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Stupidity

  • Ever since time began the world has seemed stupid to those who aren't stupid themselves. It was to avoid that annoyance that I became stupid myself, as fast as ever I could. Sheer egoism, no doubt.

    • George Sand,
    • 1874, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • The difference between genius and stupidity is that even genius has its limits.

  • Have patience with the quarrelsomeness of the stupid. It is not easy to comprehend that one does not comprehend.

  • One cannot overestimate the power of a good rancorous hatred on the part of the stupid. The stupid have so much more industry and energy to expend on hating. They build it up like coral insects.

  • There is only one force stronger than selfishness, and that is stupidity.

  • Intelligence is not necessarily a good thing, something to value or cultivate. It's more like a fifth wheel — necessary or desirable when things break down. When things go well, it's better to be stupid ... Stupidity is as much a value as intelligence.

    • Susan Sontag,
    • 1965, in David Rieff, ed., As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh ()
  • One of the frightening things about our time is the number of people who think it is a form of intellectual audacity to be stupid. A whole generation seems to be taking on an easy distrust of thought.

  • Among many reasons for being stupid it may be urged, it is being like other people, and living like one's neighbours, and indeed without it, it may be difficult to love some neighbours as oneself: now seeing the necessity of being dull, you won't, I hope, take it amiss that you find me so ...

  • When I die my death will be caused by indignation at the stupidity of human nature ...

    • Marie Bashkirtseff,
    • 1877 , in Mary J. Serrano, trans., The Journal of a Young Artist ()
  • Anybody who is stupid enough often stumbles on an effect that could never be thought up by the most brilliant. I suspect that there is a thing which you might call the genius of stupidity.

  • Maybe people have become so stupid as a result of having too many machines / The company we keep.

    • Chrystos,
    • "No Rock Scorns Me as Whore," in Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, eds., This Bridge Called My Back ()
  • Stupidity always accompanies evil. Or evil, stupidity.

    • Louise Bogan,
    • c. 1935, in Ruth Limmer, ed., Journey Around My Room ()
  • Ignorance is temporary. Stupidity, unfortunately, is permanent.

  • I am patient with stupidity, but not with those who are proud of it.

    • Edith Sitwell,
    • in Elizabeth Salter, The Last Years of a Rebel ()
  • There is nothing in the world so dangerous, or so overwhelming as stupidity; perhaps there is no more of it now than there has been at any time, but I do not think the witless of past generations had so much power. The powers of darkness are the powers of misdirected knowledge.

  • 'You don't know what we want,' said Troth in that tone of cunning triumph a stupid man uses when he thinks he has got the better of an adversary.

  • Too many of our countrymen rejoice in stupidity, look upon ignorance as a badge of honor. They condemn everything they don't understand.

  • ... standing a few yards away were the toughest, most unshaven, worst looking pair of hoodlums in the room. ... These types looked as if when you said 'Hello' to them, they'd be stuck for an answer.

  • One is not stupid if one thinks one has no intelligence. A fool would never realize that.

  • ... stupidity is the same as evil if you judge by the results ...

  • Even idiots occasionally speak the truth accidentally.

  • The troublesome ones in a family are usually either the wits or the idiots.