Why don’t we love our “Intellectuals?”

Via Instapundit, this story from England’s Guardian newspaper
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.

6 responses to “Why don’t we love our “Intellectuals?”

  1. The scariest thing about the Intelligencia is the fact that nobody can be an expert on everything, and it seems that whenever somebody who is very intelligent in one area is advanced in society they will eventually start giving opinions on things they know NOTHING about, and because they are elevated many will simply assume they know what they’re talking about.

    I could go on and on with stories of silly things I’ve seen brilliant scientists and engineers doing. Just because you’re really smart about one thing doesn’t mean you’re smart when it comes to an unrelated subject.

  2. I love how he brings up Orwell in an attempt to make his case. This Orwell:

    “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.”
    Polemic (October 1945), “Notes on Nationalism”

    “England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during God save the King than of stealing from a poor box.”
    The Lion and the Unicorn (1941), Part I : England Your England

  3. This is simply excellent.

  4. @Borepatch: wow. Coming from you that’s high praise indeed. Thanks!

  5. “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.”

    Um … not really. At least, not IMHO. The successful revolutions against the old hereditary aristocracy were never led by intellectuals. Oh, they were led by intelligent men, but those men were intelligent men-of-the-world — lawyers, businessmen, tradesmen.

    The intellectuals who rose to leadership in Europe in the late 19th century were primarily motivated by selfishness. They didn’t get the respect they thought they deserved under the old aristocracy, so they sought to overthrow it and replace it with a new one in which they did get the respect they thought they deserved. They never wanted to change the social order; they just wanted to put themselves at its top.

    Today’s intellectuals perpetuate the same attitude, as you rightly observe, and that’s why they’re held in such contempt by many people.

  6. “The successful revolutions against the old hereditary aristocracy were never led by intellectuals. Oh, they were led by intelligent men, but those men were intelligent men-of-the-world — lawyers, businessmen, tradesmen.”

    We are defining “Intellectual” differently now than we did then. Back then it simply meant the smart guys. The smart successful guys who succeeded because they knew how the world worked and either used the knowledge to succeed, or in some way explained that useful knowledge to others.

    Now, “Intellectual” means the idiots that went to all the right schools and parrot all the right words. They’ve not got the right to polish the boots of our actual intellectual forefathers.

    The current crop has learned where to suck up, like the courtiers of the old monarchies. They don’t add value and better the world, they simply suck at whatever teat is most convenient. They’re basically the same worthless people we had before, and getting rid of them will probably be just as difficult as the last batch.

    You may be right about their lack of intent to change the social order. Whether or not they wanted to change it, they did. I’ll be damned if I let the current batch of a-holes change it back.