In the blue corner, Hanlon’s Razor:
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Its variants are attributed to Napoleon and found in Goethe’s “Sorrows of Young Werther“.
In the red corner, weighing in 850 pounds, is a quote by James Forrestal, as reported by Joseph McCarthy:
consistency has never been a mark of stupidity. If they were merely stupid, they would occasionally make a mistake in our favor.
Now, I love alternative explanations, parallel theories, discrepancies and mismatches, and all kinds of so-called conspiracy theories, which turn out to be true over time. And it is with deepest regret that I have to face the context of this quote.
An alcoholic, psychopathic, witch-hunting Senator relays the words allegedly said to him by the psychopathic, control-freak Secretary of the Navy. In the year 1946. The US was the only real winner of the freshly-ended World War II. The only country with nuclear weapon. The owner of the world. These two guys were the power that ran the world.
My goodness, what ELSE did they want? What was LACKING in their lives, from their humble points of view? What PROJECTS were they dreaming about? I guess even Orwell couldn’t have imagined.
- If the evil “they” prevented Forrestal from bringing his plans to fruition, it means that the evil “they” deliberately acted in our, rank-and-file people’s interest, against Forrestal’s. Couple that with Matthew 12:26—”If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?”—and you will see that the quote is nonsense.
- If the evil “they” never prevented him from anything, then he was even sicker than I thought, which not only proves Hanlon’s Razor, but also serves as an illustration of Dunning–Kruger effect.
All in all, I believe that Hanlon’s Razor is a cleaner, simpler, cheaper rule for the world to be built upon. Forrestal’s quote has “intellectual scheming” written all over it, and is a bloated, extravagant mess that the entire Universe must work to maintain. Only a human being can come up with such convoluted “solution”, and the world is, fortunately, not engineered by human beings.