“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


The most popular fashion among professional intellectuals. Only the professional intellectual can afford to be anti-intellectual.



Nick Guetti said...

I have debates about this with a lot of people. Some put it like you have: as if intellect is some currency, like money, where some nauseatingly rich person can talk about how money is not important. Some say there is no anti-intellectualism--or to the extent there is, it's deserved, since intellectuals consistently prove useless to the rest of society...who presumably this argument presumes to be made up of non- intellectuals. In my experience anti-intellectualism is very prevalent in the USA among mostly working class people, who deliberately censor their own speech to iron out any "big" words that might sound smart, thereby severely limiting their own ability to communicate their own thoughts. This is encouraged (has always been) by populist demagogues who seek to downplay the importance of education, which is where intellect really comes from (it's not currency, nor something one is born with or predestined for), for political reasons.

Nick Guetti said...

Part 2: it is these politicians who get rich off of our own images of undeserving pointy-headed intellectuals and plain, simple average citizens. The best way to counter this is to stop treating intellect as if it were a gift limited to the chosen few and start treating it like a resource. Part of this is quitting intellectual cynicism and starting to relate ideas with right action in conspicuous ways: in other words, voice concepts and principles of philosophy and science as directives rather than mere abstract ideas, and create working models to show their value. I think this is really where intellectuals tend to fall short.