The View From 1776
Worshipping Al Gore as God of Weather Harms the World’s Poor
Liberal-progressives care more about their myths than about real-world results.
- Liberal-progressives tend to ignore reality and fall in love with abstractions. It's not their fault--it's just the way their brains are wired. Eric Hoffer was an excellent observor and commentator on this peculiarity about those who become fanatical about ideas:
A quote from "The True Believer": "...in order to be effective a doctrine must not be understood, but has to be believed in. We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand." Hoffer's insights are timeless.
Global warming fits this Hofferism to a "T"Posted by bill greene on 09/29 at 08:26 AM
I agree that Eric Hoffer's insights are timeless. (And he happens to be have been an "intellectual" that does not fit into your formula that all intellectuals are fatuous.)
But to the point of whether abstractions are valuable, I would argue that it is necessary to have the "vision thing," the capability to set high goals for the future, to make any meaningful progress in this world.
- There are three classes of intellectuals:
1) those like Hoffer, Mumford, Brewton, and Dalrymple who make useful reports and commentaries on what the commmon people are doing or have done.
2- Those like our academics and media pundits who parrot the latest theories of the beautiful elites and "sell" them to the youth.
3) The destructive ones who tear down a nation's foundations, like Choamsky, Gore, Hegel, Marx.
These three categories, for ease of description, can be designated as "the good, the bad and the ugly" - However, even the best don't ever put bread on the table, invent a beneficial process, create productive employment, develop a vaccine, grow food, design a sound governing system, or distribute and sell products. It is the common people who do all that. Some like Henry Ford and Bill Gates are especially and uncommonly good at the way they go about this, but they all avoid the pontifical trappings of intellectuals.Posted by bill greene on 09/29 at 11:13 AM
- Not all intellectuals are only intellectuals. Hoffer, for instance, was a stevedore, earning his bread by the sweat of his brow, and thus should not be lumped into the class of bloviators whom you say do nothing for their money except pontificate.
- Hoffer, Sowell, Buckley, and Beck are probably good examples of the first class of intellectuals--the "good" ones mentioned in post # 3 above. Limbaugh and Hannity are similar, something like Thomas Paine, a pamphleteer, who raised some serious political issues. Some of those among this "first" class of intellectuals are more beneficial than others to their nation, but all are merely reporters and commentators. And, none of them produce anything tangible of value as the common people do.
BTW -- There is nothing wrong with "tearing down other individuals" if they are acting harmfully --that's what freedom and democracy are all about. And, there is nothing wrong with tearing down bad policy or harmful regulations.
What is wrong are the actions of the 3rd class of intellectuals who tear down the foundations and principles that made the country succeed as no other society had ever succeeded in the history of the world. That's "ugly," and it is always the soft-science intellectuals in love with abstract ideas that have brought on the decline of successful nations.
The liberal elite's love affair with Global warming is a good current example of destructive policy. It causes misplaced anguish, expensive government programs, restrictive regulations, higher taxes, a bigger deficit, and worst--all those unintended consequences.Posted by bill greene on 10/02 at 07:47 PM
- The tearing down of other individuals becomes destructive when the bloviator in question uses lies, innuendo, ad hominem attacks, guilt by association, and other techniques of Joseph McCarthy to destroy the target.