July 23, 2012

"What's happened to intellectual life on the right?"

"In their flight from elitism, [conservative intellectuals] end up in a populist swamp peopled by autodidacts and fundamentalists. They become cheerleaders for a world without intellectuals, hastening a future in which they themselves will be irrelevant."

223 comments:

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Amartel said...

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, the website that fired a writer for questioning the validity and rigor of some Black Studies thesis topics. Yeah, haven't read the article yet but I guessing they're not going to be fairly representing "intellectual life on the right." Just a guess but it's a highly educated guess.

bagoh20 said...

The reason some of us reject the intelligentsia is that some of them - and that would be the majority - are so damned stupid.

They fancy themselves the elites by way of credentials they award to each other mostly for being in political agreement rather than for any intellectual merit that can swim in the big pond of free thought.

There is very little in common between most leftist intellectuals and conservative ones in either the openness or quality of their ideas.

Jay said...

Asks the people who use such slogans as "Mitt Romney got his" no less.

Um, in case you missed it, actual intellectualism has been dead on the left for over 30 years.

deborah said...

Populism on the right corresponds to the buying votes via welfare, etc., on the left. That is, the short-circuiting of reason in favor of appeal to emotion. The inevitable end-game of representative democracy.

cold pizza said...

You keep using that word - "intellectual."
I do not think it means what you think it means. -CP

rhhardin said...

Intellectual must mean not getting to the point.

Lance said...

I guess Jacoby's never heard of Victor Davis Hansen, Walter Russell Mead, or Keith Hennessey.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

shorter version of the article. If you don't agree with me, you are stupid

Michael K said...

"Populism on the right corresponds to the buying votes via welfare, etc., on the left."

What an odd statement !

"Populism " must mean worrying about the unsustainable national debt and the mad money printing of the fed. The fact that Gerlenter, the subject of the article, is a professor of computer science and not "critical legal studies" must mean he is populist.

ricpic said...

What bugs the hell out of Jacoby is that Americans in great numbers still haven't chucked the question "Will it work?" when faced with the great overarching grand unified field theory of one world government utopia put forth by his class. Ya see, practicality, the question of costs and who will pay for them and that nasty grit in the ointment called liberty and what will become of it under the benevolent Jacobyin regime, none of those considerations are "intellectual." Only the agenda. Only the agenda is intellectual.

virgil xenophon said...

DBQ/

You forgot knuckle-dragging and mouth-breather..

cold pizza said...

I don't often think about intellectuals, but when I do, I picture Vizzini. Stay questioning, my friends. -CP

chickelit said...

In their flight from elitism, they end up in a populist swamp peopled by autodidacts and fundamentalists. They become cheerleaders for a world without intellectuals, hastening a future in which they themselves will be irrelevant.

Jacoby obviously didn't like Capra films. I would repolarize Jacoby's admonition to read:

In their flight from everyday people, they end up in an elitist quagmire peopled by political auto-da-fé technicians and government employees. They become cheerleaders for a parenthetical nation having just two coasts bracketing a nation of breeding rubes, hastening a future in which they become alone, afraid, and genetically extinct.

Marty Keller said...

The need for folks like Prof. Jacoby to understand and grok the concept of Shadow and projection is made abundantly clear by this article. The world he describes is entirely inside his own head, and perfectly reflects his beliefs and myopia.

Crimso said...

'You keep using that word - "intellectual."
I do not think it means what you think it means. -CP'

Along those same lines, I'd like to hear a definition of "intellectual" from the author. I claim the mantle of neither conservative nor intellectual, but I like to think that I THINK. So many people who are self-professed intellectuals clearly are not. They THINK (that word again) that displaying the material and social objects associated with intellectualism qualifies one as an intellectual. I THINK otherwise.

(If I throw in a gratuitous "cogito ergo sum," does that make me at least seem intellectual?)

Michael K said...

"The suspicion begins to grow, like a gathering shudder, that Gelernter actually believes what he writes; that the learned scholar does not understand the central issue about Guantánamo. It is not how well the prisoners are treated—of course Gelernter does not breathe a word about torture—but the ethical and legal justification for holding prisoners without charging them, in a war on terror that has no end. The suspicion begins to grow that Gelernter lives in a Manichaean world in which liberals are evil and conservatives blessed. Although he writes with his usual fairness, "There is an Airhead left but no matching Airhead right," the suspicion grows that Gelernter is the real McCoy, an Airhead Conservative."


Yes, that "airhead conservative" computer science professor. There are no facts that will discourage the anti-Guantanamo left. Korans flushed down dry toilets. The troops wear latex gloves to handle Korans but that still is blasphemy.

On it goes. in the best Critical Theory style.

Chef Mojo said...

When you consider that it is mostly Harvard and Yale grads who've gotten us into the mess we're in, is it surprising that there's a backlash against "intellectuals?"

Most Americans just want to be left the fuck alone to work and live their lives as they choose. They don't want to carry the load for the slackers and losers, but they're first to help their fellow citizens in distress.

They get real damn sick and tired of the "intellectuals" telling them how to live their lives and taking their earnings and property and gunpoint.

The best and the brightest fucked up. They fucked up real bad. They've lost their credibility and that scares the crap out of them. As well it should.

bagoh20 said...

To paraphrase a paraphrase: I didn't leave intellectualism - intellectualism left me.

There is more populist stupidity on the left than on the right, because much of it is taught K through whatever.

Things on the right like resistance to evolution are more than equaled by similar things on the left like unfounded fear of nuclear power, fossil fuels, guns, religion, business, etc., etc., and you will find far less diversity of opnion about issues on the left. The right is much more diverse on it's craziness. It's much easier to disagree on the right, to think independently including rejecting
intellectuals when they deserve it. Populist indeed.

Christopher in MA said...

Populism on the right corresponds to the buying votes via welfare, etc., on the left.

"Buying votes" on the left means promising monetary reward, i.e., taking from the undesrving rich. I fail to see what votes "populism on the right" buys, unless you mean to posit that populism = hatred of pointy-headed intellectuals. In which case, I would suggest you don't understand real populism or to what extent the sentiment on the right is a reaction to overweening leftist busybodies such as Michael Bloomberg.

Amartel said...

I have now taken the time and trouble to read this swill and can say with absolute certainty that there is not one word of honest intellectual engagement with conservative thought in the entire article. Not one. A better title would be, "What's happened to intellectual life on the left?" or "Why so untruthful and wordy?" Are "Intellectual" points awarded in unheaven for being an obfuscating toolbox?

Lem said...

Intellectual must mean not getting to the point.

On the other hand...

See?

You too can be an intellectual.

Chip S. said...

I suppose at the Chronicle of Higher Education, "autodidact" is roughly equivalent to "terrorist" in the lexicon.

Will people who learn via Coursera be considered autodidacts or free riders?

AllieOop said...

The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood.

traditionalguy said...

Jacoby is just jealous because all of the popular liberal causes have been proven to be based upon deception and falsified data.

That is quite a lot of BS to have to throw away and start over again. So he bitterly diatribes about the intellectual realists as Anti-intellectuals.

The poor guy had to throw in the Scopes trial to find an issue in which the Bible Believers actually came out on the losing side in an argument. And that was 87 years ago.

Are we now Intellect Deniers? No, we are just way smarter than he is.

traditionalguy said...

Jacoby is just jealous because all of the popular liberal causes have been proven to be based upon deception and falsified data.

That is quite a lot of BS to have to throw away and start over again. So he bitterly diatribes about the intellectual realists as Anti-intellectuals.

The poor guy had to throw in the Scopes trial to find an issue in which the Bible Believers actually came out on the losing side in an argument. And that was 87 years ago.

Are we now Intellect Deniers? No, we are just way smarter than he is.

traditionalguy said...

What Amartel said.

garage mahal said...

overweening leftist busybodies such as Michael Bloomberg.

Bloomberg a leftist? That howler is enough to choke a fucking horse.

deborah said...

Michael K said...
"Populism on the right corresponds to the buying votes via welfare, etc., on the left."

What an odd statement !
-----

I was relying on this definition of populism:

populism [ˈpɒpjʊˌlɪzəm]
n
(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a political strategy based on a calculated appeal to the interests or prejudices of ordinary people


That is, class warfare, ymmv.

Michael K said...

The Global Warming thing is the latest leftist hobby horse. It may not be a coincidence that Joe Paterno and Michael Mann were both at Penn State. The dishonesty and careerism in the whole Climate "Science" field is nauseating. It reminds me a bit of the whole low fat diet thing in medicine the past 40 years. We have an epidemic of type II diabetes but that hasn't shaken the faith of the academic and bureaucrat communities in low fat, high carb diets. It reeks of climate science thinking.

Michael K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy R. said...

The Right may someday regret treating Rush, Coulter, Hannity, Beck, etc. as their leading intellectual lights.

