Monday 3 December 2018

Why are bureaucrats so stupid? Evil cannot understand, or create (while it is 'being evil')

There are, of course, plenty of 'evil geniuses' in the sense of people who are (overall) evil while also being creative geniuses; however, I think such people are 'being good' when they make their creative discoveries; because when people are 'being evil' they are incapable of knowing reality, thus incapable of work of genuinely creative genius.

This, indeed, in the normal situation - since we are all a mixture of good and evil; although the proportion does vary widely.

That is, the 'good people' people are aligned with the divine most of the time, and only seldom opposed to God/ Good/ Creation; while evil people are the other way around - and most people are somewhere in the middle.

(It is in exactly this sense that the devil is described as a liar and Father of Lies - for purposively evil beings, dishonesty is not merely strategic or expedient; it is intrinsic - because truth is inadmissible.)

To be a genius, in an ultimate sense, is to be thinking in universal reality; thus to comprehend reality; and the creative aspect is participating in the ongoing work of creation.

This is a model that is useful in explaining a common experience that when people are being-evil, they cannot understand truth - even when it is very simple and obvious.

I have had this experience many times in my life - except that I usually failed to understand the reason why a person could not understand something so clear and simple. I now recognise that their failure to understand was because they were being evil, hence untruthful in a deep and primary way.

I have often seen this among bureaucrats (including academics and doctors performing bureaucratic roles)... I might explain something very straightforward and obvious, some-thing that could be understand easily by almost anyone; yet after a while I recognise that the bureaucrat just doesn't understand the point - and indeed is getting angry, or perpetually changing the subject.*

This is a root cause of how bureaucracy is so deeply and ineradicably stupid; because it is so deeply and intrinsically evil. 

At a psychological level, I think this incomprehension occurs because the evil individual will not allow true thoughts to pass-through his mind. This entails stubbornly and defiantly failing to comprehend, resisting comprehension of, even very simple and clear propositions when they conflict with the prevalent evil.

And of course it blocks even the possibility of creativity - which depends on realism; and is probably one of several causes for the extreme anti-creativity of modern life.

*At this point the bureaucrat may make a reference to the point at issue being 'your opinion' - because they are unable to recognise that it is simply true (i.e. a simple inference from universally accepted premises). Often, this happens because truth is being 'trumped' by an ideology that says this point cannot be true, therefore only someone opposed to the ruling ideology - therefore someone 'evil' - would insist upon the point.  This is the explanation of those many 'hate facts' that have become so important in mainstream culture over the past 50 years: they are instances of truths that cannot be thought by evil minds.


Chiu ChunLing said...

This is where we get into the difficulty with imprecise language.

Stupidity is a particular evil, like weakness, cowardice, incontinence, insanity, etc.

But honest stupidity is entirely different from malevolent obtuseness, which is what you're describing. The malevolently obtuse are those who are not naturally stupid by lack of the intellectual gift in their makeup, but who have chosen to employ their mental capacity towards the end of denying truth rather than seeking it.

This does not mean that such mental capacity is not the gift of God. But it does mean that it is a genuine gift, it is given to them and they are free to use it as they will.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - You need to read the post with more care if you think I am saying that bureaucrats are necessarily malevolently obtuse.