A Nazi Era Dissident’s Reflections on Stupidity

Seven and a half years of Bharatiya Janata Party rule have left India’s economy in shambles, her social fabric frayed and her standing amongst the community of nations diminished.

And yet, there are many in our housing societies, workplaces, families, and friends’ circles who genuinely believe the exact opposite. One is left wondering how such a thing is even possible.

Seventy-six years ago, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian who opposed the Nazis, wondered something similar. How could a nation that had given the world Gutenberg, Goethe, and Beethoven possibly have embraced a madman like Hitler? Bonhoeffer thought about it long and hard. Was it a deep, hidden malice against the Jews that had finally surfaced, or had ordinary Germans simply fallen prey to Goebbels’s propaganda machinery? Or was it a combination of both?

Imprisoned (and eventually executed) for his opposition to the Third Reich, Bonhoeffer penned his thoughts on the matter in a prison cell. In an essay called On Stupidity, he

— source thewire.in | Rohit Kumar | 12/Nov/2021

Nullius in verba

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