The Power of Stupidity

El poder de la estupidez
the book in Spanish

Giancarlo Livraghi – June 2010

It was a pleasant surprise, in September 2009, when a major Spanish publisher unexpectedly decided to translate The Power of Stupidity. It took nine months (the procedures of big organizations are often slow and cumbersome) but now the baby is born: El poder de la estupidez has been published in June, 2010.


This is the beginning of a new adventure, another episode in a story that started in 1996, when I had published online, in English, my first observations on the power of stupidity. (For more details on what happened, when, how and why, see the introduction to the English edition.)

It’s almost exactly fourteen years, counting from June 1996 to June 2010. But the beginning was much earlier. I was a child when I started worrying about my own stupidity (and also of other people, including grownups.) Ever since I have been concerned with its destructive power – and looking for ways of avoiding, or at least reducing, its awful effects.

Interestingly, this new development is the repetition of a cycle, because (that, as well, was quite unexpected – and a pleasant surprise) my original articles were translated into Spanish in 1998.

Editorial crítica (Barcelona) is one of the best qualified and most respected publishers in Spanish. Well known for carefully chosen studies on history, society and culture, especially in its Ares y Mares collection. I am particularly grateful to its bright managing editor, Carmen Esteban, for her decision to publish my book in that interesting environment.

This is a pretty big development. There is a very large number of readers in Spanish (including, of course, Latin America and the United States.) And it’s always an interesting experience to read what I had written, as interpreted by a good translator. It’s almost like reading it for the first time, as something written by someone else. And that is more food for thought.

What will be the outcome? I am sure that I shall learn from the experience, in months and years to come. It will be encouraging if I shall receive again (as it has been so far) honest agreement, intelligent questions and suggestions for further development.

And especially if also new readers (after the unavoidable initial distress in understanding the magnitude of the problem) will be pleasantly encouraged by understanding how the power of stupidity can be, to some extent, brought under control.

Fighting it isn’t easy, but it’s possible. And that can be, as well a heartening, quite amusing.

(Also in Italian)

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