They say of President Bush, like they say of many political leaders, that he is able to “make his own weather.” We then believe that America’s stupidity is characterized by a kind of stubborn myopia— the refusal to see a broader field of information available for problem solving. Surely there are forms of stupidity that are slow, dim-witted and resolute in this way. Yet often neither a single fixed belief nor a single lie is sufficient to generate stupidity.
Indeed, some of the truly spectacular forms of stupidity rely on intelligence to maintain their power. They oscillate between a resolute belief that wishes to deny information and a remarkable shrewdness in gathering information. George Bush continues to stay “on message,” repeating the same information over and over, but behind the scenes and enormous intelligence must continue to track and reset the naturally errant facts of the world to align with this stupid reality. A remarkable agility is deployed in the service of rigidity. Regimes of power at once diversify their sources and contacts while consolidating and closing ranks, extending and tightening their territory.
This information paradox wherein an enormous amount of information is required to remain information poor is "special stupidity"—a common tool of power.