The Best Article Every Day publie un flo­ri­lège de pré­dic­tions péremp­toires qui démontrent, s’il le fal­lait encore, que la vision d’un lea­der est moins impor­tante que sa capa­cité à mobi­li­ser les foules. Petite sélec­tion de mise en bouche :

« We will bury you. »
Nikita Kru­sh­chev, Soviet Pre­mier, pre­dic­ting Soviet com­mu­nism will win over U.S. capi­ta­lism, 1958.

« Eve­ry­thing that can be inven­ted has been inven­ted. »
Charles H. Duell, an offi­cial at the US patent office, 1899.

« It will be gone by June. »
Variety, pas­sing jud­ge­ment on rock ‘n roll in 1955.

« This anti­trust thing will blow over. »
Bill Gates, foun­der of Micro­soft.

« It will be years – not in my time – before a woman will become Prime Minis­ter. »
Mar­ga­ret That­cher, future Prime Minis­ter, Octo­ber 26th, 1969.

« Read my lips : NO NEW TAXES. »
George Bush, 1988.

« That virus is a pus­sy­cat. »
Dr. Peter Dues­berg, molecular‐biology pro­fes­sor at U.C. Ber­ke­ley, on HIV, 1988.

« Sen­sible and res­pon­sible women do not want to vote. »
Gro­ver Cle­ve­land, U.S. Pre­sident, 1905.

« That the auto­mo­bile has prac­ti­cally rea­ched the limit of its deve­lop­ment is sug­ges­ted by the fact that during the past year no impro­ve­ments of a radi­cal nature have been intro­du­ced. »
Scien­ti­fic Ame­ri­can, Jan. 2 edi­tion, 1909.

« Heavier‐than‐air flying machines are impos­sible. »
Lord Kel­vin, Bri­tish mathe­ma­ti­cian and phy­si­cist, pre­sident of the Bri­tish Royal Society, 1895.

« Radio has no future. »
Lord Kel­vin, Scot­tish mathe­ma­ti­cian and phy­si­cist, for­mer pre­sident of the Royal Society, 1897.

« Nuclear‐powered vacuum clea­ners will pro­ba­bly be a rea­lity in 10 years. »
Alex Lewyt, pre­sident of vacuum clea­ner com­pany Lewyt Corp., in the New York Times in 1955.

« Ato­mic energy might be as good as our present‐day explo­sives, but it is unli­kely to pro­duce any­thing very much more dan­ge­rous. »
Wins­ton Chur­chill, Bri­tish Prime Minis­ter, 1939.

« It’s a great inven­tion but who would want to use it any­way ? »
Ruther­ford B. Hayes, U.S. Pre­sident, after a demons­tra­tion of Alexan­der Bell’s tele­phone, 1876.

« X‐rays will prove to be a hoax. »
Lord Kel­vin, Pre­sident of the Royal Society, 1883.

« The pho­no­graph has no com­mer­cial value at all. »
Tho­mas Edi­son, Ame­ri­can inven­tor, 1880s.

[source]

Alain Van Kerck­ho­ven