The thing is… I don’t think people are stupid; People think people are stupid.
Obviously they don’t think this explicitly but subconsciously. It is something that is inculcated into them from a young age.
Primary and secondary school (If I remember correctly and I may not) was mainly concerned with learning facts.
Picture the set-up: You are in a class room with a teacher.
Now what is the teacher? The teacher is an authority figure. That is; if you have a question you go to the teacher. This is another way of saying “If you have a question do not go to your classmates.” The implicit reason for which – and because it’s implicit it’s the reason the sub-conscious gets its greasy mitts on it – is that teacher is clever and your class-mates are stupid.
The teacher writes stuff up on the board and hands out text books. Often the teacher is incapable of answering a lot of the questions that he/she is posed. This shows that the source of the facts is so far removed from the child that the teacher becomes almost a priest. She dishes out the facts that are required for passing a test like a priest dishing out sermons from the bible.
The teacher even has a pulpit: the desk behind which she sits.
All this encourages the sit down and shut up because what you have to say is worthless ethic in the children. It is this that has tricked people into thinking they are stupid.
Of course the child grown to adulthood doesn’t think he is stupid! He’s got exam results to prove he isn’t. Nevertheless an exam result is a measurement of obedience and not intelligence!
We all have the capacity to produce valid facts/opinions (I think the only difference between the two is that facts are opinions accepted by many people). The scientific method is open to all. The methods philosophers use to create systems of thought and theories are open to all.
But because of the manner in which most are taught this capacity is hidden from them.
This is of course because you don’t need slaves to ask questions you just need them to be able to operate machinery.