Skip to comments.The Problem With Intellectuals
Posted on 02/21/2012 2:07:45 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
...So all in all, what choice do we have other than to go after the one individual whose horrible vulnerability Orwell pointed out? The one individual upon whom the entire Left-Wing Liberal movement depends, and must depend for its galvanic power -- the liberal intellectual?
And what is an intellectual?
Well, the dictionary definition is one thing, but what we commonly mean by the term isn't a Ph.D. in physics. And neither do we so call those highly educated in such disciplines such as engineering, math, chemistry, quantum mechanics, metallurgy, and medicine intellectuals. Instead, we usually hang the label on those really, really smart people who pursue advanced degrees in social work. Or, for that matter, art history, leftist helpless economics, women's studies, community studies, and education (I'm leaving a lot out here). Although it should be pointed out that David Mamet throws the net much wider with his "increasingly affluent and confused" definition, and "confused" is often a dead giveaway. However, with Jean-Paul Sartre, the famous French intellectual, once describing human history as "a long and arduous road which led to me," perhaps confusion accompanied by an exorbitant sense of self-importance might be a better rule of thumb.
Be that all as it may, almost the first thing we learn about intellectuals when we examine them a bit more closely is that they are not historically important. They didn't for example fight the American Revolution or write the Constitution. They also had little or maybe nothing at all to do with the Industrial Revolution or with English Common Law (except recently in its corruption). Left-Wing Liberal intellectuals didn't write Shakespeare, paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, or teach us how to can peas....
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
Progressive Narcissism .................................................."And that is why they hate conservatives. They hate you because you are killers of their dream. You are defenders of a Constitution that thwarts their cause. They hate you because your reactionary commitment to individual rights, to a single standard and to a neutral and limited state obstructs their progressive designs. They hate you because you are believers in property and its rights as the cornerstones of prosperity and human freedom; because you do not see the market economy as a mere instrument for acquiring personal wealth and stocking political war chests, but as both means and end.
Conservatives who think progressives are misinformed idealists will always be blind-sided by the sheer malice of the left -- by the cynicism of those who pride themselves on their principles; by the viciousness of those who champion sensitivity; by the intolerance of those who call themselves liberal; and by the ruthless disregard for the well-being of the poor on the part of those who preen themselves as their champions.
Conservatives are surprised because they see progressives as merely misguided, when they are, in fact, morally and ontologically -- misdirected. They are the messianists of a false religious faith. Since the redeemed future that justifies their existence and rationalizes their hypocrisy can never be realized, what really motivates progressives is a modern idolatry: their limitless passion for the continuance of Them."
Thomas Sowell..a conservative intellectual
It has become clear that the GOP-E is now infected with intellectuals (described so well in this column) who feel it’s their right and their place, as our betters, to install “Mitt Romneys” as our leaders.
Newt Battles Mush From the Wimps ..........As it happens, Ronald Reagan himself -- but of course -- long ago addressed just this issue. On December 16, 1976, barely over a month after Gerald Ford rang up yet another loss by a moderate Republican presidential candidate, Reagan -- not happy -- was interviewed by the New York Times. Said Reagan:
"We are simply saying, 'What does our party stand for?' If the great majority agrees with the philosophy, and some say it's a philosophy they can't go along with, that's a decision for every individual to make. A political party is not a fraternal order. A party is something where people are bound by a shared philosophy."
Reagan's message was plain. It was the same as it was when he said this at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 1975: "And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way." So what do we have here?
The very same problem Thomas E. Dewey was discussing 63 years ago and that Gerald Ford was talking about 32 years ago. The difference is that neither man, running on an Establishment GOP platform, ever won the presidency.
Ronald Reagan, running flat out as a conservative, won it twice. In two landslides that changed America and changed world history.
The attacks on Newt Gingrich by the Establishment Romneyites are not about Newt Gingrich at all. They are attacks on conservatives. By the Republican Party Establishment.
Or, as the saying might go after all these years: still more mush from the wimps.".....
Outstanding article. Thanks for posting.
Well golly gee. I’m not sure men would know how to live without the intellectuals telling us what to do.
It’s a great article.
Bastiat also said it well. Start here for his discussion on socialists. It is excellent:
The Influence of Socialist Writers
The Socialists Wish to Play God
The Socialists Despise Mankind
Bump for later. Thanks!
“They hate you because you are killers of their dream. You are defenders of a Constitution that thwarts their cause. They hate you because your reactionary commitment to individual rights, to a single standard and to a neutral and limited state obstructs their progressive designs. They hate you because you are believers in property and its rights as the cornerstones of prosperity and human freedom; because you do not see the market economy as a mere instrument for acquiring personal wealth and stocking political war chests, but as both means and end.”
Because I was talking to another person about why I hope Obama doesn’t get re-elected, an early 20-something petite female-of-color (Mexican) bartender wearing one of those Castro-style revolutionary hats walked past and said to me “Don’t hate, participate”. So I said back to her, “Forget that and get me another beer, okay?”, which she did and it was obvious that she was none too happy about it.
HOW'S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY THING WORKING FOR YOU?
Socialism is the product of two things, ego and envy.
Marx, for the slothful idiot that he was, had a huge ego - as do most of ‘societal transformation’ types of intellectuals. At the top of any social movement that promises to ‘transform’ society are always small groups of narcissistic people who have decided that politics and/or social activism is their best path to personal greatness and becoming ‘special’. The ego part is almost always the driving force, with few exceptions.
The envy part is what gives the egoists at the top their power. Envy is what they tap into when they say things like ‘pay their fair share’, or ‘health care is a right’. Envy gave us the Cultural Revolution in China, probably contributed significantly to the Kristallnacht in Germany, helped Hugo Chavez to power, and is polarizing American politics.
