A Must See Historical Perspective On What Is Happening Now.

I stumbled on this video about a W.W.II era person, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who came to the conclusion that the insanity he was confronting was not from evil to be corrected, but from what I’ve called “The Incredible Power Of Stupid”. It has more detail in it than I’d reached, and is well worth watching more than once and taking notes.

The basic premise is that a minority of Evil Bastards can lead a Mob Of Stupid that is very difficult to deflect. Matching what we have seen.

Tell me if any of these “snippets” from the video sound familiar:

“During a time when excited mobs throw stones through the windows of innocent shop owners”

Wondering how his country had been turned into a “collective of cowards, crooks, and criminals”.

Stupidity is more dangerous than malice as “one may protest against evil, it can be exposed and prevented by the use of force, but against stupidity we are defenseless”.

“Facts that contradict a stupid person’s prejudgment simply need not be believed”…”in all this a stupid person, is self satisfied, and being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack”

He goes on to make the point that “stupidity” is not an intellectual defect, but a moral one. I’d point out that “sloth”, one of the deadly sins, is rampant in stupidity where the work to find the truth is just not done.

At about 2:30 they make the point that folks living in solitude are less prone to stupidity, while those in groups often do. Indulging in “group think”. So I ask: is it any surprise that “Social Media” seems to breed a spectacular level of Stupidity? The “mob mentality” writ large and electronically… Where reason and thinking are blocked by 140 char and where rudeness, emotion, and snark reign supreme.

Speaking of Stupid Persons under the thrall of a group, they state “In conversations with him, one feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him.”

Shades of Antifa, BLM, etc. I’d also point out those groups train their folks to ignore what others say and to know the slogans to parrot. Folks willingly trained to be stupid.

It is almost as though it is the same playbook of the National Socialists being run again, and with NGOs and such organizations “training the mob to be stupid”. (Rather like Sociology and any “FOO Studies” classes in our Universities…/snark;)

If find it fascinating that the necessary conclusion is that somehow the Stupid Person must have returned to them their inner independence to free them from the indoctrination. No wonder so much effort is going into removing independent choice and free will. Crushing the Free Thinker with Doxing, Banning, and Censoring. That whole “cancel culture” crap.

It echos the observation by Charles Mackay that:

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer argued that stupid people are more dangerous than evil ones. This is because while we can protest against or fight evil people, against stupid ones we are defenseless — reasons fall on death ears. Bonhoeffer’s famous text, which we slightly edited for this video, serves any free society as a warning of what can happen when certain people gain too much power. #stupidity #sprouts


Dietrich Bonhoeffer […]
4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. His writings on Christianity’s role in the secular world have become widely influential, and his book The Cost of Discipleship is described as a modern classic.

Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer was known for his staunch resistance to the Nazi dictatorship, including vocal opposition to Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison for one and a half years. Later, he was transferred to Flossenbürg concentration camp.

After being accused of being associated with the 20 July plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, he was quickly tried along with other accused plotters, including former members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office), and then hanged on 9 April 1945 as the Nazi regime was collapsing.

Further down, the wiki fleshes out his role as an underground agent and to some extent, mole in the German intelligence service.

He had an influence on several churches and that seems to be a big part of his legacy.

[photo left out -E.M.Smith]
Gallery of 20th Century Martyrs at Westminster Abbey. From left, Mother Elizabeth of Russia, Martin Luther King Jr., Óscar Romero and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Bonhoeffer’s life as a pastor and theologian of great intellect and spirituality who lived as he preached – and his being killed because of his opposition to National Socialism – exerted great influence and inspiration for Christians across broad denominations and ideologies, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and the anti-communist democratic movement in Eastern Europe during the Cold War.

Bonhoeffer is commemorated in the liturgical calendars of several Christian denominations on the anniversary of his death, 9 April. This includes many parts of the Anglican Communion, where he is sometimes identified as a martyr, and other times not. His commemoration in the liturgical calendar of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America uses the liturgical color of white, which is typically used for non-martyred saints. In 2008, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church, which does not enumerate saints, officially recognized Bonhoeffer as a “modern-day martyr.” He was the first martyr to be so recognized who lived after the Reformation, and is one of only two as of 2017.

Dietrich is remembered in the Church of England with a commemoration on 9 April.

The Deutsche Evangelische Kirche in Sydenham, London, at which he preached between 1933 and 1935, was destroyed by bombing in 1944. A replacement church was built in 1958 and named Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Kirche in his honor.

Among many books cited, this one is, I think, the one referenced by the video:

Letters and Papers from Prison. Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Volume 8. Dietrich Bonhoeffer; John W. de Gruchy, Editor; Translated by Isabel Best; Lisa E. Dahill; Reinhard Krauss; Nancy Lukens. This splendid volume, in many ways the capstone of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, is the first unabridged collection of Bonhoeffer’s 1943–1945 prison letters and theological writings. Here are over 200 documents that include extensive correspondence with his family and Eberhard Bethge (much of it in English for the first time), as well as his theological notes, and his prison poems. The volume offers an illuminating introduction by editor John de Gruchy and an historical Afterword by the editors of the original German volume: Christian Gremmels, Eberhard Bethge, and Renate Bethge. Hardcover, 800 pp: ISBN 978-0-8006-9703-7.

I suspect a stroll through his meditations and writings would illuminate our time rather helpfully.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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5 Responses to A Must See Historical Perspective On What Is Happening Now.

  1. John S Howard Jr says:

    It is difficult to believe anything that the federal government puts out. Take for example global warming, an excuse to spend billions of dollars. All the while convieniently ignoing the fact that according to NASA, we have entered the “modern solar minimum”. There should be a natural cooling of the earth for which the left and the globalist will pound their chests and take credit… but, perhaps I am being stupid.

  2. cdquarles says:

    Indeed. We are seeing the early 20th century repeated in a 21st century guise. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it (though not exactly).

  3. The True Nolan says:

    @cdquarles “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it ”

    And those who DO learn from history are doomed to be burned out of their homes for attempting to warn the idiots what happened the last time. It seems that no one is so self confidant as a yahoo who has discovered the same old, well trodden path to Hell.

  4. John Robertson says:

    Invest in base metals.
    Dry goods and good relationships with other productive persons.
    Stupid is.

    This is worth reading ” The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity: The International Bestseller: Cipolla, Carlo M.”

Comments are closed.