Amartel said...

More questions, from the pull quote:

Who exactly is living in a "populist swamp people be autodidacts and fundamentalists?"
and
Who is being a cheerleader "for a world without intellectuals, hastening a future in which they themselves will be irrelevant?"

I think Mr. Jacoby knows very well, but does not like to acknowledge, the answer to these questions.

Matthew Sablan said...

The right always seems significantly more informed of the left's positions and arguments (and their actual ones, not the strawman version of them.) I find the positions I disagree with the right on, they tend to be willing to listen to my argument and have coherent reasons to disagree.

When I disagree with the left, I am a hater or ignorant. The right might have fewer published people with PhDs, but on the foot-soldier level, I feel like a discussion with someone on the right is much more intellectually fulfilling.

The other part is I don't feel like I have to be on guard for false logic traps on the right, like in the other thread with the CDC gun deaths statistic. I need to scrutinize things still, but I don't feel like every assumption, assertion and fact proffered by the right needs to be met with the same bare knuckled analysis as when it comes from the left.

The left has just burned me more frequently with outright manipulation and lies about stats and facts (see the wonderful post on Ace's site about Tea Partiers being accused of violence), that I can't keep giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Michael K said...

"(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a political strategy based on a calculated appeal to the interests or prejudices of ordinary people

That is, class warfare, ymmv. "

So, conservative populism does what, again ?

I can see populism in fundamentalist religious circles but that is not conservatism, except in a social conservative concept. Social conservatives do worry about the culture but that isn't populism as I understand it.

damikesc said...

I find it endlessly amusing that arguments against conservative intellectuals in college would be evidence of massive racism/sexism if used against any other groups.

"Blacks don't really WANT to go to college. We're not systematically ostracizing them or anything. They're just too darned stupid to hang with us intellectually."

Just note: Progressive law professors were convinced that the mandate was quite legal under the Commerce Clause and that the Solomon Amendment was illegal.

yashu said...

I can tell you from experience that at least within academia, the social and intellectual environment is extremely inhospitable and hostile to right-wing thought. The slightest trace of it is met with open contempt, derision, and loathing. You have no idea.

In principle I suppose brave hardy tough intellectual souls with rhino-thick skin and a psychological temperament that thrives on conflict might outwardly engage in right-wing ideas as they pursue their PhDs and beyond. But most intellectuals (without such qualities) will either have those ideas drummed out of them; be drummed out of (alienated or repelled from) academia, "voluntarily" leaving such an inimical setting; or will largely suppress those right-wing ideas in their work, choosing instead to maintain a relatively "apolitical" intellectual persona and engage in "apolitical" work.

Or, they just won't get hired by top-flight institutions, won't make tenure, etc.

In the humanities, Marxism-- not liberalism, Marxism-- is pretty much the default consensus political ideology, both as a theoretical framework and personal political stance. That's not an exaggeration.

The situation is lamentable indeed.

edutcher said...

It may be instructive that George Orwell hated being described as an intellectual.

The real problem is that intellectuals seem to be much better in theory than in progress.

Andy R. said...

The Right may someday regret treating Rush, Coulter, Hannity, Beck, etc. as their leading intellectual lights.

They seem to be making more sense than EJ Dionne, MoDo, and Paul Krugman

The Right also had sense enough to see through Andy Sullivan.

Amartel said...

Andy R. you are the very model of a leftist intellectual.

Chip S. said...

AndyR, the people you list are all popularizers of ideas developed by others, as nearly anyone on the right would tell you if you bothered to ask them.

The "leading intellectual lights" of the modern right are people such as Friedman, Hayek, Oakeshott, and Nozick.

It is ignorance of these thinkers that induces liberals to make the sorts of absurd arguments made by Russell Jacoby and you.

Amartel said...

Shhh. Let the strawman play with matches.

EMD said...

I can't hear Mr. Jacoby from all the way up there in his ivory tower.

Alex said...

Yes hatman is going to tell us who our intellectuals are. I'll take Krauthammer any day. Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, Arthur Laffer and George Will.

sonicfrog said...

The poor guy had to throw in the Scopes trial to find an issue in which the Bible Believers actually came out on the losing side in an argument.

Um... They did win that one. The battle, anyway. John Scopes lost, and the appellate court threw the case out on a technicality, so it didn't even get to the Supreme Court, as the pro-evolutionists had hoped. The "Bible Believers" did eventually lost the war though.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

"Intellectual life" on the right would appear to have been commandeered by, in the words of PM Jim Hacker of "Yes, Prime Minister," "a bunch of morons who are too clever by half." They're knuckle-dragging idiots who couldn't organize a bake sale, let alone a political campaign. And yet they seem to win elections. The obvious inference is that most of the electorate consists of knuckle-dragging morons, but actually saying that is impolitic, so the Democratic Party falls back on lousy framing, &c.

Jay said...

Andy R. said...

The Right may someday regret treating Rush, Coulter, Hannity, Beck, etc. as their leading intellectual lights.


Coming from the OWS crowd, no less.

Alex said...

Remember hatman supports punks who shit on cop cars.

Jay said...

The left may someday regret treating Maher, Roseanne, Begely, any Kennedy, etc. as their leading intellectual lights.

Matthew Sablan said...

"They're knuckle-dragging idiots who couldn't organize a bake sale, let alone a political campaign. And yet they seem to win elections."

-- Actually, if you assume that A is incapable of B, but yet they achieve it, the logical thing is to revisit that assumption. Or, you can keep pretending 2010 never happened. I'd prefer you do that; I do like it when my political opponents don't learn the lessons the electorate and reality teach them. It makes persuasion of undecideds all the easier.

Alex said...

imagine the humiliation of the left! They keep losing elections to the equivalent of howler monkeys!

janetrae said...

Someone more intellectual than I needs to update these lyrics -- riffing off of Amartel's remark to Andy R. --

You are the very model of a leftist intellectual

you are the very model of a leftist intellectual,
you've information vegetable, animal and mineral,
You know the climate's warming, and you quote the fights hysterical
from Arizona to Aurora in order categorical . . . .

thanks G & S

deborah said...

@Michael K

Sorry I see my first sentence was poorly constructed:

"Populism on the right corresponds to the buying votes via welfare, etc., on the left."

I should have said populism on the right, such as some anti-immigration stances and some anti-poverty stances correspond to the buying of votes via welfare, etc., on the left.

By which I mean class warfare/group selection. It's a free-for-all.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I can tell you from experience that at least within academia, the social and intellectual environment is extremely inhospitable and hostile to right-wing thought.

Notice that Jacoby does not tackle this belief head-on, instead side-stepping with an observation about the careerism of today's students-- which does not refute it.

But don't worry, Professor. We don't really want to ban or persecute your church; we only want to disestablish it.

Revenant said...

I'm amused that he tries to prove his point by observing that a trio of left-wing college professors have written "serious" works of history while two right-wing pundits (Podhoretz and Kristol) have not.

Bonus humor points for using "autodidact" as an insult. Can't have people learning on their own now, can we?

JAL said...

hahaha

define intellectual

Shanna said...

shorter version of the article. If you don't agree with me, you are stupid

Which is half of what passes for scholarship with these folks. Is it any wonder they aren't valued?

Amartel said...

janetrae, nice!

Joe said...

Translation: "In their disagreement with us, conservatives are ending up with those fools who disagree with us. The horror, the horror."

Dante said...

Where to start.

There is an arrogance to modern day intellectuals on the left. It's this idea that there is a knowable moral code, they know what it is, no one else does, and they are going to push it on us. They are naturally above all the mundane human experiences that drive human behavior.

That certainty leftists derive from their arrogance allows them to do things like say "Oh, the family structure can be manipulated for our views on morality," as a simple example. Yet, marriage has popped up all over the world as a force that works for society. It's a huge compromise, but one that seems to work pretty darn well. The arrogant liberal derives his certainty from a few abstractions, mostly surrounding "Fairness."

But they never stop to look to see whether their ideas actually make sense. Or they argue from absurd perspectives to say "You don't know," never realizing THEY are the ones asking everyone else to change, which should put the onus of proof in their court.

I love what happened to newspapers after the internet came along. Every single newspaper went online assuming their world view was unique and valuable. The revenues from expanding their audience was to be great. In the end, it turns out they all had the same ideas.

Sorry for the preaching, but I'm one of the few conservative atheists in the world. There can't be more than ten, or so.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Matthew Sablan,

I do believe we're arguing in the same direction here.

Revenant,

Bonus humor points for using "autodidact" as an insult. Can't have people learning on their own now, can we?

