Send this article to a friend:

But Don't Rule Out Malice
Ryan Scott Welch

There is an adage that reads "never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity... but don't rule out malice." This is known as Heinlein's or Hanlon's Razor (there is only a slight difference between the two). Unfortunately many people only go by the first part of Heinlein's Razor, leaving out the "but don't rule out malice" part.

People using this heuristic decision-making shortcut often think that even though some things that people do seem very suspect, and even though mental red flags are going up and instinctive alarms are sounding, that there must be some explanation, other than malice, to explain the actions of people.

This is especially true when the suspicious people are connected to them is some way like family, friends, or even the politicians that they support. Many people using Heinlein's Razor shrug off these suspicious actions as if they were just a mistake, or maybe the actions that people did were the result of "bad luck", or possibly that ignorance can explain why they made those decisions. But I would like to focus on the second part of Heinlein's Razor which of course is: but don't rule out malice.

Sometimes, some people actually act out of malice. Malicious people do exist in the world and always have, as far back as the beginning of recorded human history. It is easily possible that you know, or know of, some malicious people. They could be your acquaintances or friends; they could even be in your family, and yes, they might be one or more of your political leaders. In support of the second part of Heinlein's Razor there's another adage called Occam's razor that says among competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected -- the simpler the explanation, the more likely it is to be true, everything else being equal. If you have to mentally jump through a lot of hoops to explain how someone's motive cannot be malice then Occam's Razor says that the more assumptions you need to make the less likely that your hypothesis is true.

Focusing on politics, and by association politicians, what if the harmful actions that your politicians make can be more logically explained by malice than by stupidity? For example, most politicians are quite intelligent. Most have succeeded in academics at the highest levels in the world. Most have also been very successful in business or professionally besides success in politics. Only the smallest percentage of politicians could actually be described as stupid prior to their being elected. So how is it possible that some of the most successful and intelligent people in the United States can suddenly become stupid the moment they walk in the door of Congress? Or alternatively, how is it possible that these intelligent and successful people suddenly become unlucky? Is there any logical explanation? Isn't it much more likely that the people in congress are just as lucky and intelligent as they were the day before they were elected? And if that is true, how can you explain the "stupid" things that these intelligent and successful politicians do?

I submit that the more likely hypothesis, which is supported by both Heinlein's and Occam's razor, is that these politicians are not at all stupid or unlucky, but they are doing exactly what they want to do and they are getting exactly the result that they hope to achieve. You might think, "I can't believe that my politicians are purposefully destroying/harming (fill in the blank). Well, you are probably right. You can't believe it, but that does not mean it is not true. Much that is true is not believed at first.

If it is true that the destructive decisions that these politicians make are just mistakes or caused by stupidity then many if not most of the decisions made should be good, right? But if most of the decisions made are not good, can stupidity explain that? Even if these politicians were blithering idiots, wouldn't about half of their decisions be right, just from the laws of probability, or rather "dumb-luck"? The fact that most of the decisions made are destructive precludes the stupidity hypothesis by definition. The only logical explanation therefore is that these destructive decisions are willful; they are on purpose, they are by design.

Now of course, if you are both intelligent and you have a malicious agenda, you would not let the people that elected you know of your nefarious designs, at least not those who don't share your agenda, so you would camouflage your intentions by providing some kind of cover. Any excuse that your (for the most part) ignorant and lazy electorate could swallow would do. It does not even have to make sense. You just need an excuse so that the people that elected you can wrap themselves in their delusional cocoon and go comfortably back to sleep.

Two of the major theories why normally logical people with the capacity for reason reject reliable information that wcould cause them to change their opinion about something are cogitative dissonance and confirmation bias. Cogitative dissonance occurs when a person holds two opposing and irreconcilable beliefs or cognitions at the same time, and the resulting state of tension is known as cognitive dissonance. Because this inner dissonance is unpleasant, we are motivated to reduce or eliminate it, and that powerful motivator to maintain cognitive consistency can occasionally give rise to irrational and sometimes maladaptive behavior. This might explain why people cannot accept that people they trust can act in an untrustworthy manner even when they see evidence of malice. The cogitative dissonance that occurs (believing that a person is both trustworthy and untrustworthy) creates a desire to achieve consonance (i.e. agreement) and so people are likely to reinterpret the evidence until it conforms to their preconceived notions. The second major theory is confirmation bias. Confirmation bias occurs when people look for evidence that confirms their preconceived notions, while ignoring evidence that is contrary to their already held beliefs. It can be thought of as a form of selection bias in collecting evidence for ideas that they already hold. These two theories might explain why so many people cannot seem to believe that politicians they support might be acting out of malice and be purposely working to weaken America.

What kind of person would want to do harm to America? Well, besides Islamists there are people that believe that "The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States." That quote is from George Soros, who is using his billions to create a global "open society" (more correctly called a global Marxist police state). But Soros is just one of many who hold the same negative beliefs about America. Soros and many other of his fellow travelers, in all their widely varied flavors (Communists, Stalinists, Fascists, Maoists, and progressives among others) living outside and inside America have been seeking America's destruction so that a utopian society can be formed from its ashes for over 100 years.

These utopianists, more commonly known today as progressives, who have been active in both of our two major political parties, are really just renamed Marxists who seek to weaken America in every possible way in order to hasten its collapse, and some of them have infiltrated our government at the highest levels.

There is enough evidence of malice in American politics to write a book, but for brevity let's just look at the decision to have women serve in every combat specialty in the military. Where did the impetus come from for that change? Who is asking to allow women to serve in combat specialties? Were there marches all over the U.S. with millions of women demanding the right to go into combat? Perhaps there were dozens of scientific papers showing how the military would be stronger and more effective with women serving in combat? Or maybe there was a demand from inside the military ranks to have women serving on the front lines? No, none of these happened? Well, if there was no demand from, well... anyone to have American women serving on the front lines in combat, why did American politicians make a new policy requiring just that, even though it is very unpopular and detrimental to our combat effectiveness? Can this be explained by stupidity or bad luck? Not really. But if there were people in our political class that were seeking to create a "utopia" and they knew that America would have to be destroyed first, they would seek to weaken America in every way possible, including economically, socially, educationally, industrially, morally, fiscally and even militarily. If the goal was the destruction of America, everything these Marxists do makes perfect sense. Otherwise we have to believe that these politicians are just really stupid or unlucky.


Send this article to a friend: