y the rigands 9ho returned. and stu#idity rushed out to fill the void. sooner or later. invigorated the arts and made the #a#acy a #o9erful monarchy. The renaissance in #a#al stu#idity 9as com#ounded y the self2serving nature of &atican advisors. amorality and avarice of 9orldly #o9er #olitics 9as carried to e)cess y the Denaissance (o#es. stu#idity in invention.s #ress made it #ossi le for everyone to e misinformed. only mon6s had een misinformed. %o9ever. -o longer 9as idiotic irrelevance confined to scholastic arguments and monastic de ates. then everyone is going to lose one 9ay or another. It 9ould have een ad enough had the secular s#irit of the age merely glazed the &atican in a su#erficial 9ay. One reason the !hurch 9as so unres#onsive to com#laints and ill2dis#osed to reform 9as that it had a long and venera le tradition of inciting and ignoring critics. since there is no internal chec6 on #o9er em#loyed in a <ust cause. %is great successes 9ere all secular' he im#roved the city of Dome #hysically.@ This danger is inherent in every #olitical organization' if advisors are going to advise first and foremost to secure #olitical favor. K)cesses are usually dangerous to everyone. Si)tus I& E+P1+2+P4PF ty#ified the ne9 standard2 ear2er. stu#idity had een #art of the e)clusive domain of the !hurch. As Ale)ander &I E+P/*2+03HF o served. %e could not have een less interested in the internal health of the !hurch. If there is any lesson to e learned from the crusaders. art and 9ar. The fifteenth century sa9 a re irth of interest in all dimensions of Western culture. they ecame immune to the criticisms of those committed to the religion they 9ere dragging into disre#ute. @The most grievous danger for any (o#e lies in the fact that encom#assed as he is y flatterers. for the #revious ten centuries. As they #lunged into the 9orld. stu#idity in statecraft. ne#otism and 9ar:all 9ithout shame. it suddenly 9as a##lied to any num er of 9orldly #ursuits. more or less. Seldom in history have such vicious gangs of self2o#inionated invaders ro ed and slaughtered in such righteousness. 9ho 9ere caught u# in oth the s#irit of the age and the #olitical character of their environment. They never did com#rehend their successes according to their ne9 standards designated them as failures to #eo#le 9ho clung devoutly to the old. A universe ec6oned. While. lessed cannons and indulged in simony. Whatever else it 9as. %o9ever.

9hen it finally came.s im#ending attac6 9ith the #u lication of his iting satire In Praise of Fo##%. stu#idity and #roved to e the (rotestants.@ %e further noted that many #im#s. the !hurch 9as a ve)ation. eing insulated to the #oint of eing una9are of the issues in dis#ute and thus com#rehending nether the s#ecific #rotests nor that the general condition of the !hurch had een deteriorating for the #revious fifty years. The #o#ular feeling 9as that the #ro#er concern of the !hurch 9as neither art nor 9ar ut the s#iritual needs of the faithful. he 9ould not have 6no9n 9hat to do. To everyone ut those in #o9er. %ad the (o#es honored !atholic values. Although the faithful 9ere offended y the general de#ravity of Dome and the reluctance of (o#es to reform. -ot only had the standards of the (o#es used for <udging their o9n ehavior shifted. %o9ever. an out rea6 of dissent a##eared oth imminent and <ustified. Cuther 9as ins#ired y the idea that the !hurch should live u# to itself. studied and #reached. the Denaissance (o#es achieved a degree of success y disregarding their vo9s and em racing stu#idity. S#ecifically.all those #ossessions. The money gru ing !hurch had #rostituted itself to the #oint that the sale of future indulgences actually encouraged sin.It 9ould lose them all that 9ealth and. they 9ould have #rayed. and he did not have a clue as to 9hat 9as going on. By the early si)teenth century. in +0++. ut their ra#acious #ecuniary #olicies converted su##orters into o##onents. he 9ould not have 6no9n 9hat it meant. serious dissatisfaction 9ith and y the clergy had 9idened and dee#ened. and this is 9hat the (rotestants 9ere #rotesting. A use of the !hurch y its officials 9as to continue ever after. an6ers and others 9ould have een thro9n out of 9or6. so even y the ne9 9orldly standard of economics. Ci6e most successful sinners. greatest allies.. If he had. This 9as the year 9hen $artin Cuther nailed the clergy to the !hurch door. The emerging middle class ecame increasingly resentful of the insatia le demands of the #a#acy for more and more money to finance holy decadence. ecause #rinces and #riests reinforced each other. Just as !hristianity had develo#ed to fill a s#iritual void in the Doman Km#ire..had made it thic62s6inned and #rone to dismiss calls for reform as #art of the routine other an esta lished #o9er had to e)#ect from frustrated idealists. As Krasmus noted in his 0o##o3uies. y 9orldly standards. Once the #rotests ecame #u lic and 9ides#read. the "iet of Augs urg re#lied that the real enemy of !hristendom 9as @The hell2hound in Dome@. As an agent of the Deformation. ut +0+1 9as still a turning #oint in history' the !hurch sim#ly failed to turn. (o#e Ceo Q. 9as the man on the s#ot at this rather dramatic moment. 9hen as6ed to vote a ta) for a crusade against the Tur6s. Kven if he had 6no9n 9hat 9as going on. This discontent 9as clearly e)#ressed in every medium availa le oth 9ithin and outside the !hurch. so did the (rotestant movement develo# in res#onse to the s#iritual vorte) created .. not even his Coftiness could feign ignorance of the revolt 9hich crashed u#on the !hurch. it 9ould have een inconvenient for @Wisdom to descend u#on them. com#lemented the (o#es.. the (o#es made the institution they 9ere allegedly serving #ay for their indulgences' the !hurch they secularized lost half of its constituency to the (rotestant secession. Cuther.In +0+4. The s#ecific a use that caused the final rea6 9as the granting of indulgences. and it 9as y the traditional standards of #overty. the commercialization of s#iritual grace 9as an insult as 9ell as an e)#ense 9hich touched the devout in a very tangi le 9ay.s concerns a out the ta) money eing used in Dome to a use the Bi le. These vested interests 9ere strongly committed tothe ne9 morality. The rea6 9as successful.s official antagonist. Krasmus laid the ideological ground9or6 for Cuther. It 9as this #eculiar notion 9hich led him to ecome the greatest 9histle lo9er in history. humility and chastity that their ehavior 9as condemna le.

In this 9ay. The (o#es. most of 9hom 9ere oth unfit for office and corru#t. %o9ever. they 9ere ty#ical of many revolutionaries 9ho rea6 a9ay from esta lishments 9hich have etrayed ideals and een corru#ted y #o9er. threatening and su mitting. ut Kdmund Bur6e could not find any. in +044. officials 9ere consistent in their a ility to ta6e any colonial situation and ma6e it 9orse.s #rotestations of his o9n ill2health. There may have een none= there may have een many. there y undercutting its authority and #restige. irresolute and unconstitutional. 9ho ecame increasingly <ealous of the #ros#erity and influence of the !hurch. headstrong 6ing. ine)#erience and lac6 of >ualifications. and in this sense. the #o9er of elief in oneself as a ma<or source of stu#idity 9as #ersonified in (hili# II of S#ain. he 9ould seldom do 9rong @K)ce#t 9hen he mista6es 9rong for right@. It is still difficult to evaluate British colonial #olicy for the #eriod from +18H to +118. In this conte)t. it 9as a #olicy of deli erate and systematic stu#idity. (rotestants 9ere actually interested as much in the economic gains to e made y disem o9eling the !hurch as in doctrine. it 9as not so much a res#onse to a failing of the !hristian schema as it 9as a reaction to its re#lacement y a secular ethic. (hili# disregarded these #rotests and. as it is not yet clear 9hat it 9as or even if there 9as one. he considered that to e the result of ha#hazard. Thus. -ot once did they do something right or <ust ha##en to stum le onto anything sensi le y sheer accident. so the government consistently converted #ro lems into crises. Of course. If #olicy at the time 9as unclear. The government. alienated those faithful to the old morality 9hile simultaneously fostering hostility among the #rinces. %is selection of the "u6e of $edina2Sidonia as Admiral of the Armada 9as done against the "u6e. @It 9ill e difficult to undeceive him ecause his is uncommonly indolent and has strong #re<udices. As his tutor Cord Waldegrave #ut it.@ (oorly educated and resolute to the #oint of o stinacy. action 9as confused. since he 9as convinced that all his la ors 9ere for the service of Bod. There certainly 9as no colonial #olicy set out on #a#er. $ost of them 9ere unfit ecause they 9ere elitists trying to maintain traditional roles in a changing 9orld. the conservative nature of the (rotestant movement is 9orth noting. A determination to conserve old 9ays in the face of ne9 conditions made official ehavior increasingly irrelevant if not counter2#roductive. as 6ing. Official British ehavior to9ard the colonies 9as 9ea6. he 9as a menace to his o9n em#ire even 9hen he 9as sane. -o failure of his regal #olicy could sha6e his faith in its essential e)cellence. In the emerging modern 9orld. the "u6e 9as #romoted to ran6 of Su#reme !ommander in (olitics and War y his #ersistent. When this ha##ens. As it turned out.s record 9as one of ac6ing and filling. In an ideological sense. y their very success according to their ne9 standards. (rotestants re<ected the 9orldly (o#es and returned to the scri#tures to find meaning in their faith and lives. . The only constant 9as that everything the British did turned out to e 9rong. %e firmly elieved that. the fleet suffered the disaster he courted. -evertheless. individual decisions. it 9as not s>ua ling over riches ut theological dis#utes reflecting doctrinal differences 9hich riddled the (rotestant movement from its ince#tion and shattered any chance it might have had at unity and strength. #assing and re#ealing acts. as a threat to the system. for no matter 9hat the s#ecifics of the situation. contradictory. If there 9as one.y the internal corru#tion of the !atholic em#ire. there seemed to e some underlying #rinci#le at 9or6. Although the net effect of governmental action 9as clearly self2defeating. he 9as aided y his ministers. Beorge III of Kngland 9as only slightly more reasona le. he could do no 9rong. the good Cord continued. the Jing e#itomized the #light of the ruling class. For his role in the de acle.

These 9ere matters 9hich 9ere routinely de ated in (arliament and occasionally caused riots in the streets of Condon. This dou le failure may have een. fortunately for the government. 9hich led to the Boston Tea (arty.s est ally 9as not the French -avy ut the British government. it suited the landed gentry. the no les 9ere rather studied in their su#ercilious mismanagement of affairs. ut it 9as retained. As it 9as. %o9ever. The endemic reluctance to enefit from e)#erience evinced itself in an early form of French stu#idity 9hen the fourteenth2century &alois monarchs re#eatedly devalued their currency 9henever they 9ere des#erate for cash. su##orted it and tried to enforce it #olitical #oints. Just ho9 they 9ere to reconcile these 9as never made clear to anyone:es#ecially to them. America. and 9hatever the cause. most #eo#le ma6e an e)tra effort to get their messages through 9hen im#ortant matters are involved. 9ith that of Beneral Burgoyne. the Stam# Act e)em#lifies the a surdity of official ine#titude. The situation deteriorated into a vicious cycle 9ith each failure engendering more colonial animosity 9hich.s +111 cam#aign. it cost those 9ho created it.and they missed. it a##ears that there 9as indeed a British colonial #olicy during this era.333 in ta)es.s failure to coordinate Beneral %o9e. In its attle for inde#endence. it 9as not ignorance. and they never really succeeded in either. since older rother Cord Beorge Augustus %o9e had fought alongside -e9 Kngland troo#s until his death at Ticonderoga in +104. it 9ould have cost the British one or t9o million #ounds a years in lost trade to collect a out T10.s casual a##roach to the 9ar. Although difficulty in communication is common in human affairs. As an e)#ression of classism. in turn.s army to esca#e from sure destruction time after time in the early stages of the 9ar . 9hich 9as sim#ly doing its 9orst to #revent Kngland from o taining an em#ire. Until it 9as too late to save the American colonies. The classic case of this 9as Cord Bermain. It 9ould not even #ay to collect itself. su conscious assertion of the no ility. <ust to demonstrate ho9 #erversely stu#id the British could e. the government #ersisted in its efforts to lose the colonies and added an idiosyncratic touch to routine idiocy 9hen rothers &ice2Admiral Dichard and Beneral William %o9e 9ere assigned the contradictory roles of eing a military commanders and #eace commissioners. The letter missed the oat. 9hich ended u# in the dum#er at Saratoga. 9hich ended u# in (hiladel#hia. ineffective. 9as another e)am#le.In the long litany of British lunders 9hich transformed loyal colonists into Americans.s right to su##ress the rising commercial interests in Kngland. deli erate ecause the %o9es 9ere asically sym#athetic to the American cause. and Burgoyne 9as stranded. When armed re ellion ro6e out. To the e)tent that this #olicy damaged the merchants. The ta) on tea. had it een successful. a##arently. In addition. the Km#ire develo#ed and flourished to degrees unimagina le had (arliamentary mismanagement continued. so a second secretary 9as left to 9rite Beneral %o9e. This 9as ut ty#ical of the 9ay common sense 9as sacrificed to #olitical #rinci#le. It 9as #ro a ly this #ersonal sym#athy for the re els and #olitical hostility to9ard the government 9hich led #eace commissioners Dichard and William %o9e to allo9 Beneral Washington. calledforth sterner measures of futile re#ression. It cost the British a out T+33 million to lose the colonies. Fortunately for Kngland. colonial #olicy 9as an attem#t y aristocrats to shoot Britain in the #urse. The ministry had 6no9n of colonial discontent and the futility of their o9n #olicies. The ruling ma<ority stuc6 to its schema of re#ressing emerging commercial interests 9ith #olicies 9hich gre9 increasingly ine#t and ineffective. That this #olicy 9rec6ed the economy and angered the .or6 sim#ly reached him too late. The order directing %o9e north from -e9 . the government 9ould not modify its su#erior attitude to9ard the colonists nor to9ard the merchants u#on 9hom the British Km#ire 9ould e uilt. (erha#s Cord Bermain could not condescend to ta6e mere colonists seriously. In retros#ect. Kven 9ithout the United States. the %o9es 9ere o##osition Whigs and reluctant to 9in a victory 9hich 9ould re ound to the credit of the Tory government. It 9as an irrational. to some degree. This 9as a case 9here the la9 9as.

a and of revolutionaries a##ears #romising to satisfy those demands.s 9ay of moving on. As his #o9er gre9. %is single stu#idest act 9as also his most #o#ular' the revocation of the Kdict of -antes in +840 converted his country from a land of toleration into one of #ersecution as the !atholic multitudes set themselves u#on the %uguenot minority. While it lasted. In the case of eighteenth century France.s 9ays of ringing holiness to the 9orld. ringing ruin u#on themselves. 9ho 9ere doing their stodgy est to a ort the Km#ire. and in his 9ay. ut they #aled 9hen com#ared to the results of centuries of the asymmetric distri uting goods and #o9er in France. French stu#idity urst into true rilliance. 9ith #roducers having nothing to say a out the distri ution of their #roducts anddistri utors #assing <udgment on themselves and their system. he contri uted more than anyone else to the colla#se of his 9ay of life. ut in a land 9ea6ened and im#overished y his insatia le #ursuit of #o9er and 9ealth. Although the revolutionaries defeated oth their foreign and domestic foes. as #eo#le use their 9its to gain #o9er and then use their #o9er and lose their 9its. !aught u# in the neurotic #arado). This 9as ut another case of insulated rulers. Although one might assume that those in #o9er 9ould need their 9its more than others. the aristocracy really did not have to do anything ne9 or different to #reci#itate the revolution. It 9as the stu#id failure of the rigid French esta lishment to ad<ust and res#ond to the conditions it created that caused the revolution.s 9ill and convincing himself that his o9n 9ere the Almighty.s career serves as an e)am#le of the #ositive correlation of #o9er and stu#idity. EThis factor of effective self2control is ever missing in the human e>uation. much less uncommon 9isdom. When demands increase and the su##ly system remains constant. he allo9ed neither good sense nor reasona le com#romise to restrain his unlimited #o9er as he #re#ared France for the deluge. Couis 9as afflicted y the disease of divine mission 9hich had claimed (hili# II a century earlier. revolution urst u#on the land. As an a solutely self2centered ruler. it 9as a system of in<ustice su##orting #o9er. Ci6e their British counter#arts. With the Bour ons. The concentration of material 9ealth and coercive #o9er lay in the hands of the landed aristocracy. -ational unity 9as his grand o <ective. convinced they 9ere right. Accumulated grievances sim#ly uilt u# to the rea6ing #oint so that once they 9ere given the o##ortunity for e)#ression Eas they 9ere 9ith the summoning of the States Beneral in $ay of +14/F. In order to foment a revolution. Thus.#eo#le 9as lost on the leaders until finally their #ersistence in this aggravating #ractice #rovo6ed a re ellion. Couis QI& certainly consummated his country 9ith his ceaseless 9ars. the French no les in the eighteenth century 9ere intent on creating a revolution y mani#ulating their #o9er to their o9n short2term advantage. he a##ears very human. his <udgment 9ea6ened. they could not control themselves. they lived in lu)ury 9hile the su##orting #easants 9ere allocated <ust enough to sustain their su##ort.F -a#oleon seized #o9er after the desire and need for order ecame #o#ularized y the e)cesses and a uses of freedom. the tric6 is to control the demands. %e suffered the usual sym#toms of conceiving himself to e an instrument of Bod. As it corru#ts <udgment. The 9onder is not that there 9as a revolution ut that it 9as so long in coming. thus #ermitting the e)#ression of ne9 com inations of develo#ing trends. . Along 9ith adventurous militarism. As the consummate monarch. his legacy 9as one of itterness and dissent. stu#idity encourages others to ecome #o9erful. In this res#ect. the mighty seldom seem to have even common sense. The long2term effects of the revocation 9ere clearly negative. -a#oleon. It may 9ell e that stu#idity is #o9er. The French Devolution 9as archety#ical in that the anarchy and chaos of misa##lied ideals rought on a reversion to autocracy as soon as an a le administrator could assert himself. the ruling class must fail to distri ute goods according to the demands of the #eo#le. and indeed they may.

%is mind sna##ed. A year of success y "r. Their attitudes and ehavior 9arranted and elicited the condemning comment that they had @Cearned nothing and forgotten nothing@. %e could not consider this #ossi ility ecause he made the ty#ically human mista6e of <udging others y his o9n values. That he attained so much #o9er 9as #artly ecause his mind 9as logical. Ten years of %ungarian sarcasm 9ere all he could endure.s. it 9as still #ossi le to de ate the validity of the germ theory as a functional e)#lanation of disease. %is urge for self2aggrandizement 9as insatia le. it served to loc6 recognition that mos>uitoes could carry and s#read malaria Emeaning @Bad air@F and yello9 fever. Semmel9eis 9as too much for his critics. Unfortunately. 9hich hardly could thrive in such an anti2intellectual atmos#here. energy. Semmel9eis. the germ theory of disease 9as very much at odds 9ith #o#ular theories that illness 9as an e)#ression of Bod. Although he 9as very efficient at achieving his ends. during the ne)t t9enty years. In this case. %e 9as thoroughly modern in that he 9as totally amoral and as great as anyone could e 9ithout eing good. in that an e)#lanation for a #henomenon usually cannot e acce#ted as <ust that ut comes to e regarded as the e)#lanation for it. %is contract 9as not rene9ed. When "r. Ignaz Semmel9eis riefly introduced sanitary measures in a maternity hos#ital in &ienna. usually so s#aring 9ith second chances.s rise and demise serve as a lesson for all students of Western !ivilization. -a#oleon rought organization to chaos and occasionally rought 9orthy ideals to life' for e)am#le. "rs.s 9rath against a sinner andGor caused y the reathing of ad air. Until he insisted that doctors 9ash their hands et9een #erforming auto#sies and e)amining #atients. his asic #ro lem 9as that there 9as no self2im#osed end to his ends. mortality rates stood at +4R. They attem#ted in a ho#eless 9ay to turn the cloc6 ac6 and live y the schema that had once #roduced a revolution. mathematical and retentive and #artly ecause he 9as unscru#ulous and insensitive to misery and suffering. he 9as greeted 9ith vitu#erous denunciations. the 9or6 of Cister. Joch and (asteur silenced such de ate and esta lished the germ theory as the e)#lanation for cause of disease. %e 9as a careful. once the germ theory 9as esta lished.F Along the 9ay. re<ected and disdained. The only thing #oisoned y ad air 9as o <ectivity. industry and o edience rather than their ancestry. and it motivated him to oth succeed and fail. %e then authored a oo6 codifying his methods and analyzing his data statistically. Both oo6 and author 9ere roundly ignored. Donald Doss and !olonel William Borgas learned their . "es#ite "r. they rought themselves do9n as they failed in their efforts to regain the #ro#erty and #rivileges of the old regime. #recise #lanner 9hose fatal error 9as one any good fighter might have made:he could not antici#ate that the Dussians 9ould not give him a decisive attle in +4+*.Actually. 9as generous to the Bour ons. %ad doctors learned ho9 to forget their limiting attitudes in the nineteenth century. %o9ever. Fortunately for untold millions. %e could not #erceive that the #ursuit of his o9n est interest came to e in his o9n 9orst interest ecause there 9as no greater #ur#ose controlling his develo#ment and directing his ehavior. Within a month they dro##ed to HR and a month later to elo9 *R. and he died in a mental institution. ut they #roved totally une>ual to their o##ortunities. In the late +4P3. religion or other criteria unrelated to <o #erformance. and @-ot fighting@ 9as not an element in his o9n schema.s 9or6. -a#oleon. The more trenchant o servation 9as that they had @Cearned nothing and forgotten everything@. %e 9as e)tremely efficient u# to and even including the #oint that he destroyed himself through arrogance and overe)tension. there is something singular a out the human mind. a once heretical idea 9ould not have ecome an orthodo) dogma. in +443. %istory. %e #ersonified action for its o9n sa6e and urned himself out #roving that his #o9er had meaning only if it could e used to gain more #o9er. he selected officials according to their intelligence. EThere is a #eculiar irony in the a ility of humans to e so effective at self2destruction. and again. so the good doctor 9ent to Buda#est to re#eat his #erformance 9ith the same conclusive results.

@All land from the #eo#le@ 9ould have een an a##ro#riate slogan 9hen. Under the Tsars. they are rational e)#ressions of an underlying religion 9hich. ut it 9as incredi ly stu#id. The stu#idity of fanatics is that they so routinely foment crises so as to <ustify and #er#etuate their fanaticism. Of course. li erals lamed Devolutionary e)cesses on the civil 9ar and #ost2War allied loc6ade' too late. In all of history. %o9ever. decisive action. #romotes cohesion and inhi its criticism. Once again. Dussia 9as. not filth. Doss 9as a le to convince his colleagues that more than one theory might e right and "r. %o9ever. as heretics had to demonstrate time and time again that mos>uitoes. 4/R of the total cultivated land and /PR of the livestoc6 9as o9ned y the #easants.medicine far from the esta lished medical schools:centers not of higher learning ut of higher orthodo)y. and once convinced of his course of action. they learned that one of the !ommunists. Similarly. although y +/+8. the li eral tradition #ermits all ideas to flourish so that the one that est fits the facts may finally #revail. By 9ay of contrast. Cenin considered ruthlessness the greatest virtue. and. One of the common marvels of the human mind is its effectiveness in #reventing #eo#le from recognizing facts 9hich fail to conform to conventional ideology. that is 9hat 9as done. Although !ommunist ideologies are e)#ressly nontheistic. and this one certainly 9as 9hen the tolerance of li erals eased the 9ay of the !ommunists to #o9er in Dussia in +/+1 to the long2term detriment of li eralism there and else9here. At first. -evertheless. that is 9hat !ommunist ideology called for. the formerly unorthodo) germ theory had ecome enshrined as the astion of medical elief. This stu#idity of Dussian li eralism 9as #ersonified in Ale)ander Jerens6y. as slogans sha#e the #erce#tions #eo#le have of e)#eriences and thus control com#rehension of 9hat is ha##ening. it is im#ossi le to find so consistent a record of 9ell2intended lunders as his. y any standard. %is #itiful attem#t to lead a democratic Dussian state #ut him in the class of Woodro9 Wilson as one of the great mis#laced idealists in an age of mis#laced idealism. conveyed these t9o dread diseases. -ot only 9as this an outrage. he des#ised de ate.s #enchant for #o9er. sim#le lesson to e learned from the career of Cenin. sing2 song incantations of ma)ims from $ao. Borgas to sho9 ho9 the s#read of the diseases could e controlled. fact attled fancy.s Cittle Ded Boo6 once served to honor him. the myth #ersists that everything im#roved directly after the revolution. 9ho s9e#t the fee le Jerens6y off the #olitical stage. any ideal can e misa##lied. Dussians have come to en<oy a material standard of living higher than ever efore. chronically favorite e)cesses is the su##ression of li eralism. much 9orse off under !ommunism than it had een under the Tsars. %e #roved that fanatics need not necessarily e stu#id.s tom reinforces veneration for him. the !ommunists in Dussia must no9 e accorded a 6ind of rutal success. through stu#efication. By +/33. These ideologies include strong elements of ritual and #rovide detailed guides to correct action. This attests to the #o9er of #ro#aganda in the formation of #erce#tions and the structuring of com#rehension. As something of a counter#oise. uild social cohesion y #roviding the devout . if a crisis does in fact call for firm. At the cost of cruelty and tyranny that 9ould have shamed the Tsars. the li erals convinced everyone including themselves that living conditions 9ere so terri le that they could not #ossi ly get any 9orse. it is difficult to find in all of history so thorough a re#udiation of li eralism as 9as #ersonified y Cenin. ecause collectivization is sim#ly not an efficient 9ay to organize agriculture. @All the land to the #eo#le@ 9as the cry of the Bolshevi6s efore the revolution. If there is a single. Until 9ell after World War II. so it 9as only 9ith #henomenal #ersistence that "r. in +/*/. it is that the clever use of slogans is #aramount. All such systems use slogans and sym ols to reinforce elief. Stalin stole the land ac6 from the #easants and restored them to serfdom. ut the !ommunists set out to #rove them 9rong. Belief in the edifying effect of a #ilgrimage to Cenin. as it also #assed 9ith Stalin.

