“The average man is what his environment and his superstitions have made him; and their function is to make him an ass. He can’t add up three or four new circumstances together and perceive what they mean; it is beyond him. He is not capable of observing for himself; he has to get everything at second-hand. If what are miscalled the lower animals were as silly as man is, they would all perish from the earth in a year.”
Mark Twain, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg
Edit: I originally posted this quote in May 2016. Looking at this a year on, it may appear that my post was more prescient than intended.