Yes, thank you for saying this. There is an idea that if it didn't get into your head via an appropriately credentialed, vetted, and tested process, you don't actually know it. It leads to absurdities (e.g., I "know" the Shakespeare plays I studied in middle and high school, but not the ones I read and internalized myself), but what are a few absurdities among friends? And the coterie against "autodidacticism" can certainly be described as "friends."

Unknown said...

Hmmm, if that is what passes for logic to the readers of the Chronicle of Higher Education, we have a bigger problem than even I ever imagined possible.

Dante said...

Andy R. Sez:

"The Right may someday regret treating Rush, Coulter, Hannity, Beck, etc. as their leading intellectual lights."

I don't think of these people as intellectual leaders, anymore than I think of Piers Morgan, Michael Moore, or Al Gore as intellectual leaders. They are street fighters.

But you have a point. I can think of some intellectuals I think of as leftists, like the bloggingheads.tv crowd, but no intellectual leaders on the right. Middle of the roader Ann Althouse is considered conservative there.

Shanna said...

I was at a lecture once and they did that circle/circle/circle drawing:

Circle 1: Things you know
Circle 2: Things you don't know
Circle 3: Things you don't know you don't know.

I feel like that last circle is really big for many liberal 'intellectuals'. It makes them sound stupid to the rest of us, no matter how many 50cent words they use.

Ken said...

What happened to conservative intellectual life? It's alive and well and kicking the left's ass all over the country.

Has there ever been a left wing intellectual life that was anything other than a thinly veiled attack on individuals that was completely based on envy? The left's intellectual life consists of telling people that they don't build it, whatever it is. Somebody else did that.

Joe Schmoe said...

Jacoby is scared. Here's what he's scared of:
* For-profit colleges that will make him obsolete.
* Online courses that will make him obsolete.
* A business model for a college education where the costs outweigh the benefits, thus making him obsolete.
* Higher scrutiny on the fact that college faculties are overwhelmingly progressive Democrats; any trends to counter that could make him obsolete.
* A treasure trove of conservative and libertarian intellectualism that blows away progressive intellectuals, thus making his belief system obsolete.

Jacoby's is a reactionary piece. He reacts by trying to put conservatives on the defensive, because he doesn't like playing defense. It's a standard Democrat tactic; see Garage Mahal in every thread here.

Joe Schmoe said...

Russell Kirk.

OldGrouchyCranky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kchiker said...

On each side...there is a fringe. The right’s fringe keeps becoming more and more acceptable to the right’s mainstream.

We have Republican members of the House openly embracing birtherism and other crazy conspiracy theories.

A writer at the National Review just last week embraced the use of ethnic stereotypes.

Large portions of Republican voters believe that Obama is a Muslim and that a poll of climatologists would come out 50-50 on whether or not climate change is taking place.

You can make fun of liberals all you want but there is a growing fringe on the right which refuses to acknowledge pretty simple facts and which believes that its anti-intellectuallism demonstrates its own elite status.

Michael K said...

"I should have said populism on the right, such as some anti-immigration stances and some anti-poverty stances correspond to the buying of votes via welfare, etc., on the left."

So, I take it that you don't differentiate between legal immigration, which conservatives support, and illegal immigration ?

"Anti-poverty ?"

You mean like welfare reform ?

So you support eternal welfare ? That has certainly worked well for black families.

OldGrouchyCranky said...

Ah, gee, the smartest man in the room, that wonderful orator, he with the great voice, whose uttering gives us goose bumps: Well, he's been in 57-states, he off TOTUS speeches have given us utterances of "Wait a minute, huh, hold on, wait a minute, ..." Yep, Obama's the model for intellectuals everywhere. Or, was their role model that wonderful Anna Wintour, or was it ....?

Actually, who gives a rat’s ass what those rotten bunch of oh so very smart idiots think?

YoungHegelian said...

@yashu,

In the humanities, Marxism-- not liberalism, Marxism-- is pretty much the default consensus political ideology, both as a theoretical framework and personal political stance

I must disagree with you here, Yashu. If only it was still Marxism, the default consensus would be easier to deal with. But it's not.

The default consensus is post-marxism, and it, unlike, classical Marxism, is at war with the heritage of the Enlightenment, a heritage which it takes to be a hegemonic discourse that crushes non-heteronormanative, non-white, non-capitalist voices.

The consensus takes diversity & otherness to be goods, in and of themselves, but yet seems to be unable to explain why they should be valued at all.

A radical ideology that prioritizes ethnic, racial, & sexual differences in its struggle against the Enlightenment & its offspring, liberal capitalism.

Where have we seen that before?

In the early mid 20th century, where they were called National Socialists & Fascists.

Michael K said...

"a poll of climatologists would come out 50-50 on whether or not climate change is taking place. "

And you believe in anthropogenic global warming ? Some global warming has taken place since the Little Ice Age ended in 1850.

Even Wikipedia notes that although they remain a bastion of warmism. Note the hockey stick in the graph.

lge said...

Elizabeth Warren is one of those fine left-wing scholars, and she managed to elbow her way to tenure, professorship, etc. by trading on her "minority status."

And her scholarship, it now turns out, is crap. An article was published in the 1990-1991 Rutgers Law Review, excoriating a book Warren co-authored. The article contains such dainty nuggets as this:

  The writers make extravagant and false claims to originality and priority of research. There appear to be serious errors in their use of statistical bases... Some of their conclusions cannot be obtained even from their flawed findings.
  The authors have made their raw data unavailable so that its accuracy cannot be independently checked. In my opinion, the authors have engaged in repeated instances of scientific misconduct...
  This book contains so much exaggeration, so many questionable ploys, and so many incorrect statements, that it would be well to check the accuracy of their raw data, as old as it is.

People like Warren, Mann, Bellesiles, Margaret Mead, and other lefty "intellectuals" prosper by presenting results pleasing to the left-wing anti-American establishment. Scholarship comes in at a remote second.

stan said...

Amgen and Bayer showed that 80-90% of groundbreaking studies published in the most prestigious of science journals in cancer and biotech are crap. Climate science is far worse given the overwhelming politicizing it's been put through.

Conservatives aren't anti-science. They are anti-"stupid BS" being palmed off as science.

So much for the physical sciences. Unfortunately for all of us, the social sciences are in much worse shape than the physical sciences.

Alex said...

So was Steve Jobs a right or left winger? The entire fate of Western Civilization hangs on that answer.

Quaestor said...

Amartel wrote:
Andy R. you are the very model of a leftist intellectual.

Don't be too flattered, askewhatguy. It is a gauge of how egregiously the left have cheapened the brand over the last century that Amartel's sentence even makes sense.

Kchiker said...

‘ "a poll of climatologists would come out 50-50 on whether or not climate change is taking place. "

And you believe in anthropogenic global warming ?’

My opinion on global warming is neither here nor there. Nor was it any part of the point I was making.

Michael K said...

"Large portions of Republican voters believe that Obama is a Muslim and that a poll of climatologists would come out 50-50 on whether or not climate change is taking place"

So what do you mean ? Is there something wrong with Republican voters believing in the common sense of climatologists ? I would say that makes them optimists. You find that evidence of... ?

Kchiker said...

"So what do you mean ? Is there something wrong with Republican voters believing in the common sense of climatologists ? I would say that makes them optimists. You find that evidence of... ?”

It probably means they believe Fox News to be fair and balanced. Which would prove my point. At least if they watched CNN they’d be more randomly misinformed.

Christopher in MA said...

The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood.

Is fiction, Allie. Perhaps you don't understand the difference. Or have you decided to join garbage in just spitting out nonsense?

Bloomberg a leftist? That howler is enough to choke a fucking horse.

Obviously, our resident sreetcorner bum thinks that outlawing transfats, calling for draconian gun controls and demanding that portion sizes be regulated are all rightist positions.

Go back to wanking over your Obama poster, little boy. Adults are trying to talk.

YoungHegelian said...

"Large portions of Republican voters believe that Obama is a Muslim.."

According to sharia law, as the offspring of a Muslim man, he is a (lapsed) Muslim.

Much of the rest of the world doesn't see one's faith as something that can be chosen or discarded like a pair of sneakers. One is always & forever a member of the religious community one is born into, much like modern Jews see their Jewishness.

I think the American left should give their fellow American members of "traditional faith" communities some credit that those believers might possess insight into other "traditional faith" communities that the faithless lack.

Michael K said...

"t probably means they believe Fox News to be fair and balanced. Which would prove my point."

I didn't know you had one. Ed Rendell seems to think Fox is "fair and balanced" so your choice of CNN is an indicator of your politics. Fair enough. I don't watch Fox that much but I don't watch the others at all except for sports which they haven't fucked up yet.

No doubt you are a Brian Ross fan.

Titus said...

Being an intellectual, myself, can be hard.

The insults can be quite traumatic.

But I soldier on.

And I have a hot body which helps.

tits.

Paul Zrimsek said...