9ith an e)alted sense of righteousness and inhi it com#rehension and criticism of 9hat is actually ha##ening. Fortunately for the Allies. Tur6ey 9ould have then een 6noc6ed out of the 9ar. It 9as a 9orld in 9hich #ointing out the o vious could e considered an act of treason. For sheer tactical idiocy. fe9 cam#aigns can match the disaster at Balli#oli. The British 6ne9 the 9ar 9as not a cric6et match ut nevertheless conducted their efforts 9ith a casual indifference to time orn of leisurely o9ling 9hen ready= they never could >uite gras# the notion that at a given moment fifty men might accom#lish 9hat thousands could not do an hour later. even totalitarian ideologies are not total in their control ofinformation' some 6no9ledge may see# in and undercut all the determined o##osition of ideologues to change and im#rovement. in the interest of revity. ut for every 9histle lo9er 9ho noted that something 9as amiss and asserted that the 9ar 9as not 9or6ing. as 9e have seen recently in !hina and eastern Kuro#e. The British 9ould muddle through= elan 9ould carry the French to victory= Berman arrogance 9ould #revail= Dussian #easants 9ould serve the Tsar as cannon fodder:and it 9ent on for years. Austria 9ould have een vulnera le. E%o9ever. The Dussian Devolution 9as #layed out against the setting of World War I. 9e 9ill have to content ourselves here 9ith a fe9 selected lo9lights. In a 9ar of lac6 ri on lunders. With stu#idity so evenly alanced on oth sides. The Tur6s had reinforced the ridge. and if there ever 9as a event 9hich deserves its o9n cha#ter in a oo6 on stu#idity.F It 9as a grand fiasco. 9hen they 9ere finished. Bermany isolated and the 9ar over. Bulgaria 9ould then not have <oined the A)is #o9ers. In the guise of e)#lanations. As for the troo#s rea6fasting at Balli#oli. they 9ere finished. They could have easily ta6en the high ground and turned the entire cam#aign into a glorious trium#h. sim#le delays of minutes and hours s#elled the difference et9een easy victory and disastrous defeat. that 9ar is it. nothing could match that of the generals 9ho clung to their @Attac6@ schema long after it had een rendered clearly o solete y modern 9ea#onry. for the French. Again and again. +/+0. throughout the 9ar. so the 9ell2fed column trai#sed ac6 do9n the hill for lunch. the Berman Admiralty 9as there to save them. 8. the French made an incredi le strategic error y re#eatedly ignoring 9arnings from $ilitary Intelligence a out the Berman Schlieffen #lan to s9ee# through Belgium and then hang a left to9ard (aris. Faulty e)ecution of the #lan #revented the Bermans from ca#italizing on the French colla#se. Of course. ideologies serve not only to codify ehavior ut to also to unify s#irits and motivate #eo#le. the 9ar >uic6ly ecame a stalemate. Admiral Alfred von Tir#itz 9as ousted from control of the Berman -avy for #rotesting the . Time after time. In fact. the Berman %igh !ommand came to their rescue. 9ave after 9ave of troo#s #roved that direct frontal assault 9as a futile e)ercise in carnage. Fortunately. it #ro a ly never 9ould have made it on its o9n ut 9as carried along 9ith field officers as they gradually 9ere #romoted to staff officers 9ith the #assage of time and then could ma6e their vie9s 6no9n to some #ractical effect. In Se#tem er of +/+0. 9hat did the troo#s in the column do? They sto##ed for rea6fastM The only thing that could #ossi ly have een any stu#ider 9ould have een if they had sto##ed for teaM This 9as ut one e)am#le of the general British ina ility to com#rehend the im#ortance of time in affairs of action. It too6 a fe9 years and millions of casualties for this idea to tric6le u#9ard in a convincing fashion to those 9ho found e)#lanations for failure every9here ut in their o9n #lanning. none com#ares in stu#idity to an advance made y the Allies at Anzac Bay on Aug. and among the de acles there. A column moved to 9ithin a >uarter of a mile of the ridge 9ith only t9enty Tur6s ahead of them. there 9ere millions 9ho could not hear the 9histles for all the cheering at #arades and shouting of #ro#aganda. 9ith all sides ent on matching each other lunder for lunder:a 9ar in 9hich sanity 9as lost in the midst of millions of madmen adoring their o9n madness and fairly reveling in their o9n stu#idity. ho9ever. Kveryone 6ne9 it ut those in command. So. Kven efore the 9ar.

so he 9as dismissed for calling for the right #olicy at the 9rong time. If the magnitude of stu#idity induced is any measure of motivation. the #olicy ado#ted early in +/+1. and only too late did it ecome clear to the devout that the 9ay out 9as a 9ay do9n to a cultural carnage that 9ould have shamed the "evil himself.s #lay into %itler. The French fear of Bermany contri uted to the creation of a @Fran6undstein@ monster via the terms of the &ersailles Treaty 9hich not only failed to ury Berman militarism ut #rovided a asis for #ro#agandistic rationalizations 9hich Adolf %itler used to ease his 9ay to #o9er. In acts un#recedented in the annals of di#lomacy. ut the British am assador to Bermany. re<ected. %e 6ne9 that truth 9as useless for ca#turing cro9ds.s theory of economic determinism. That the asis for his schema 9as self2hatred and nonsense made it no less a##ealing to a #eo#le 9ho felt etrayed and humiliated. of course. Before the 9ar. it 9as >uic6ly discovered that Singa#ore 9as a #regna le fortress. in that the #aranoid fi)es on one feature of a situation 9hile dissociating from and forgetting the relevance of other factors. it 9as a case of an anti29ar grou# contri uting unintentionally to the out rea6 of 9ar y asing #olicies on their o9n 9ishful thin6ing. the !ham erlain government had a solutely no interest in information that challenged their naive assum#tions a out %itler. fear must e.s Bovernment insisted on #erceiving %itler as a nationalist 9ho 9ould com at !ommunism.s #olicy. Official vie9s of events 9ere so totally as6e9 that the !zechs 9ere castigated for threatening #eace sim#ly ecause they did not 9ant to give their country a9ay to %itler at the $unich (eace !onference. the British attem#t to a##ease %itler 9as oth a sad and classic e)am#le of grou#thin6. %is $a<esty. unfortunately. -ever has there een so crushing a refutation of $ar). %o9ever. It might indeed have een im#regna le had the Ja#anese attac6ed from the sea as e)#ected. the fall of 9hich 9as made all the more li6ely y the elief that it 9as invulnera le. What he 9as interested in 9as #o9er.restriction of su marine 9arfare. there certainly 9ould have een no 9ar. When 9ar did come. The 9ar im#overished and destroyed #eo#le. In +/H4. a more #o9erful motivator than #rofit. eing at 9ar. To the credit of the Foreign Office. Berman generals sent three messages to the British urging a firm stand against %itler. the Im#erial Army 9as hardly dis#osed to coo#erate 9ith its enemies. #layed @$indguard@ and advised ignoring them. a #ro#osal that the shi#yards increase su marine #roduction y a factor of five. For e)am#le. rulers and states.s hands. This 9as. Ci6e so many emotions. ut he 9as a le to e)#loit given conditions ecause he 9ell 6ne9 the limitations of ethics. he had to tell the Bermans 9hat they 9anted to hear E9hich ha##ened to e 9hat he elieved any9ayF. $ore s#ecifically. so he 9as not #articularly interested in it. The French #olicy to9ard Bermany after World War I 9as a classic e)am#le of fear cum stu#idity. -ot only did the Treaty and the 9orld29ide economic de#ression of the early +/H3.s infle)i le #ursuit of folly. fear is not so much a linder as a fi)ator. Basically. o <ectivity and accuracy. some of the revelations it rought 9ith it 9ere shoc6ing to the #oint of enlightenment. -eville %enderson. Aside from the human suffering created y the 9ar. Almost all of this 9as devotedto the art and science of destruction. Admiral von !a#elle. %is re#lacement. %e called for the sin6ing of every enemy shi# afloat and every neutral vessel in the 9ar zone. %e #rovided Bermany 9ith a 9ay out of the misera le aftermath of World War I. so it invaded overland instead. %is rationale must rate as one of the stu#idest remar6s ever made: @-o ody 9ould 6no9 9hat to do 9ith so many U2 oats after the 9ar@ :and it #ro a ly sounds even 9orse in Berman. Singa#ore found itself added to the undistinguished list of #resuma ly im#regna le . in +/+8. It cost thirty2three times all the gold money in the 9orld at the time. there 9ere critics of !ham erlain. and he 6ne9 that to get it. it also 9as a colossal economic disaster for Kuro#e. %e #rovided them 9ith something in 9hich and someone in 9hom they could elieve. ut they 9ere ignored in the !a inet.s #eaceful intentions. If $ar) had een right and economic motives ruled.

Before the attle for the ridge at Arnhem in Se#tem er. #eo#le do not contem#late scenarios that contradict grou# assum#tions. the attac6 on (earl %ar or ran6s as one of the 9orst. On "ecem er 1th. In this #articular case. -evertheless. Usually. it is a commander. grou#thin6 #layed a crucial role in the realization of the unthin6a le. It 9as one of the fe9 things that could have galvanized Americans into a united 9ar effort. Washington did not hel# clarify matters' all of their 9arnings 9ere am iguous. Unfortunately. That 9ould have een contrary to grou# norms and #ro a ly 9ould have een a 9asted gesture any9ay. -o one attem#ted to confirm that the #lanes s#otted 9ere in fact the e)#ected om ers' it 9as <ust assumed they 9ere. Beneral $ontgomery had a #lan. #rudence 9ould suggest caution. 9ith 9arnings eing re#eatedly ignored if they contradicted the #o#ular elief that @It couldn. Thus. in a 9ar of miscalculations. the British 9ere clearly 9arned y the "utch underground that the #aratroo#ers 9ould e dro##ing right onto Berman tan6s. t9o more 9arnings 9ere missed. such as they 9ere. They did not realize they 9ere doing the one thing that 9ould ring an e)#anded 9ar u#on themselves. The contri ution of grou#thin6 to the disaster at (earl %ar or 9as that it inhi ited anyone from rea6ing ran6s and asserting that the ase 9as vulnera le. oth #erce#tions and inter#retations 9ere sha#ed y the self2confirming schema that the Ja#anese 9ould attac6 some9here else:#ro a ly thousands of miles 9est of %a9aii. The incoming #lanes 9ere detected on radar and re#orted to army head>uarters 9here they 9ere misidentified as an e)#ected flight of B2+1. (earl %ar or 9as only the most stri6ing e)am#le of the Allied #ro#ensity to ignore 9arnings during World War II. As for the Ja#anese. and that ended that.t ha##en here@. 9ere invulnera le to everything ut imagination. in the com#lacent state of #resumed invulnera ility. and it 9as' it 9as lithely assumed the tan6s 9ere out of gas. +/P+. As it turned out. li6e the $aginot Cine. ut the false sense of security #rovided is #roduced y distorting #erce#tion for the sa6e of the #leasing image. The failure to heed the 9arnings. Those three elements mi)ed 9ith fatal overdoses of 9ishful thin6ing and com#lacent #reconce#tions on the #art of those res#onsi le for defense #rovide an e)#lanation for the de acle at (earl %ar or. of 9hich there had een some efore. as analysts are generally inclined to select inter#retations of data or messages 9hich confirm #revailing hy#otheses. as the leaders had ecome #risoners of their o9n am itions. The resultant communal mindset may oost morale. 9as due to the tendency of #eo#le to note and give credence to data that su##ort their e)#ectations. The asic mista6e ase commander Admiral %us and Jimmel made 9as in assuming an attac6 9ould not occur at (earl %ar or. Still. 9e find data inter#reted according to e)#ectation if convenient. in $arch. The Km#ire had to e)#and or die. 9hen t9o aviation officers #resented a #a#er concluding that an attac6 at da9n on (earl %ar or launched from Ja#anese aircraft carriers could achieve a com#lete sur#rise.fortresses 9hich.s <o to #rotect his ase. +/PP. Also. . 9ho mis<udged America y their o9n im#erial standards and assumed that Doosevelt could lead the country into 9ar 9henever he 9anted. so in the event of am iguity. it 9as considered and dismissed ecause the commanders at (earl elieved the Ja#anese <ust 9ould not ta6e that chance. ut this #oint #ro a ly 9as 9asted on the Ja#anese.s from the mainland due in at a out that time. This action 9as re#orted to naval head>uarters 9here the su 9as dismissed as a false sighting. a destroyer sighted and attac6ed a midget su marine trying to snea6 into the har or. they acce#ted the ris6 of attac6 out of necessity. and since the #anzers 9ere not in it. Again. a com#romise had to e found. It is only fair to mention that the am iguous 9arnings 9ere received amidst ac6ground @-oise@ of many com#eting and irrelevant signals. maneuver and attac6. and the de acle 9ent off on schedule. Once again.

e)#ressed o##osition to the #lan to Do ert Jennedy only days efore the invasion. fairlyF scrutinized and criticized. they led themselves into an unmitigated de acle. In the treasure chest of American stu#idity.s military strength y e)#erts in oth the State "e#artment and the British intelligence. ut they limited consideration of the #lan to a small num er of #eo#le so that it 9ould not e too harshly or thoroughly Ei. Schlesinger. When Arthur $. so des#ite the total lac6 of confirming evidence and in the face of re#orts of minimal o##osition. he certainly did not get a alanced #icture of the situation. The fault 9as not in his decision as such ut in the data #resented to him and the climate in 9hich discussions 9ere conducted. The 9hole #roved to e considera ly 9orse than any individual #art. There is a time to de ate.e. too6 five months instead. 9hich should have ta6en five hours. ideal.s had learned something from their recent e)#erience and in their <aunty 9ay made an e)#licit #oint of 9inning the attle efore $onty could come u# 9ith a #lan to save them. clear. 9here a divided Allied force had nearly een #ushed ac6 into the sea. It ecame a self2realizing delusion. When the time came. +/PP. had ecome emotionally involved 9ith the #lan to the detriment of their a ility to <udge it. &ietnam and Watergate have since ecli#sed the Bay of (igs in the American #o#ular mind. his desire to avoid another Balli#oli and a conservative inter#retation of his orders gave the Bermans time to tra# his troo#s on the each. As the classic e)am#le of grou#thin6. ut for the connoisseur of (residential lunders. crystalline. -evertheless. Although the data #resented to the (resident may have indicated the advisa ility of invasion.s training is an e)tended course on @Warnings' %o9 to Ignore Them@. The information #rovided 9as that selected y the !IA. a time to decide and a time to do. In a culture given to igger and etter stu#idity. he remained convinced that the Bermans 9ere near y in force <ust 9aiting to #ounce as soon as he moved inland. $a<or Beneral John Cucas #roved this in a ac6handed 9ay as commander of the American landing at Anzio in January.s insistence on heeding 9arnings 9hich did not e)ist. these re#orts 9ere dismissed rather than chec6ed out.s advisors. >uality stu#idity. Bo y. astute and as ca#a le as anyone of o <ective and rational analysis. We 9ere all most fortunate that the sta6es in this disgraceful misadventure 9ere so limited. The asic #ro lem 9as that the leaders of the !IA. It is im#ortant to note that his advisors 9ere all shre9d. -ot only did they cull out data conflicting 9ith their commitment to disaster. The sad thing is that. they did not so much #resent it as sell it to the White %ouse. (resident Jennedy 9as really <ustified in ordering the invasion.s li eration. %o9ever.Similar 9arnings 9ere given the Allies efore the Battle of the Bulge a fe9 months later 9hen refugees told of masses of Berman troo#s concentrated <ust out of sight of our armies. ased on the information given him. the decision to attac6 !u a 9as #ure. Fortunately. and other re#orts of a coming offensive filled intelligence files ut 9ere given scant attention. collectively. Beneral Cucas had een at Salerno. It should not e concluded that #art of an officer. This 9as an unfortunate e)am#le of an army fighting the #revious attle. The >uestions then arise' 9hen is it too late to o##ose a faulty #lan? When is it too late to correct a mista6e? When is it etter to go 9ith a decision than to im#rove it or scra# it? Is it more im#ortant for #eo#le to e together than for them to 6no9 they are going do9n together? . grou#thin6 too6 over as mem ers of the in2grou# ecame cohesive and su##ressed deviations from the #revailing elief of the team in the #lan. The goal shifted from hammering out an effective #lan to that of o taining grou# consensus. this little gem has lost none of its luster over time. Dome. Jr. the BI. Among the (resident. 9hich chose to ignore re#orts of !u a. since the Beneral. the Bay of (igs invasion is <ustly stashed a9ay in the ottom dra9er..s res#onse 9as that it 9as too late for o##osition. "irector Allen "ulles and "e#uty "irector Dichard Bissel. They 9ere so much in love 9ith their #lan that they could not e o <ective a out it anddid not 9ant anyone else to e o <ective a out it either.

during the Johnson years. getting canned 9as his re9ard for eing right 9hen everyone else 9as 9rong. The @!ommitment@ to the @&ital interest@ of @-ational security@ ecame a #ositive feed ac6 system 9hich too6 on a life of its o9n as those in #o9er came to elieve in and ecome im#risoned y their o9n rhetoric. the Johnson administration turned in9ard. The fact that 9e never had it to lose 9as one of those relevancies lost on the mighty.e.To his credit. as there 9as no mechanism 9ithin the government 9hich could chec6 #olicies acce#ted 9ithout reservation y those devoted to the incestuous administration. in the cause of retaining 9hat it never had. there 9as an a undance of unrealistic #lanning due to overam ition. -evertheless. Within the American #olitical community. This mis#erce#tion 9as facilitated y the self2serving invention of la els to <ustify our sacrilegious. American #olicies and actions there are no9 generally recognized as having een >uite stu#id. these 9ere totally lost on those in #ositions of irres#onsi ility. dou ts. 9as retained as Secretary of State ecause he 9as so nice. #olitical and moral conse>uences of deli erately #lanned idiocy. 9hich thus remained eyond American com#rehension. #honey. that a##easement does not deter an aggressorF too 9ell and 9ere determined to a##ly it 9here it did not fit. it hardly com#ares in size and sco#e to the de acle in &ietnam. As the &ietnam de acle develo#ed during this era. ho9s and 9hys remain as de ata le as ever and #ro a ly never 9ill e com#letely clear. invalid o#timism. As al9ays. ut the 9hos. It is a sad commentary on #eo#le and the #olitical #rocess that he 9as the first to e fired after the fiasco:that is.s 9as #ursued in the face of strong 9arnings from #ractically everyone 9ho 9as concerned and #o9erless. 9ho had learned the lesson at $unich Ei. The cause of the 9ar 9as that Americans 9ere thought they 9ere fighting !ommunism 9hile the &ietnamese 9ere fighting colonialism. all the #o9er committed to &ietnam in the name of @-ational interest@ 9or6ed against us. The escalation of the mid2+/83. "ean Dus6. As our leaders came to elieve increasingly in their o9n clichLs a out American #olicy to9ard &ietnam in the late . and not only 9as the official government schema out of sync 9ith &ietnamese reality. the American government 9as determined to e misled y misinter#reting events in &ietnam. consulting more and more 9ith military #riests. 9ith ignored 9arnings interlaced 9ith 9ishful grou#thin6. To such #eo#le. In fact. the less they understood.. ut it 9as systematically #rogrammed to endure unaffected y events in Southeast Asia. criticism could usually e stilled >uite easily ecause no one 9anted to e the one res#onsi le for losing &ietnam to !ommunism.s. On the other hand. 9ho had su##ressed Bo9les. and then gradually the realization s#read that the esta lishment 9as out of its . Again. the 9ar 9as clearly a self2generated lunder. overo#timism and overignorance in the Oval Office. ut naturally. 9e find conscientious statesmen ignoring oth e)#erts and everyone else voicing concern over the military. the 6ey to stu#idity lay in the discre#ancy et9een 9hat 9as elieved and 9hat 9as ha##ening. in terms of American interest. there 9as invaria ly only one solution to any #ro lem:escalation. self2defeating cause. Although the Bay of (igs invasion 9as as close to an ideal case of stu#idity as 9e should ever ho#e to see. the 9ar 9as very much de ated y citizens 9ho found the more they >uestioned and learned. From +/P0 on9ard. We insisted on #erceiving events in &ietnam in a glo al conte)t of a !ommunist cons#iracy to rule the 9orld. This did not mean9e ignored facts so much as 9e failed to #erceive them in their relevant conte)t. Fortunately. !onse>uently. This escalation ecame a #erfect e)am#le of a #ositive feed ac6 mechanism going to uncontrolla le e)cess. 9e consistently misconstrued all evidence of nationalism and the fervor for an inde#endent &ietnam. A gna9ing dou t ecame a gro9ing a9areness of the fundamental a surdity of ourinvolvement.83. American involvement in &ietnam 9as a case of com#ound stu#idity. Undersecretary of State !hester Bo9les 9as one of the fe9 mem ers of the State "e#artment 9ho 9as critical of the invasion #lan. As it turned out. invalid o#timism 9as re#laced y genuine. as 9e had no #erceiva le interest in the area at any time.

If there is a lesson to learn from this #oc6et revie9 of history. it must e that stu#idity flourishes 9ith ageless consistency. loyal staff mem ers carried on very much as usual and so validated the signs. #er<ury and o struction of <ustice. It is sad to note that it is as common in modern America as it has ever een any9here. grou#thin6 #layed a ma<or role in this de acle. there 9as a consistent failure of those involved to face irrefuta le facts even 9hen they 9ere 6no9n to e irrefuta le. Kven this litany of crimes 9ould have come to naught #olitically had e)ecutive sessions in the Oval Office not een ta#ed and the ta#es retained.s staff in adhering to it des#ite its o vious dra92 ac6s. As usual. In doing so.s good fortune that the insanity of its leaders could e chec6ed y the common sense of a fe9 million s6e#tics.mind.s resignation. This failure to heed 9arnings 9as due to oth the nature of the -i)onian schema and the tenacity 9ith 9hich it 9as held y loyal staff mem ers. It 9as the com ination of these incredi ly stu#id lunders 9ith the crimes themselves 9hich led to the (resident. cause and themselves. The irony of the Watergate fiasco 9as that -i)on ran on a @Ca9 and order@ #latform in +/84. Ceaders do not usually a##reciate this uilt2in restriction on their #o9er to 9rec6 the system. 9arnings of im#ending disaster 9ere ignored. 9hen #eo#le are a solutely devoted to their #lan. that any cree#y means could e em#loyed to maintain the image of the hollo9 administration. -i)on 9as one 9ho ecame increasingly ve)ed as the descent of his administration to ne9 de#ths of #olitical morality 9as made evident y the media and then finally halted y #u lic outrage and !ongressional #o9er. narro9. -otes . closed standard of immorality. they 9ere at least consistent' they #erceived everything as a #u lic relations #ro lem. and Dichard $.s limitations 9as com#ounded y the #ersistence of the (resident. As might e e)#ected. The schema itself 9as asically one of methodology :s#ecifically. This 9as the su conscious guide for strategy and ehavior 9hich 9as shared y the -i)on staff and 9hich led them to #erceive the Watergate scandal as a #u lic relations #ro lem. It 9as America. ut four years later. forgery. and mem ers of the White %ouse staff did indeed share the overo#timism and sense of invulnera ility common to grou#thin6ers living in an unreal 9orld defined y their o9n se#arate. At every stage of the Watergate morass. ri ery. With all signs indicating failure. his cam#aign 9as characterized y urglary. The im#act of this schema.

