KEO’S PRAISE OF IDIOCY

Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.  John Stuart Mill

Since the majority of people are not stupid most conservatives have always being against truly representative democracy.  However, idiocy per se is not is not the subject of this article. This is only non-scholarly, rambling, probably idiotic,  gossiping about the word idiocy.

About 500 years ago one guy who was anything but stupid or conservative.  Erasmus, published a bestseller that has been translated into English as “The Praise of Folly” although perhaps the title should have been         “The Praise of Idiocy.”

It is a delightful book that evidences the author’s cleverness:  he did not die at the stake because of what he said in that book and in many of his other writings despite being hated equally by Protestants and Catholics who at the time were happily burning to death people for saying the sort of things that he was very vocal about.

The title in Latin was Moriae Encomium, a pun about the name of his good friend Thomas More, since “moros” means stupid in Greek which is the origin of our word moron and several derived from it. The word morose and related terms such as morosity come from the word morosus which in Latin means hard to please.  Now in English morose means having a sullen and gloomy disposition, not being friendly. Therefore if you get a note from a junior high school teacher that your teenager is sometimes a bit morose it does not mean that the kid is acting stupid but that he is a true adolescent

.Although in English moriae always has been rendered as folly, another version of the title by Erasmus himself was, Stultitia Laus which clearly translate as Praise of Idiocy. Only an idiot would give opinions about translations from Greek and Latin despite knowing neither language at all, as I do not, but that is my peculiar nature which is the meaning of idiotes,  a noun that comes from idios which became idiotikos  in Greek and later idioticus in Latin.  In either language that term refers to a layperson, unprofessional,  unskilled;  an ignoramus.  All those adjectives apply to me and to every human being in diverse degrees about multiple disciplines. Like everybody I have lots of idios: I have my idiosyncrasies.  I often use non-idiomatic English and suffered at least  once an idiopatic condition.

Finally, regarding that quote from John Stuart Mill, although I am ultra-liberal that does not make me intelligent but I am a happy person like this Taoistic phrase expresses:

There is the wisdom of the foolish, the subtleity of stupidity  or as Laotse said:

Blessed are the idiots for they are the happiest people on earth.

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