Saturday, June 10, 2017

Stupidity is a Dangerous Enemy

Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one's prejudgment simply need not be believed--in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical--and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for when dealing with a stupid person than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous. 

-Dieter Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison


Anonymous said...

Hello-- I came across your poem, Hive, and it really resonated with me. I am a poet, and I've been playing with line breaks, punctuation and pacing. Your piece showed what end stopping a line can slow down the pacing to a lovely crawl. I was so intrigued that I tried the technique and will be including the poem in a submission this fall. Just wanted to say that "Hive" taught me something, and that I am so to have not only read it, but to have studied it for cause and effect far beyond the lovely assonance and euphony of the piece. Cheers. Cyndi MacMillan

SarahJane said...

Very kind of you to say - thanks.

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