What’s the solution? I certainly don’t know, but I really wish that someone had punched Marx in the face when he threatened ‘I will annihilate you’.
LOL Good one
They all think that some fancy education is a replacement for common sense and real intelligence. Education teaches someone a skill, it doesn’t make that person smart. That’s what they don’t understand.
I’m pretty sure I could argue people in my age group to another galaxy.
Nice exposition of the problem. I think the answer starts right here with education about our heritage of liberty as offered up by the founders. I had what would pass for a good education but it was only after I got on the internet that I started to truly learn about and appreciate this heritage
I had a pretty poor education in high school, but I feel like the real learning began when I was done with it, and got on here. The explosion in my knowledge and ability to process things amazes me.
My definition of “intellectuals.”
Heavy thinkers...little productivity.
All blow and no show.
Intellectually devoid of common sense.
Complete lack of life’s skills.
Professional life-time students.
And the list goes on and on and on.
There is a reason that intellectuals normally can’t be identified in the great inventions of our society and it’s because of their ability to produce absolutely nothing more than heavy thinking.
Another great column today!
..........”The way the system actually works is that experts tell leaders what to think, the leaders tell the lobbyists what to think, the lobbyists tell the advisers, who tell the politicians, and then the politicians get up on stage, beam their brightest smile, and tell us what to think. Compared to the absurdity of this pipeline foisting a disastrous philosophy on the world in the name of saving the planet from humanity, discovering that all the banks were playing with imaginary money is positively benign.
Global Warming is not just a failure of a sizable chunk of the scientific establishment to put theory before ideology, it represents a failure of the entire process by which the West has been governed for a frightening number of years. It is a demonstration of how a handful of people in prominent positions can push through otherwise unacceptable measures by manufacturing a crisis and pipelining it through business and government. Its a hack of our entire system of government.
If you understand the implications of that, then you begin to understand the consequences of it for the progressive technocracy and its mindless elitism that uses opinion leaders to drive actual leaders and has entire agencies dedicated to influencing opinion leaders. If Warmism fails, then it all fails. There will be no mobs in the street or squares filled with protesters, instead the entire infrastructure whose entire purpose is not to look stupid, will suddenly look very stupid.
Stupid leaders might not be too much of a problem in a democracy where people are entitled to elect any idiot they want, but its unacceptable in a technocracy where the leaders may win elections, but mostly they win the consensus of the elites. If the elites and their technocracy no longer amount to anything, then the emperor is naked, and suddenly elections might start mattering again.”
I see you’re a young ‘un from your home page. I was in school at a time before whatever is going on there now was happening. I believe that an undertanding of our heritage had been purposely excised from the common educational experience of Americans going back many years. All rhe better to prep us to hate our country.
“FORT WORTH, Texas Between events in Fort Worth and Dallas Tuesday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry called in to conservative pundit Sean Hannitys radio show, and the host brought up a controversial story published by the online publication Politico this week with the headline “Is Rick Perry Dumb?”
Whats dumb is to oversee an economy that has lost that many millions of jobs ... to downgrade the credit of this country ... to put fiscal policies in place that were a disaster back in the 30s and try them again in 2000s,” Perry said.
Hannity quickly warned that the thought listeners will take away from the interview could be: “Perry calls Obama policies dumb.”
“Are you ready for that headline?” Hannity asked.
“America is ready for leadership,” Perry said.
Perry continued on the intellect theme, explaining why he thinks its a problem that many of Obamas advisers come from academia.
“They have gone to some great schools and they are intellectually smart, but he does not have wise people around him ... He has listened to smart people but nobody who has real wisdom,” Perry said.”
I was born in the middle of Reagan’s Presidency, though I didn’t learn enough to appreciate him until I came here. School history was next to useless as far as I’m concerned. They taught little I was interested in. And that brings me to a new and I think better way to teach children.
I’ll borrow Reagan’s famous description of democrats: The problem with intellectuals is that they know so much that isn’t so.
“And what is an intellectual?”
I frequently refer to them here on FR, and elsewhere, as
“overschooled, undereducated adult children”
They spend too many years of their lives in schools becoming indoctrinated, and not enough time in the real world becoming educated.
I think that is the whole ball of wax in a nutshell on a silver platter. Well said.
Great article. Here’s my definition of an intellectual:
If you can’t change your own tire, you might be an intellectual.
If you couldn’t kill and dress out a deer if your life depended on it, you might be an intellectual.
If you don’t know the difference between a box wrench and a crescent wrench, you might be an intellectual.
Can anyone imagine Obama changing a tire?
Feel free to add to the list.
this reminds me of the tv series “connections” where these intelectuals were dismissed as historically irrelevant.
REAL science makes a difference. Not junk science like sociology. Sociology is for those who are too weak minded for a general studies degree.
if you can’t outrun an angry bear/lion/tiger/carnivore and you instead try and engage in peace negotiations then you are an intelectual....(for the 10 seconds of life you have trying)
the fact is that the left defines intelectual as NOT being able to do any real world practical task. IOW not being “handy” is intelectual. Being a male who is oprahfied to uselessness is intelectual.
for 1984 fans... weakness is strength. ignorance is intelect.
“Marx, for the slothful idiot that he was, had a huge ego - as do most of societal transformation types of intellectuals.”
Very interesting and a very interesting parallel: Lenin fits this description perfectly, if Solzhenitsyn’s take was right. In “Lenin in Zurich” he describes Lenin as a ruthless megalomaniac. Apple didn’t fall far from the tree.