“I’m a registered Republican—I only seem liberal because I believe that hurricanes are caused by high ­barometric pressure and not by gay marriage.” -- line given by pro-science liberal Aaron Sorkin to a character on his (apparently dreadful) new show.

deborah said...

Michael K said...
"I should have said populism on the right, such as some anti-immigration stances and some anti-poverty stances correspond to the buying of votes via welfare, etc., on the left."

So, I take it that you don't differentiate between legal immigration, which conservatives support, and illegal immigration ?

"Anti-poverty ?"

You mean like welfare reform ?

So you support eternal welfare ? That has certainly worked well for black families.
-----

I see you are interested in putting words in my mouth and fighting an imaginary foe. I do distinquish between legal and illegal immigration. I said 'some' anti-immigration stances. And as an aside, it's my guess that some conservative factions quibble about some facets legal immigration.

As far as welfare reform, I was appalled that the TARP(?) legislation rolled back the requirements for welfare. I am aware of the results of removing fathers from black families and other policies that lead to where many blacks are today.

Kchiker said...

"I didn't know you had one. Ed Rendell seems to think Fox is "fair and balanced" so your choice of CNN is an indicator of your politics. Fair enough. I don't watch Fox that much but I don't watch the others at all except for sports which they haven't fucked up yet.

No doubt you are a Brian Ross fan.”

I think Brian Ross should be immediately fired. And if it’s worse to be randomly wrong than intentionally wrong, then my comment was more insulting towards CNN than it was towards Fox.

Titus said...

Also, being ogled on the street give me much happiness and allows me comfort and serenity with my intellectualism.

tits.

Quaestor said...

Revenant wrote:
Bonus humor points for using "autodidact" as an insult.

Is it not self-evident that to be intellectual pioneer, as opposed to one who merely adds commentary, one must of necessity be an autodidact?

Christopher in MA said...

We have Republican members of the House openly believing in birtherism and other crazy conspiracy theories.

And to this day, DNC chair Howard Dean still thinks it's an "interesting question" whether Bush was behind the 9/11 attacks. Attend to the log in your own eye first.

A writer at the National Review just last week embraced the use of racial stereotypes.

Link. And I'd be willing to bet good money the writer doesn't mean what you think he or she means.

Large portions of Republican voters believe Obama is a Muslim. . .

As YoungHegelian points out, technically, he is. But have it your way. He's a Christian. Although one would hardly expect membership in Jeremiah "God DAMN America!" Wright's black liberation church to be something to trumpet. But YMMV.

. . .and that a poll of climatologists would come out 50-50 on whether or not climate change is taking place.

Sloppy writing. Do you mean to say Republicans think this, or that they think 50% of climatologists would deny climate change? In any event, this is just another example of the right knowing leftist arguments better than the left knows ours. No serious voice on the right denies climate change. Man made climate change, however, and our ability to correct it if such a thing is even happening is a completely different ball of wax. You might wish to argue the point the right is making, rather than the one you imagine they have.

Quaestor said...

Titus wrote:
The insults can be quite traumatic... And I have a hot body which helps

You must have perfected the shave-by-feel technique, else you wear a very long beard.

Joe Schmoe said...

People harmed from the teaching of creationism: 0

People harmed from the teaching of eugenics: 100 million and counting

Crimso said...

"You can make fun of liberals all you want but there is a growing fringe on the right which refuses to acknowledge pretty simple facts and which believes that its anti-intellectuallism demonstrates its own elite status."

While there is an entrenched element (not fringe) on the left which embraces such nonsense as Marxism. I would assert that it is a "pretty simple fact" that it is nonsense; if not, then feel free to give me some examples of successful societies that have embraced it (successful at something other than making the Nazis look like pikers in the mass murder department).

Titus said...

Unfortunately, in this narcissistic world you can't just be smart. Most importantly you have to be hot. Actually you don't need to smart at all, just hot.

Celebrate hot. It's hot.

Tits.

Fen said...

I have lots of friends like Prof. Jacoby. I'm always amazed at how so many "enlightened sophisticated" Leftists can be so ignorant and intolerant.

Fen said...

McNamara's Whiz Kids...

kcom said...

"You might wish to argue the point the right is making, rather than the one you imagine they have."

But, but, I just ordered a whole truckload of straw. Do you want that to go entirely to waste?

Mumpsimus said...

Oh noes! Autodidacts!

Kchiker said...

". . .and that a poll of climatologists would come out 50-50 on whether or not climate change is taking place.

Sloppy writing”

I plead guilty on the sloppy writing part. A 2010 study showed that 62% of Republicans did not believe there was scientific consensus that climate change was occurring. I would be very happy to find out this study was flawed.

http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/dec10/Misinformation_Dec10_rpt.pdf

Of course, when the Texas Republican party platform bemoans the teaching of critical thinking skills in schools....

Blue@9 said...

I have no problem with intellectuals: I consider myself one.

Oh, they mean professional intellectuals. The thing is, we still have those on the Right, but overall people aren't too impressed with an opinion simply because it comes from the mouth of an intellectual.

The problem is that they're not doing their jobs. In general, I expect these wonks, pundits, and think-tankers to look at complex problems and make them easier to understand. My sense is that people have started to tune them out because (1) they actually seem to make everything more complex and less understandable, and (2) they've forfeited any sense of intellectual honesty. Once I know you're only saying shit to play the game for your side, you're no different than the politicians you're supposed to examine and advise.

Shanna said...

The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood.

Man I hated that book.

Kchiker said...

"While there is an entrenched element (not fringe) on the left which embraces such nonsense as Marxism. I would assert that it is a "pretty simple fact" that it is nonsense; if not, then feel free to give me some examples of successful societies that have embraced it (successful at something other than making the Nazis look like pikers in the mass murder department).”

I know some pretty fringy liberals but I have yet to meet any Marxists. If by “Marxist” you mean anyone to the left of Grover Norquist, you can include Reagan as “Gipper Marxist”. Or would that be “Marxist Gipper”?

Kchiker said...

"(1) they actually seem to make everything more complex and less understandable, and (2) they've forfeited any sense of intellectual honesty. Once I know you're only saying shit to play the game for your side, you're no different than the politicians you're supposed to examine and advise.”

Bingo. Even the right’s fire-throwers are having to back-peddle prior opinions on climate change, the individual mandate, tax rates, economic theory, and the like. You REALLY think Gingrich changed his mind on climate change after doing that commercial with Pelosi?

YoungHegelian said...

@Kchiker,


I know some pretty fringy liberals but I have yet to meet any Marxists


As I corrected yashu above, the true Marxists are dead, or, like Eugene Genovese & Christopher Hitchens, they moved over to the conservative dark side of The Force.

But, do you know plenty of nut-job fringey post-marxists?

Yeah, you do. And they really are intolerant & completely clueless about how close minded they are.

Kchiker said...

Even the fringy liberals I know totally love white heterosexual capitalists.

YoungHegelian said...

Oh, and by the way, you want to see a bunch of lefties chuck "established" science to the curb, when it suits their fancy, start a conversation on "nutritional science".

They'll make your average creationist sound like Niels Bohr by comparison!

Fen said...

I plead guilty on the sloppy writing part. A 2010 study showed that 62% of Republicans did not believe there was scientific consensus that climate change was occurring.

They were correct.

There is NOT a scientific consensus on AGW. And the numbers against are growing as more corruption of Climate "science" is brought out into the light.

The stat you're thinking of (97%) was a poll that has been discredited because its questions were leading, only 30% responded, and its sample size was further reduced to weed out heretics in the science fields that disagreed.

Its easy to get 95% "consensus" when you poll 20 climate "scientists" who are dependent on government grants.

Michael K said...

"see you are interested in putting words in my mouth and fighting an imaginary foe."

No, I was asking what your opinions are.

" I do distinquish between legal and illegal immigration. I said 'some' anti-immigration stances. And as an aside, it's my guess that some conservative factions quibble about some facets legal immigration."

The operative word is "guess."

"As far as welfare reform, I was appalled that the TARP(?) legislation rolled back the requirements for welfare. I am aware of the results of removing fathers from black families and other policies that lead to where many blacks are today"

I don't know about TARP but Obama is trying to gut the state waiver requirements.

It sounds like we may agree on those topics. Before your clarification, I couldn't tell.

YoungHegelian said...

@Kchiker,

Even the fringy liberals I know totally love white heterosexual capitalists

I think you're making something of a private joke here, and I certainly don't get it.

FleetUSA said...

I think these self-anointed intellectuals write mush like this so they can get big wet kisses from like minded snobs.

Fen said...

Here we go:

"The small number of climate scientists actually supporting the Al Gore/IPCC claims of catastrophic global warming and the actual AGW “predictions” has always been a major embarrassment. As a result, the left/liberal/greens have been forced to fabricate bogus support that can’t stand up to any form of scrutiny.

