The Age of Stupidity: From Johnson and Biden to Putin and Xi Jinping

Source: CounterPunch
by Patrick Cockburn

“The role of stupidity in determining the course of history is often underestimated by historians. They neglect it as too crude and shallow a factor to be the cause of crucial events, preferring to unearth more sophisticated and intellectually respectable explanations. Calling a leader ;a fool; may be pervasive as abuse, but is seldom accepted as the underlying reason for a calamitous decision. This is surely a mistake. ‘Never lose your sense of the superficial,’ said the newspaper publisher Lord Northcliffe and his advice applies as much to historic trends as it does to daily news. Yet pundits like to feel that they are digging deeper than a personal failing, and seldom focus on plain and simple stupidity as the reason why leaders make unforced errors.” (06/21/22)