Book Summaries

Chapter 9: Macro Analysis and the Fifth Basic Law (The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity)

Law 5: A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person. The corollary of the Law is that ‘A stupid person is more dangerous than a bandit.’

Carlo Cipolla, The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity

The perfect bandit incurs a plus on his account equivalent to the minus caused to the other person. Society is neither better nor worse off.

When stupid people are at work, the story is different. Stupid people harm others for no gain. Society is worse off.

In a developing society, the number of stupid people is not lower than that of a declining society. The difference is, in a declining society, the stupid members of the society are allowed to become more active and take more actions.

In a country which is moving downhill, there is the same proportion of stupid people but among those in power, we see an alarming prevalence of bandits with overtones of stupidity. Among the general population, there is an equal growth in the number of helpless individuals.

Such change in the composition of the non-stupid population inevitably strengthens the destructive power of the o fraction and makes decline a certainty. And the country goes to Hell.

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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