%e is honored as the discoverer ecause he had the good fortune to ma6e his discovery 9hen his su##orting culture 9as cognitively #re#ared to a##reciate it and technologically develo#ed enough to e)#loit it. streamlined. In a 9orld in 9hich stu#idity has reached such e9ildering ureaucratic com#le)ity. o9nershi# and control that government and ig usiness fascistically e)ercise u#on each other. It has ecome organized. he elieves in democracy. -o other land has een discovered so often. #eo#le 9ent out on their o9n. #aid for them themselves on the s#ot and learned as little as #ossi le from the e)#erience. and this self2unconsciousness is tracea le to . they are ha##ily lost on most of us. and ne9 forms of idiocy urst out of the traditional molds of mis ehavior. %o9ever. it is America. develo#ed and #romoted y the calculating #rofessional. he assumed he had achieved his goal and died 9ithout 6no9ing he had accom#lished more as a failure than do most @Successful@ e)#lorers. made their o9n mista6es. economy or society develo#ed' nature 9as so generous that any 9ould succeed. modernized. Of !olum us. ut 9e lac6 a asic 6no9ledge a out ourselves for e)actly the same reason. if there is one su <ect u#on 9hich 9e are invinci ly ignorant. $ismanagement is no9 com#uterized so that errors 9hich used to ta6e 9ee6s to unfold can e #er#etrated in seconds. (hoenicians. Once a colony 9as esta lished. The horizons and o##ortunities for stu#idity no9 9idened and roadened. (olitically. ri##ing off the #eo#le. he is a devout ca#italist. Domans. and incor#orated. In fact. rec6less and inventive in a 9orld in 9hich imagination seemed the only limitation on #ossi le lunders.s. The nineteenth century sa9 the end of the Bolden Age of individual stu#idity. Americans are <ustifia ly confused and searching for something in 9hich they can still elieve. Finally. -orsemen. Kconomically. First and last. But. it 9as first discovered y the Irish. Since he had no idea 9hat the Orient 9as li6e. %e had started out for east Asia and <ust ha##ened to um# into America ecause it 9as in the 9ay.s discovery is not the usual @When@ and @By 9hom@ ut the @%o9 often@ e)#lorers had to learn of it for themselves. The com#osite American today entertains a num er of religious eliefs all of 9hich #redominated at one time or other and still com#rise a significant #art of his cultural heritage and national identity. The general American is sort of !hristian in elief andGor ehavior. at least 9ithin his o9n #eer grou#. Ci yans. 9e are #ragmatists ill dis#osed to let eliefs disru#t the mar6et #lace of life. true to the s#irit of democracy. he had no in6ling of 9hat he had found nor even 9here he 9as 9hen he set foot in the -e9 World.2II) !odern American Stupidit% Stu#idity has een a com#onent of Americana ever since the first e)#lorers stum led onto the -e9 World. those 9ho settled the -e9 World could not miss. In fact. due to the lac6 of a unified elief system. After !olum us had sho9n the 9ay. -ot only is American stu#idity thus fragmented. gone no9 are the good old days 9hen a #erson could go out and fail on his o9n at his o9n #ace. the most sur#rising thing a out America. and if all claims in this matter are valid. Stu#idity is no9 cultivated. Scots. If there are contradictions in the e)#ressions of these elief systems as they sha#e daily life. In the +433. Welsh. the land 9as so rich that it did not matter 9hat system or non2system of government. "es#ite this. although the !onstitution guarantees and sur#risingly #rovides a re#u lican form of government. the Old World 9as ready and eager to follo9 his lead to 9here ever it 9as he had gone. Kgy#tians. generally s#ea6ing. it might e said he 9as the last to discover America. Stu#idity 9as no longer confined to the stodgy constraints of restrictive #atterns of thought and action ut ecame rash. he is socially egalitarian. &enetians and (ortuguese. even if #rivate enter#rise has een #ushed to the fringe y the systematic organization. 9hich is. -o9 he must <oin a firm 9hich is overcharging its customers or 9or6 for the government.

American stu#idity cannot e truly a##reciated as a stagnant. The #luralism of American society has not only made tolerance a necessity ut has given American stu#idity its anarchistic flavor. As develo#ment #rogressed. The sloth of %is#anics contrasts 9ith the arrogance of Bermans. the catch9ords motivated radicals and o scured the reality that as #ure ideals. slums arose in the cities 9hile in the country. The self2righteous #rudery of the Knglish clashes 9ith the emotional a andon of Africans. and you have a model of our faltering. Thro9 in Africans dum enough to get caught y slavers. 9ith #romoters then misleading the un9ary into settling along the 9rong2of29ay so that they could e more easily e)#loited later on. not since the !rusades could one find a more o#inionated and of igots than the early colonists. Our ancestors came here ecause they 9ere or antici#ated eing failures in the old country. %o9ever. ut he had to e called something else Ei. Builders constructed firetra#s that 9ere unsafe an any height. as a #eo#le divided y a common language. . Added to these dictatorial igots 9ere successive 9aves of 6lutzes. so has our native stu#idity devolved so that 9e might al9ays have difficulty recognizing ourselves and meeting our challenges. com#osition and goals have changed throughout the life of the nation. and no9 the 9ord is all ut forgotten. and the government conceived in li erty has een #ushing e>uality on the country for more than a generation. It 9as #erfectly acce#ta le for a union man to e on the commission. Although 9e do not rag a out it. The mine o9ners refused to acce#t anyone on the commission 9ho 9as designated as a union man.s <etsam and flotsam has drifted to our shores and ecome #art of our 6aleidosco#e schema. Dailroads to no9here 9ere constructed. U#on arrival. dead eats and malcontents:the scum from all the slums of Kuro#e. $uch as our national character. tor#id force ut must e #erceived in the dynamic conte)t of a linguistic current ever at odds 9ith the realities of life. The im#ortance of a 9ord in maintaining an illusion 9as made vividly clear in +/3*. 9ho had no fundamental o <ection to des#otism. 9e need only note that the #atriotic rhetoric of +118 9as mostly a out @Ci erty@. 9e can e as stu#id as any and 9ill no dou t continue to 9ra# ourselves in the illusions of misleading la els. Thus. they 9ere asically ina##lica le in a healthy society. To illustrate the #oint. land 9as cleared so that the to#soil could erode faster. 9hen (resident Doosevelt 9as trying to a##oint a commission to settle a coal stri6e. Orientals shre9d enough to 9or6 forever for a #ittance and some Indians 9ho ac>uiesced in the longest2running real estate s9indle of all time and you have the ma6ings of the social handica# of 9hich 9e are so #roud. -aturally. usiness and attles. Kach detracts in its o9n 9ay from the self2confidence of the nation as every failing and dra9 ac6 of the 9orld. mining. We have a variety of ans9ers and solutions from 9hich 9e can #ic6 the one 9hich is most a##ealing if not most relevant.. Still. A ell 9as cast and #rom#tly crac6ed to sym olize our >ualified commitment to this ideal. slave o9ners fought for their o9n li erty. they failed in farming.the multi2schemas 9hich #rovide several ready2made e)#lanations for anything. shovels that 9ould not dig and oilers that 9ould e)#lode. so long as they 9ere the des#ots im#osing their o##ressive vie9s and values on others. In oth cases. Kach immigrant strain has made its contri ution to the caldron of idiocy and made diversity our greatest 9ea6ness. The current 9atch9ord is @K>uality@. Stir a little and heat a lot. 9e li6e to ma6e the most of the no le #urity of our ancestors. s9eltering #ot society. This is one of the distinctive features of American culture' 9e do not have @An@ ans9er for or @The@ solution to a given >uestion or #ro lem. !rac6#ots invented shi#s that 9ould sin6. We see them as moral zealots struggling for <ustice and freedom against religious tyranny and #olitical o##ression.e. T9o hundred years ago. America 9as #eo#led y failures.

the government at least attem#ts to govern. KtcismF to re#lace the ragged individualism created y ca#italism.s right to re#resentation. !ommunism.s 9as that the @(eo#le@ 9ere mi)ed into the BovernmentSBusiness e>uation. Today. Americans 9ould have een more reluctant than they 9ere to convert from 9orshi##ing usiness to 9orshi##ing government. #eo#le 9ho had gone an6ru#t commonly s#ent their 9or6ing lives trying to #ay off their creditors. Fe9 grou#s received or even sought handouts from the government. 9hat to 9ear.@An eminent sociologist@F. Actually. their leader 9as searching for #ractical solutions to real #ro lems. "uring the "e#ression. Until this su tlety 9as realized y the (resident. If the #reoccu#ation here 9ith systems and #rinci#les seems out of #lace. Of course. the #ragmatic result 9as not government y la9 ut y organization. the ureaucracy elatedly asserted itself and tries to regulate the s#ecial interests 9hich control it and us. the destruction of individual initiative and the ruin of national character. The #oint is that very fe9 #eo#le 9ith any articulate #olitical force actually demanded read instead of the #olitical circuses of the -e9 "eal. 9hat to eat. (resident Doosevelt 9as a #ragmatic em#iricist committed to trying one thing after another in a hit and miss fashion until he found something that 9or6ed. All the regulations 9hich had een cultivated y the usiness community to harness government to the #romotion and develo#ment of cor#orations 9ere converted into mechanisms of government regulation over the industrial com#le). %ence. The ne9 emerging schema 9as ased on elief in legislation designed to hel# #eo#le y limiting usiness. Unfortunately. The only #ro lem 9as #ragmatic:the system did not 9or6. %ad necessity not een >uite so com#elling at the time. $ostly. %o9ever. The ig change in thin6ing 9hich occurred during the +/H3. language really 9as a stum ling loc6. In the early +/H3.s. for e)am#le.s. Biant cor#orations 9ere #erceived as eminently successful rugged individuals. the efforts to realize our ideals y legislating control have strangled usiness 9ith fascistic regulations. "es#ite the lac6 of systematics. The usiness community had een granted the license to run itself and the country into the ground and had #roceeded to do so. As an inveterate non2ideologue. 9hile the #eo#le 9ere loo6ing for reassuring ans9ers to theoretical >uestions. The change occurred for the est of reasons:it had to. Americans did not #erceive usiness organizations as @Boverning odies@. %o9ever ineffective it may e. they 9ere see6ing e)#lanations:ne9 ideologies ESocialism. In a general and a stract sense. In one of the fe9 intellectual ironies of the +/H3. Terminology #revented a resolution of the crisis so long as seating a @Union man@ 9as #erceived as granting Ca or. Although the underlying #rinci#les u#on 9hich government is ased may e theoretically sound. Dituals and <argon all favored the status mor us. nothing the efuddled -e9 "ealers did for eight years 9or6ed very effectively either until World War II ailed the country out of the "e#ression. 9hat 9or6ing conditions 9ould e and ho9 leisure time 9ould e s#ent. Another #art of American fiction 9as that the nominal government in Washington had some 6ind of #o9er to control events. in the daily life of the average citizen.s. human organizations are #rone to ta6e on self2serving lives of their o9n. %o9 anyone could have missed the su tlety that ca#italism 9as already .s #erce#ti le slide to9ard a fascistically controlled su#erstate 9as greeted y conservatives 9ith much righteous hand 9ringing and e)#ressions of concern a out the do9nfall of laissez faire ca#italism. t9entieth century America is a concoction of mis#erce#tions. the government.s 9orst interest. it nevertheless reflects the #revailing attitude of those 9ho lived through the American Deformation of the +/H3. the -e9 "eal amounted to an admission that the old eliefs in ca#italism and the mechanisms y 9hich usiness controlled #olitics 9or6ed to everyone. a #rivate organization determined 9hen to get u# in the morning.

ut reci#ients of the dole. the media are usinesses committed to maintaining elief in the s#onsors. es#ecially. This is o viously a childish com#romise for advertisers 9ho 9ant to #romote sales of these #roducts Eand distilled s#irits as 9ellF 9ithout eing res#onsi le for their consum#tion. most of them carefully contrived to 6ee# the vie9er tuned in for further misinformation. ho9ever. Basic #hysical security in our cities is su <ect to the irres#onsi le 9hims of vandals and hooligans sho9ing their disres#ect for #ro#erty and their resentment for those 9ho o9n it. the history of modern communications in general has een a story of develo#ing the a ility to mislead more and more #eo#le faster and faster.. Is there not something inherently unsettling a out a (resident referring to a nuclear missile as a @(eace6ee#er@? K>ually odd 9as Secretary of "efense !as#ar Wein erger. although it #ro a ly 9as one of the most honest ads ever #laced. After all. It should have een sto##ed on the grounds of honest advertising ecause in a 9orld of #honies and scams. The su tlety that #eo#le given the means for su sistence tend to lose res#ect for everything including themselves 9as lost on everyone. Actually. ecause that is 9hat creative advertising is all a out. Information 9hich is acce#ta le to advertisers is #resented in a manner calculated to ma6e money y increasing circulation or ratings. As irres#onsi ility 9as not the intended goal ut an undesired side effect of the 9elfare state. The resultant 9elfare #rograms may have een a oon to civil service ureaucracies.or6 in +/11 #ut a halt to an advertisement for the sale of @Brass@. seem to have lost a general sense of social res#onsi ility. that is not the funny #art. 9e are eginning to realize that the >uest for economic security has indeed undermined our sense of individual res#onsi ility. it 9as unantici#ated y those 9ho a##roved and those 9ho administer the #rograms. They smile. ut 9e are continually in the #rocess of redefining if not flat outright a using our language. there is a sinister side to the deli erate control and mani#ulation of information y the media. can convey all 6inds of false im#ressions. For sheer tomfoolery. They sniff. The funny #art is that the ad 9as sto##ed ecause it 9as considered false advertising. it is ecause the #eo#le 9ill tune out anything 9hich turns them off. Television. The ad read' $ari<uana cannot e sold through the mail ut @grass@ can. -ot only have 9e redefined ourselves. 9ithdra9al from Ce anon in +/4P as @Dede#loyment@ after the nuisance of their #resence made them a threat to no one ut themselves. (eo#le are sho9n having a 9onderful time #ouring eer or 9ine into their glasses. In America. nothing matches the advertisers. code 9hich #rohi its sho9ing #eo#le drin6ing alcoholic everages. Then the glasses are half em#ty and the #eo#le are eaming delightedly. If this tends to ma6e material su#erficial. It could not have een sto##ed for eing misleading Ecreating a false imageF. On the other hand. a moose is running through a forest. the government uses mind control to maintain elief in the leaders. 9hat 9ould ha##en it he 9ere to @Kvaluate@ one of them? In a lighter vein. . (eo#le 9ere sending in money and getting e)actly 9hat 9as #romised:la9n cuttings. In totalitarian states. Suddenly. for some une)#ected reason. Americans redefined themselves and turned in the tarnished idol of the razen individual see6ing o##ortunity for that of the cautious conformist see6ing security. As amusing and innocent as this e)am#le may e. %o9ever. the Attorney Beneral of -e9 . One 9onders if a #erson 9ho confuses retreat 9ith rede#loyment should e in charge of @(eace6ee#ers@. Usually <ust enough harsh reality filters through to ma6e some #rudes scream @Bad taste@ ut not so much that the #u lic 9ould e viscerally revolted y the disaster of the day on the ne9s or the violent clima) of a movie. nothing is so distur ing and disru#tive as accuracy and honesty.s reference to the $arines.. -o9. after fifty years of e)#erience 9ith de#endence on the dole.do9n and out can e attri uted only to the incredi le #o9er of the @Caissez unfair@ schema to #revent a9areness of the most o vious facts of life.

If it 9as going to e a ig 9in for Deagan. this notion might have een amusing. The #eo#le ma6e essentially no decisions e)ce#t to choose re#resentatives to #lay @Cet. That is. In fact. Sta ility is est assured y a #liant and com#liant #u lic. T9o hundred years ago. at est. ut reality has long since su##lied am#le. One must 9onder <ust e)actly 9hat they 9ere doing or 9hat they 9ere su##osed to e doing. the leaders need stu#id follo9ers. This #oint is dramatically demonstrated during #olitical cam#aigns. The #ragmatic com#romise 9hich American #olitical institutions have found e)#edient to ma6e is one of trading off logical consistency for res#onsiveness to #o#ular demands. in that the #eo#le are #eriodically consulted and occasionally considered even 9hile eing deli erately misinformed y @Ins@ determined to get reelected. miraculously. The initial s6y<ac6ing stories. elections are decided y H32second s#ot ads aimed more at the gut than the mind:commercial techni>ues of image2ma6ing 9hich #ervert the #rocess into. in fact. they tend to #resent material for the sa6e of desired effect rather than sim#ly ecause it is relevant and im#ortant. a @"emocracy@ is a #olitical system 9hich cultivates good relations 9ith its #eo#le. This is the root cause of much #olitical stu#idity. concerned citizens 9ho are 9ell >ualified to criticize the im alance of #o9er in society. It is in the vested interest of the monied #o9ers in America that the #u lic e informed <ust enough to conform. the #eo#le . dis#elling evidence that. a #o#ularity contest. Increasingly. It is much more im#ortant that governments and #arties e sensitive to the general #u lic or their o9n mem ers than that they adhere to set #olicies and eternal #rinci#les. Thus. so 9e can only ho#e that the system 9ill someho9 e a le to #roduce some 9orthy leaders as. It is a##arently too much to e)#ect that our #olitical leaders might e selected for <o 2related s6ills. and this is e)actly 9hat the educational institutions #roduce and the media maintain. American @"emocracy@ has een redefined and ada#ted to a re#u lic. Basically. In +/43. The ottom line is that #art of the role of the media is to 6ee# citizens in a democratic society uninformed and misinformed. seemed to induce more s6y<ac6ing. They do not 9ant intelligent. Their rationale for misre#resenting their findings 9as that they did not 9ant to cause a landslide for the De#u licans. %ence. it has in the #ast. An administrator has to e organized and ma6e decisions. a candidate may e chosen on the strength of attri utes irrelevant to <o #erformance. and the #u lic 9ill e informed as to 9hat is ha##ening 9hen the media feel the time is right. they forecast a tight race even though they 6ne9 days efore the election that Deagan 9ould 9in handily. Increasingly. This #resented ne9s editors 9ith a dilemma. the a ility to loo6 and act the #art is ecli#sing the a ility to #lay the role as a >ualification for attaining office. the fundamental idiocy of electioneering is that it is largely unrelated to the >ualifications and a ilities an official needs for #erforming his duties once elected. De#orting the ne9s in a straightfor9ard fashion #ut #eo#le in <eo#ardy. that eliefs in the system are confirmed and that criticism is trivialized. The more res#onsi le media tend to e very self2conscious a out the effects their ne9s and other fictional stories 9ill have on the #u lic.s $a6e a "eal@ 9ith the lo yists for s#ecial interest grou#s. informed. America maintains the sem lance of a democratic tradition. for e)am#le. the asic myth a out American government:the elief that it is 9or6ing for the #eo#le.The media. yet he might e elected ecause of a 9inning smile. It sim#ly 9ould not do for the T& net9or6s to inform the #u lic a out s6y<ac6ings so that the #eo#le could decide 9hat should e done a out them. In the ne9 sense of the term. 9as there something 9rong 9ith saying so? Were they ma6ing data availa le to the #u lic? Were they misleading the #u lic? (resenting or hiding results? Just 9hat criteria are used to determine 9hat the #u lic 9ill e told? Klection night returns and net9or6 #ro<ections of 9inners no9 #resent #ro lems of national im#ortance. -egative cam#aigning against the o##onent aside.s com#romise of 6ee#ing the #u lic semi2informed is challenged every four years 9hen #ollsters ma6e #ro<ections of the (residential elections.

It need e e)#lained only if #eo#le realize ho9 stu#id it 9as for a government to #revent food #roduction in a 9orld of famine and an era 9hen America 9as #resenting itself to the 9orld as a national em odiment of !hristian ideals and com#assion. it is #o9er 9hich defines #ers#ectives. The on#% (a% to (in the (ar on dru$s is to #e$a#i4e their use and dea# (ith the (ho#e matter as a pro #em of hea#th) Users could then go to #hysicians. %o9ever. Until 9e ado#t such a strategy. for years the federal government indulged in a Soil Ban6 #rogram. This is a su stance recognized as a #oison y everyone ut those controlled y it. It is strangling the #eo#le it 9as designed to serve and 9ho continually struggle to su##ort it. Just 9hy to acco farmers cannot gro9 food. su tler and more so#histicated than efore and >uite ca#a le of #roviding the modern #u lic 9ith oth the image and reality e)#ected and needed. (erha#s 9e should all e grateful that the cyanide industry is not #o9erful enough to enlist government su##ort for its #roduct. Bovernment has emerged su#reme. Although the original idea 9as that the government 9as to e there to hel# the #eo#le realize themselves. . One is hardly sur#rised that faith in the #olitical system has een eroded' the sur#rise is that there is any left at all.are 9or6ing for the government. in #olitics. T9enty years and 513 illion after the War on "rugs egan. They are slic6er. Benerally. the religious fervor that 9as once ins#ired y democratic terminology has een adly com#romised y #ragmatism' @Ci erty@ is hardly 9orth 6illing for these days and certainly not 9orth dying for. is more a matter of money than morals. There is sim#ly too much money availa le to corru#t any efforts to #ut an end to drug dealing. Increasingly. Whether this is really stu#id or not de#ends u#on one. That much of his la or goes for ta)es. 9hich 9ould hel# #eo#le live. Aside from the -i)onians E9ho 9ere <ustly #unished as 9arnings to others not to get caughtF. American society is still inundated y cocaine and heroin. !a inet mem ers use issues as levers to aid them as they <oc6ey for #osition in the @(o9er Sta6es@. 9e no9 have a higher class of #olitical croo6s. there is some consolation in 6no9ing that ri ery and corru#tion have ecome more refined and discreet. it has indulged in a tradition of ma6ing and inter#reting its o9n la9s in self2serving 9ays. #aying farmers to reduce food #roduction 9hile #eo#le all over the 9orld and even in this country and 9ere starving to death. and governmental stu#idity ecomes a mi)ture of de#artmental ine#titude com#ounded y the noise and friction of com#etitive haggling among the many ureaucratic agencies. This the average American oo does des#ite the gro9ing realization most governmental agencies are 9or6ing for themselves rather than the #oor ta) #ayer. Why that same money 9as not #aid to farmers to gro9 food 9hich then could have een distri uted Ealong 9ith contrace#tivesF to the im#overished needy has never een e)#lained. Then it ta)es cigarettes and assures us they menace our health. the drug #ro lem . An o vious victim of #olitical morality 9as the !onstitutional mandate that the government #romote the general 9elfare of the #eo#le.s #ers#ective. no9 that 9e have endured over a century of hac6s running the #olitical machines.s #olicies to9ard to acco is its #olicy to9ard drugs. !ongressmen logroll to their mutual advantage and the detriment of everyone else. For e)am#le. 9henever the discre#ancy et9een image and reality ends or stretches credulity eyond the rea6ing #oint. government is clearly a means 9hich has ecome an end in itself. ho9ever. enroll in reha ilitation #rograms and get #rescri#tions for their needs 9hich could e filled at #rices so lo9 that the drug cartels could not com#ete. Kven stu#ider than the government. the government su##orts the #rice of to acco. Stu#idity ecomes a##arent. Boondoggle egets oondoggle. If democratic slogans have ceased to e acce#ted as ins#iring truths. The average American 9or6s for four solid months:one out of every three 9or6ing days:for the government. it is ecoming o vious that 9e 9ill never lic6 the drug #ro lem as long as 9e deal 9ith it as criminal ehavior.et. Slightly more idiotic than the Soil Ban6 #rogram are the contradictory #olicies in Washington to9ard to acco. ecause of the #olitical clout of the to acco states on !ongressional committees. As a re#ository of #o9er.

