Over on the First Things blog, Nathaniel Peters points us to this sharp article by Thomas Sowell that notes the crowing of journalists that with the election of Obama we have turned away from the anti intelligent position of America. Now ‘intellectuals’ are going to be valued. Intellectuals (we should explain) are people who are comfortable with complexity, like ideas and read the classics. Sowell points out how intellectuals down through the ages have consistently messed up big time.
Fact is, you might be really smart and really educated, and your theories might sound wonderful, but if your basic principles and foundation assumptions are wrong you’ll end up with the wrong conclusions, and Sowell shows how those wrong conclusions cost lives.
Check out Sowell’s article. I especially like this quotation from Wm Buckley saying he’d rather be represented by the first 100 names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard.
As a budding intellectual (3rd year Grad student in Economics) I would point that not all who hold PhDs are blinded by the ivory tower. Also, not all of us are leftist windbags either. (not that this was implied by your blog) I know that a great many academics are, but there are pockets of conservatism if you know where to look.Also, I would presume that Mr. Buckley’s disdain for the Harvard faculty was a product of his Yale education. Funny nonetheless.
Indeed. I should say it’s the ‘intelligentsia’ i dread, not the true intellectuals
I refer to must of those folks as being educated beyond their intelligence.
The Bible says “The wisdom of man is foolishness with God”. How many times over has THAT statement been proven to be true?
“but if your basic principles and foundation assumptions are wrong you’ll end up with the wrong conclusions”Absolutely. My husband has always insisted that the primary difference between conservatives and liberals is that liberals believe in the perfectibility of man and conservatives acknowledge original sin.Wouldn’t you know that a recent family “debate” finally worked its way from “Palin is an idiot” to the relative promoting socialism as Christian saying, “Well, if God created us in his image, aren’t we inherently good?”People seem to think they can ignore or flippantly come up with their own ideas about foundational Truths when their entire system of thought is based on this idea.All this under the premise that the rest of us just aren’t willing to think outside the box. Some boxes are essential!
Speaking of intellectuals, I think that last post by my two year old was especially profound.
This comment has been removed by the author.
OK read this if you want to consider real conservativism in all of this.
german family – you simply MUST get an agent for your two year old…brilliant, brilliant! The brilliant thing is that your two year old was permitted to breath outside your womb!Spent the weekend with “intellectuals” this past weekend … saints perserve us…
An old Japanese proverb: Knowledge without wisdom is like a load of books on the back of an ass.MaryW