Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mill on Stupidity

Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.
~ John Stuart Mill, 19th century British Philosopher ~
Needless to say, this tends to be viewed as a controversial statement. Some would even call it crass!!

At the risk of appearing a bit impolite and politically incorrect, I am here to defend the sentiment.

If we take a quick gander at the word, stupid, we find the following:
adj. stu·pid·er, stu·pid·est
1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless: a stupid mistake.
4. Dazed, stunned, or stupefied.
5. Pointless; worthless: a stupid job.
A stupid or foolish person.
The ability to imagine what is not takes a degree of insight, foresight and wisdom. If a person is lacking in these three qualities plus they have difficulty comprehending the present situation (e.g., teabaggers), the individual will most likely contain their thinking to the past -- that time when procedures, customs and explanations already have been established.

We can see this dynamic at work in the US. Conservatives, by and large, want to return to the "good 'ol days" when women didn't work, there was no minimum wage and fundamentalist Christianity held a much tighter grip on this nation.

How many mystics do you know who you would label conservative? Mysticism, by its very nature, is about expanding boundaries and creating new ways of understanding age old questions. It is about looking forward -- sometimes so far forward that it's off the charts -- not in looking backward to the past.

So, I tend to agree with Mill in a non-pejorative manner.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want.