In #u lic service. Understanding is rendered nearly im#ossi le 9hen a #erson is inundated y conflicting data. self2defeating ureaucratic agencies. em#loyees and officials routinely find that institutional stu#idity in its many forms ma6es their <o s Ei. %os#ital #ersonnel s#end as much time filling out forms as tending to #atients. When 9e legalize drugs and let the medical esta lishment monitor and control their use. Thus. A further im#ediment to goal achievement is that those effecting #olicy 9ould rather #er#etuate errors than admit to ma6ing them. they find it difficult to 9orshi# an organization 9hich insults their fading mental sensi ilities as it #ours their ta) dollars do9n one ottomless rat hole after another. $uch as #eo#le need to elieve in the system.9ill remain no matter ho9 much money the government thro9s at it. the #ro lem 9ill disa##ear. this strategy has the advantage of saving those in charge the other of correcting or eliminating such mista6es as do e)ist. De#etition of 9hat 9as once acce#ta le then #rovides government y inertia. Unfortunately. Worse yet. ut the goal of ma6ing everyone e>ually #rivileged is so asinine that only a democratic government could em race and only a totalitarian government could achieve it. Other factors 9hich also enter into the decision2ma6ing #rocess are Ein order of im#ortanceF= +. If #u lic interests ha##en to e served y such officials.F th9arting interde#artmental rivals. *.F facts relevant to the #articular #ro lem at hand. The military is not #ermitted to 9in a 9ar ecause the 9ea#ons or tactics necessary for victory 9ould create @Bad #ress@. the #rime concern is the satisfaction of the noisiest and most influential #ressure grou#. A common #loy under such circumstances is to ma6e. Another factor contri uting to the frustration of goal achievement is the e)cess of information availa le to anyone 9ho 9ants to e confused. no decision at all ut to stic6 9ith e)isting #olicy regardless of com#laints or re#orts indicating its shortcomings and failings. Our current crusade to re#resent the @Under#rivileged #erson@ as a cause cLlU re in our #olitical conscience is a case in #oint. and H. While handouts and doles are 9orthy short2term. &A consultants 9ere >uite content to #ush #a#er around instead of demanding an end to dangerous conditions that 9ere causing needless deaths early in the +/43. 9hich foster not human develo#ment ut human de#endence on self2#er#etuating. they have no9 ecome standards in a culture 9hich acce#ts emergency conditions as normal. emergency measures.F advancement of the decider u# the #ec6ing order. o <ective recitation of official acts and #olicies. %el#ing #eo#le hel# themselves is one thing. The functional guiding #rinci#le of crafty administrating is really >uite sim#le:offend as fe9 significant #eo#le as #ossi le 9hile #lacating as many as #ossi le. that is only ecause they ha##en to fall in line 9ith these criteria deemed crucial y those la oring in the conte)t of the ureaucracy. Of course. 9hen a decision is made y a civil servant. the &A often failed to enforce its o9n safety standards and failed to follo9 its o9n la) rules for investigating #atient death rates.e. This indifference allo9ed the #er#etuation of a venera le tradition of surgical errors. the main stum ling loc6 to ado#ting this 6ind of #olicy is #rimarily #sychological:9e 9ould have to change our drug2related schema so that 9e 9ould #erceive the addict not as a criminal ut as a sic6 #erson 9ho needs and deserves #rofessional hel# in finding a cure. Of course. the &eteran.s. Organizational guidelines ta6e on lives of their o9n and inhi it even the 9ell2intentioned 9or6ers from accom#lishing their a##ointed tas6s. all this 9as made #ro a le y the +/43 !ongressional Invitation to Ine#titude Act 9hich made re#orts dealing 9ith the >uality of &A .s Administration #rovides a rather sad e)am#le of 9hat this can mean to victims of government ureaucracy. hel#ing #eo#leF all the more difficult. In its o9n hos#itals. School teachers s#end one or t9o class #eriods a day administrating or #atrolling rather than teaching.. Bovernment is #romoted ut the esta lishment of effective. Further. long2term solutions to our social #ro lems is actually th9arted y the institution of such des#erate #rograms. It is rather sad to note that nothing ma6es government loo6 stu#ider than an accurate. in effect.

for e)am#le. they are misleading= at 9orst. We do this y listening to 9hat 9e are told a out the courts rather than 9atching 9hat ha##ens in them. The ottom line is not <ustice ut the elief in <ustice. U#on entering a court. ut it #roved the im#otency of the !onstitution as a guarantor of rights. the courts can cut ac6 a it on dueness. They are invaria ly #retentious. Further. Although la9lessness in America has a long. It 9as an amendment conceived and com#osed 9ith the rights of #eo#le clearly in mind. dishonora le history. In no civics oo6 does the fledgling American find that la9 rea6ing is a ma<or #reoccu#ation at every level of government. 9hen there is an a use of authority. y and for the #eo#le. #rotect themselves. one gets the immediate im#ression that something im#ortant must go on in such an august setting. they are su <ect to revocation 9henever it suits those in #o9er to e)ercise this totally illegal and unconstitutional o#tion. from the clearly criminal to the merely contem#tuous. This is the a <ect lesson of American #olitics:the government serves those 9ho #rey on the #u lic. And 9ho is served y this la9? !ertainly not the #atientsM The eneficiaries are the ungling doctors and their incom#etent staffs. The 6ey #hrases of the !onstitution:@"ue #rocess@. It 9as indeed a anner day in the history of civil rights 9hen the !ourt inter#reted @(erson@ to mean @A human eing@. A 6iller is set free ecause some functionary dotted a @T@ or crossed an @I@. the most shameful e#isode in the annals of official neglect and a use of the !onstitution 9as the detention of Ja#anese2Americans during World War II. are 9ritten to inculcate in future citizens a sense of elonging eyond a sense of reason. Although officials must occasionally re9ard #u lic service. As grants. As high #riests of the legal religion. The ultimate danger of all such institutional stu#idity is that it #asses unrecognized as such and ecomes a ne9 and lo9er standard for <udging the acce#ta ility of incom#etence. The rights 9e en<oy are indulgences granted y government authorities for the moment. the term @(erson@ 9as e)#anded to include cor#orations as legal entities.:are li6e so many legal s#igots courts regulate to suit their circumstantial fancy. the courts are as li6ely to #rotect the villains as the victims. At est. The Fourteenth Amendment #rovided the !ourt 9ith an e)cellent o##ortunity to sho9 9hat it could do to a la9. Just so they all feel they elong. A defendant is railroaded ecause the <udge or #rosecutor is u# for reelection and needs to toughen his image. they also strive to cover u# mista6es and encourage conformity to mediocre standards for the sa6e of the es#rit de cor#s. they are com#letely false. The im#ression is correct' <ustice is dis#ensed 9ith. -evertheless. ritualized and som er. The Watergate affair 9as not unusual in the ta9dry history of (residential shenanigans= it 9as <ust e)ce#tionally idiotic of officials 9ho had #ointedly alienated the media eforehand to have indulged in such mis ehavior. This 9as due to 9artime #aranoia. !ourts really are sho9 #laces for the legal #rocess. @K>ual #rotection@. Along 9ith our mis#laced faith that ours is a #olitical system of. homogenized America. (ractically all #o#ular eliefs a out !onstitutional government are results of #olitical #ro#aganda. citizens are al9ays sur#rised 9hen they first encounter it. favored #eo#le 9ill e granted a it more e>uality than others y a !ourt 9hich has long since a andoned its efforts to create an o#en society and is instead committed to the esta lishment of a standardized. the In<ustices of the Su#reme !ourt set the general tone of their trade y sanctimoniously desecrating the !onstitution 9hile e)tolling its virtues. 9e entertain an un<ustified elief in <ustice. Is #rotection of the la9 getting too e>ual? Then certain. Those on the inside. Without a dou t. !ivics oo6s. etc. Is the legal #rocess getting too @"ue@? Well. ut on 9hat is that elief ased? Facts and 6no9ledge andGor ignorance and stu#idity? . the dull are #romoted and the right discouraged from com#etence or from setting e)am#les of e)cellence that others might resent.medical care confidential.

commercial real estate and leveraged uyouts. an6s hid in an artificially sheltered. At munici#al and state levels. unnaturally conservative environment 9ith legal #rotection from com#etition 9hile Federal "e#osit Insurance guaranteed the survival of even the most #oorly managed organizations. $ost #ro a ly. and it is #recisely this unfathoma le faith 9hich #ermits our national nonsense to continue. (erha#s it is ecause 9e do not #erceive the estates of the rich in a causeGeffect <u)ta#osition to ur an slums. no logical analysis of the esta lishment can sha6e America. As ad as such regulation is for the economy in general. To the e)tent .333 ma5or felonies. it is a figment of a collective imagination 9hich ma6es the economy one of the ne9er #ermanent. 9hich at least said they 9ere redeema le in hard metal. farmland. and 9ho can lame %er. the role of free enter#rise in the economy of things is essentially negligi le. it is ecause most of us cannot gras# the idea that @!a#italism@ is <ust a 9ord 9hich has ne)t to nothing to do 9ith the 9or6ings of the economy. strong unions 9ere thought to e a counter#oise to greedy usiness ut in fact <oined 9ith mismanagement and ig government to am oozle the American 9or6er. 00. The 6ey to understanding the incom#rehensi le is that 9e elieve in ca#italism. no asic 6no9ledge of reality. the ma<or contri ution of the corner shoeshine man and local farm stand o#erator is not economic ut #sychological:<ustifying the continuation of ca#italistic rhetoric in a 9orld of collective regulation y megacor#orations or governments. regulation of #rivate enter#rise is most common in Washington. #u lic utilities 9hich are not socialistically o9ned y government are fascistically regulated y it. no fundamental facts of life. In fact.s dollar ill is not 9orth the #a#er it is #rinted on in any literal or legal sense. Bod seems to e doing %er est to se#arate %erself from the country. (erha#s it is ecause the ritual of uying and selling in the mar6et #lace sustains the faith in the system. today. It is curious to note that the dollar is im#ossi le to define 9ith accuracy and validity. Unli6e the @Silver certificates@. 9e elieve in the dollar. America distri utes #overty and misery via a #olitically regulated system of tri ute and ta)ation. Further. an6s san6 money into a num er of lac6 holes:soil.s. Of course. 9here federal officials routinely engage in ac6 scratching interactions 9ith the s#ecial interest grou#s they are su##osed to e controlling. and ra#e is #lea2 argained do9n to assault and attery. Along 9ith our elief in !onstitutional government. The !onstitution is meaningless and the dollar 9orthless. Of course.The facts are that for every +. In this case. These are facts u#on 9hich our elief in the legal system is not ased. At est. and sheer incom#etence ecame common#lace. the Third World. it is one of those green #ieces of #a#er in your 9allet or #oc6et oo6.333 criminals 9ere set free on legal technicalities. manic an6ers seemed immune to learning from each succeeding fiasco. it 9as the a sence of a functional schema 9hich #roved disastrous' 9ith no guiding cognitive model ased on e)#erience to hel# them understand 9hat they 9ere doing. It has value only ecause everyone elieves in it and acce#ts it accordingly. Stagnation re#laced enter#rise. On the la or scene. armed ro ery is 9atered do9n to sim#le ro ery. With the o#ening u# of com#etition among financial institutions in the +/43. @"eregulation@ can lead to some une)#ected #ro lems in some areas. in +/4H. %o9ever. It is only our determined un9illingness to #erceive these facts that holds America together and 6ee#s it going. and only a handful of !KOs 9ere canned for mismanagement. A##arently. as it did in an6ing.s history of scams. 9hile forty2t9o #ercent of those sent to state #risons 9ere on #arole for #rior convictions. floating con games in America.s faith in the system. Just 9hy 9e do is a mystery. +1 #er#etrators go to <ail ut for 9hat? In #retrial maneuvering. ho9ever. At 9orst. Our motto really should e changed from @In Bod 9e trust@ to @In the dollar 9e elieve@. For more than fifty years. The fact is that as an economically overdevelo#ed nation.

@Dace norming@:rigging em#loyment a#titude tests to favor minorities:has een used y thirty2eight states at the ehest of (resident Deagan. eternal values in an ever evolving culture. ac>uired through training. We already have third generation dead eats 9ho e)#ect the country to #rovide not <ust an o##ortunity to earn a decent living ut the decent living itself:as if a good income is an economic right. non2#erformance criteria determine hiring Erace and se)F and #romotion EseniorityF. In the su#erficial and entertaining 9orld of #rofessional s#orts. in the general 9or6 force. If such #eo#le are un9illing to acce#t menial #ositions of em#loyment.s main <o is not to accom#lish a tas6 ut to conform to and fit into a grou# of fello9 em#loyees. so mediocrity can e maintained y em#hasis on factors irrelevant to <o efficiency. The ma<or similarity is that oth may e characterized as tending to9ard the same omega #oint of economic. they created unem#loyment and caused inflation.s Ca or "e#artment in order to enhance the chances of lac6s and his#anics of landing <o s. one certainty in the American la or mar6et is that the individual 9or6er has ecome an anachronism. Traditional values may e irrelevant to the young. our city slums com#are favora ly 9ith the Indian reservations of the last century. although all these are eroding as the moral im#erative of social <ustice is realized. Belief in Bod has een #artially dis#laced y a elief in #eo#le. The ma<or difference is that reservations are legally defined areas. This means that some #eo#le are going to e denied <o s for the outrageous reason that they are un>ualified. In general. Traditionally. chea#er cars. %o9ever. 9hereas ghettos are e)tralegal territories. 9e no9 face the #ro lem that any governmental #rogram. All this is rather trying for anyone clinging to #resuma ly fundamental.that unions o tained more #ay for less 9or6. and no9 this humanistic tradition is itself giving 9ay to eliefs in secular organizations 9hich are struggling to strangle themselves. to the e)tent that a <o re>uires an em#loyee to do something. through that. To this end. the government #rotected and the consumer su sidized Eto the tune of 5833GcarF management. it is ine)cusa le that 9e still continue to do so. In +/4P. #olicy or #lan of action may >uic6ly ecome malada#tive. 9hich is eing com#uterized as it assumes its ne9 role. and old definitions may not even e challenged so much as ignored. While it 9as stu#id to re#ress talent and stifle a ility in the #ast. In fact. 9or6ers must have some asic a ility. It may have een all 9ell and good for an assem ly line 9or6er in "etroit to ma6e an average of 5*H #er hour:until the Ja#anese flooded the mar6et 9ith etter. and as a contem#orary case study of 9hat a enign if not ungling ureaucracy cannot accom#lish. Whites derived their social eminence from their technological control of the economy and. For e)am#le. (resuma ly. em#hasis on the level of funding and degree of . The e)tended family has made 9ay for the e)tended state. to handle machinery or com#uters. society 9ill #ro a ly find a #lace for them on 9elfare. In oth cases. 9e continue our tradition of self2induced inefficiency y demanding the 9or6 force reflect not the distri ution of a ility in it ut the racial com#osition of society in general. national interests 9ere served y the #rotection of o solete mar6eting and manufacturing strategies and the em#loyment of 9or6ers 9ho #revented the economic #roduction of >uality cars. America 9as a caste society covered over 9ith egalitarian ma)ims and morals and an incongruous ideology of racial su#eriority 9hich sanctioned the system 9hile it inhi ited random interactions among e>ual #eo#le.s greed. the #olitical system. Another #eculiar as#ect of the American la or scene is the irrelevance of selective criteria use 9hen #eo#le try to <oin the 9or6 force. #erformers may e re9arded for #roficiency and technical e)#ertise. the elief in federal 9elfare has led to government funding of ur an ghettos. a 9or6er.s ine#titude and la or. -evertheless. If the legality and sagacity of that #olicy are at est du ious. cultural and s#iritual genocide. Although it is a secondary consideration.

-o9. The concern of many #eo#le to hel# those in need is humane as 9ell as lauda le. #overty. most children of the ghettos 6no9 that the easiest 9ay u# and out is through crime.sym#athy misses the su tlety that #roviding #eo#le 9ith food.F recognition y @those in2the26no9@ of a real need for a strong defense andGor *. 9e 9ere anti2communist. drugs and crime in his country. ut <ust ho9 effective have the means ado#ted een in hel#ing the needy esca#e the slovenly des#air of the ghettos? Are our slums any smaller or more eara le for all the %ead Starts and hot lunches that have een #ointed in their direction? For all the good intentions of the esta lishment to eguile those in the slums to acce#t 9hatever is granted them. -o9 9ith the end of the !old War. aggression. so no9 9e <ust struggle along li6e any other country trying to get on 9ith those 9ho de#end on us and those 9ho <ust have to tolerate us. Traditionally. the Soviets al9ays called for an end to the !old War ecause they defined it as attac6s on or criticism of !ommunist states y the West. heavenly re9ards 9ere to e granted only those 9ho acce#ted their do9ntrodden condition here on earth. it 9as #artly ecause no American 9ith an ounce of cognitive integrity could ma6e #ositive #ronouncements a road a out the corru#tion. anti2communist. lac6 culture in America 9as asically a tension2reducing strategy.29ere all #romoted y the fervid commitment of the 9orld. it is e>ually discouraging to note that our foreign #olicy for forty2five years 9as stuc6 li6e a ro6en record in a rut of negativity. 9e can ta6e some #erverted satisfaction in 6no9ing that every dollar s#ent on defense nets us five dollars 9orth of ill 9ill and sus#icion a road. They have finally com#rehended that 9e really did not 9ant to eat them in a 9ar. If this attitude 9as <ustifia le. it 9as the est co#ing techni>ue availa le to #eo#le 9ho 9ere systematically denied o##ortunities to ac>uire and use s6ills for 9orldly advancement. At the same time. anti2communist. 9e 9anted even less to lose to them. a #oll indicated the American #u lic 9anted no increase at allM This may e ta6en as an indication of +. for all the singing. need for resources. shelter and trin6ets falls short of hel#ing them ecome self2sufficient. shouting and hand cla##ing. the time has #ast 9hen 9e had to have not only the 9ea#ons necessary ut also the insane 9illingness to use them to #roduce the ultimate #eace. it is time to reverse the tradition of finding etter 9ays to 6ill our enemies and develo# etter 9ays to live 9ith them and ourselves. ut 9e etrayed that ho#e.F the #o9er of . We 9ere once the ho#e of the 9orld. yes. This is the saddest indictment that can e made of our ur an #olicy. As for the domestic im#act of the military. disease. lac6s are granted o##ortunities to use s6ills even 9hen someone else is etter >ualified. stu#idity. As for those #erceived as our national enemy. What they did to the Western loc or anyone else 9as covered over and sanctified y the term @(eaceful coe)istence@. This #erversion of the !onstitutional mandate of e>ual #rotection of the la9s undercuts the great social myth of contem#orary America that #oor minority grou#s are eing hel#ed y legitimate #olicies of the courts. We can no9 sto# #ouring hundreds of illions of dollars into 9ea#ons systems 9e 9ill not have time to use unless it is the last thing 9e ever do. (resident Deagan advocated a 1R increase in defense s#ending for the ne)t fiscal year= Walter $ondale 9anted to hold the line at HR. . Of course. 9e 9ere given a lesson on the #o9er of defense com#le) during the (residential cam#aign of +/4P. Over and over again. Fundamental !hristian rituals #rovided tem#orary and meaningless release from the o##ressive 9hite 9orld. 9hen the conditions 9hich caused 9ars:cultural isolation. We can alter the traditional #icture of the incom#ara le stu#idity of the arms race.s great #o9ers to attain ever greater destructive ca#acities. -o9 9e can concern ourselves 9ith the underlying #ro lems of famine. As de ilitating as resignation 9as. ignorance and. %o9ever. ut our general #osture to9ard the Soviet Union 9as >uite consistently defensive' 9e 9ere very much oriented to9ard holding the line. etc.et. charities and li erals 9ho 9orshi# at the altered altar of @!ivil rights@. Fortunately for everyone. If it is demoralizing to loo6 in9ard at our domestic idiocy.

Secretary of K)#ense !as#ar Wein erger initiated disci#linary actions against the naval officer 9ho a##roved an eleven #art 580/ ashtray. ecause it is this 9hich #rovides us an esca#e from the incredi le 9orld 9e have constructed for ourselves. The "e#artment of "efense initially su##ressed these re#orts and then dismissed them as unres#onsive to the original research re>uest. Unfortunately. 9e have sur#risingly fe9 illusions a out ourselves eing anything ut e)#loiters. the situation is not so des#erate that some fool cannot render it a surd to the #oint of amusement. Kventually. one 9ay to s#ell @Delief@ is S2T2U2(2I2"2I2T2.033. $any of these have devoted themselves to e)#anding the "efense de#artment. the Air Force #aid 5*.. Our #o#ulation is 9ell suited in oth >uantity and >uality to 9rec6ing the environment in that there are too many of us committed to a standard of living eyond the carrying . 9hich 9as to confirm the reigning schema: the demonstra ly fallacious notion that the #resence of homose)uals 9as detrimental to military efficiency. Fortunately. "onnell characterized les ian sailors as @%ard29or6ing. such ehavior 9ill limit our develo#ment.3PH:a mar6u# of only a out +.s definition of @(rocurer@ to cover someone 9ho overcharges an anonymous #arty Ei.F the develo#ment of machinery to facilitate the #rocess. #otentially 9ides#read criminality and accumulating evidence of misconduct.8** for a +32cu# coffee ma6er as @Deasona le@M This is the 6ind of reason 9hich rings comic if not financial relief to eleaguered ta)#ayers 9ho never did find out 9hat #rice the good Beneral 9ould have considered @Unreasona le@' 5+3. An he)agonal nut 9hich cost +H cents at the local hard9are store 9as #urchased y #entagonal nuts for 5*. There are t9o factors 9hich are crucial to the systematic desecration of the environment' +. career2oriented.F the organization and mo ilization of #eo#le for the tas6. In the case of defenseless s#ending. This attitude remains des#ite the fact that t9o studies commissioned y the (entagon found no evidence that homose)uals disru#ted the armed forces ut rather #raised their #erformance and urged their retention. ut 9hoever said the -avy 9as reasona le? The document concluded that les ians should e rooted out of the service. anyone 9ho actually elieves 51. !itizen could uy for 5H. For a circuit rea6er that John A. 9illing to #ut in long hours on the <o and among the command. the #rime concern of those in Waste $anagement seems to e to see that it continues.e. U#dating this theme of 9aste and changing the image of mismanagement to the field of human soft9are. in that 9e have made e)#loitation something of a cultural virtue.333 is a reasona le #rice for a coffee#ot should not e serving in Air Force (rocurement' he should e out selling coffee#ots. a memo from commander of the -avy. on the other hand. the military2industrialists 9ill #ro a ly continue to do their 9orst to contri ute to financial disaster 9ith #olicies from 9hich the est relief 9ould e a little reason and sanity.usiness interests to #romote #rofits at the e)#ense of @"emocracy@. levity 9as #rovided y the Air Force Beneral 9ho descri ed the #rice tag of 51. and if there is something counter2#roductive in this.s #rocurement offices :es#ecially those 9ith career commitments to a surdity. If the defense esta lishment #olicy to9ard efficient and #roductive gays is decidedly hostile and costly.333? Of course. Degardless of the national de t and des#ite the #o#ular desire to reduce defense s#ending. the relationshi# of America to its natural environment is asically #arasitic if not suicidal.333? 5+33. and *.333RM After re#eated 9arnings of serious. and 9e are actually hastening that day. as 9e simultaneously ra#e and #oison our life su##ort system. it is at least consistent 9ith the #revailing rather s>uare (entagon #olicy.s surface Atlantic fleet &ice Admiral Jose#h S. relieving the officer of command had a so ering effect on the P33.0PH. One might thin6 that characterization 9ould serve as a reason for recruiting les ians into the -avy.s to# #erformers@. the ta)#ayerF for something more than <ust a sim#le scre9.333 ureaucrats entrenched in the (entagon.8P. 9hich maintains that homose)uality is incom#ati le 9ith military service. (resuma ly. %o9ever. As occasional 9histle lo9ers have discovered to their dismay..