First, it was the claim that 2,500 IPCC-related scientists agreed with the 2007 IPCC report. Soon afer it was discovered that the actual number of scientists who actually agreed with the report contents was only 25.

Next, when the 2,500 shrunk to 25, a couple of University of Illinois researchers conjured up a 2-minute online, anonymous survey that they hoped would deliver some big numbers to crow about. They solicited 10,257 earth scientists and only 77 chose to answer the online survey (yes, only 77). 75 of those “climate scientists” agreed with the survey’s two questions (yes, only 2 questions).

Voila, the infamous and widely publicized “97%” of climate scientists (75 divided by 77) who thought man was the cause of global warming turned out to be a numeric joke.

As a side note, in order to assure an initial high survey percentage, the two researchers did not ask major segments of the scientific world to participate. Those would be the segments that were known to be critical of the AGW theory, including: solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists and astronomers."

http://toryaardvark.com/2011/09/12/climate-scam-97-of-climate-scientists-are-in-consensus-is-a-lie/

bagoh20 said...

"What happened to conservative intellectual life?"

It evolved beyond the 1960's. Others may have trouble understanding things today. Many of us have learned a great deal since then, and out of necessity, much of it on our own, which is how I learned what autodidactic means.

Fen said...

"What's happened to intellectual life on the right?"

I would love to poll Prof Jacoby's students and ask how many even know who Edmund Burke was...

Kind of obnoxious for Leftist professors to bemoan the dearth of conservative thought after they have replaced it with post Marxism.

How many "conservative" professors in your Humanities dept? I bet its less than 3%

Kchiker said...

I wouldn’t care to be around anyone who yearned in their heart to stomp the white, the heterosexual, or the capitalist spirit. I join you in your quest to reduce the political viability of such ideas.

But I also agree with the article that Ann posted.

YoungHegelian said...

I wouldn’t care to be around anyone who yearned in their heart to stomp the white, the heterosexual, or the capitalist spirit. I join you in your quest to reduce the political viability of such ideas.

But I also agree with the article that Ann posted.


I think you should seriously consider the possibility that the fence you wish to straddle may be imaginary.

Revenant said...

It is certainly true that many conservatives hold scientifically unfounded beliefs like "God created life on Earth" and "the Earth isn't warming".

Then again, many left-wingers hold scientifically unfounded beliefs like "government spending drives economic growth" and "solar and wind energy can replace fossil fuels".

The key difference? The conservatives' beliefs are harmless.

kcom said...

"I would be very happy to find out this study was flawed."

So you'd be happy to find out that more of your fellow citizens will mindlessly follow what they're told without thinking for themselves? I'm glad I don't live in your world. If you'd actually look at the problem, and stop worrying about "consensus" (because consensus has no power of proof) you'd see there's good reason to doubt the narrative being peddled about climate change, including the very phrase "climate change'.

While you say many of us don't believe in climate change, in fact it is us who do. We accept the fact that climate changes continuously and always has due to natural forces. What's unnatural is your implied belief in climate stasis. That the climate was in some sort of steady state condition up until a few decades ago and suddenly started changing. That's laughable. The whole history of the world disproves it. There's no proof right now that our present regime is in any way unnatural compared to the past. When that day comes, we'll all believe. But, as of now, it's just scaremongering. Really, you're going to have greatly improve the intellectual rigor of your argument before you'll convince people you're right, versus trying to bully them into behaving as you wish them to.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Before we all get too far gone in hating on Prof. Jacoby, I'd like to point out that "Professor Contrasts Politicians With Professors, Prefers Professors" is practically a genre, and it's not confined to liberals. Conor Friedersdorf and Stephen Bainbridge are among the otherwise worthwhile conservative bloggers who go in for it.

Chip Ahoy said...

OMG.

I just now read the Wikipedia page on "critical theory" but it's a hard page split in two parts and it goes on and on and on and on as pages on philosophy do, each sentence packed with words already looked up because they're favorite words among pseudo-intellectual types, epistemological, hermeneutics, normative, and they're all blue, ha ha ha, which forces me to put on a midAtlantic voice and read it that way with dramatic emphasis on the blue words of 100% , and damn, I'm hilarious. That right there is pure comedy. Go on, try it. Think of Thurston Howell III and back off a bit, and read it that way and really LAND on the blue words. It's very funny. Good bedtime comedy for the kids.

Kchiker said...

"I think you should seriously consider the possibility that the fence you wish to straddle may be imaginary.”

Why? One has to choose between two flavors of insanity?

yashu said...

YoungHegelian,

I intended "Marxism" in a wide sense (including neo-Marxist strains like the Frankfurt School and current Marxist offshoots), but you're correct that the more accurate term for the dominant-- heh, hegemonic-- academic theory nowadays is "post-Marxism." And you're right that much of it is "at war with the heritage of the Enlightenment"-- sometimes frighteningly so.

It says something when two of the biggest names in contemporary continental philosophy/ theory-- Alain Badiou and Slavoj Zizek-- one deadly earnest (Badiou) and the other as a perverse joke without a punch line (Zizek)-- extoll Stalin and Mao, advocate a radical communism achieved through terror, and denounce the evils of liberalism and democracy.

And these are serious thinkers seriously engaged with by other serious thinkers. In a way they're extreme examples-- but they're not only not marginal, but rather eminent intellectuals, seminal thinkers, nodal points of academic theory and discourse. They're not beyond the pale like.. Republicans. Republicans are crazy fascists!

Kchiker said...

"Really, you're going to have greatly improve the intellectual rigor of your argument before you'll convince people you're right, versus trying to bully them into behaving as you wish them to.”

Yes, I will try to stop bullying. I would hate to stress the structural integrity of your fainting couch.

Cedarford said...

Like the Left, the intellectual life of the Right has hardened into dogma. Economic dogma. Religious Right dogma.

1. Free trade lifts all boats. Any that say it doesn't fail to understand Ricardo!

2. If you go against what the leaders of Israel want from America, you go against God.

3. Tariffs destroy countries.

4. Tax cuts always create jobs, tax cuts automatically mean the government generates more revenue.

5. The Feds need to walk away and let the wise CEOs and financiers of Wall Street do their magic, undisturbed by intrusive bureaucrats.

6. Trickledown works.

7. Every industry you destroy in America for profits to a Rich Elite always benefits the workers by creative destruction...because tens of millions of newer even better jobs replace all those lost to Asia.

8. By jingo! The Amuuurican Worker can out-produce, outcompete and make the lowest cost goods in the world. They have NOTHING to fear from 6.00 a day Chinese labor!

9. Evolution is a myth, at best only a hypothesis.

YoungHegelian said...

@kchiker,

Why? One has to choose between two flavors of insanity?

No, because you somehow think that you've somehow bought easy transcendence of the major left/right dichotomies that form the intellectual life of your country. My experience is that that's rarely the case, and in the clutch, the foundational categories of one or the other come out with a vengeance.

While it's generally rhhardin who gets to quote Wittgenstein, let me just say in his spirit, one does not just transport oneself outside the language games of our culture by an act of will.

YoungHegelian said...

@Yashu,

Thank you for your wonderful clarification!

I agree completely. It's truly frightening what comes out of folks like Badiou & Zizek.

Not to mention the Deep Ecology guys! Now there be some scary-ass motherfuckers!

Elize Nayden said...

Are conservative intellectuals anti-intellectual? The short answer must be no. Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Harvey Mansfield, Wilfred M. McClay—conservative thinkers have championed scholarship, learning, and history.

Jacoby spends much of the text insinuating that Gelernter is an intellectual lightweight. If he really wants to discuss conservative criticism of the intellectual life, why doesnt he take it up with Leo Strauss, whome he credentials to be an intellectual?

Strauss basicly argued that the alignment of intellectuals and politics represented by the enlightenment and modern liberalism is at the core of the Western crisis. Thats high quality conservative "anti-intellectualism" right there. Why dont you make use of it, Mr. Jacoby?

Writing a whole text deriding somebody who is deemed an intellectually soft target, instead of seriously discussing the issue on the basis of texts by a serious thinker strikes me as... well... intellectually lazy!

But I guess thats the quality of the "intellectual life" on the left.

Kchiker said...

"No, because you somehow think that you've somehow bought easy transcendence of the major left/right dichotomies that form the intellectual life of your country. My experience is that that's rarely the case, and in the clutch, the foundational categories of one or the other come out with a vengeance.”

I’m not claiming to be moderate. But I would if the left side of the aisle were defined or dominated by an anti-white, anti-capitalism, and anti-heterosexuaity mindset.

Shanna said...

Yes, I will try to stop bullying. I would hate to stress the structural integrity of your fainting couch.

