The "stupid" masses

James Rogers (
Tue, 24 Dec 1996 16:46:27 -0800

There has been talk occasionally about the stupidity of the masses on this
list. I would like to submit a point or two regarding the "stupidity of the

A lot of actions that people have deemed to be the "stupidity of the masses"
are usually stupid only in the larger context. If you evaluate the
individual decision of the individual person in the masses, the majority of
people make an intelligent decision most of the time. I believe it is
possible for every individual to make an intelligent decision for
themselves, but when every individual's intelligent decision is summed
together, the net result for the population looks like a stupid decision.

Selfishness is a leading example of this. For most people in most
situations, it is to their benefit to be very selfish. There is nothing
negative about maximizing your own well-being and material possessions.
However, few people are wantonly selfish. The meme has propagated that
although being selfish in a local context may be smart, in the global or
regional context it is a bad decision. In this respect, good decisions in
the larger context, aren't always smart decisions for people on an
individual level and vice versa.

To use the term "stupid masses" is unqualified in virtually any context.

-James Rogers