The Problem with Intellectuals

1) Noam tells us that “the responsibility of intellectuals is to tell the truth and expose lies.”

2) The problem is that they are not rewarded for doing so. Rather their status depends on appearing to be “brilliant” or at least “smart”.

3) But often “telling the truth and exposing lies” requires the opposite: i.e. telling people obvious facts they already know but can’t admit and don’t want to hear about.

4) In other words, basic intellectual honesty often requires us to be tedious and dumb. Hence, the dishonesty and uselessness of most intellectuals.

5) As usual, Orwell put it better: “If there are certain pages of Mr Bertrand Russell’s book, Power, which seem rather empty, that is merely to say that we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

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2 thoughts on “The Problem with Intellectuals”

  1. My every criticism of Obama before his election was met with disparagement; I was a racist or a Republican.

    I have yet to receive an apology for my stating publicly available information to associates that they refused to see for themselves.

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