ca#acity of nature:that is, to a standard 9hich is attaina le for only a limited #eriod of time. In addition, there is s#ecialization and division of la or in our attac6 on the environment' those not actively engaged in ravaging the land usually devote their energies to #olluting the air and 9ater. All this is done in the name of #rofit and for the sa6e of more igger and costlier #ossessions for as many #eo#le as #ossi le. It is rather sad to realize that the ultimate limits for #o#ulation gro9th 9ill e determined not y reasoned #lanning ut y the efficiency 9ith 9hich 9e #oison ourselves and convert our ur an centers into ehavioral se9ers. To accelerate this #rocess of social suicide, 9e have turned to machines and com#uters. The guiding ma)im is that the 9orld must e made safe for technology. The 9orst #art of this trend is not that 9e are evermore efficient at 9rec6ing the environment ut that 9e are ent on creating a 9orld in 9hich machines rather than #eo#le can thrive. To the e)tent that 9e ecome ro ots, 9e too may fit into the 9orld 9e are creating. %o9ever, our success in ada#ting 9ill e directly related to our 9illingness to renounce the differences et9een humanity and com#uters. !ivilization has develo#ed to the #oint that 9e 9ill have to ecome less human as 9e ada#t to the technology 9hich creates us. The message of contem#orary America to itself is #erfectly clear' #eo#le are out. They are o solete, e)ce#t to the e)tent they can serve com#uters. The age2old tradition of humans ada#ting to their tools has reached the #ointless #oint that all #henomena Eli6e feelingsF 9hich cannot e >uantified for com#uters have een rendered irrelevant y them. In this sense, technology and modern art lac6 the same essential element:they are oth devoid of human emotion. (eo#le and feelings 9ere distorted and a stracted out of art early in this century. As artists sought novelty of e)#ression for its o9n sa6e, emotional im#overishment came to reign in a 9orld of any and all contrived means devoted to no #articular end. Just as modern com#osers la or to eliminate the distinction et9een music and noise, modern artists e)#ress the e)treme of total irrelevance that civilization has achieved. As e)ercises in cognitive and s#iritual futility, contem#orary art reflects the moral an6ru#tcy of Western institutions and life. This an6ru#tcy is further demonstrated y the 9ay many serious social #ro lems develo# une)#ectedly, often resulting from neglect, ignorance and 9ishful thin6ing. For e)am#le, 9hen the government insisted on using school children in and out of cities, a out H3R of the 9hite su ur an school #o#ulation sim#ly dro##ed out of the #u lic school system and 9ent to #rivate schools. It is certainly to e ho#ed that the e>ualization of academic training achieved y using et9een ur s and su ur s com#ensates for the effects of discrimination on the students, and to the e)tent that the goal of integration 9as achieved, li erals must have een gratified. %o9ever, the discriminatory method a##lied 9as counter2#roductive in that it drove off many of the students counted on to serve as @Dacial units@ in the us2drive to su stitute one unch of e>ual 6ids for another. Of course, this has een a lesson largely 9asted on de#artments of human services. The contem#orary mania for social e>uality might e lauda le 9ere not egalitarians so #assionately committed to leveling do9n9ard. Formal educational systems cannot e e)#ected to im#rove society ecause schools are no9 #rimarily social institutions designed to ring young #eo#le together in an integrated setting. The commitment to academics is not dead, ut it is distinctly second to our efforts to create e>ual citizens. -aturally, this ma6es any gesture to9ard e)cellence a969ardly out of #lace. In addition to our egalitarian ent, a commitment to illusion rather than achievement contri uted to the deterioration of academic standards over the #ast fe9 decades. At the same time that 9e 9ere inflating our currency to create the illusion that 9e 9ere getting more than 9e earned, 9e 9ere inflating our di#lomas to create the illusion that students 9ere accom#lishing more than they learned. Of course, chea#ening grades does nothing for the learning #rocess, ut it ma6es a lot of

students feel good a out themselves. The long2term result is that loated grades and di#lomas cease to e of value to anyone, ut that is irrelevant to those 9ho live in a 9orld of sym ols. Sad to say, not everyone loses e>ually. Those 9ho are the real losers are the students 9ho need to develo# s6ills for co#ing in the <o mar6et ecause those 9ho need e)tra hel# are the ones most li6ely to get inflated grades rather than more training. Worse yet, those 9ho as#ire to esca#e the inner cities may have to attend schools 9hich are #hysically the oldest and in 9hich teacher turnover is the highest. Further, in develo#ing analytical stu#idity and frustrating artistic a ility, American educational institutions are highly one2sided in that they concentrate intensely on the ver al left hemis#here of the rain. As efitting a highly industrialized society, the a ilities to focus on fantasies, ignore facts, misa##ly rules and massage data to confirm #reconceived illusions are all cultivated in our classrooms and la s. Dather than eing 9ells#rings of creativity, our schools and colleges are devoted to #ro#agating acce#ta le ans9ers to esta lished >uestions. In the sterility of academics, everything is reduced to reason 9hile eing renders irrelevant. In the 9orld at large, leaders are often the 9orst students and >uite reluctant to learn a out and understand 9hat they are doing. $ental stagnation at u##er levels of government is as common as is su##osed, since rulers usually strive to maintain intact the schemas 9ith 9hich they started. -o less of a #undit than %enry Jissinger noted that leaders of state do not learn eyond their convictions. K)#erience may confirm eliefs or lead to minor ad<ustments of #olicy, ut the mighty are ill dis#osed to learn they are 9rong a out anything. In contrast to our victory over Ira>, our government ac6ed losers in !hina, !u a, &ietnam and Iran in its commitment to demonstrate America;s ina ility to #rofit from its losses for the sa6e of eing itself. $aintaining @Identity@ can really e most stu#efying, as demonstrated in Couisiana in the +/83;s 9hen local officials 9ere #roceeding 9ith all deli erate sloth to integrate the schools. A #ro#osal that integration e started in 6indergarten and then #roceed one grade #er year for t9elve years 9as re<ected ecause it 9ould 9or6. The good ol; oys in #o9er did not 9ant a #lan that 9ould 9or6= they 9anted to e themselves. The only #ro lem 9ith @Being yourself@ is that it can create so much difficulty for everyone. Fran6 Ser#ico 9as <ust such a #ro lem. %e 9anted to e a good #oliceman, 9hich to him meant u#holding the la9. This made him something of an anomaly in -e9 .or6 !ity during the mid2 +/83;s. Officer Ser#ico found that ri ery, graft and e)tortion 9ere such common forms of #olice ehavior that co# after co# 9as encouraged y the #revailing norms to go on the ta6e. In a de#artment a9ash in its o9n arrogance, he made a career of ma6ing enemies among his colleagues y the unheard of #ractice of #olicing the #olice. -aturally, y standing on #rinci#le, he ecame 6no9n as a trou le ma6er ecause he insisted on #ointing out trou le 9here it e)isted. %is career 9as ended y a serious 9ound received 9hen his colleagues left him out on a lim during a drug raid. Kven so, in terms of cleaning u# the #olice de#artment, Ser#ico;s efforts 9ere not totally in vain. Although the de#artment ignored him as est it could for as long as #ossi le, he finally 9ent to the ne9s#a#ers and generated enough #u licity to ring a out some tem#orary reforms. %o9ever, the #oint here is that he had to fight against the system <ust to get it to live u# to its o9n stated standards. %e 9as #eculiarly o sessed 9ith the notion that the government should o ey the la9. %e discovered the hard 9ay that the -i)onian doctrine that officials are a ove the la9 is rather common in American life, and this 9isdom and his integrity 9as lost to the nation 9hen he 9ent into self2assumed e)ile in Kuro#e.

In this vein, a #erson 9ho insists on asserting his integrity in a 9orld of cons and scams really can e annoying. An %is#anic, 9ith the unli6ely name of %enry %arrison, #roved this #oint 9hen he ecame a fly in the ointment of integration y insisting on doing 9hat he felt 9as right. In +/4P, $r. %arrison 9as a fireman in $iami 9hen he as6ed his su#eriors to remove his name from a #romotion list so that he 9ould not advance over colleagues he considered more deserving. !hief Jen $c!ullogh e)#ressed shoc6 and confusion over %arrison;s reluctance to ta6e advantage of Affirmative Action guidelines to move ahead of fello9 9or6ers 9ho had scored higher in the >ualification #rocess. From %arrison;s stand#oint, his decision might e considered stu#id, in that he 9as sacrificing his o9n advancement for the sa6e of creating a more efficient fire de#artment. The ironic #oint is that he had to do this in the face of regulations and e)#ectations of the system, 9hich 9as set u# to #romote #eo#le according to >ualities irrelevant to <o #erformance. %o9 nice it might e if advancement of individuals 9ithin a grou# and im#rovement of grou# efficiency 9ent together rather than eing at odds 9ith one another. As ve)ing as officer Ser#ico;s acts of conscience 9ere for the esta lishment, $r. %arrison;s 9as even more so ecause he sho9ed that sim#ly o eying or a iding y the la9s and rules is not enough if those regulations themselves are unconsciona le. Beyond commandments inscri ed in stone, !onstitutions 9ritten on #archment and la9s com#iled in oo6s, there is a s#irit 9hich animates a culture. It is this 9hich #rovides an ethical and moral asis for <udging the stu#idity of official schemas. The irony inherent in culture is that our religious eliefs are so often at odds 9ith our ehavioral norms. This #ro lem is #articularly confusing for Americans, ecause, more than any other nation on earth, 9e are a hodge#odge descended from Kuro#eans, Africans, Asians and native Americans. We are !hristians, Je9s and atheists. We are ca#italists, fascists and socialists. We are a dynamic conflict of many com#eting interests all ent on getting more than their share of the national #ie. -o student of society, government or economics can loo6 u#on us 9ithout a sense of e9ildered amazement. If life is a tem#orary state of dynamically im alanced conditions, and it is, America is certainly very much alive, ut that such a chaos of conflicting schemas can flourish is due in large #art to the stu#idity of Americans 9ho resolutely refuse to #erceive inconsistencies 9here they e)ist. Only those 9ho are stu#id enough to try to understand 9hat is going on find that it could not #ossi ly @$a6e sense@. Oddly, there is oth security and danger in the incom#rehensi ility of the American e)#erience' 9e are too com#le) to e 9rec6ed y deli erate #lanning, ut 9e have lost control of our o9n fate. The asic #ro lem of America is one of readth 9ithout de#th. With so much to dra9 on in terms of oth human and natural resources, national character 9as sha#ed y #ragmatic, short2term #olicies geared to s#ecific and often isolated situations. So often, as oth the -e9 "ealers and Watergate Bang found, solutions ecame #ro lems' the reaction to ad usiness and ad #olitics 9as ad government. The only thing 9e do not have is an American 9ay of 9rec6ing the country. American stu#idity is creative in that there seems to e no limit on the 9ays 9e can find to ta6e a ad situation and ma6e it 9orse. Ironically, the national commitment to our o9n 9ell2 eing has ecome a fatal rea6 #reventing us from achieving the #rogress #oliticians are al9ays #roclaiming or #romising. (rogress is a matter of #assing eyond an e)isting state of affairs. In a material sense, this means develo#ing a higher standard of living, and this 9e have achieved. %o9ever, attaining the #hysical comforts of material #ros#erity has made us oth #roud and uneasy, as there has een no #rogress to9ard #eace of mind. Behind our #ride e)ists the gna9ing realization that immediate com#assion and concern for the do9ntrodden and dis#ossessed cannot e converted into legislative #rograms of any significant long2term success. Slums, a#athy, ignorance and stu#idity remain as real and #otent as ever efore. In human terms, America re#resents little in terms of #rogress or even #romise for the future.

-otes .

9e are ut ty#ical of the civilized tendency of failing to fulfill a #resumed destiny. We need the assurance of having ans9ers. of course.s est efforts. so if necessary. ecause <ust as efficiency is regarded as a threat y the ine#t. Thus. -ot only does this ias inhi it cultural im#rovement y limiting com#etence. Increases in material a undance are matched y increases in itter resentment as #roduction and success eget scarcity and <ealousy. These myths. Scientific advances are matched y human failings. The trou le really is. can #revent us from discovering valid ans9ers to our >uestions. If 9e 9ant to esca#e this self2constructed im#asse. As fast as 9ealth #iles u# here. 9e 9ould do 9ell to ma6e fresh in>uiries into our shortcomings and im#erfections. is not #articularly rational and cannot e com#rehended y . In this res#ect. ut the models for human ehavior #ro#osed y the methodical scientific community are invaria ly idealized constructs 9hich are much more self2 consistent and orderly than #eo#le 9ould ever 9ant to e. We have had +33 years since Freud to ac6no9ledge that 9e are asically irrational. su##ort those 9ho goof u#. ut the ma<ority of #eo#le. Une)#lained is the curiosity that things routinely go 9rong 9ithout evident cause and des#ite everyone. learning or technological e)#ertise seems to alter this su tlety one iota. #sychologically acce#ta le e)#lanations for crucial events. #overty s#rings u# there. These harmonious e>uations are maintained y the characteristic errors. Thus far. first of all. ill 9ill and general stu#idity of civilized #eo#le. it is of limited value in untangling com#le)ity.2III) The Future of Stupidit% and 2ice 2ersa America and the Western 9orld in general com#rise only the most recent e)am#le of a civilization failing to live u# to its o9n e)#ectations. 9ith or 9ithout e)#ectations or destinies. 9e are immersed in ignora le 9arnings that 9e too may fail as have those 9ho have gone efore. Archaeologists have uilt a #rofession on studying failures. This asic. 9ith marginal a ilities. accuracy of #erce#tion and analysis is regarded as a threat y the #o9erful. our efforts may not e our est ecause 9e are iased to9ard the #articular schema 9hich defines our a ility to co#e. %istorians uild careers y e)#laining failures. construction y decay and ha##iness y misery. the 9ea6 su##ort the corru#t. 9e are reasona le. Cogic is certainly a useful analytical tool. Western !ivilization o9es its technological #redominance to the a##lication of reason to the study and control of nature. The #ro lem is that 9e have ready2made. (articularly elusive is the ans9er to the #er#etual human riddle:9hy are our est efforts not good enough? Well. The #ro lem for ehavioral scientists is that logic must e used to e)#lain irrationality. ut a ma<or stum ling loc6 to the study and control of ourselves has een the assum#tion that. for e)am#le. Our cultural lia ilities are so decisive in the 9ay they undermine our institutions that 9e are com#elled to understand them if 9e intend to e e)ce#tions to the rule of civilized failures. 9e ma6e them u#. Kvery day. 9hich contri ute to failure y e)#laining a9ay not only the ine)#lica le ut the e)#lica le as 9ell. fundamental human constant is due to the fact that 9e are all #retty stu#id. 9ith the e)#lanations. and no amount of information. feeling that they 9ill then get similar su##ort 9hen their turn comes. the alance sheet on Western !ivilization is more e)tensive ut no more favora le than that of any society that has #assed efore us. in turn. one of the most consistent characteristics of civilizations is failure. since 9e can use reason. Although reason is useful for e)tending a line of thought to the ne)t #oint. ignorance. ut the overall #hysiological condition of an organism. socially condoned. In fact.

Although 9e gather a lot of information. ha##iness or any other great issue= they 9ere sim#ly usy 9or6ing at their <o s and raising families. 9e should e)#ect stu#idity to continue to e our constant com#anion as history unfolds. it is em arrassing to note that for all our so#histication and technological e)#ertise. After She died in the eighteenth century. Socrates 9as a case study in the stu#idity of civil o edience. the information #eo#le #ossess may e used ina##ro#riately ecause certain ehavioral #atterns are #re#rogrammed into or e)cluded from the res#onse re#ertoire. the saving grace 9as that most #eo#le 9ere not concerned in the least a out stu#idity. there has een no #rogress throughout history. it is not geared to com#ensate for its o9n deficiencies. John %uss 9as a religious reformer urned at the sta6e as a heretic in +P+0. !hrist 9as crucified for living u# to ideals. As all indications are that there 9as and no9 is more than enough stu#idity to go around. This is oth human and stu#id.g. EK. For millennia. "uring the nineteenth century. It is this 9hich sha#es the schema as an individual ecomes a mem er of a reference grou#.anyone limiting his thin6ing to linear logic. In this sense. !ertainly. under threat of #hysical torture. The #ro lem seems to e that ho9ever rilliant the human mind may e in other 9ays.F .s e)#erience and so follo9ed his fate in +833. it has een an integral com#onent of Western !ivilization since the eginning. Biordano Bruno 9as #erha#s a little too #hiloso#hical a #hiloso#her to have #rofited from %uss. EOf course. a##ro)imation is the est 9ay to re#resent matters of such com#le)ity. -ot long thereafter. 9e also ignore a lot and may even e #ointedly ignorant in matters of great im#ortance to us sim#ly ecause our schema directs us to e ourselves. The condemnation of idealism is a constant theme coursing through the history of Western stu#idity. to the e)tent that the #ast is a guide to the future. As shameful as all this 9as. to disavo9 the truth a out motion in the solar system. slee# or se). This asic #rinci#le is even more im#ortant 9hen one attem#ts to understand human ehavior. it is com#rehensi le only in terms of relationshi#s among interacting systems. although #eo#le could modify their environment. In his last #lays. Western !ivilization 9as enslaved y its elief in Bod. It may e analyzed logically. Ci6e9ise. The reason for this is that cognitive deficiencies E9hich ta6e the form of o##osition to integrityF are e)#ressions of the social dimension of life.F The est that can e done in analyzing such #henomena is to use #olygra#hs to #rovide data for statistical models 9hich allo9 us to #redict the #ro a ility of normal ehavior. Thus. There have een numerous e)am#les throughout history of accurate 9arnings 9asted ecause reci#ients 9ere not dis#osed to alter their eliefs sim#ly to accommodate ne9 and etter information. Behavior is very much a com#romise #henomenon. there is no #ros#ect for any ecause a##arently no one in the research oriented educational esta lishment is even a9are of the #ro lem much less addressing the issue. contem#orary civilization is as morally retarded and ethically handica##ed as any that ever e)isted.. These are drives or states y 9hich com#eting #hysiological systems coo#erate to maintain the dynamic im alance 9e recognize as life. intelligence. there 9as a #eriod of enlightened rationalism 9hen Kuro#eans san6 y their o9n ootstra#s into revolutions and intercontinental 9ars. there is no logic in alancing hunger and thirst. "ar9in seemed to suggest that.s !urse:that those 9ho #ro#hesy the truth 9ill not e elieved. The ancient Bree6s indicated their firsthand familiarity 9ith it 9hen they formulated !assandra. The only thing #eo#le could do a out their stu#idity 9as ignore it or la el it something else and ma6e light of it. In fact. ut 9e have een very reluctant to do so. Only y acce#ting a com#romise model of the human eing in all its inconsistent ine#titude ased on mis#erce#tions of the environment can one egin to understand 9hat eing human means. that 9hich 9as innate 9ould remain eyond human control. Worse yet. Kuri#ides #aired moral evil 9ith folly and asserted that #eo#le 9ould have to confront oth as #art of their eing. ut as a functional 9hole. 9e are still im#risoned in our elief systems. Balileo 9as forced.

The #ro lem 9as that #olicy ma6ers had closed their minds to the evidence and its im#lications. On the mainland. In a similar vein. -o leader could survive such rec6less disregard for the realities of resources. efore ecoming (resident. Those determined to rema6e the 9orld in their o9n image cannot acce#t the stu#idity of the 9orld as it is' they feel com#elled to add to it. and the history of Italy in this century #rovides e)am#les of oth trends. Sometimes not only truth is sacrificed ut the general su##orting culture as 9ell. On Sicily. Dichard -i)on 9rote a oo6 9hich covered his si) favorite crises u# to that time. In +/8+. Usually in the face of challenge. This catchy image e)#resses little more than that t9o contrasting trends have coe)isted throughout history. the mental condition of cognitive dissonance e)ists until some ad<ustment of or to the incoming data can e made.s e)tended human environment for the enefit of the self2aggrandizing in2grou# is most o vious in the mighty. This 9illingness to 9rite off one. the $afia Ecertainly one of the most successful organizations everF flourishes among #eo#le #retty much resigned to acce#t it as a fact of life and death. the Jennedy administration suffered a crusading com#ulsion to guide the &ietnamese a9ay from their o9n o <ectives and to9ard those of American #olicy. since those loyal to the (resident had ecome inca#a le of ma6ing realistic assessments of the effects of their actions on the real 9orld. the missionary com#le) is often dar6ened y a deli erate effort to create fate. The efforts of the American Intelligence community to gather data 9ere generally >uite successful. the administration 9as frozen in a dream 9orld com#letely at odds 9ith clear evidence that official #olicies 9ere not <ust ineffective ut counter2#roductive. The e)ce#tional moments of rilliant insight contrasted star6ly 9ith the #revailing mood of gloomy fantasy and served to demonstrate only that every silver lining has a cloud. $ussolini #ersonified a fool re elling against the limitations of his 9orld. When events fail to confirm eliefs. This mission 9as doomed ecause 9e could not #erceive the native anti2colonial sentiments as anything ut !ommunist threats to democracy. In contem#orary America. "uring the Johnson years. %uman nature is not coded into "-A' it is structured y the 9ay #eo#le use language to e)#lain their lives to themselves. "r. These moments of tem#orary lucidity served to underline the sad fact that the Johnson cli>ue 9as >uite 9illing to sacrifice national and #arty interests for the sa6e of (residential image. no matter ho9 charismatic he might e. the Johnson administration made this #oint clear in a ac6handed 9ay 9ith its occasional la#ses into realism a out the grave #olitical and moral ramifications that escalating the &ietnam 9ar 9ould have on the country. and data conflicting 9ith it are sacrificed for the sa6e of emotional and ideological sta ility.Around the turn of the t9entieth century. the schema ecomes rigid. -o9 the suggestion is that the controlling #o9er of humanity is not 9ithin us ut around us:not in our natural environment ut in our culture. the glory of a mad egocentric 9as doomed y his magnificent stu#idity. It is note9orthy that the Jennedy team li6ed to refer to themselves as @!risis managers@. As 9ould ha##en again five years later. One is the tendency of #eo#le to acce#t their fate= the other is the tendency to re el against it. For e)am#le. no amount of information 9ould serve to reform American reformers. Freud reinforced "ar9in and rought us ac6 full circle to Kuri#ides y urying the controlling forces of human motivation dee# 9ithin the mindGsoul E#sycheF. far eyond the good intentions of rational 9ill. it remained for the media and the #eo#le to save the country from the government. American stu#idity in &ietnam 9as not founded on agnosticism or ignorance ut misinter#retation :a determined refusal y those in #o9er to ac6no9ledge as valid any vie9s conflicting 9ith the #revailing official mis#erce#tions 9hich confused nationalism 9ith communism. his #o#ulation #olicy:Brats for Blory:made the !atholic !hurch loo6 li6e the Institute for (lanned (arenthood. Whatever its su#erficial a##eal. In the case of &ietnam. One must 9onder to 9hat e)tent our leaders may e dis#osed to create crises .

$a6ing due allo9ances for one. If lessons of life cannot e massaged into conformity 9ith ideology. they should e Etheoretically. there is no clear distinction et9een the t9o #rocesses of gathering and using information. it is most difficult for #eo#le to #enetrate their religious myths. nevertheless. An attac6 on any #art 9as construed as an attac6 on !hristianity in general and 9as met 9ith determined resistance in the form of e)traneous criticisms. at leastF solva le. They are all #roducts of certain circumstances 9hich could e altered. . #olitical e)#loitation. The u i>uitous and eternal human reluctance to 6no9 9ho 9e really are is.to test themselves. it has een remar6a ly successful. As a heuristic device. In fact. the gist of the counterargument 9as that the earth had to e the center of the universe ecause that 9as 9here Bod o viously 9ould have #laced the home of im#ortant creatures li6e ourselves. s#ecific #ro lems confronting contem#orary civilizations are not cultural universals. its #otential 9as and is invaria ly affected y the human need for a #ositive self2image. -aturally. ho9ever. (overty. it is the mar6 of a truly 9ise #erson to e a le to #ut himself in his o9n #lace:to vie9 the 9orld accurately from his o9n #ers#ective. family disorganization. ideological o##ression and 9ar are not defining characteristics of the human condition. Although o <ective o servations and rational theories count for little 9hen one attem#ts to refute the a surdities 9hich sustain the #o9er structure. In fact. they 9ill e re<ected for the good of the directing schema. society is etter set u# to learn 9hat it elieves than ho9 ineffective it is. %o9ever. Unfortunately. ut as oth a schema rea6er and ma6er. the success of science has often een at the e)#ense of those 9ishful fantasies 9hich stifled our cognitive develo#ment for centuries. Too often. ut challenging assum#tions has een the stoc6 in trade of great scientific revolutionaries throughout the ages. 9hat their limits are and 9ho they are. Whether they 9ill e altered or not is the solemn matter 9e address here.s o9n values #ermits accuracy in #erce#tion so that ehavior may e ased on relevant considerations. racism. -evertheless. the term @Devolutionary@ is derived from his notion that the earth revolves around the sun. Although this vie9 9as fundamentally incorrect. Basically. !o#ernicus 9as the first. The great human tragedy is that 9e 6no9 9hich conditions to alter and ho9 to alter them in order to eliminate most of the #ro lems mentioned a ove. There is nothing so unnerving for esta lished #o9ers as having their assum#tions challenged. 9hat 9e really need to overcome ourselves is as little humanity as #ossi le in the scientific #rocess of gathering and analyzing data and as much as #ossi le in the technological #rocess of a##lying 6no9ledge and understanding. rulers give themselves the choice of the disastrous or the incorrigi le and then choose oth. Since many of the ma<or. As 9e interact 9ith our environment. com#rehend their #light and then a##ly their cognitive s6ills o <ectively so as to deal successfully 9ith their #ro lems. It 9as this very human commitment of cultural #riests to cognitive consistency 9hich led such stu orn visionaries as %uss and Bruno to the sta6e and Balileo to humiliation. A ma<or ste# in the develo#ment of this insight 9as his realization that the #revailing astronomical assum#tion of his day:that the earth 9as a fi)ed #oint around 9hich everything else rotated:9as <ust a su <ective vie9 9hich everyone too6 for granted. to discover ho9 much control they have. science can hel# us understand our universe and our #lace in it. yielding to those committed to finding out. Benerally. se)ism. 9e usually fail to do so ecause our leaders 6ee# us from ada#ting to ne9 conditions 9hile our schemas 6ee# us from com#ensating for our cultural limitations. it 9as #art of an ideology 9hich 9as considered a consistent 9hole y the religious esta lishment. 9e monitor the results of our ehavior= 9e a##ly 9hat 9e 6no9 to9ard the solution of #ro lems and then learn ho9 effective 9e have een. Indeed. This may very much affect the selection of research #ro<ects and evaluation of gathered data.