Perhaps the real reason liberals can't make headway with their arguments is that they all seem to have gone to some sort of school of dismissive non-arguments. They should have been studying Carnegie.

YoungHegelian said...

@Kchiker,

I’m not claiming to be moderate. But I would if the left side of the aisle were defined or dominated by an anti-white, anti-capitalism, and anti-heterosexuaity mindset.

Ah, but you are, and it is.

I have no idea where to start with you on the nature of the modern left. It is beyond the scope of bog comments.

I still stand by my imaginary fence comment. Now more than ever.

Terry said...

Cedarford wrote:

Like the Left, the intellectual life of the Right has hardened into dogma. Economic dogma. Religious Right dogma.

Please link to a conservative intellectual who believes the "dogma" you say they believe.
I'll wait.

rcocean said...

Given that almost all American "intellectuals" are elitist American hating, Neo-Marxists - any average person who isn't an "anti-intellectual" is an idiot.

Kchiker said...

"Perhaps the real reason liberals can't make headway with their arguments is that they all seem to have gone to some sort of school of dismissive non-arguments. They should have been studying Carnegie.”

Ohhhhhhhh the victimization. Via bullying dismissiveness.

Michael K said...

"I join you in your quest to reduce the political viability of such ideas.

But I also agree with the article that Ann posted."

You just proved you are an intellectual, or at least an artist.

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Of course, Fitzgerald was an alcoloholic.

Kchiker said...

"Of course, Fitzgerald was an alcoloholic.”

Cheers!

Michael K said...

"Religious Right dogma."

This is the same straw man usually offered by the left.

Social conservatives are not really conservatives in the usual sense. Many of them do not agree on economics, which is the sine qua non of conservatism.

Revenant said...

Whenever a guy says "trickle down doesn't work", I like to ask "did the guy who pays your salary start off with more money than you?".

virgil xenophon said...

YoungHegalian/

I must unfortunately seriously chastise you for omitting the "Post-Normal science" crowd whose academic/intellectual/ideological adherents Venn Diagram greatly overlaps that illustrative of the "Deep Ecology" crowd--in point of fact the research/propaganda methods of this "new science" of Post-Normal Science being the approach used to advance the cause of the Deep-ecology crowd..their justifications of their methods/"Science" (har har)makes fascinating (and deeply disturbing) reading..

Kchiker said...

"Social conservatives are not really conservatives in the usual sense”

If you are arguing that they should be dismissed as anti-intellectual... you may be more in agreement with me than you’d like to be.

YoungHegelian said...

@Virgil,

I gratefully accept your chastisement, since I had not yet heard of the "Post-Normal" science crowd.

I can guess the content, but I will track down some source material and read up on it.

Thank you for pointing this out!

yashu said...

Cedarford, that's an impressive collection of straw men you've marshaled at 8:56pm.

jimspice said...

The right has MADE intellectualism the enemy. Politics and religion takes its place. Evolution, Global Warming, the failure of Trickle Down Economics...they all are quite approachable, but are never given the slightest recognition by the right for fear of being labeled a non-believer (or RINO). Further, those who understand the data the best -- scientists, academics and professionals not tied to corporate interests -- are cast as the enemy.

kcom said...

"I would hate to stress the structural integrity of your fainting couch."

Ah, but there's the difference between you and us. We don't have fainting couches. We don't need 'em. We're not subject to frequent bouts of the vapors over every little quirk of nature. "Look, the temperature changed a wee bit, we're all going to die!" We're too busy living to waste our time with ecochondria, simply the most recent manifestation of the "blame humanity first for the world not being perfect" movement. What is it about some people absolutely craving this feeling of mortal terror? They can't seem to live without it. Although the terror changes, the feeling never does.

Revenant said...

Nothing says "I'm a supporter of reason and science" like a nice conspiracy theory about "corporate interests".

YoungHegelian said...

@jimspice,

Did you just drop in to say a few words without reading ANYTHING of what has come before?

'Cause it sure looks that way!

Thanks for being such a good illustration of the modern left. And right on cue, too!

kcom said...

"Further, those who understand the data the best..."

That's an assertion without evidence. Except the preening self-importance that makes it feel oh so true.

Eric said...

In their flight from elitism, they end up in a populist swamp peopled by autodidacts and fundamentalists. They become cheerleaders for a world without intellectuals, hastening a future in which they themselves will be irrelevant.

I think he misread the point of Gelernter's criticisms. We don't want a world without intellectuals. We want a world with competent intellectuals. The success of the left in shutting conservatives out of academia has engendered intellectual flabbiness, where people who all share the same outlook write impenetrable papers even their colleagues don't read.

Personally I blame the tenure system. It's supposed to be there to provide cover for professors to say things that are uncomfortable without fear of losing their jobs. But it's actually become a system by which doctrine is enforced, and only right-thinking people (by which I mean people far to the left of the American political center) can get a decent job in academia.

Saint Croix said...

Yes, the right derides the intellectual. Why? It has nothing to do with how smart the intellectual is. Intellectuals are quite smart. What we deride in our public intellectuals is their astounding arrogance.

When you call yourself an "intellectual," you are identifying yourself as superior to other people. What we so often see in our best and brightest is a desire to play god. And this often manifests itself in a desire to kill the weak and helpless.

Oliver Wendell Holmes: "It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind."

H.G. Wells: "People who cannot live happily and freely in the world without spoiling the lives of others are better out of it. That is a current sentiment even today, but the men of the New Republic will have the courage of their opinions. And the type of men that I conceive emerging in the coming years will deal simply and logically...with the business of death..."

(H.G. Wells on Stalin: "I have never met a man more fair, candid, and honest.")

George Bernard Shaw: "You must all know half a dozen people at least who are no use in this world, who are more trouble than they are worth. Just put them there and say Sir, or Madam, now will you be kind enough to justify your existence? If you can't justify your existence, if you're not pulling your weight in the social boat, if you're not producing as much as you consume or perhaps a little more, then, clearly, we cannot use the organizations of our society for the purpose of keeping you alive."

This was all leftist theory, mind you. This was before Mao and Stalin and Hitler murdered millions of innocent people.

Note how arrogant you have to be to talk that way, to act that way. First you develop a theory. And then you seek to impose your theory upon the world. You ignore any facts that contradict your theory. The idea--the ideology--is everything. "Reality must bend to my will!"

When you have that sort of arrogance, it's a mere hop, skip and jump to start killing innocent people. Why are you killing them? Because they are in the way. Reality is in the way. And so you kill them in order to remove them from reality. You are trying to impose your will upon the world. You are trying to play god.

And we still see this madness today in the ravings of Justice Ginsburg or the insanity of Ivy League professor Peter Singer.

These are smart people, our best and brightest, our public intellectuals. And yet their arrogance marks them as monsters.

It is the left who prides themselves on their master plans. It is the left who thinks that you can run an economy from a room. It is the left that thinks that the United Nations is wonderful. The left is deluded and arrogant about the wonder of the state, and they are intolerant and hateful about all the common people who inhabit the world.

Drew said...

Wow, it only too 4 comment's before the 'intellectuals' were at each others throats.

It devolved into:
"You're an idiot because you didn't use big words and stuff!"
"Sheah, as if you're a professor"
"See, see, you forgot a comma. Right wing troll!!!"

and so on.

Basically it turned into a lefty circle jerk.

n.n said...

The Left has a peculiar perception of reality. They fail to grasp that most people reject mortal gods and not leadership or teachers. American conservatives in particular value individual dignity, but are not so egoistic to reject the guidance and advice of others.

Perhaps it is that last axiomatic concept, individual dignity, which causes them so much consternation. They seem unable to reconcile a perspective which subordinates the collective to the individual and still manage a reasonable compromise between them.

Something else to consider is that some aspects of reality are incorruptible and most people recognize its "natural" order. When psuedo-intellectuals attempt to construct a paradox, even one that is favorable to the individual ego, most people will reject it in favor of an objective reality. That is to say, most people develop into "adults," and "put away childish things." Most notable is a progressive rejection of dreams of instant gratification (e.g. redistributive and retributive change) and certainly a recognition that they are not without consequence.

They can conduct emotional extortion, they can attempt bribery, they can appeal to our baser appetites, and yet they fail to convince a majority to join their ranks.

People reject the Left for its fundamental corruption; but, the Right should recognize that corruption in the exception is equally objectionable.

The "intellectuals" should consider why we respect classical liberalism, temperance of Judeo-Christian principles, and even aspects of classical progressivism (i.e. not generational). They may recognize a priority and balance which has otherwise escaped their comprehension.

We value individual dignity, human life, and respect a natural order which establishes the criteria of evolutionary fitness. We recognize that not everyone will enjoy a beachfront property in Hawaii and we do not permit envy to guide our response to other's success. We appreciate that resources are finitely accessible and that the market (i.e. people) is a fair means for voluntary redistribution, and that involuntary exploitation must be controlled in order to contain progressive corruption.

