Saturday, May 20, 2006

On Stupidity

I think things and people are stupid. That is probably pretty clear by now. But there are subtleties associated with it that are probably not. People who disagree with me are not, just because of that, stupid. They are wrong, but not necessarily stupid. Stupid people are not the ones who disagree with me, they are the ones who have no real reason for thinking whatever they do (about an issue...whatever), whether or not they agree with me. Let's take an example: the estate tax.

The estate tax is a tax for very rich people and it's purpose is to, somewhat, prevent the perpetuation of wealth that leads to a practical aristocracy. We now look at two people who support its permanent repeal. The first is a disgustingly wealthy CEO. He has nearly one hundred million dollars in assets and he wants his children to never have to work or be productive members of society. The second is a middle class working father who makes around $35k and lives paycheck to paycheck. He doesn't trust the government, and when he heard about the "death tax" he became angry. When he heard other politicians try and justify it by saying "estate tax" and claiming it didn't affect him, he progressed to irate. He votes republican and wants to see the "death tax" eliminated because people shouldn't be taxed for dying.

They are both wrong, but only the second fellow is stupid--and very much so. The CEO, while wrong is not necessarily stupid. He is viscious greedy.

I hope this has clarified: disagreeing with me makes you wrong, not stupid. Stupidity comes from someplace much deeper and will present itself with every one of your opinions whether or not they are the right ones.

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