Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Let the Truth Rot


An excellent column on why it is that our "elite" (and pretty much everyone elses "elites") can't manage to get along with "the common man". The "let the truth rot" comment is from here in the column.

In Solzhenitsyn’s view, the intelligentsia had yielded to the temptation of Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor—may the truth rot, if people are the happier for it.
It's a worthy, but a bit pretensious read. Most of BOistans "intelligencia" manage to be either very narrow (know everything about nothing), or extremely shallow, knowing less than nothing (being wrong) about a set of "everything" that is quite narrow. It tends to not include much of history, philosophy, theology or classic literature -- eg. "Closing Of The American Mind". 

I found this part the most enjoyable. I disagree that BO would have survived at NIU in DeKalb. He would have wagged his finger one too many times and someone would have kicked his sorry ass in a local bar bad enough he would have run home to Michelle and likely written himself another biography about how tough it is to convince everyone of your brilliance.
The election of Barack Obama was the singular triumph of this class. His election was celebrated for the milestone in race relations that it represented. But among the intelligentsia, this ecstasy was heightened considerably because he was One Of Us. His imminent canonization as a secular saint is best understood in the context of the arrival of the intelligentsia at the apex of American political power. 
Obama was only the second professional intellectual to be elected president, the first being Woodrow Wilson. It is probably not a coincidence that these two presidents have been temperamentally our least democratic. Unlike Wilson, who taught Greek and Roman history and wrote a highly influential tome on the Constitution that excoriated the Founding, Obama was an obscure, part-time University of Chicago Law School lecturer who had produced no original scholarly work. I studied law at Chicago while Obama taught there, yet it never occurred to me to take a class with him. He did manage to write two books about himself and was undeniably talented at stimulating the intelligentsia’s erogenous zones, prompting Garrison Keillor to swoon on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion about how wonderful it was that at last we had our first president who was a “real writer.” (Abraham Lincoln could not be reached for comment.) 
Not to take anything away from Obama—he would have made a perfectly adequate assistant professor of political science at Northern Illinois University, if he had developed the self-discipline for academic work. But the reaction to him of the intelligentsia—the public intelligentsia, the sub-intelligentsia, the pseudo-intelligentsia, and the lumpen-intelligentsia—was embarrassingly self-parodic.



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