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Is knowing the difference between malice and incompetence an inherent aptitude, or is it learned? Have you lived through a government both malicious ans incompetent, that made you think you could no longer or never know the difference between incompetence and malice?

@ChristinaO I prefer to go with Ian Fleming's formulation (though he probably stole it from somebody smarter):

- Once is happenstance.
- Twice is coincidence.
- Three times is enemy action.

If somebody fucks you over once, maybe it's an honest mistake.

If they fuck you over twice, then maybe they're trying to do better but don't quite get it yet.

But if they keep fucking you over, then does it really matter whether it's incompetence, indifference, or outright malice?

@ChristinaO I hope this question wasn't provoked by what I think it might have been provoked by... :(

@solderpunk 23 years of living 200 km south of where i am now? Or just the last 3 years? it's easier to tell the difference up here -- it's incompetence.

@ChristinaO Willful incompetence in governance is indistinguishable from malice. Both are morally culpable.

@ChristinaO Appreciating malice or incompetence in any given situation heavily depends on the context and the available information, so I don't think it can be an inherent aptitude. The current US government is notoriously both malicious towards anyone who isn't a rich white man, and incompetent in foreign affairs and national crisis management.
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