The last word

Wooden-headedness, the source of self-deception, is a factor that plays a remarkably large role in government. It consists in assessing a situation in terms of preconceived, fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting any contrary signs. It is acting according to a wish whle not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts. It is epitomized in a historian’s statement about Philip II of Spain, the surpassing woodenhead of all sovereigns: “No experience of the failure of his policy would shake his belief in its essential excellence”.

From: The March of Folly — from Troy to Vietnam by Barbara W. Tuchman.

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