Stupid and Smart Evil

Some years ago,
I had a debate with one of my friends
About who was the bigger threat,
Someone who is evil and stupid
Or someone who's evil and smart.
He took the stance that evil and stupid is worse.
I sided with evil and smart.

After 9/11, I think the answer is plain…
They're both pretty bad.
Both have their place in the
"Army of Darkness".
The stupid ones have their brute rage and vast numbers.
The smart ones have their cunning and organizational skills.

Without the stupid ones, the smart ones (usually)
Lack hands and fists.
They might make inflammatory speeches and pamphlets,
But without the muscle, they have to go do the deeds themselves
And maybe get themselves killed
Which depletes the (relatively) short supply of smart, evil people.
No, it's better if they can find a horde of stupid,
Evil people to do their dirty-work.
They can hide behind respectable faces and occupations,
And cajole, bribe, and indoctrinate the brutal and ignorant
To blow themselves up for the cause.
The cause can be God or the nation-state
Or whatever the fuck people think is so important that it's
Worth dying for.
The smart evil person just needs to make the connection
Between his sordid little power-schemes
And that great mythical ideal.
Then they can claim all the glory,
Live with their harem of nine wives and eat caviar
While their pawns are out making fine carnage.

As for the stupid evil people…
Without the smart evil people, they'd never get very far.
They might shoot a few people like
The sniper in the clock-tower at Austin,
Or that asshole they finally caught in D.C.,
But like Neanderthals,
They never quite make it to the wheel and chariot.

Killing on a truly epic scale takes brains and forethought
(At least until some mad mullah has access to nukes.)
Someone's got to raise the money,
Do the research,
Formulate the plans,
Provide security to keep the authorities in the dark.
That takes at least an ounce of brains.

So, there it is…
The stupid and smart evil people need each other,
The way muscles and brains need each other
For the organism they're in to pass its genes on to posterity.

If you want to kill an animal, it's better (more merciful even)
To shoot it in the head or sever its spine.
In fact, there would probably be less decidedly evil
Stupid people if we took out the smart ones.

But make no mistake, stupid or smart,
There will always be evil people.
They don't start out evil, but they learn pretty quickly.
We may hope to banish all disparities of class, status, and so on,
But it's a moon-shot hope and goes against our grain.
As long as Jake finds some reason to be P/O-ed at John
We'll have evil in the world.
The best we can do is to neutralize the worst offenders.

George Chadderdon © 2002