Fiction abounds in criminal masterminds like Dr. Fu Manchu, Professor James Moriarity, Lord Reesh, et al. What they all have in common is, they’re smart. That’s why it takes someone like Sherlock Holmes to stop them.
We, poor devils, live in a real world dominated by stupid masterminds. Their schemes are too stupid to succeed, but they do just as much harm, maybe even more, than Moriarity and Co.
Our masterminds think socialism really works, there are 57 states in the United States, society is better off without marriage and the family, you can spend your way out of debt, and so on. Even the people we think are really smart are really stupid. Hundreds of Nobel Prize winners have signed on to the Humanist Manifesto II–a document that recommends a mix of atheism, abortion, suicide, and homosexuality as the solution to the world’s problems.
If you wrote a fantasy novel or a detective novel featuring the machinations of a really stupid mastermind, it would be classed as unimaginative fiction. People would think you were trying to write a Democrat Party platform. “Duh! How about we tax the pants off people who work, and give the money to people who don’t work? That ought to get the economy humming!” There are real-life stupid masterminds working on that very scheme even as you read this. And others just as addled.
Go ahead, try it yourself–try to write a story in which the villain is a big stupid idiot whose asinine ideas can’t possibly result in anything but chaos and misery.
You’ll find you’re writing about real life.