Carlo M. Cipolla

The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity
  • The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity

  • 'A classic' - Simon Kuper, Financial Times

    'This is brilliant' - James O'Brien, author of How to be Right

    The five laws that confirm our worst fears: stupid people can and do rule the world.

    Since time immemorial, a powerful dark force has hindered the growth of human welfare and happiness. It is more powerful than the Mafia or the military. It has global catastrophic effects and can be found anywhere from the world’s most powerful boardrooms to your local pub. This is the immensely powerful force of human stupidity.

    Seeing the shambolic state of human affairs, and sensing the dark force at work behind it, Carlo M. Cipolla, the late, noted professor of economic history at the University of California, Berkeley, created a vitally important economic model that would allow us to detect, know and neutralise this threat: The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity.

    If you've ever found yourself despairing at the ubiquity of stupidity among even the most 'intellectual' of people, then this hilarious, timely and slightly alarming little book is for you. Arm yourself in the face of baffling political realities, unreasonable colleagues or the unbridled misery of dinner with the in-laws with the first and only economic model for stupidity.

Carlo M. Cipolla (1922 - 2000) was an Italian economic historian, Fulbright Fellow and professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Cipolla was elected as a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy in 1989 and awarded the International Balzan Prize for Economic History in 1995. He also held honorary degrees in Italy and Switzerland.