Skip to comments.‘Intellectuals’ (Thomas Sowell)
Posted on 11/10/2008 7:47:23 PM PST by jazusamo
Among the many wonders to be expected from an Obama administration, if Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times is to be believed, is ending "the anti-intellectualism that has long been a strain in American life."
He cited Adlai Stevenson, the suave and debonair governor of Illinois, who twice ran for president against Eisenhower in the 1950s, as an example of an intellectual in politics.
Intellectuals, according to Mr. Kristof, are people who are "interested in ideas and comfortable with complexity," people who "read the classics."
It is hard to know whether to laugh or cry.
Adlai Stevenson was certainly regarded as an intellectual by intellectuals in the 1950s. But, half a century later, facts paint a very different picture.
Historian Michael Beschloss, among others, has noted that Stevenson "could go quite happily for months or years without picking up a book." But Stevenson had the airs of an intellectual the form, rather than the substance.
What is more telling, form was enough to impress the intellectuals, not only then but even now, years after the facts have been revealed, though apparently not to Mr. Kristof.
That is one of many reasons why intellectuals are not taken as seriously by others as they take themselves.
(Excerpt) Read more at jewishworldreview.com ...
Why, why, Lord, could we not have had Thomas Sowell as our first black president? Aside from the fact that he is too smart to subject himself to the scum-sucking media?
Thomas Sowell should be required reading.
Kristof’s article is very funny.
Adlai Stevenson flunked out of Harvard Law (his transcripts were locked up by then Dean Griswold). He graduated from Northwestern, but wasn’t a standout there.
As Sowell says, he wasn’t a great reader, either.
Kristof also refers to Kennedy as an intellectual. Kennedy won a Pulitzer for a book ghostwritten by Ted Sorensen (he’s finally admitted drafting the chapters).
The press really needs to get over this (D)=intellectual theory.
Agreed...Our country would have been the better off for it had he been.
ummm Thomas Sowell, you’re also an intellectual. The right kind :)
anyone who doesn’t read Sowell shouldn’t be president.
More than half a century later, when the archives of the Soviet Union were finally opened up under Mikhail Gorbachev, it turned out that about six million people had died in that famine about the same number as the people killed in Hitler's Holocaust.
Sowell understands intellectual groupthink's dangers: death - - Ignored and denied.
The term “pseudo-intellectual” was popularized in the 1960s, just to describe the self-described, self-appointed “intellectuals” of the period, who were just as naive and lacking both a real education and common sense.
Granted, studying Latin and the “Harvard Classics” are a good way to round out an education, for some. But in no way do they comprise a core study. For the most part, they are trivial or archaic. Good bathroom reading matter, for cocktail party ego chatter, but of little use in the real world.
And thus, the attraction of socialism and other paper enterprises to academia. On paper, it appears comprehensible and logical; but its adherents are both blissfully unaware of its inherent failures in the real world, and in denial that they could have failed on their own merits.
It is a “silly mythos”. Discovering a fantasy novel that seems so real, tangible, and desirable, that its readers forget it is nonsense, sucked out of the thumb of an entertaining writer. They forever try to define the world in terms of their philosophy.
Anti-knowledge, in that to its believers, it is infallible. Little different from those who believe all knowledge is contained within the Koran, and all else is extraneous and corrupt.
In truth, such people are themselves “anti-intellectuals”. They only tolerate what reinforces their prejudices. They are unlearned bigots.
I like Dr. Sowell, such a contrast to the effete Mr. Will. It wish him a long life because with the passing of Reagan, Buckley, Friedman, etc., he is among the last of the Mohicans.
“Dr. Sowell never disappoints. How can 2 people that share similar upbringings, Chicago roots and educations at Columbia and Harvard think so differently.”
Having a belief in God and being fortunate to have had parents who taught values and good judgement!
I wish we had the chance now.
ONE OF HIS MOST BRILLIANT.
Please read it.
I remember being surrounded by “intellectuals” in Europe during the Cold War who all thought that there was one BENIGN superpower and one EVIL one (we were the evil one). They were all fed by super-secret intellectual pamphlets and journals that even I, a young girl with no interest in politics at the time, knew then were just propaganda written by the USSR. And later I was proven correct. It is very easy to fool “intellectuals” because the self-anointed only need to hear their own jargon before they sign on.
You’re exactly right about the pseudo-intellectuals from the 60’s from what I remember. My friends and relatives were working people and to us they only embarrassed themselves.
Thanks for the ping jaz. God Bless Thomas Sowell...LOL he’s great. Love this article. Right on the mark as usual.
Thomas Sowell is one of the best thinkers and brightest writers in our firmament. What if a mind like his was in the Oval Office?
Wouldn’t matter the color of the skin that wraps it, would it now.
Instead we got That One. Because of the color of his skin and the facade of his intellect.
God bless Thomas Sowell.
Interesting post, thanks Yaelle. I remember the group think that we were the evil ones. I believe there’s still college professors from that era but they’re retiring and the numbers are decreasing I would think.