"ar9in and Freud. The ottom line is that science is really a religion.s #a#er on the 6inetic theory of gases. The scientific theories survived des#ite the fact that they lac6ed any intrinsic a##eal to #eo#le in love 9ith themselves. 9hich 9ere roundly ignored y everyone else as irrelevant to 9hat they 9ere doing and thin6ing:until. the success of science is due to the institutional esta lishment of the means of schema formation so that the #o#ularity of a #articular inter#retation 9ill have minimal im#act on the evaluation of e)#erimental results. Scientific theories are a##ealing only in an icy. 9ith the devoted elievers stic6ing to dogma 9hether it ma6es good sense or not. It is rather tragic to note some of the 9or6s 9hich 9ere not even ignored. %e 9ould have had greater im#act had he en a le to generate some controversy. In their ideal moments. original inter#retations and hy#otheses can al9ays e ignored y #ractitioners of ye olde2tyme religion. If #u lished. As it 9as. If valid. inventive ideas. theoryF. unassaila ly correct and righteous vie9s are challenged. the scientific community 9ill eventually catch u# 9ith its unnatural selection of ideas and correct the mar6edly unscientific tendency of la oratory #riests to adhere to familiar theories.e. For all their training and sanctimonious #ronouncements a out o <ectivity. findings inconsistent 9ith the #o#ular theory of the day.Science dealt human narcissism three devastating lo9s courtesy of !o#ernicus. he sim#ly #resented his results. iology and #sychologyF 9ere resented and resisted y all those 9ho favored the more flattering esta lished notions that 9e 9ere rational eings created es#ecially y Bod and #laced in the center of %er universe. Scientists of the day sim#ly 9ere not a le to a##reciate his findings.. Their ty#ically human reaction to a ne9 revelation is to com#are it to the #revailing schema Ei. the scientific e)#lanations Eof cosmology. A case in #oint 9as John J. As the end of science is understanding:not the esta lishment or #er#etuation of any #articular idea. Although it may ta6e a generation or t9o. scientists are totally o <ective. . This 9as re<ected y the Doyal Society of Condon in +4P0 as eing @-othing ut nonsense@. Scientists are >uite human in their #ro#ensity to ignore or re<ect. intellectual 9ay. In fact. so the institutionalized enter#rise of science is too encrusted 9ith stu#idity for it to save #eo#le from themselves. and they re#lace ias and #re<udice 9ith accuracy and integrity. It 9as finally #u lished in +4/* 9hen it no longer #osed a threat to the re2esta lishment. it is something of a contradictory institution. iologists 9ere doing things and thin6ing a out #ro lems 9hich led them to com#rehend the value of his contri ution. this is usually a one29ay #rocess. Unfortunately. eing set u# to oth confirm and refute #revailing theory. %o9ever. Desearch 9hich might dis#rove an esta lished theory may not e funded ecause it 9ould #rove to e at est a 9aste of money and at 9orst rather distur ing. Science is really a system of esta lished rules for gathering and analyzing data and is su##osedly acce#ting of conclusions derived y the #rocess regardless of their emotional a##eal. A classic and tragic e)am#le of scientific stu#idity 9as the vacuum of indifference 9hich greeted Bregor $endel. scientists are no more tolerant than #eo#le 9hen their self2evident. Waterston. dis>uieting results still may not e #u lished y <ournal editors indoctrinated in revered theory and li6ely to #erceive novel findings only as threats deserving of su##ression. for as long as #ossi le. Kvery difficulty is #laced in the #ath of the heretic 9ho dares challenge a sacred tenet of the faith. One can ut 9onder ho9 many #ossi le advances in scientific thought have een th9arted y #rofessionals o##ressing their conventional e)#ectations onto ne9. K)#erimental results 9hich are at odds 9ith holy e)#ectation are scrutinized very carefully if they cannot e re<ected outright. real scientists are all too human. hallo9ed. 9ith the entrenched e)#lanation eing acce#ted as the defining standard of reference to 9hich data and ne9 hy#otheses are e)#ected to conform.s 9or6 on the genetics of #ea #lants. thirty2five years later. In all three cases.

they ehaved as normally as #ossi le and never 9ere detected as im#ostors y anyone on the staffs of the institutions. a asic conce#t li6e @$ental health@ has een sha#ed y t9o stu#id cultural factors. Of course. one is #ractically driven to drin6. In terms of mental health and illness. Devolutionary ideas should e #ut on @%old@ for a fe9 years until the initiate is clearly a mem er of the clu . %o9ever. although some of the #atients ecame . 9hich is <ust fine. the young scientist is 9ell advised to egin his career y contri uting some ric6s of 6no9ledge to the 9all of ignorance. Still. It 9ill come as no sur#rise to cynics that the #ayoff in science is not falli le 6no9ledge ut money. anthro#ologists #roduced research 9hich su##orted #olicies of racial su#remacy. or sic6 from healthy #atients or 9hatever it is they are so su <ectively doing. In the Third Deich. In a similar 9ay. rilliant and stu#id ideas? The #ro lem then ecomes a matter of acce#ting this 9hile trying to ad<ust to a 9ac6y 9orld of contradictory organizations and institutions. the #ro lem confronting all of us is that 9e are e)#ected to ad<ust to an idiotic society. The first of these is confusion as to <ust 9hat 6ind of 9orld it is to 9hich the mentally ill are su##osed to ad<ust. a . These tend to e ideological conservatives 9ho concoct little research #ro<ects 9hich su##ort esta lished theory. The scientist is ecoming decreasingly an inde#endent thin6er and increasingly a fello9 9or6er 9ho fits in and gets along 9ith the team. This is 9hat ma6es the goal of most #sychothera#y so tautologically self2defeating. !ou#led 9ith this tendency to9ard financial su##ort for the orthodo) is an organizational trend to9ard team9or6 in research grou#s at the e)#ense of the individual go2getter. 9ith most going to those 9ho #u lish most. Initial research #ro#osals should not challenge the ma<or theories of the day. the individual is to ecome more self2acce#ting and more realistic. "avid Dosenhan demonstrated this 9ith a study in 9hich seven @-ormal@ #eo#le managed to get themselves admitted to mental hos#itals y com#laining that they 9ere hearing voices. On the other hand. It is sim#ly irrelevant to evaluate the scientific validity of a theory or research results in terms of the effects they might have on a #articular social cause. Fortunately. if the @Self@ is realistic. After eing diagnosed as schizo#hrenics. so from the stand#oint of the scientist. the need for financial su##ort can e a restriction on the >uestions 9hich may e as6ed and the ans9ers 9hich are #ermitted. the relationshi# of science to the community is su##osed to e one of mutual su##ort. Scientists are really s#ecialists at converting money into socially acce#ta le 6no9ledge. Jensen found that contem#orary American culture is generally hostile to his suggestion that there is a genetic asis for the difficulties lac6 children have in academics. Outside the la . the courage to change 9hat can e changed and the 9isdom to 6no9 the difference. that is usually ho9 societies <udge 9hich research #rograms 9ill e su##orted and 9hat results 9ill e acce#ted.In fact. this is all good advice 9ell 9asted on anyone cursed 9ith an ounce of integrity or a #assion for understanding. our interest here is not in the validity of this or any other study ut in the social attitudes 9hich cause controversial findings to e em raced or re<ected y a given culture. Kven #rofessional staff mem ers in mental hos#itals do not 6no9 the difference 9hen they attem#t to distinguishing sane from normal #eo#le. Then he 9ill have the #restige needed to get any off eat ideas he might still entertain acce#ted for #u lication. The second is the tendency of those 9ho use and define la els to ta6e them and themselves a it too seriously. 9hat is to e done 9hen realism leads one to the over9helming conclusion that the self is a undle of contradictory needs and emotions.oung Tur6 starting out in science Eor any other field for that matterF should 6ee# to himself any good ideas of im#ortance 9hich might threaten to advance his #rofession or im#rove his reference grou#. S#ecifically. Arthur D. maniacal and de#ressing drives. When the #ro lem of ada#ting to ourselves oils do9n to the #rayer of Alcoholics Anonymous to have the serenity to acce#t 9hat cannot e changed. As thera#y #roceeds.

s version of reality is so structured y his schema that there are as many realities as there are o servers. heart attac6s are common enough to e voted @Doutine events@. Ci6e9ise. as that 9as also the year in 9hich @$ental retardation@ in America 9as redefined from an IA of 40 and under to one of 13 and under. Klectrons s#in as e)#ected. Kvents may e correlated. If they e)#ect to o serve #articles. It is one of the great ironies of science that the assum#tion of causeGeffect cannot e #roven. In the good old days of -e9tonian mechanics. It certainly must have een nice for such #eo#le to have een officially acce#ted 9ithin the ounds of general society. so anyone suffering one 9ould not have to e treated as ill. This automatically cured +PR of the #o#ulation of retardation. and 9e 9ould have that many more eggheads to create #ro lems for us. they get 9aves.s #rediction. Such findings #rove little e)ce#t that the su atomic 9orld is as determinate as it is accommodating to e)#erimenters. $odern #hysics is uilt on the #rinci#le that anyone. There is. #hysicists 9or6ed in a #recise. It is even more comforting to 6no9 that y this sim#le. 9e could #roduce any num er of geniuses desired. s#ecified cou#lings are more or less #ro a le. o <ective. All 9e 9ould have to do is dro# the defining IA level of genius the necessary num er of #oints. Ca els can e used not only to ma6e #eo#le loo6 sic6 to doctors ut to cure them as 9ell. they have gone over oard to the #oint of giving u# on @Deality@ as a limiting condition in research. An unfortunate result of this #hiloso#hical limitation is a tendency to disregard the o vious fact and asic tenet of science that events are caused.s et9een 13 and 40 must have felt. The distur ing lesson of this study is that mental #atients are etter at diagnosis of mental illness than those trained to elieve the la els they stic6 on #eo#le. #articular. !ancer is so common that it could e voted a @-ormal condition@ so that cancer victims 9ould no longer e considered sic6. +/1H. In one deft stro6e. modern #hysicists seem a it too 9illing to dismiss reality as sim#ly a field for su <ective im#ressions. Auantum mechanics has changed the cloc6 into something even "ali could not have recognized. If anything. and the a)is of s#in conforms to the investigator. there is a good correlation et9een mangled odies and car 9rec6s.sus#icious. There is reason to elieve that #hysicists find 9hat they see6 ecause they create conditions 9hich 9ill #roduce results su##orting their assum#tions. 0. they find #articles= if 9aves. (erha#s the trustees of the (sychiatric Association should e e)amined y some of their #atients. ut #hysical scientists are actually usy #laying their o9n su <ective games 9ith nature. ut 9hich causes 9hich cannot e #roven. millions of #eo#le formerly la eled as mentally ill 9ere redefined as healthy. In fact. an alternative e)#lanation for 9hat #hysicists assert are undetermined microevents' it may e they are determined y methods of investigation 9hich are too crude to #ermit o <ective studies of su atomic #henomena. ut all a true scientist can assert is that under certain conditions. This 9as accom#lished y the trustees of the American (sychiatric Association on "ec. 9hen they voted to remove homose)uality from the #sychiatric classification system. The universe is no9 #erceived as a grand e)#ression of undetermined microevents from 9hich humans can garner only generalized statistical conclusions. It is sad to note that the general medical community has not #ic6ed u# on this method of legislating health. thus. idiotic e)#edient of inflating standards. For e)am#le. +/1H 9as a good year for cosmetics. Just thin6 ho9 normal homose)uals 9ith IA. . much to the enefit of many of our stu#ider myths. determined universe 9hich ran along li6e some grand celestial cloc6. (hysicists must envy social scientists 9ho can cure the ill y voting and convert the a normal to acce#ta ility y redefining terms.

choice and res#onsi ility are elements of a conce#tual schema #eo#le can learn. . Although study after study confirms that human ehavior is conditioned y the interactions of the environment and #eo#le on each other. ut it is meaningless in any language. they constitute the @A9. ut it 9ill not hel# anyone understand anything. These are ehavioral #hiloso#hers 9ho sort of #lay the sad clo9ns in the circus of #sychology. assertion that humans res#ond #redicta ly to com inations of internal and environmental factors ro s #eo#le of their dignity. Adolf and Attila the %uns 9ere essentially good #eo#le <ust trying to realize themselves. %o9ever. for e)am#le. The one thing 9e do not 9ant to understand is that our vaunted self2control is so #atently su#erficial. Self2control. freedom is ada#ting to B. Just as Bod ada#ted to !harles "ar9in. The ma)im 9as @We are our choices@. #eo#le usually are and 9ish to remain una9are of themselves and thus may un9ittingly create more #ro lems than they solve 9hile trying deli erately to achieve their su consciously determined goals. ignoring and inter#reting accumulating evidence so as to minimize our a9areness and an)iety as to <ust 9ho and 9hat 9e are. our cultural #riests #lay @$indguards@. it should e noted that the K)istential movement develo#ed as an attem#t to understand ho9 #eo#le.@ school of #sychology. shuc6s. of course. Although every successful e)#eriment in the ehavioral sciences theoretically undercuts the notion of freedom.. stro6es. F. The #hrase @Dise a ove themselves@ may sound etter in French. during the horrors of World War II. Self2control is the a ility to change ehavior y consciously directing actions to achieve s#ecific goals. ut it is lousy #hiloso#hy and no 6ind of #sychology at all. s#o6es#eo#le for the to acco industry are #hiloso#hically if not morally <ustified in #ointing out the #ossi ility that oth smo6ing and ill health may e due to a common cause.. choice and res#onsi ility for rising a ove immediate circumstances. Of all the myths 9hich thrive in the face of scientific limitations. The general #resum#tion is that smo6ing causes cancer. this is it. A #at on their collective heads y self2serving %umanists might ma6e #eo#le feel good a out themselves. there is no great soul searching confrontation develo#ing on this issue. this 9hole notion is rendered irrelevant y the realization that the selection of the s#ecific goals is #redetermined y a #erson. According to them. In this great unac6no9ledged attle et9een science and our favorite secular religion. %y#ertension. %o9ever. Further. systemic resistanceF and given to smo6ing for the release of tension #rovided y oral gratification. heart disease. the Western elief in freedom cannot e laid to rest.s cultural ac6ground and individual e)#erience. could @Dise a ove themselves@ and find meaning in their lives. this is nonsenseM S#ecifically. By 9ay of sym#athy. They #refer to vie9 #eo#le as creative and inherently good eings 9ho are striving to fulfill their #otential.The classic case is. etc. S6inner and his ehaviorist colleagues so that our traditional schema may e retained. Of course. the controversy over the #resumed effects of to acco on the health of those 9ho use it. it is nonscientific nonsense. !ollectively. ho9ever. It may ma6e good religion. Sartre. This myth is sustained not only y those 9ho revel in the limitations of statistical analysis ut also y the K)istential2%umanists. em#hasized self2determination. and if there ever 9as a religious myth mas>uerading as #hiloso#hical idiocy. might ma6e one #rone to disease E y lo9ering general. They are very much in love 9ith the illusion of human freedom and feel the ehaviorists. as e)istence and meaning 9ere considered to e in our o9n hands. In this sense. @Free 9ill@ is the most fundamental. We alone are su##osed to decide freely 9hat our attitudes and ehavior 9ill e. the conce#t of human freedom is to the contem#orary Western 9orld 9hat the (tolemaic #lanetary system 9as to medieval culture:an idea that ma6es us feel im#ortant. 9ho made a career of telling #eo#le 9hat they 9anted to hear and already elieved. and it may e a9esome ut not totally sur#rising that some #eo#le clung to them during their des#erate e)#eriences during the 9ar.

9hat 9e #lease ourselves to #erceive as our choices have een conditioned y our #ersonal history. that the conce#t of @Built@ is totally ina##ro#riate in our legal system. the Watergate and &ietnam de acles might not have occurred had the irres#onsi le megalomaniacs involved restricted themselves to acts 9hich 9ere oth legal and consciona le. <ust as 9e all 6no9 the #rice of deficit s#ending in terms of oth #ersonal credit cards and the national de t. Often. de#ending on circumstances 9ith 9hich they interact ut cannot control. The real #ro lem 9ith the insiders of oth the Johnson and -i)on administrations Eas 9ell as those involved in the Irangate scandal under DeaganF 9as that they considered their actions consciona le. $ore im#ortant. All of these systems reflect the cultural im#erative of #eo#le to #ass <udgment u#on themselves. their . 9ithin the microcosm of a given society. The odd thing is that 9e are so often @Wrong@:that is. %o9ever. According to their standards of evaluation Ecovered y such catch9ords as @-ational security@ and @K)ecutive #rivilege@F. 9e are 9rong ecause 9e really cannot #erceive 9hat is right or 9rong 9hen 9e are actively and emotionally involved in a situation. the (residents and their advisors 9ould have fared etter had they limited their ehavior to 9hat the average American considered consciona le. We found earlier that the criteria of @Jno9ing@ and @$alada#tiveness@ are much too su <ective to e relia le guides to stu#idity. The drug addict 6no9s 9hat his ha it costs him day to day and may cost him in the future. 9e are stu#id according to our o9n standards of <udgment. $ore to the #oint. Kvery grou# has ehavioral guidelines:usually oth formal la9s and informal morals. It is all too human to 6no9 etter ut still do something 9rong. The cause of this #erce#tual difficulty o viously is that 9e have schemas 9hich guide the misa##lication of misinformation y misconstruing our ehavioral conte)t. -o9 9e find that #eo#le cannot even choose to e stu#id' they <ust are or are not stu#id. @!ourage@. For e)am#le. as there is no #ossi le <ustification for #unishing those 9ho chose @Wrong@. @Built@. 9e 9ill e stu#id for the 9orst of all #ossi le reasons: ecause 9e 9ant to e. This means. the fact that #eo#le consciously direct their ehavior to9ard certain ends #laces a moral urden on them to e accounta le for the future. @Innocence@.Although self2control may e illusionary if not im#ossi le. are and #ro a ly 9ill continue to e ma<or contri uting factors to the normal malfunctioning of Western society. and as nonsensical as it seems. to the e)tent that #ersonal and official stu#idity of the future 9ill e the result of conscious. Although the #articular code 9ill differ from grou# to grou#. unethical efforts on our #art to #ermit our schemas to 6ee# us una9are of the dangers of our ehavior. Ci6e9ise. elief in it and in #ersonal freedom have een. among other things. a #u lic official may indulge in graft for his o9n short2term aggrandizement and counter to his role of #u lic trustee. your archety#ical @(ig@ #oliceman may esche9 la9 and order for the immediate satisfaction of #ushing around some ha#less soul. -evertheless. our final criterion for determining stu#idity is invalidated. One of the reasons #eo#le so often seem to 9ant to e stu#id is that they are trying to achieve su conscious goals rather than those formally defined y society. This elief:as o##osed to a elief in determinism:is easy for us to acce#t ecause the Knglish language is so im#licitly moral in connotation'e. By virtue of our intentions. This Western ethic ased on individual res#onsi ility is sim#ly our s#ecific form of the universal human re>uisite for a moral code. there remains a moral dimension to Western stu#idity sim#ly ecause of our a ility:im#erfect though it may e:to antici#ate the results of our actions.g. its system of ethics has significance and meaning. 9e must acce#t res#onsi ility for our actions. -evertheless. Degardless of e)ternal and su conscious factors.. @(ride@ and countless other 9ords im#ly a sense of @Free res#onsi ility@. On the other hand and a grander scale. immediate environment and future e)#ectations.

!hurchill finally decided it 9as to the greater good to 6ee# mum and #rotect the intelligence cou#. These are ut some e)am#les of a general and distur ing trend in the 9orld today. Someho9. than6s to modern technology. Of course. -i)on. In the zoological 6ingdom. Follo9ers and mem ers may #rove their loyalty and gain the immediate social re9ard of grou# su##ort y lying and falsifying and distorting information. !learly. We have com#ounded su <ective stu#idity 9ith rational.s advisors 9ere sim#ly stri6ing e)am#les of #eo#le 9ho let loyalty to a #erson or reference grou# re#lace intellectual honesty as a higher form of morality. technology is the environment. Such 9as the ordeal of Winston !hurchill 9hen e)#erts decoded a Berman message indicating an imminent attac6 on !oventry in -ovem er. -ot only the individual . ar itrary stu#idity as 9e engage in calculated efforts to e unfair and dishonest. Kven more telling. Instead. it is that 9e have converted innocent animal stu#idity into conscious immorality. While 9e glory in our hard9are. if 9e have contri uted anything to the cosmic design of stu#idity. When lying and distorting information ecame a conscious. neural systems Ei. rational effort. If 9e can ut survive ourselves. Our slums are acce#ted as givens= our #risons are filled eyond ca#acity. $uch of this is effected su consciously and must e acce#ted as a given of human life. #ersonal integrity is not so much sacrificed as it is redefined y grou# values. the country managed to survive those leaders 9ho considered their acts to e oth legal and moral and 9ere sure no one 9ould catch them any9ay. ut it is then all the more distur ing that our culture has cou#led the most a9esome technology 9ith a general indifference to9ard the human #ro lems that technology creates. in the case of the Watergate cover2u#. the technology of o9s and arro9s and s#ears is com#lemented y 6no9ledge of the total environment. $em ers may come to elieve in their leader or reference grou# 9ith religious devotion to the #oint that even attem#ts to im#rove him or it may e construed as attac6s. 9hat has ecome of #eo#le? They starve y the millions in Africa.. 9hile 9e marvel at the >uality of the #ictures of their misery on ne9scasts. righteous leaders can find themselves suffering the throes of mental anguish for 6no9ing more than they might have 9ished. Still. In their sordid 9ay. and the ro ots are delighted. We ecame the first and only s#ecies to ta6e #ride in and credit for deli erately lundering into disaster after disaster. they 9ere sim#ly considered #olitical tric6s or #u lic relations #loys. rainsF have al9ays loc6ed relevancies and some have #aired irrelevancies. a 9histle lo9er 9ill arise and assert that any leader or organization that su##resses truth and #unishes virtue is not 9orthy of loyalty. It is sad enough that stu#idity is uilt into the human condition y language and social reinforcement. In the sim#le 9orld of the MJung tri es. anyone 9ho >uestions grou# assum#tions or su scri es to the e)#licit values of the general culture is regarded as a heretic and treated as an outsider. In the so#histicated 9orld of modern. com#uterized stu#idity. It is sad enough that our leaders must #lay Bod.ehavior 9as at least acce#ta le if not correct. ut having 6no9ledge of the im#ending attac6 had forced him to #lay Bod. our cultural com#romise et9een technology and humanology is out of alance. occasionally. Our tele#hones call each other u#= our machines tal6 to each other= our com#uters amuse themselves 9ith chess matches. stu#idity is all ut assured of a right future y leaders 9ho insult our intelligence in order to gain su##ort y ma6ing themselves a##ear sanctified and righteous. In a grander sense. 9hich ecome the standards for <udging everyone and everything. %o9ever.e. A 9arning to the city 9ould have saved hundreds of lives ut 9ould have given a9ay the crucial secret that the British 9ere reading to# secret Berman communications. After much soul searching. acts 6no9n to e illegal 9ere not considered illegal. We have created an artificial culture 9hich 9e elieve floats a ove and inde#endent of nature. +/P3. In such cases. stu#idity ecame a #ro lem 9ith a moral dimension. and our children are on drugs.

