Necessary Illusions

Reinhold Niebuhr

Reinhold Niebuhr

“Rationalism belongs to the cool observer. But because of the stupidity of the average person, they follow not reason, but faith. This naive faith, requires necessary illusions and emotionally potent oversimplifications, which are provided by the myth maker to keep the ordinary person on course.”

– Reinhold Niebuhr, American theologian, explaining that, unlike conservative intellectuals, the average person is too childlike and stupid to know what’s good for them, that the maintenance of democratic institutions requires ideological and religious manipulation and that that’s okay because it’s for our own good.


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