The "intellectuals" would do well to curb their egoism. While their insight is welcome, their narcissism is not at all acceptable. It is not intellectuals that people reject, but their arrogance when asserting (and often lacking) superior knowledge and skill.

Anyway, this is a conversation repeated with each succeeding generation. With enlightenment, we supposedly recognized the merits of individual dignity and deferred to its intrinsic value. Unfortunately, many who would presume to lead are still vulnerable to corruption and manage to denigrate individual dignity and devalue human life in their weakness.

cassandra lite said...

Autodidacts like, oh, Abe Lincoln?

n.n said...

Cedarford:

Free trade works, but only when there is parity between partners.

The Middle East dominates the conversation in part due to our enforced dependence on natural resources from that region.

Tariffs are valuable to enforce parity when voluntary compliance is not forthcoming.

Tax cuts leave capital with the people who created it. Reducing involuntary exploitation controls progressive corruption and motivates people to participate in the market to everyone's benefit.

The federal government is an authoritative monopoly and therefore should be strictly limited to providing oversight. Unfortunately, it has been corrupted through participation in redistributive and retributive change.

The so-called "trickledown" economics is an implicit outcome of recognizing individual dignity and that there are finitely accessible resources.

Americans do not destroy domestic industry. They do respond to unreasonable conditions constructed and enforced by government policies, activist organizations, etc.

The Chinese are not partners with parity. They cannot be free trade partners.

Evolution as a description of origin is philosophy or an article of faith. It can neither be reproduced (it may be possible to replicate which is not equivalent to reproduction) nor tested (within the same frame of reference). It occurred outside a limited frame of reference and suffers speculation constructed on prevailing patterns or faith. Evolutionary principles, on the other hand, are an inescapable aspect of the natural order.

While there are philosophical disputes concerning the unknowable specifics of origin, there is no debate about natural principles. Unfortunately, the latter is often subordinated to individual ego and desires for instant gratification (e.g. physical, material, ego), which have engendered evolutionary dysfunction. Those dreams may be tolerated, but they cannot, and should not, for obvious reasons, be normalized.

bagoh20 said...

Graduate school must be a bore. Do you people talk to your mothers like that? It's even worse at the site in the post.

Phil 3:14 said...

If you are arguing that they should be dismissed as anti-intellectual... you may be more in agreement with me than you’d like to be.

I wouldn't call Ross Douthit anti-intellectual.

Freeman Hunt said...

"They learn things? By themselves?! The vulgar brutes!" Fan, fan, fan.

Q said...

Russell Jacoby suffers from the delusion that he is an intellectual, and that therefore those people who are anti-Jacoby are anti-intellectual.

Freeman Hunt said...

Given the publication he's writing for, perhaps this is a good example of knowing one's audience.

Revenant said...

Free trade works whether there is parity or not. When we put a tariff on imports, it hurts us more than it does the country we're applying it to.

This isn't even a right-wing versus left-wing thing. "Tariffs are a horrible idea" is one of the few statements economists from all corners of the political spectrum agree on.

David R. Graham said...

"A radical ideology that prioritizes ethnic, racial, & sexual differences in its struggle against the Enlightenment & its offspring, liberal capitalism.

Where have we seen that before?"

Salafism/Wahhabism, which arose with the Enlightenment, to prevent it from entering the Arab Mohammedan orbit, following the 17th Century defeat of Turkic Mohammedanism at Vienna.

Salafism failed. First Napoleon and then Nelson stuck the Enlightenment in the then-heart of Arab Mohammedanism: Egypt and the Levant.

Q said...

jimspice Evolution, Global Warming, the failure of Trickle Down Economics...they all are quite approachable, but are never given the slightest recognition by the right for fear of being labeled a non-believer (or RINO).



If you were one tenth as intelligent as you think you are, you'd be able to write English sentences which actually mean something. Evolution can be "approached", but is never given "recognition"? That's gibberish.

But then, I suppose the sole point of your silly little screed was to get across the message "I don;t like those people on the right". To convey emotion rather than thought.

EMD said...

Intellectualism without common sense isn't smart at all.

Street smarts. Book smarts.

Seek both and use them well.

Q said...

Social conservatives are not really conservatives in the usual sense.


They are the only conservatives in the usual sense, You're not a conservative unless you want to conserve a certain social order.


Many of them do not agree on economics, which is the sine qua non of conservatism.

You are confused. Economics is the sine qua non of libertarianism.

heyboom said...

"Perhaps the real reason liberals can't make headway with their arguments is that they all seem to have gone to some sort of school of dismissive non-arguments. They should have been studying Carnegie.”

Ohhhhhhhh the victimization. Via bullying dismissiveness.

Thus immediately validating Shanna's assessment of your debating style.

Q said...

Bloomberg a leftist? That howler is enough to choke a fucking horse


Yes, everyone knows that rich Jews are right-wingers. Just look at George Soros.

William said...

It took a certain amount of intellectual sophistication to appreciate Ptolemic astronomy. You really had to know math to reconcile and harmonize all those irregularities in the heavens. Galileo was the anti-intellectual, the one who couldn't understand all the fractions and divisors. Ptolemic astronomy was not based on superstition but on the appeal of consensus, authority, and logical argument to learned men.....I think a similar phenomenon happened with Marxism. From the start, Marxism was a failure, but it nonetheless attracted the loyalty of several generations of intellectuals. They studied the impenetrable prose of Marx with the same avidity that previous generations of intellectuals had studied Aristotle, Galen, or Ptolemy. If there were any problems, it was because of an improper understanding of the great man's work. Well, with all these figures they were not standing on the shoulders of giants, but crawling up their assholes. In the case of Marx, they were crawling up the asshole of a constipated midget. (Perhaps that metaphor needs some further work.)....Anyway the point I'm getting at is that historically intellectuals have been far more likely to be wrong than money grubbing capitalists.

Eric said...

This isn't even a right-wing versus left-wing thing. "Tariffs are a horrible idea" is one of the few statements economists from all corners of the political spectrum agree on.

That's true if you're looking at the aggregate. But there's an argument to be made that free trade stratifies society such that people in low-skill manufacturing are put out of work while the rest of us enjoy cheaper goods. I've seen "intellectuals" on both right and left argue we ought to have some tariffs.

ed said...

@ deborah

"Populism on the right corresponds to the buying votes via welfare, etc., on the left. That is, the short-circuiting of reason in favor of appeal to emotion. The inevitable end-game of representative democracy."

And to think that populism in America has been around for 250+ years. Go figure.

Eric said...

"Perhaps the real reason liberals can't make headway with their arguments is that they all seem to have gone to some sort of school of dismissive non-arguments. They should have been studying Carnegie.”

Ohhhhhhhh the victimization. Via bullying dismissiveness.

Thus immediately validating Shanna's assessment of your debating style.


Tell me that was clever irony.

yashu said...

From the start, Marxism was a failure, but it nonetheless attracted the loyalty of several generations of intellectuals. They studied the impenetrable prose of Marx with the same avidity that previous generations of intellectuals had studied Aristotle, Galen, or Ptolemy.

Yes! So true. I liken contemporary academic Marxism (neo-Marxism, post-Marxism) to medieval Scholasticism.

bagoh20 said...

I don't think I'm an intellectual. If intellectuals think this is worth $65 million, then please take me off the mailing list.

The Canyon

Q said...
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Q said...

On each side...there is a fringe. The right’s fringe keeps becoming more and more acceptable to the right’s mainstream.


We have Republican members of the House openly embracing birtherism and other crazy conspiracy theories.


You're such a fucking moron. The entire Democratic Congressional delegation went in a group to see Michael Moore's piece of frothing lunacy, Fahrenheit 9/11, accusing Bush of being in cahoots with bin Laden.

A writer at the National Review just last week embraced the use of ethnic stereotypes

No! I'm sure the very idea of ethnic stereotypes must be terribly offensive to all the people in the Democratic coalition who define themselves first and last by their ethnicity - the blacks, the Hispanics, the Jews, the Muslims, etc.

The topic here is stupid liberals and their peculiar belief in their own intelligence. You seem to have dropped in to illustrate the phenomenon in question.

Q said...

"Perhaps the real reason liberals can't make headway with their arguments is that they all seem to have gone to some sort of school of dismissive non-arguments. They should have been studying Carnegie.”


Ohhhhhhhh the victimization. Via bullying dismissiveness.





Love the way you respond to the claim that liberals make dismissive non-arguments by making a dismissive non-argument.

If I was not familiar with the minds of lefties, I'd almost think that you were a conservative moby trying to make the left look stupid.

deborah said...

@ed
Not sure where your exact point is aimed, but when I said end-game I was referring to items like the Military Industrial Congressional Complex, Bread and Circuses, and alliance to AIPAC.

