Look Who's Anti-Intellectual Now

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on October 4, 2010


Jacob Sullum’s post is a good reminder that the so-called reality-based community, which prides itself on its supposedly high collective IQ, is in fact very much against book-learnin’; at least when the book-learnin’ in question involves reading works by conservatives and libertarians who are part of serious intellectual conversations in any gathering where genuinely smart and thoughtful people get together to discuss the power of ideas. To write a column full of thinly-disguised snideness, deriding people from reading–gasp!–Bastiat and Hayek is one of the best ways imaginable to signal that one is not interested in engaging in serious thought about the issues of the day. (I am sure that an equally snide article scoffing at liberals for reading Keynes, or Paul Samuelson would be met with scorn and fury by the New York Times, but apparently, the paper cannot find it in itself to accord the same respect to Bastiat and Hayek that it would afford to Keynes and Samuelson–which means that at best, the New York Times is only selectively interested in the power of ideas.)

What this entire episode really shows, of course, is that the people most insistent on proving themselves to be smarter-than-thou are the very ones who show that they don’t have what it takes to successfully engage in a serious intellectual debate and competition. In addition to believing that it is more virtuous than its political foes, Team Reality regularly pats itself on its back for supposedly being smarter and more knowledgeable as well. But one cannot proclaim devotion to the life of the mind, while at the same time contemptuously and perfunctorily dismissing those who engage in brainwork merely because the brainwork in question involves the reading of perfectly mainstream, celebrated, classical political texts with which one disagrees. I would imagine that the would-be reality-based crowd would get really mad if I accused them of “epistemic closure,” and commented on how their mental unwillingness to grapple seriously with mainstream, classical ideas with which they disagree clearly shows their intellectual failings to the world. So I decided to do just that in the sentence before this one.

  • http://www.palmspringsteaparty.ning.com DesertCactus

    It isn't about ideas or ideals. It is about power and the only thing that separates us, at this time, from a lot of third-world nations is our Republic form of government. However, there probably will come a time, just like in the Muslim world, where decapitation, bullets and IED's will become the wave of future power changes because the world is pressing in on America – a land with wealth, resources still undiscovered and vast open spaces. Prepare America. Your world is more fragile than you think. Don't believe me? Read these two articles.

    Up in the Air – Richard B. Andres – The American Interest Magazine http://ow.ly/2OvO0

    http://ow.ly/2EjrY This beheaded 12 year olds crime:? She was a Christian. Same for the others with her.

    http://ow.ly/2EifB Yea, We Are Different in America And I Want It To Stay That Way!

    http://ow.ly/2GWxE Rape of 4 year old by Imam is perfectly OK because it is written….

    http://ow.ly/2EhTu How To Stone A Young Woman , Crush Her Skull And Kick Her To Death by The Followers Of A loving Religion!

    http://ow.ly/2EhEj The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam. Any nation or power that gets in the way of that goal, Islam will fight and destroy

    http://ow.ly/2Ei9q Understanding Muslims. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!

    http://ow.ly/2EhJB Why the Mosque Should Be Built In “Death Valley, CA”

    http://ow.ly/2Eibp Can We Trust This Imam and This Muslim Center? U.S. vs. Holy Land

    http://ow.ly/2EhLN The truth about Isalm and Sharia Law

    http://ow.ly/2EhO9 How Dark The World Turns. Night Is Upon Us. Iran Is A world Instigator That Must Be Stopped.

    http://ow.ly/2EhQL Stop Muslim Immigration to the United State

    http://ow.ly/2EhYz The Islamization of Paris Hell No! We Are Not Giving Up Our Nation To The Muslims!

    http://ow.ly/2Ei0r The Quran-Burning – A Perfect Ending

    http://ow.ly/2Bdzu Robert Fisk: The crimewave that shames the world – Robert Fisk, Commentators – The Independent

    http://ow.ly/2H3Do Sharia: A challenge the Political Elites Are Ignoring At Our Peril!

    http://ow.ly/2HKeA A German’s View of Islam!

    http://ow.ly/2JVg9 Criticism of Islam Is New Front in PC War, Media Expert Says

    http://ow.ly/2JWrK Taliban blow up two more girls' schools in Pakistan – Jihad Watch

    http://ow.ly/2NHbB Economic Summit with the Islamic World!?

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