June 02, 2006

The Intellectual Left

In an essay looking at the vitriol directed by the moonbats at Jeff Goldstein, Ace nails the core reason why the left is so unhinged:

"The left, to a man, considers itself to be educated and enlightened. It matters not how little actual schooling a particlular leftist may have had, nor how unintelligent the person might be. They all consider themselves intellectuals of sorts. If they dropped out of college after one semester, they just think of themselves as autodidacts whose genius could not be stimulated by the ossified and bourgeois teaching of the academy....

This conceit, usually wholly undeserved, of practically every leftist in the world is what makes leftism so intoxicating for the intellectually insecure, and what makes leftists so easily led and manipulated. It's an attractive doctrine for those who wish to conceive of themselves as intellectual and brilliant, for it provides an instant short-cut to the equivalent of an MIT education. If you simply believe these things we tell you to believe, you are one of Us, one of the Intellectually Elite, one of the Cultural Vanguard. Just as giving oneself to Christ, and believing in His power, and accepting the need for and gift of His redemption, instantly makes one "saved" and enters one's name in the Book of the Heaven, so too does accepting leftist tropes and core beliefs make one one of the Secular Elect.

Now, the things the left wants you to believe are not easy to believe. It's hard to believe that, for example, taxing work and investment will not reduce work and investment (especially when one simultaneously believes that taxing the use of gasoline or other energy will reduce the use of gasoline or other energy). Nevertheless, while it may be difficult to believe these things, it's certainly easier to simply give in and believe these things than to, say, earn a Ph. D. in literary theory or semiotics or even something stupid like science or engineering.

So, if one wants to conceive of oneself as an intellectual, one can either actually become an intellectual -- which frankly takes a lot of work and reading, much of it terribly boring -- or one can simply believe what Noam Chomsky tells one....

Leftism, and liberalism, and progressivism, and etc-ism. are not merely simple politics for most of these people. Their politics to them are a core part of their identity, and, more importantly, a central support propping up their egos. They are enlightened because they believe these things; someone who does not believe these things, and yet who, superficially at least, appears to be about as smart as they might be, represents a threat to their egos. The foundation upon which a crucial structure of their sense of self-worth is undermined if they discover that there may be people who can pass as normal and intelligent and yet do not believe as they do.

If one is smart, then one believes in progressivism.

If one believes in progressivism, then one is smart.

Those are the two assumptions that prop up their sense of self worth, and they are refuted by examples of smart people who don't believe in progressivism.

And because there is a great deal of personal psychological investment in progressivism, they react intemperately to rejections of it. It's not merely a tax cut that's being debated; it's their very sense of importance that's being attacked. It's not merely gay marriage which is being argued against; it's their value as human beings that is being uncouthly denigrated."

Emphasis mine.  I couldn't just excerpt a few sentences...  Now, for that rant:

Anyone who believes that Smart = Liberal can kiss my overeducated ass.

I consider myself an intellectual, an academic.  Certainly, my business cards purport me to be.  They include the word "Professor" and the letters "Ph.D.".  I worked FUCKING HARD to be able to carry those cards around legitimately.

But it's not a part of my politics.

Someone please tell me where, on either of my large and colorful diplomas it says "Committed to Gay Rights" or "Against the War" or "Bush Stole the Election"???

I assure you.  None of those are there.  I just looked.

I consider myself an intellectual and a conservative.  I believe that I am a conservative because I AM SMART ENOUGH to see what is going on.  Because I have been a good student of history.  Because I have seen what liberal policies and a liberal victim mindset have done to our poor and minority communities.

But just because I am a conservative doesn't mean that I am heartless, or stupid, or blindly led by my faith in Jesus.  And what the fuck is wrong with that anyway?  Since when did believing that the Son of God died on a cross to take away the sins of the world mean that you were somehow less of a person?  Is it better to be Jewish because the Jews were/are persecuted?  To be Muslim because they wage a holy war?  My CHRISTIAN Armenian forebears would tell you that the persecution of Christians isn't just a story from the Roman Empire....

And being conservative doesn't stop me from being progressive.  I believe in the rights of gay couples to be married under the law.  I believe that they deserve equality as families, including survivor, visitation, and parenting rights.  I believe in a woman's choice to have an abortion, because I believe we should all be able to choose what medical procedures we undergo.  I believe we should safeguard our environment, but we should be prudent.  People are native wildlife, too.

And on the other hand, being a liberal or a progressive doesn't automatically mean you're brilliant either.  Especially the Hollyweird types who equate fame with brains.  Listen up Alec, Sean, Susan, Tim, and Charlie:  It wasn't your brains that made you $$ on the big screen.  Unless of course your brains are in your once "hot" asses.

I can understand exactly why Goldstein is so reviled. Like me, he's an inhabitant of the Ivory Tower, a card-carrying member of the big boys (and girls) club. The fact that he's "different" is as good as a betrayal of their secrets. Like a Narc whose sole purpose is to harsh on their mellow and round up the usual suspects for The Man. He's trusted, accepted, and assumed to be "same". That he would have something in common with the rabble at the Tower's base is as shocking as it is incomprehensible.

Except that we all have something in common with them. The "rabble" down there are people too. We just haven't given them the keys to the Tower door.

Posted by caltechgirl at June 2, 2006 10:07 AM | TrackBack

You go, girl!!

Another reason I think the 'educated' left is so looney is the immature mindset which they never grow out of...think of when you were in college...most of those young people are in a 'me, me, me' part of their lives...very normal for that age. Some (like yourself) grow up out of it and face the real world. Others stay surrounded by that immature mindset and never move on. They think everyone else isn't 'cool enough'. Oh, well, enough of my mini-rant...yours was much better!

Posted by: Mrs_Who at June 3, 2006 06:11 AM

Terrific rant CTG... ::applauds::

Posted by: Richmond at June 3, 2006 03:45 PM

I had to come back & read this again without interruption... This is great. You nailed it, CTG.

And, ironically, those who spout "diversity" are against it in their own ranks... assuming all intellectuals and academics are the "same," as you point out.

Out of curiosity, what's it like to be in the wise minority?

Posted by: Marie at June 4, 2006 04:25 AM