starvation and misery. it 9ill e ecause 9e finally recognize that science and technology are ethically arren and morally neutral. It is very effective in its limited range. As for our ethics of action. For years. 9e are going to have to devote more time and energy to #lanning our immorality. technology is narro9ing and dehumanizing in its methodology. The ad ne9s is that our used and a used moral values have #rovided the ethical guidelines. it is ased on morality. there is good ne9s and ad ne9s. if not intelligence. standardized ureaucrats ase lunders and design disasters u#on our ever dee#ening foundation of amorality and for an ever e)#anding ase of de#endent victims. The #ro lem is that all our scientific and technological 6no92ho9 and 6no9ledge. if 9e 9ere to ut try. Benetic engineering and eugenics are ut t9o fields 9hich 9ill #ose increasing #ro lems for society. %ence. Although the scientific method in the form of the social sciences has een successfully a##lied to human affairs. fostered crime. Scientific methods may #ro<ect 9hat results 9e can e)#ect if 9e select a #articular course of action. there is an amusing myth that the government e)ists for the #eo#le. Further. If this is not to e. We do not have com#uters= they have us. it should e #ossi le to find some general #rinci#les to 9hich everyone 9ould agree. We e)ist for our machines. !urrently. If our #ast EimFmorality rought us to the rin6 of nuclear 9ar. That is the good ne9s. If 9e are to maintain our historic tradition of stu#idity. organizing and institutionalizing stu#idity:concentrating it in a technoelitist com#uterGcommunication com#le) 9hose effects are roadly distri uted democratically. -o amount of data 9ould have made %itler or -i)on etter leaders' more 6no9ledge might have made them more efficient ut not etter. In the future. 9e 9ill have to develo# ne9 forms of stu#idity to #revent us from co#ing 9ith the #ro lems 9e are creating. 9e should e)#ect more and more #lanned stu#idity. %istorically. and it is on this #oint that 9e are floundering. In the American #olitical tradition. It is considered immoral to use the 6no9ledge 9e #ossess in this field to im#rove ourselves y deli erate #lanning. ut com#uters tend to limit the range of those devoted to them. Futurists should ta6e note that stu#idity 9ill e one of the more dynamic fields in our coming cultural develo#ment. as centralized. at the most asic and general level. Thus. . horses and cattle and #eas. it 9ill not e much of a guide for the future. 9e do not even have such a myth. 9e are in a #hase of consolidating. this success has een confined to 9hat 9e can learn a out ourselves:9hich is all science can and should do any9ay. Kuthanasia 9ill ecome more common as an alternative release from the lingering suffering of those afflicted 9ith incura le ut non2fatal conditions 9hich modern medicine can #rolong indefinitely. If the #ast is any guide. the ans9er has een @-o@ to the suggestion of selective human reeding. created slums. What 9e do 9ith the 6no9ledge 9e gain from science is another matter entirely. eans and melons. In our technological tradition. #eo#le have selectively red irds. As a cultural force. all our machines and com#uters cannot tell us 9hat 9e shou#d do. While this is a difficult matter. social ills and idiotic 9ars 9e have forced ourselves to endure. The asic #ro lem is that of finding road agreement as to <ust 9hat 9ould constitute @Im#rovement@. someone has to decide 9hen the donor is dead. our faith in and commitment to scientific research are mis#laced ecause no amount of information is going to ma6e us etter #eo#le. rationalizations and <ustifications for all the #olitical corru#tion. the crisis in Western !ivilization is due not to a need for more 6no9ledge and research data ut to a failure of our ethics of action and shortcomings of our informational morality. if this #rognosis #roves false. ut that is not the same as indicating that 9e should or should not do it.ut humanity itself is o solete. ho9 9ill those values hel# us co#e 9ith the ne9 challenges technology im#oses u#on us? -o9 that 9e can trans#lant organs. dogs. Is it or is it not stu#id to im#rove our o9n s#ecies y similar methods? Whatever the ans9er.

one source may e found in the su <ectivity of decision ma6ers. If 9e 9ant to ma6e our e)#ectations a it more realistic. an understanding of individual stu#idity 9ill hel# us a##reciate the irrationality of the years ahead. ut they are limited to handling information 9hich can e reduced to !om#uterese. or they may e #reoccu#ied 9ith the social cohesion of their reference grou#. 9ith its #recise role and style eing sha#ed y 9hat 9e e)#ect of ourselves. To the e)tent that stu#idity is ehavioral irrelevance. a## the essential com#le)ities of iological and social systems do not lend themselves to eing reduced to >uantifia le its of information. Was it an individual or grou# effort? Who made the crucial decision? "id he 6no9 9hat he 9as doing? Was he trying to find out? What made it a defective decision? "id e)ternal conditions contri ute to ma6ing it stu#id? For such clear2cut >uestions.Such #rinci#les 9ill themselves e determined y the values used 9hen 9e <udge the a##lication of 6no9ledge in the cause of humanity. 6no9ledge 9ill ecome an end in itself to the #oint that society is dehumanized. an individual invaria ly has develo#ed lind s#ots due to the s#ecifics of his #articular life e)#eriences. secondarily. 9ith the s#ecific dominant form de#ending #rimarily on the evolving relationshi# of technology to the society it creates. Finally. %o9ever. Coo6ing for9ard in more general terms. #romote a humane technology 9hen a##lying 6no9ledge to the creation of #ro lems. As life ecomes reduced to a silicon chi#. amount of e>ui#ment. Science hel#s us learn a out nature y rea6ing do9n com#le) #henomena into measura le units. 9ith relief #rovided 9hen some crac6#ot devises a ne9 9ay to e idiotic.s cohesion tends to e conservative. Secretary of "efense Do ert $c-amara 9as the consummate com#uter man. tons of su##lies.s status or a grou#. may even e limiting the ethical develo#ment of Western culture y its very success 9ith @Auantitative reductionism@. there are am iguous ans9ers. Further. as 9hen #ointing out the silliness of someone else. stu#idity 9ill e an integral #art of the com#romise condition of social life in the future. A tragic e)am#le of this 9as the failure of the modern American Army to calculate morale as a factor in the &ietnam 9ar. all this 9as out9eighed y the fact that the &ietcong troo#s 9ere at least ten times more 9illing to fight and die than the soldiers of the South &ietnamese Army. Unfortunately. That certainly can reduce one. as suggested earlier. a #erson may e emotional. -ormally. On the other hand. @Sci2tech@ 9ill not e much hel# in this regard and. there are a num er of >uestions 9e can as6 9hen analyzing our stu#id ehavior.s o <ectivity and mental efficiency. it is 9ith discouraged resignation that 9e must acce#t our fate of a future sha#ed y all 6inds of stu#idity. -ot only on #rint2outs ut in reality as 9ell. -or do these com#le)ities of life readily lend themselves to the ste#9ise logic of linear analysis. The ina ility of the (entagon to a##reciate the crucial element of motivation and incor#orate it into their intensely statistical schema 9as a ma<or contri uting cause of American stu#idity during the conflict. 9hich are inca#a le of feelings. one can e stu#id y #ushing o <ectivity to the #oint of social disru#tion. They may e e)cessively concerned 9ith their o9n status Emaintaining or advancing itF. and everything that could e 9as >uantified and analyzed:num er of troo#s.s religion. !om#uters 9hich can hel# analyze simultaneous interactions of #henomena hel# overcome this limitation of dealing 9ith one thing at a time. Unli6e cor#orations and institutions. In any event. %o9ever. %ac6ers <ust do not seem to e a le to a##reciate the vital im#ortance of the human element 9hich cannot e translated into their language. the government forces en<oyed a ten to one ratio in everything calcula le over the &ietcong. etc. To the e)tent that future stu#idity 9ill e caused y individuals ma6ing defective decisions. . The est that 9e might ho#e for is that scientists 9ill honor their o9n ethics for gathering information and. stu#idity tailored to enhance a leader.

most educational institutions seem to inculcate s#ecific elief systems rather than training #eo#le to find their o9n 9hen traditional schemas ring themselves into disre#ute. While eing unemotional may encourage institutional logic. there are some strategies 9hich can e ado#ted so as to minimize its role and im#act.shortcomings of information #rocessing y any single mind #revent an individual from com#rehending all the com#le)ities of any ut the sim#lest decisions. If com#uters and language need an ally in frustrating informational morality. As long as 9e communicate y language and use it to construct our cognitive schemas.s schema is a com#osite synthesis of the o li>uely interrelated 9orlds of factual data. misinter#ret data and misa##ly #rinci#les. First. these suffer deification once they are entered. Feelings. 9e 9ill mis#erceive events. #erceiving the com#le)ities of a situation could lead to no decision at all. much of the human e)#erience cannot e #rogrammed. and their contents and #ronouncements are no9 holy eyond criti>ue. -either can any #rogram 9or6 out all #ossi le costs and enefits of contem#lated actions. the history of modern science indicates that academic training as #racticed u# until no9 is no guarantee against stu#idity. normal human language 9ill also ma6e its contri ution to stu#idity in the future. ut society #ro a ly could not stand the strain of cognitive honesty and cultural consistency. although com#uters can hel# us deal accurately 9ith the data 9e deem relevant to the ma<or issues relating to a given #ro lem. It might hel# 9ere 9e to esta lish an @Information ethic@ Ei. ut no one:in or out of #o9er:can claim to e o <ective' everyone. Only the ty#e 9ill change some9hat as the #ast #redominance of individual idiocy created y enthusiastic ursts of rilliant lunacy 9ill e overshado9ed y #lodding. Unfortunately. idiocy often results from misguided efforts of #eo#le trying to avoid the #sychic discomfort of cognitive dissonance. and nothing in the contem#orary 9orld indicates that 9e are going to e e)ce#tions to this rule. social cohesion and #olitical #o9er. After all.s a usive a##lication of information #ossessed. At the #ersonal level. so any information ethic must e some9hat com#romised y our inherent su <ectivity. very fe9 #olices are totally #leasing to everyone. While there is no iron la9 of stu#idity 9hich dictates that #eo#le have to 9rec6 their o9n civilizations. At some #oint some 6ind of action must e ta6en. ho#es and emotions are not reduci le to >uantified its of !om#uterese. It is unfortunate that the methods ado#ted usually result in a malada#tive schema eing #reserved at the e)#ense of crucial information a out the environment. Finally. A demand for intellectual integrity might reduce the esta lishment. the asic commitment of #eo#le to adhere to their reference grou#s all ut guarantees stu#idity a rosy future. and to many #riests in the field. it <ust al9ays turns out that 9ay. Worse yet. the resultant rationality may run over #eo#le. In fact.. that is 9hat eing human is all a out. Bar age9ise. -or 9ill com#uters really hel# us avoid stu#idity in the future. Warnings go unheeded= facts are ignored= and ehavior ecomes less and less relevant to reality. After all. While there is sure to e stu#id ehavior in the future. let the facts s#ea6F. "is#utes are considered settled 9hen the com#uter s#ea6s. . !om#uters have ecome our sacred co9s.s feelings and moral sensi ilities.e. Although education should and could e a 9ay to develo# in #eo#le effective co#ing strategies for dealing 9ith such challenges to their schemas. the @Bar age in:gar age out@ #ro lem is secondary to the systematic #rocessing of gar age. methodical committees 9hich can dra9 u#on the collective and com#ounded dra9 ac6s and limitations of their mem ers. and it is stu#efying to analyze and de ate each and every #ossi le ramification of each and every #ossi le act under all #ossi le contingencies. One seldom finds com#uter o#erators enthusiastically rushing to ma6e corrections of either in#ut or #rograms so that they can im#rove the >uality of their gar age. the gro9ing trend to9ard institutionalized stu#idity 9ill not change the essential fact that it 9ill still e stu#idity.

many #eo#le might have #rofited from the advice a former country la9yer gave a young man starting out in the legal #rofession. some loss of face for any 9or6ers 9ho 9ere returned to their earlier #ositions after #rovisional trials. Unfortunately. As a969ard as it 9ould e for ma<or #olitical and cor#orate figures to conduct their usiness in goldfish o9ls. In the long run. An e)#licit discussion of the morality of a contem#lated act might also #revent stu#id ehavior. e honest. The less 6no9n a out 9hat they are doing. and anyone 9ho ignores it may 9ell 9ish he had not. 9ith the #roduct granted due consideration in deli erations.F There 9ould e.s very first 9ords @Cet there e light@.@ he said. It should start 9ith the #eo#le. use of res#ectful la els may #revent an underestimation of the o##onents. the more li6ely they are to indulge in corru#tion. defining factor in any controversial endeavor. 9ho made something of a career out of em odying the mores of society eyond #etty role #laying. As idealistic as it sounds to suggest our leaders a ide y Bod. ut it is usually used to save money y #aying a #erson the salary of his lo9er ran6 9hile he assumes greater res#onsi ilities. !onversely. There often is a tendency to minimize ris6s inherent in a given #olicy. there might e fe9er #eo#le #ut #ermanently into #ositions eyond their a ilities to co#e. If #romotions 9ere made #rovisional for a short #eriod of time so that #erformance could e evaluated.@ The former country la9yer 9as. The 9ell 6no9n (eter (rinci#le. ste#s in that direction 9ould induce them to ehave res#onsi ly 9hen considering the data at hand and attendant o#tions. @If you can. Thus.s @Brevet@ #romotional system is a ste# in this direction. egos often tri# on themselves as #eo#le ecome so committed to a course of action that even its o viously negative conse>uences cannot induce a reconsideration of the matter. The use of loaded terms can distort <udgment y inducing a sense of self2righteous overconfidence. Those indulging in it could correct their resultant errors if they are 9illing to reverse an earlier decision. it could e a first line of defence against #u lic malfeasance. 9here y #eo#le are #romoted one grade a ove their a ility to function effectively. @Strive to e an honest la9yer. At the institutional level. ca#acities and a ilities. $orality is an underlying.s right to 6no9 9hat their governments are doing and end y #romoting official res#onsi ility through accounta ility. it is reasona le to contend there e)ists an inverse correlation et9een #u lic 6no9ledge and their immorality if not stu#idity. Ks#ecially 9hen referring to an enemy. Finally. They should e given #ro a ility and severity ratings 9hich then should e multi#lied y each other. the est 9ay to #romote honesty is #u licity. <argon should e avoided or at least minimized. ut their short2term disa##ointment 9ould e the #rice they 9ould #ay for finding the level at 9hich they could function effectively. of course. although an information ethic may not e a cure2all for stu#idity. Along 9ith the legal. This #enchant to ignore ris6s can e an o#en invitation to disaster. Dis6s should not e minimized nor ma)imized:<ust recognized.t e an honest la9yer. is another e)am#le of institutional stu#idity 9hich can e corrected if o#tions remain o#en.Within institutions. The li6elihood of institutional stu#idity can also e reduced if decision ma6ers ac6no9ledge the dangers or negative conse>uences 9hich may result from their actions. A raham Cincoln. EThe military. 9e 9ould not have had the Bay of (igs and &ietnam fiascos or the Watergate and the Iran2!ontra scandals had our #oliticos een re>uired to #lan their #olicies under #u lic scrutiny. the less li6ely they 9ill do something they should not. although 9e must use language. In fact. this #ro a ly 9ould e est for everyone:the institution as 9ell as the individuals. the more 6no9n. . its morality should e considered as 9ell. economic and social conse>uences of an act. stu#idity can e inhi ited y rea6ing do9n the isolation and com#ensating for the ias 9hich contri ute so much to the collective idiocy of grou#thin6. #olitical. of course. !ertainly.

Whether it is to our advantage or not. since it #ermits us to rationalize our ehavior 9ith unli6ely e)#lanations 9hich are #sychologically gratifying and socially acce#ta le. he had to overcome himself. It is an ultimate of human stu#idity that 9e must see6 9hat 9e cannot attain in a manner 9hich #revents us from attaining it. What 9e need in order to survive are systems 9hich are not too systematic.s $andarins 9ere noted #rimarily for the #lutonic sta ility and sterility of their system. each of 9hich #rovides a suita le #ers#ective for a given reference grou#. idealists may have to acce#t that. 9e must realize that this is not an end #oint for us ut a eginning. hostile. 9hich clears a9ay the old for the ne9. #ragmatic #ro lems. etc. 9e may as 9ell acce#t it as a limitation language and society #lace on our intellect.s ideal of reeding and nurturing an elite of rational and 9ise leaders for government service 9as never tried in its #urest form. It is our su <ectivity 9hich ma6es it not only #ossi le ut #ro a le that 9e can and 9ill e stu#id. oth our a stract art and a surd theater indicate that the ans9er to the human riddle is not that there is no ans9er ut that there is any ans9er 9e 9ant. The ottom line is that there is no ottom line:<ust a num er of fuzzy orders. enlightened government? The ans9er is. although the medieval !atholic !hurch came #retty close to the order he envisaged. Ci6e death.F so elusive. . We do so each time 9e endeavor to construct yet another flimsy uto#ia 9hile doing our 9orst to 6ee# the #o9er structure evermore entrenched 9ithin itself. intelligence. While there is a tem#tation to thro9 u# our hands in dismay at the confusion inherent in the am iguity of su <ective #henomena. In order to e ha##y. to have an intelligent.net#letely. trying to live according to a static moral system leads to insurmounta le. 9e can create anything out of human nature ecause it is and (e are so su 5ective.While it is nice to have a list of strategies for reducing the role of stu#idity in the future. Is it #ossi le. for etter and 9orse. his Su#erman had to overcome his Will to (o9er:that o session 9ith dominance and control 9hich usually nets disdain and resentment. !hina. The Will to Truth 9as for him and still is something of a terrifying. although they 9ere also 6no9n for the corru#tion and inefficiency 9hich contri uted eventually to their deterioration and demise in decadent incom#etence. a##arently. #eo#le are going to e themselves. and all things eing considered e>ual E9hether they are or notF. @-ot really@M (lato. it is a##ro#riate to as6 9hether it is really #ossi le for any organization to #rotect itself from something so characteristically human. What 9e cannot ac6no9ledge is that ideals are the rain o9s of life:only the #ursuit of illusion is real. Thus. As the mighty rarely care to e)ercise this o#tion. In our relativistic culture. As for stu#idity. Su <ectivity has trium#hed. 9e create the #erce#tions 9e 9ant to hold. destructive #rinci#le ecause 9e really do not 9ant to 6no9 our o9n nature. stu#idity is an incongruity inherent in life. e)#anded and #romoted it. After all. stu#idity lets us live together 9hile ma6ing it difficult for us to live 9ith each other. It is this su <ectivity 9hich ma6es o#erational definitions of stu#idity Eand so many other ehavioral attri utes:aggression. future reformers 9ho as#ire to get #eo#le to live u# to or Ein the idiotic terms of the K)istentialistsF transcend their #otential 9ould do 9ell to ear in mind the #light of -ietzsche. Ci6e the #hysicists 9ho create the #henomena they 9ant to o serve. This is the great human trade off. The stu#idest thing of all 9ould e to eliminate stu#idity. They must e oth functional and credi le. humanity 9ill oth flourish and fail. for e)am#le. On the other hand. In short. 9e must also consider y ho9 much it should e reduced. A realistic. Fortunately. As for -ietzsche. as 9e 9ould soon e at each others. In another case. %umans have certainly develo#ed.s Su#erman as 9ell as that of -ietzsche himself. he 9as ha##iest 9hen he 9as clearly insane. functional system is unacce#ta le to su#er2ego standards 9hich re>uire ins#iring eliefs. throats in a rage of realism and rationality. If 9e are <ustly concerned 9ith ho9 to reduce stu#idity.

stu#idity #ermits us a com#romise lending so that 9e can entertain eliefs in all 6inds of self2 contradictory, conflicting systems 9hile co#ing 9ith some #ro lems and creating others. While 9e are ca#a le of all 6inds of com#romise lendings, that needed for survival is fortunately not one of trading off the conflicting o##osites of nihilists and realists. -ihilists aver there e)ists no eternal standard y 9hich to <udge and live, 9hile traditional realists have argued society must e ased on some universal, a solute truth:9hich invaria ly turns out to e a su <ective vie9#oint at est. What 9e all need is an eternal moral com#ounded from a res#ect for intellectual ethics and a commitment to human rights. Such a moral 9ould e com#ati le 9ith academic integrity, consistent 9ith individual dignity and ased on the com#elling need for #eo#le to find meaning in their lives. K>ually com#elling is the need to find meaning for the deaths s>uandered in all the loody crusades of the #ast and the lives 9asted in the >uiet des#air of our ghettos. If e)#erience gives us the o##ortunity and 9isdom the a ility to recognize mista6es 9hen 9e re#eat them, 9e must e very stu#id indeed to have een #arty to so much carnage and indifference so that 9e can create more. In honor of all those 9ho have een sacrificed so #ointlessly at the altar of stu#idity, 9e can resurrect meaning y reflecting on our ehavior and ree)amining ourselves. There is no shame in admitting that our asic fla9 is our need to elong:that our greatest fault is our need to e loved. -otes

Epi#o$ue In the grand, cosmic order of a deterministic universe, there can e no such thing as stu#idity to a ehaviorist. Behavior is sim#ly Eor com#le)lyF caused, and the corru#tion of the learning #rocess and limitations on a living system;s a ility to ada#t are inherent in the #rocess of life. Organic systems may e malada#tive and do fail, ut ecause of the self2im#osed restrictions of science, it is considered im#ro#er to inter#ret such de ilitating conditions and events in terms of free choice. On the other hand, 9ithin the microcosm of each #articular cultural grou#, the self2dece#tive languageG#erce#tion com#le), a social commitment to norms and #ressure to9ard grou#thin6 all can contri ute via the neurotic #arado) to setting u# a #ositive feed ac6 system 9hich carries a given learning #attern to self2defeating e)cess. 0ontrar% to prevai#in$ Dar(inian do$ma. this norma# #earnin$ mechanism can render human ehavior ma#adaptive, 9ith different grou#s of #eo#le and individuals commonly vying and dying to dis#lay their o9n #articular form of the general #henomenon 9e call stu#idity. Desultant ehavior is #ro#erly termed stu#id 9hen it is <ustly construed as failing according to and ecause of the ends E#ur#osesF andGor means Emethods and moralityF of the reference grou#. Thus, not all failures are stu#id:<ust those 9hich etray a com#romise commitment to #erce#tual accuracy and social integrity y going to an unnecessary e)treme. As a general #rinci#le of cultural life, stu#idity is an e)#ression of our inherent dis#osition to <udge:s#ecifically, stu#idity indicates a su <ectively sha#ed negative evaluation of #redetermined ehavior. Stu#idity is so common ecause #eo#le characteristically inter#ret their ehavior favora ly even if it leads eventually and inevita ly to failure. This is the over9helming lesson of #ast human failures:that short2term, self2 dece#tive misinter#retations of events can induce long2term demise. We are inde ted to those 9ho failed so stu#idly in the #ast, ecause their mista6es #ermit us to understand 9hat 9e are #resently doing. $ore im#ortant, 9e are o liged to ac6no9ledge that our actions 9ill sha#e the future. An understanding of ho9 stu#idity affects human ehavior might ma6e us etter #eo#le or at least more successful at eing 9ho and 9hat 9e are. This understanding #laces a moral urden on us to e res#onsi le not only for ourselves ut also to those #oor souls 9ho 9ill #ay the #rice for our ne)t stu#id failure and the ne)t...and the ne)t.....

ADDENDU! Although in the #reface I made a s#ecific #oint of saying I 9ould not use a #ersonal e)am#le of stu#idity in this oo6, I have had the misfortune to run into a classic e)am#le of it as a result of the oo6. It illustrates the regretta le, corru#ting im#act on learning 9hen intellectual ethics are sacrificed to #rotect a colleague 9ho is 9rong.JFW This oo6 9as revie9ed y "r. Thomas O. Blan6 of the School of Family Studies and !enter on Aging at the U. of !onnecticut, Storrs. The revie9 a##eared in the Se#t., +//H issue of 0ontemporar% Ps%cho#o$%, a <ournal of revie9s s#onsored y the American (sychological Association EA(AF. It 9as very harsh, in some 9ays un#rofessional and demonstrated "r. Blan6;s ina ility to understand 9hat he had read.

