Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hope for intellectualism

I think this was a pretty cool analysis of the current state of public intellectualism by Daniel Drezner. Some of the more cynical will have their doubts.

4 comments:

The Exterminator said...

Well, I'm one of those more cynical people you referenced. What the fuck was Drezner blathering on and on about?

The situation pointed out by skeptics like Susan Jacoby -- and by you and me, for that matter -- is not the lack of "public intellectuals" today, but the decline in the percentage of people who choose to use their intellect publicly.

Labeling someone an "intellectual" doesn't necessarily mean that everything he or she says is intelligent. To me, a person is an intellectual if he speaks and writes intelligent ideas. For Drezner, though, it seems that spoken and written ideas are automatically deemed intelligent if they're produced by those who style themselves "intellectuals."

That's nonsense, of course. The number of alleged "intellectuals" may have no relevance whatsoever to the actual intellectuality that exists.

PhillyChief said...

What's completely ignored is the public opinion of intellectuals, which has nothing to do with how many there are now vs. other eras and little if anything to say about the quality of the intellectuals. Today, intellectuals are vilified as some know-it-all elitists. In the past, intellectuals got some respect, didn't they? In the past, an intellectual's opinion carried weight, now a fucking ex-Playmate's opinion is supposed to be worthy of equal time and respect on the issue of Autism as a doctor's, perhaps more so since those doctors are all in cahoots you know.

Btw, nice of Ezra to occasionally lean forward and head butt the camera to remind us that he's actually there and it's not just a photo of him.

John Evo said...

I don't know... I was alive during the 50's but a little "out of the loop". Ex is fond of telling just how much respect intellectuals supporting the great (and largely forgotten) Adlai Stevenson received.

the chaplain said...

Btw, nice of Ezra to occasionally lean forward and head butt the camera to remind us that he's actually there and it's not just a photo of him.

Thanks for explaining what he was doing. I thought maybe his pants were too tight.