Via Instapundit, this story from England’s Guardian newspaper
While France celebrates its intelligentsia, you have to go back to Orwell and Huxley to find British intellectuals at the heart of national public debate. Why did we stop caring about ideas? When did ‘braininess’ become a laughing matter?
So if you, like the Guardian, wonder why we don’t love us some intellectuals, let me enlighten you.
It used to be that there was a distinction between the ruling class and the intellectuals. The ruling elite were hereditary monarchs and their blood relatives and cronies. They had no particular claim upon our loyalties, and their claim to leadership amounted to “I’m in charge because daddy says so.” It would be hard to draw a distinction between hereditary monarchs in Europe and banana republic dictators, except that Europe adopted market economics and got rich.
Intellectuals made the claim that venereal transmission of power was wrong on its face and ordinary people should have the right to determine their own destinies. The explicitly took the side of the ordinary person against the ruling class.
Contrast that with what we have now. The intellectuals have decided that they should be the ruling class. Instead of sticking with the winning solution, that the individual has the right to determine his own destiny, they have decided to supplant the hereditary monarchs and their cronies and pretend that they have a plan that will maximize everyone’s happiness, so long as we do what they say. They tell us to shut up and do as we are told. They tell us that we are not fit to question their wisdom no matter how many times that their actions fail to lead to their desired results. They’ve become the exact replica of what they as a class fought against so long ago.
Worse than that, the way to become an intellectual has nothing to do with actually thinking! I can opine on all manner of subjects, and no matter what I say or who reads it I will never be called an intellectual. Neither will you. In order to become an intellectual you have to go to the right schools and parrot the right beliefs. You need to absorb the propaganda that the Left and the schools (but I repeat myself) put out. Once you have demonstrated your fealty to the principles of the intellectual ruling class, you are permitted to call yourself an intellectual. They love to rail against the “common wisdom,” but all they really do is parrot the teachings of their professors. No thought required.
That’s the reason “Intellectuals” are not taken seriously. They are our enemies, and they work to destroy us. They cloak it all in fancy words and faux caring and mawkish “feel your pain” crocodile tears, but they are our enemies and our would-be overlords. And no matter how stupid or uneducated they think we are, we know it.
Go up and read the quote again. See the false choice presented. It’s not “our” heavy thinkers versus “their” heavy thinkers, it’s “intellectuals” against the unwashed masses. To them, our smart guys telling them that they are wrong and that the people are sovereign, are just provincial boobs with no right to be part of the intellectual debate.
Shut Up, they explained.