I availed myself of the o##ortunity to res#ond in the @(ointG!ounter#oint@ format made availa le to aggrieved authors y the <ournal. This consisted of an e)change of statements et9een myself and "r. Blan6 and a##eared in the $ay, +//P issue. In his last comment, to 9hich I had no o##ortunity to re#ly in #rint, he alleged that my stated vie9 @-ormal human ehavior is not necessarily ada#tive@ could e accessed else9here. I received an advanced co#y of this statement and t9ice challenged him in 9riting to document his claim ut received not even the courtesy of a re#ly. In A#ril, I 9rote "r. John %arvey, the editor of the <ournal, as6ing him to see to it that "r. Blan6 document his claim or that an a##ro#riate correction e #u lished in a forthcoming issue. %e 9as e)#licit in his refusal to do anything to resolve the matter. I then turned to the A(A and had a num er of #hone conversations and e)changed letters 9ith Ceslie !ameron, "irector, A(A Journals, in $ay and June regarding this matter, all to no effect. "r. Bary &andenBos, K)ecutive "irector, (u lications, called me in early June and 9e s#o6e for a out an hour. %e assured me "r. Blan6 9as correct in saying my ideas could e found else9here, ut 9hen challenged to document the claim, li6e everyone else, he failed to do so. In late June, I 9rote, "r. Daymond Fo9ler, !hief K)ecutive Officer, again to no effect. %e claimed the A(A 9as out of o#tions at this #oint, ecause they could not force "r. Blan6 to document his claim. I #ointed out they could re>uest him to do so or #u lish a correction on their o9n ut received no re#ly to this suggestions. EA year later, in the summer of +//0, "e#uty !KO C. $ichael %on6er 9ent #sychotic in claiming a source meant the e)act o##osite of 9hat the author 9rote. This 9as indeed a marvel of mental gymnastics #erformed in the guise of @Inter#retation@.F In Aug., +//P, I commenced a li6e9ise fruitless effort to get the University of !onnecticut to hold "r. Blan6 accounta le. After a rief #hone conversation 9ith me, "r. Steven Anderson, "ean of the School of Family Studies, #revailed u#on him to send me a list of oo6s E9ith no #age num ersF in 9hich he did not even try to document the claim he had made in #rint. %e tried instead to document a su stitute claim:that malada#tation 9as a central theme in the oo6s listed. $alada#tation is in fact a common ehavioral #rocess, ut that 9as not the issue in dis#ute, so I as6ed him once again to document his claim that my idea that norma# ehavior can e malada#tive could e accessed else9here. I received no re#ly. "r. Fred $arians6i, Associate (rovost for Academic Affairs, deftly avoided involvement y claiming the issue 9as not in his field of e)#ertise so he 9ould @Ceave it to the #rofessionals@. %is su#erior, "r. Thomas Tye, &ice (resident and (rovost for Academic Affairs, failed to return several #hone calls. (resident "r. %arry %artley 9as #ro#erly insulated y staffer !arol Flynn, 9ho th9arted my efforts to inform him of his dysfunctional faculty and administrators on the grounds that he has no control over academic affairs #resuma ly in the same 9ay the (resident of Beneral $otors has nothing to do 9ith ma6ing cars. At the conclusion of my one #hone conversation 9ith "r. Dichard Besdine, "irector of The Traveler;s !enter on Aging, he assured me either he or "r. Blan6 9ould get ac6 to me' I have since heard from neither. Ci6e9ise, the American Association for the Advancement of Science failed to hold either "r. Blan6 or anyone else res#onsi le in this matter. Dather than dealing 9ith it as an error in the scientific literature, "r. !. J. Bunsalus;s !ommittee on Scientific Freedom and Des#onsi ility feigned #sychosis and claimed they sim#ly did not #erceive the issue as I did. One 9ay to advance science is y correcting errors in the literature' they <ust did not #erceive an undocumenta le claim as an error Eand esides, overturning "ar9inian #sychology is too #etty a matter to other 9ithF. This 9as un#rofessional in the e)treme ut rather common among #eo#le u#set y intellectual integrity. "r. Al Teich, "irector, "irectorate for Science and (olicy (rograms, 9ould not return my calls.

-ot one 9as committed to hel#ing #eo#le learn.s allegation meant nothing to anyone at the A(A. Ty#ical of the mishandling of this case 9as the action of "r. In turn. the fact that no one could document "r. "r. careers and incomes of its mem ers. ut the fact that "r. %e had made an error. Further. +//0. In Do yn "a9es. Blan6 document his erroneous claim that my ideas could e found else9here or #u lish a correction. Blan6 has #u lished misinformation is of no moment to anyone at that institution. (hili# Austin. -ot one insisted "r. Just in the course of trying to get the matter at hand corrected. he re#lied he had no advice for me. Blan6. in my lighter moments. -orman A eles 9hen he chaired the A(A #u lications and communications E(V!F oard. 6no9 and understand. The asic dodge 9as that since the A(A has done nothing to remedy the situation. in my case. image. my e)#erience has confirmed the cen tral idea of the oo6:that our social and #olitical lives 9ar# our intellec tual life. Dather. Thomas Biolas.t. to 9hich he never res#onded. So also 9ere the dean of the Braduate School. -ot one #erson 9ould stand u# for the truth. This is all the more remar6a le ecause the institutions involved have rules 9hich call for all #arties to conduct them selves #ro#erly. "r. ut no one involved 9ith this case has done anything that could #ossi ly e construed as so doing.Thus did the scientific esta lishment react to an error in the literature. neither case o tained. in January. For e)am#le. the A(A is a #u lic relations outfit dedicated to #ro moting the #o9er. nothing is 9rong. #u lished letter of resignation from the organization in +/44. Blan6. In June. I have stum led across a num er of uncorrected errors #u lished in A(A <ournals dating ac6 to +/13. it isn.s allegation that the idea that normal is not necessarily ada#tive has een documented or his error corrected. so everyone circled the 9agons to #rotect him. For e)am#le. Sad to say.s efforts to convince the #u lic its mem ers have a s#ecial e)#ertise not only in the a sence of any evidence for such e)#ertise ut indeed in the face of evidence that it does not e)ist. and (rovost $ar6 Kmmert a solutely adamant in their refusal to a ide y much less enforce their o9n yla9s. Unfortunately. I refer to as the American (sychotics Association ecause of the institution. status. the oard determined no . I #ointed I had not as6ed him for advice and re#eated my re>uest. Such a flagrant indifference to 6no9ledge is unfortunately common at the A(A E9hich. Blan6. A""K-"U$ U("ATK" %o9 nice it 9ould e to add that in the t9o years since the last #rinting of this oo6. +//1. he cited the lac6 of commitment on its #art to the rational a##lication of 6no9ledge as a re>uirement and stated his vie9 that the organization had failed misera ly to assure a #rofessional #ractice of #sychology ased on availa le scientific 6no9ledge. So. and there is no etter e)am#le of this #henomenon than the in transigence 9ith 9hich the academicGscientific esta lishment stands y its error in this #articular case. ut a asic #ro lem is that they #refer to rea6 rather than a ide y or enforce their o9n rules for #ro#er #rofessional conduct. 9hen I as6ed the ne9 #resident. all mem ers of the university community are re>uired to foster intellectual honesty. Aside from the o vious fact that this is #assing the uc6 and a total a negation of academic res#onsi ility on the #art of the school. Stri6ing y its a sence in all #arties 9as any trace of intellectual integrity. "a9es referred to the organization. to secure a #ro#er reference for me from "r. this tactic is ased on a ma<or fallacy' it assumes the A(A is a #rofessional scientific organization dedicated to truth. I have never 'no(n a case (here so man% (e## educated peop#e have distin$uished ri$ht from (ron$ and chosen to e (ron$) That choice ma6es them a disgrace to science and humanity.s callous disregard of realityF. The University of !onnecticut has yla9s 9hich re>uire accuracy on the #art of all faculty mem ers at all times.s chief administrators. At the very est.

@. so y default.. @There is something 9rong here. ut so 9hat? Those 9ho are su##osed to e e)ercising control over the >uality of science are fran6ly indifferent to such reaches of intellectual ethics.. ut it ased this decision on the mista6en elief that "r. to #lace this matter on its agenda ut all to no effect' she <ust 9ould not deal 9ith the issue. All these #rofessors and (h". +//1. The saddest commen tary I can ma6e on the ho#e that science 9ill save us is it cannot to the degree scientists refuse to deal 9ith the reality of unethical conduct.. this 9ould e as good as any.s Office of Kthics. When I #ointed this error out to him and as6ed him to reconsider and ase the decision on the facts. "r. !urrent #resident Jane Cu chenco #assed u# an o##ortunity in Aug ust. Judith Worrell. Thomas O. the A(A.a must2read oo6 saying something a out 9hat eing human means.s fi) it.@ From this I conclude there is something very 9rong 9ith our educational system.#rovocatively #resented.@ @. she 9as ut ty#ical of all #arties contacted' none 9ould deal 9ith the #ro lem.. -ot oneM -ot one 9ould stand u# and say. Blan6 #u lished an error.EaF 9ell2organized.. he refused to do so and thence ecame #resident of the or ganization.. I re#eatedly as6ed the ne9 chair of the (V! oard. EIndeed. let. The asic #ro lem really is that no one cares a out the #u lication of misinformation in the scientific literature..F The ottom line is that science is not a self2correcting institution. If I had to #resent one good e)am#le of institutional stu#idity to the 9orld. (rof.. Stan ley Jones #residing.. It dissects the #sychological and sociological factors 9hich 9ar# our intellectual life and sho9s ho9 and 9hy to acce#t our limitations if 9e cannot overcome them.. y side ste##ing the issue.@ (rof. +//8.s 9ith all their education evince not the slightest interest in much less even a minimal commitment to 6no9ledge or truth... declined to investigate this case:leading one to con clude that the #u lication of an undocumenta le statement is ethical. In Fe ruary and $arch. Ad for Understandin$ Stupidit% If you 9ant to 6no9 9hat ma6es everyone else so stu#id.e. every decision y everyone favored the #erson 9ho is 9rong. "r. #ersuasive synthesis.. +//1. As for the AAAS. Blan6 0ontemporar% Ps%cho#o$% . Our est educated elite have a solutely no ethical >ualms 9hatsoever in their #rofessional field of e)#ertise.. this is the oo6 for you. documentationF 9as re>uired in the matter. in Fe ruary..seminal classic. the story is essentially the same' the constitution re>uires the #romotion of res#onsi ility ut no one 9ill deign to anything in this case to hold those involved accounta le to asic standards of science.. In this regard. Blan6 had #rovided a reference.further action Ei. (erha#s sometimes it is ut not al9ays and not necessarily.

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%art, J. +/4*. 1hen the Goin$ 1as Good. !ro9n= -e9 .or6. %ayter, W. +/8P. In The 0o#d 1ar edited y K. Cuard. Condon. %eller, J. +/8+. 0atch>99. Simon and Schuster= -e9 .or6. %ers6ovits, $. +/03. !an and *is 1or's. Jno#f= -e9 .or6. %ilgard, K., At6inson, D. and At6inson, D. +/10. Introduction to Ps%cho#o$%. 8th ed. %arcourt, Brace, Jovanovich= -e9 .or6. %ilsman, D. +/81. To !ove a Nation. "ou leday= Barden !ity, -.. %oe el, K. +/0P. The -a( of Primitive !an6 A Stud% in -e$a# D%namics. %arvard University (ress= !am ridge, $A. %ofstadter, D. +/8H. Anti>inte##ectua#ism in American -ife. Jno#f= -e9 .or6. %olmes, K. +414. The -ife of !o4art. Inc#udin$ *is 0orrespondence. !ha#man V %all= Condon. %olton, B. Jan. +/0H. On the duality and gro9th of #hysical science. American Scientist, P+, /+. %orney, J. +/03. Neurosis and *uman Gro(th. -orton= -e9 .or6. %oro9itz, $. +//*. Person Schemas and !a#adaptive Interpersona# Patterns. University of !hicago (ress= !hicago, IC. %o9e, F. ca. +/*3. Auoted in America Enters the 1or#d y (age Smith. +/40. $cBra92%ill= -e9 .or6. 1PP. %ughes, (. +/P1. A *istor% of the 0hurch. -e9 .or6. &ol. III. %um#hrey, B. Auoted in The Devi# and @ohn Foster Du##es y T. %oo#es. +/1H. Boston, $A. +/8. Jaco s, D. and !am# ell, ". +/8+. The #er#etuation of an ar itrary tradition through several generations of a la oratory microculture. @) A norma# Socia# Ps%cho#o$%, 8*, 8P/2804. Janis, I. +/4*. Groupthin'. %oughton $ifflin= Boston, $A. 22222 and $ann, C. +/11. Decision !a'in$. The Free (ress= -e9 .or6. Jaroff, C. Aug. *8, +//+. !risis in the Ca s. Time= +H4, W4, P020+. Jedin, %. +/01. A *istor% of the 0ounci# of Trent. Condon. &ol. I. Jensen, A. +/8/. %o9 much can 9e oost IA and scholastic achievement? *arvard Educationa# Revie(, H/, +2+**. Johnson, %. +//+. S#eep(a#'in$ Throu$h *istor%. Anchor= -e9 .or6. Johnson, C. and Cey, D. +//3. "ri$ins of !odern Economics6 A Paradi$matic Approach. Binn (ress= -eedham %eights, $A.

Jones, A. +/8P. The -atter Roman Empire. University of O6lahoma (ress= -orman, OJ. Jahneman, ". +/1H. Attention and Effort. (rentice2%all= Kngle9ood !liffs, -J. Jant, I. +14+. Driti' der reinen 2ernunft. E0riti3ue of Pure Reason. Translated and #u lished many times' e.g., J. $. "ent V Sons= Condon.F Jaron, B. and &andenBos, B. +/4+. Ps%chotherap% of Schi4ophrenia. Jason Aronson= -orthvale, -J. P*. Jaufmann, W. +/84. Niet4sche6 Phi#osopher. Ps%cho#o$ist. Antichrist. Hrd ed. &intage= -e9 .or6. Jelley, %. +/0*. T9o functions of reference grou#s. In Readin$s in Socia# Ps%cho#o$% edited y B. S9anson, T. -e9com and K. %artley. *nd ed. %olt, Dinehart and Winston= -e9 .or6. Jelman, %.' !om#liance, identification, and internalization' three #rocesses of attitude change. In (roshans6y, %. and Seiden erg, B. Eeds.F' Basic Studies in Socia# Ps%cho#o$%. %olt, Dinehart and Winston= -e9 .or6. +/80. Jennan, B. Auoted in The -imits of Intervention y T. %oo#es. +/8/. $cJay= -e9 .or6. Jennedy, D. June +, +/8+. A memorandum >uoted in Ro ert Denned% and *is Times y A. Schlesinger, Jr. +/14. Ballantine Boo6s= -e9 .or6. P11. Jennedy, T. Auoted in Ted Denned%6 In "ver *is *ead y Bary Allen. +/43. ;18 (ress= Atlanta, BA. Jier6egaard, S. +4P/. The Sic'ness Unto Death. ETranslated y W. Co9rie. Anchor= Barden !ity, -.. +/0P.F Jil orn, (. $ay +/, +//+. @Dace -orming@ tests ecome a fiery issue. The Ne( Yor' Times= The Wee6 in Devie9. 0. Jillian, C. +/0*. The significance of multi#le2grou# mem ershi# in disaster. American @) Socio#o$%, 01, H3/2H+P. Jissinger, %. +/1/. The 1hite *ouse Years. Cittle, Bro9n= Boston, $A. Joestler, A. +/1/. -othing ut...? In The Enc%c#opedia of De#usions edited y D. "uncan and $. Weston2Smith. Walla y= -e9 .or6. Jolcum, K. $ar. H, +/48. $orton Thio6ol Kngineers Testify -ASA De<ected Warnings on Caunch. Aviat) 1ee' and Space Tech) +4. Jol6o, B. +/8H. The Triumph of 0onservatism. Free (ress= -e9 .or6. Jrutch, J. W. +/0H. The !easure of !an. Brosset V "unla#= -e9 .or6. Juhn, T. +/13. The Structure of Scientific Revo#utions. *nd ed. University of !hicago (ress= !hicago, IC.

Cau, D. and Dussel, ". +/43. Attri ution in the s#orts #ages. @) Persona#it% and Socia# Ps%cho#o$%, H/, */2H4. Ce9ic6i, (. June *H, +//*. Auoted in @.our Unconscious $ind $ay Be Smarter Than .ou@ y ". Boleman. The Ne( Yor' Times. !++. Ce9insohn, (., $ischel, W., !ha#lin, W. and Barton, D. +/43. Social com#etence and de#ression' the role of illusory self2#erce#tions. @) A norma# Ps%cho#o$%, 4/, *3H2*+*. Cie erman, J. +/1H. *o( the Government Brea's the -a(. Stein V "ay= -e9 .or6. Ci##mann, W. +/**. Pu #ic "pinion. %arcourt, Brace= -e9 .or6. Coc6ard, J. and (aulhus, (. EKds.F +/44. Se#f>deception6 An Adaptive !echanismE (rentice %all= Kngle9ood !liffs, -J. Coc6e, J. +8/3. An Essa% 0oncernin$ *uman Understandin$. E!larendon (ress= O)ford. +4/P.F Cord, W. +/83. The Good Years. %ar#er V Brothers= -e9 .or6. Cu ors6y, C. +//3. Understandin$ Transference. Basic Boo6s= -e9 .or6. Cund erg, F. +/43. 0rac's in the 0onstitution. Cyle Stuart= Secaucus, -J. Cyttleton, D. +/1/. The Bold Kffect. In The Enc%c#opedia of De#usions edited y D. "uncan and $. Weston2Smith. Walla y= -e9 .or6. $aas, (. +/1H. Serpico. &i6ing (ress= -e9 .or6. $achiavelli, -. +0+H. The Prince. E(enguin Boo6s= Baltimore, $". +/8+F $ac6ay, !. +40*. E&traordinar% Popu#ar De#usions and the !adness of 0ro(ds. *nd ed. Y%armony Boo6s= -e9 .or6. +/43.Z $acJinnon, ". +/81. Assessing creative #ersons. @) 0reat) Behav), +, */+2H3P. $agruder, J. July *8, +/1H. In an intervie9 9ith !harles Wheeler in -istener. BB!= Condon. $althus, T. +1/4. An Essa% on the Princip#e of Popu#ation. EThe University of $ichigan (ress= Ann Ar or, $I. +/0/.F $aslo9, A. +/8H. The need to 6no9 and the fear of 6no9ing. @) Genera# Ps%cho#o$%, 84, ++42++/. $atthe9 &, **. $c!ullough, ". +/11. The Path Bet(een the Seas. Simon and Schuster= -e9 .or6. $c$illen, S. +/84. None of These Diseases. Fleming %. Devell !o.= Old Ta##an, -J. $c-aughton, J. +/81. A memorandum for the (resident in The Penta$on Papers6 *istor% of United States Decision !a'in$ on 2ietnam. Senator Bravel edition. P &ols. and Inde) &ol. Boston, $A. +/1+2+/1*. &ol. I&, P14.

R)N)6 The !emoirs of Richard Ni&on.s Bum ling Ban6ers' Di#e for a -e9 Fiasco. *. Brosset V "unla#= -e9 . +/88. J. %ansard. $A.or6. (ayne.or6. s2$errill !o. +/01. Bro9n= Boston. A. I-. "uncan and $. ECarge Ty#e Wee6lyF. D. +/03.or6. 41*241H. -evins.or6. (raeger= -e9 . $acmillan= -e9 . The Peter Princip#e.or6. Ornstein. (eter. Cittle. $acmillan= -e9 . %. +/8/. H. Fascism and the Kconomy. +/4P. Ne( Yor' Times. Bo Indiana#olis. The 78<:s6 Decade of Triumph and Trou #e. +/H0. (iaget. The rising sun in the (acific' +/H+2A#ril. J. Se#t. "ec. +/03. Translated y W. A. W+. +/81. Freeman= San Francisco. +H412+H4/. The -ife and Death of Ado#f *it#er. D. $orris. +/1/.F -i)on. $eyerriec6s. . !A.or6. +//+. Dandom %ouse= -e9 . *onora #e Treacher%.or6. (o9er is the (rize. American *erita$e= QI&. C. -earnin$ Theor% and Persona#it% D%namics. *P.= $il9ard. +//*. and %ill. A. $o9rer. University of !alifornia (ress= Ber6eley. +/1*. +/18. D. 1824H. !an and Birds6 Evo#ution and Behavior. +/14. O. -ietzsche. U. The. K. William $orro9 V !o. B. Ne( Yor' Times. +44*. P/. S. The -oom of *istor%. and %ull. Ca>ueur. !A. +/1H. -eisser. !. D. F. 0o$nition and Rea#it%6 Princip#es and Imp#ications of 0o$nitive Ps%cho#o$%. $ar. -orton= -e9 . Ortega y Basset. B*. +113. O)ford University (ress= -e9 .or6. Die FrF#icher 1issenschaft. Weston2Smith. Q&I.or6. (egasus.= -e9 . +/1P. %umans eing desire ha##iness. $orison. Fair Tria#. +441. *arvard -a( Revie(. F. -. +/11. &ol. EThe Ga% Science. $organ. D. The s#lit and the 9hole rain. In Par#iamentar% *istor% of En$#and edited y T. $osley. *istor% of United States Nava# "perations in 1or#d 1ar II. P and +H. +/10. $eredith.or6. $uller. *uman Nature. Walla y= -e9 . +/8*.$eehan.or6. In Fascism6 A Readers+ Guide edited y W. +/P*. The Revo#t of the !asses. +/18. (hilli#s. Jaufmann.or6. In a revie9 of Tria# Techni3ues y Irving Boldstein. P. +/H*. America. In The Enc%c#opedia of De#usions edited y D. +/14. Donald (ress= -e9 . 03. +. W. O. %ar#er V Do9= -e9 . J. $ar. Business 1ee'= 48241. The.Toole. The !ora# @ud$ement of the 0hi#d. Atlantic $onthly (ress= -e9 .

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0ar# Ro$ers on Encounter Groups. +/88. Dosza6. The !iami *era#d. K. %ar#er= -e9 . June *3. 22222. A Thousand Da%s. H882H81. Ro ert Denned% and *is Times. +43*. +/08. . +/14. Simon and Schuster= -e9 . +/43. +/13. $A.or6. Due. $I. !ited in The Best Years6 78<?>78?: y J. S. Schiller. a De#ort Says. +0+2+8H. O)ford University (ress= -e9 . ". %ymes.Do ertson.. +/18. Boulden.or6. %oughton $ifflin= Boston. Dogers. The Ph%sica# 1or#d of the Gree's. +/1H. Sa#ir. $A. Sierra. +/P0.or6. +/1H. *istor% of the 0hristian 0hurch. Sears. K. Brand Da#ids. Seligman. B% the Grace of Gui#e6 The Ro#e of Deception in Natura# *istor% and *uman Affairs. $ilitary. Dosenhan. W. A Brid$e Too Far. %oughton $ifflin= Boston. T.or6. +". %oughton $ifflin= Boston. 0osmos. Do9e. %o9ard Allen= !a#e !anaveral. 22222. @) Socia# Ps%cho#o$%. *032*04. !.or6. Shaff. Dussell. The interaction of cognitive and #hysiological determinants of emotional state. Se#t. FC. +1/. Academic (ress= -e9 . Do ertson. 11. 8. *1. Simon and Schuster= -e9 . W*. A *istor% of 1estern Phi#osoph%.or6. +/8P. S#iel erger. J2(. 8. F. J. +/H8. The Dispossessed !a5orit%. Schmitt. Atheneum= -e9 . Schachter. +/13. !. &ol. Sartre. +/4P. A. The Ne( Yor' Times. +/1P. The !aid of "r#eans. The Imperia# Presidenc%. +/18. Jr. EDie @un$frau von "r#eansF Schlesinger. +/4+. 1. 0/. Sagan. In a memorandum entitled The Po#itics of 78<= allegedly #re#ared y !lar6 !lifford for (resident Truman. C.or6.or6. C. S. $arGA#r +//H. $. B. (hiloso#hical Ci rary= -e9 . On eing sane in insane #laces. 14. On the generality of the la9s of learning. Ps%cho#o$ica# Revie(. Bein$ and Nothin$ness. In An&iet% and Behavior edited y !. ". Sam urs6y. Dandom %ouse= -e9 . P382P+4. !. +/+3. A 1a% of Bein$. K)#erimental studies of #ro<ection' I. +/P1. +//P. D. +//*. $A. %ar#er V Do9= -e9 .s Anti2Bay Dule Is !ostly. +/08. %oughton $ifflin= Boston. +/80. Science. $A. Dyan. Attri ution of traits. Doutledge V Jegan (aul= Condon.or6. !ited in -an$ua$e in 0u#ture and Societ%6 A Reader in -in$uistics and Anthropo#o$% edited y ". 22222.

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