Revenant said...

But there's an argument to be made that free trade stratifies society such that people in low-skill manufacturing are put out of work while the rest of us enjoy cheaper goods.

The word is "claim", not "argument". The argument was settled decades ago; tariffs increase unemployment.

heyboom said...

@Eric

Actually, that was a clumsy paste on my part. The second paragraph was kchiker's response to Shanna. I should have put quote marks around it.

My comment was the one beginning with "Thus...".

Eric said...

The word is "claim", not "argument". The argument was settled decades ago; tariffs increase unemployment.

I'm not disputing that. I'm just saying the mix of jobs changes. There are winners and losers, and the winners are the people that are already pretty much winning.

rcocean said...

Rev -Free trade works whether there is parity or not. When we put a tariff on imports, it hurts us more than it does the country we're applying it to.

Dumbest thing I've ever read at Althouse and that's saying a lot. The Rev must be an intellectual, because no one but an intellectual write something so stupid. More likely he makes $$$ off imports and is willing to say anything to make money.

The Crack Emcee said...

"What's happened to intellectual life on the right?"

Too much Alinsky.

Right-wing intellectual conversation, here, can be summed up with the words, "It's Garage - get 'em!" and "tit-for-tat."

And no one, claiming to think, could back Romney with his weirdo "beliefs." But, instead of laughing him out of existence, they're lined up to hand him the keys to power.

It's simply sad, man,....

JL said...
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JL said...

"In their flight from elitism, they end up in a populist swamp peopled by autodidacts and fundamentalists. They become cheerleaders for a world without intellectuals, hastening a future in which they themselves will be irrelevant."

Personally, I'm a cheerleader for a world w/o pseudo-intellectuals who cling bitterly to their conceits and failed ideas, and pseudoscience where data is manipulated to get the desired results.

And for the record, I'd rather be stuck in a swamp full of autodidacts--who are true intellectuals-- and fundamentalists, than pseudo-intellectuals. The autodidacts would be clever enough to find the way out of the swamp, while the fundies prayed for our success. A swamp full of pseudo-intellectuals would die of malaria while quoting Paradise Lost.

This professor Jacoby is worried about his own irrelevancy in the face of online higher education. The tell is his use of autodidact as an insult. What a silly snob.

Revenant said...

There are winners and losers, and the winners are the people that are already pretty much winning.

That is entirely wrong. The "winners" are consumers, i.e. everybody.

Look, suppose you slap a big juicy tariff on, say, cars. Benefits auto workers; harms 310,000,000 Americans, who are now faced with cars that are (a) of inferior quality, (b) of reduced variety, and (c) more expensive. As a side effect, every part of the economy that depends on cars (hint: all of it) becomes more expensive.

Which means it costs more to produce, well, anything. So now our exports are less competitive, on top of everything else.

Revenant said...

The Rev must be an intellectual, because no one but an intellectual write something so stupid.

I'm mildly surprised to see you endorsing the position that sales tax increases improve the quality of life of ordinary Americans.

Of course, I guess I shouldn't rule out the possibility that you didn't realize you were doing that. :)

Dr. Jerry Herbel said...

What is "hyperconsumerism?" Consuming "too much" of something, presumably, but what is being over consumed and by how much? I had not heard of this problem before and I look at Slate and Vanity Fair fairly regularly.

Saint Croix said...
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Saint Croix said...
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Saint Croix said...
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Saint Croix said...

Bonus humor points for using "autodidact" as an insult.

Bingo. He despises the self-taught because he rates his own importance so high. "You need to be taught by me!"

The essence of teaching is to get your students to think for themselves. Does he suppose that students are to lock in what they are taught and learn nothing more after they leave school? Insanity!

Apparently Jacoby defines an intellectual as somebody who seeks to mold minds like clay. "Do what I say. Follow me. I will indoctrinate you. Hear my truth and do not question it." You get the entire history of fascism on the left from his hostility to the self-taught. He mocks people who learn on their own, who read, who think!

This is the same hostility we see on the left to people who home school. And we see with perfect clarity why the left hates all this. Indoctrination is their purpose!

After chasing right-wingers from the academy, now the liberals bemoan the missing right-wing voices in the academy! Meanwhile he cries out that if we think for ourselves, that's bad.

No, we must sit at his feet and learn from the master!

Christopher in MA said...

And no one, claiming to think, could back Romney with his weirdo "beliefs."

Weirdo beliefs, Crack? Like, say, transubstantiation? The Immaculate Conception? The Virgin Birth?

Robert Cook said...

"What's happened to intellectual life on the right?"

Wait...what? Has there been a sign of any?

Saint Croix said...

Note also that his hostility to the self-taught is almost identical to Obama's hostility to people who start their own businesses.

He derides people who do things on their own. He despises independent thinking.

"No! First there is the state/government/institution. We teach you. We mold you. And then, like a perfect robot, you go out into society and follow our teachings. Everything you do comes out of us. We are god."

Obama seems so weird and alien to us because he is so emershed in academia and has no real world experience. He is the perfect example of somebody who cannot learn on his own. He does not learn from his mistakes. He does not grow. He does not adapt.

This is why Obama needs dictatorship, and professors need tenure. He can't handle an actual, real world evaluation of his ideas.

The left loves the Supreme Court for the same reason. Unelected people who can't be fired for gross incompetence. You think an elected official would talk about how it's a constitutional right to rip off a baby's head?

The academy and the judiciary is the dumping ground for all the stupidity that can't exist when put under scrutiny.

Robert Cook said...

"Obama seems so weird and alien to us...."

He does? He seems like an entirely typical politician, speaking in bromides and serving as a dutiful lackey to the ruling class.

Matthew Sablan said...

"He seems like an entirely typical politician, speaking in bromides and serving as a dutiful lackey to the ruling class."

-- Politicians -are- the ruling class. They decide who gets rich and who stays rich; that's why lobbyists pay them tribute and beg them for favors. Like vassals to lords.

Robert Cook said...

Politicians are not the ruling class; they are servants to the ruling class. You mistake the butlers for the masters of the house.

AllieOop said...

Robert Cook is a genius.

Matthew Sablan said...

No, trust me. The people who can direct the IRS to investigate your life, who can use Kelo to take your stuff for the public good, and can tax your business into oblivion are much more in control than anyone else.

Christopher in MA said...

Politicians are not the ruling class; they are servants to the ruling class.

A distinction without a difference. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner can pass laws for you and I that they exempt themselves from. How is that not ruling class?

AllieOop said...

What about when the politicians are unduly influenced by billionaire donors? I suspect the billionaire donors aren't donating out of the goodness of their hearts.

What role does ALEC play?
Why does ALEC exist?

Jay said...

jimspice said...
the failure of Trickle Down Economics...


Captain Ignorant:

More than 46 million jobs were created in America between 1983-2007.

Guess who held the WH a majority of that time?

18+ million jobs were created while Reagan was in office. If that is "failure" then I guess Obama having more people go on SSI Disability than get a job in the last 3 years is "success"

PS: the idea that you and your ilk are "intellectuals" as evidenced by your silly, dipshit post, is such parody that nobody takes it seriously.

Matthew Sablan said...

ALEC is just a new boogeyman. Special interests appeal to government to dole them out favors, because government could crush them if they wanted. Remember, the government stepped in and chose who could benefit from GM's financial situation and cut out those it did not favor. It chose which dealerships to close and which debts to pay.

Billionaires are buying -favors-. If you rule, you do not buy favors. If you need to petition someone, then you are in the subservient role.

Joe Schmoe said...

Jimspice, the left co-opts science when it suits them, and discards it when it doesn't. Empirical you are not.

If the left really embraced science, they wouldn't prefer grossly-inefficient and ineffective alternative energy sources like wind and solar over nuclear and hydroelectric. They wouldn't oppose agricultural practices that increase yields without harming people, thus allowing more people around the world access to more food. They wouldn't advocate the use of light bulbs that introduce mercury into every single home in the country. They wouldn't crow about the carbon footprint of SUVs, which pales in comparison to that of aircraft (the preferred method of travel for lefty elites). They wouldn't turn a blind eye to the wildlife killed by windmills while exagerrating the danger of fossil fuel or mineral extraction. They wouldn't advocate for totalitarian countries with illiberal cultures, especially at the expense of countries that do have truly liberal cultures.

Just admit it. You guys make shit up based on what 'feels good' to you. You only try to claim that you're science-based to throw off the charge, that sticks, that you make shit up based on what makes you feel good.

Rob said...

Oh, the same thing over and over. I strongly disagree with your principles. I am very smart. Therefore, you are not very smart. Rinse and repeat.


Recently research showed that rightys can explain the beliefs of leftys much better than vice-versa. This explains a lot.

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