Sunday, April 29, 2018


I have almost exclusively been interested in words and ideas rather than people and everyday life. From the first novels I encountered at 15 I became entranced by the written word.Here were people,novelists who by dint of their imagination had managed to escape the fate of the average human, not for them the workaday life of the factory or shop,having to rub shoulders on a daily basis with the great unwashed masses,the vulgar hoi poloi , not for them to suffer the insolence of office, no, thy had created an independent world peopled with strange characters, full of surreal events and adventure,totally immersed in the realm of ideas, so naturally  from then on I could not contemplate going to work in an office or factory myself, ekeing out a mundane existence.

In his book Intellectuals the historian Paul Johnson discusses how Marx who became famous for writing about work, economics and factory life, never once set foot in a factory himself but got his financial supporter Engels to go traipsing round factories doing his research whilst he Marx sat in the British Library all his life writing his practically unreadable tracts.

Was it the remotenes of Marx's life, his complete isolation from the common man that made his theories of communism and socialism when put into practice so disastrous and calamitious,killing hundreds of millions and producing oceans of blood?

I wondered this when thinking of Ayn Rand and recalling that in her biography Barbara Brandon claimed that Rand admitted to her that she was an ivory tower intellectual and whether or not this story is accurate it is undoubtedly the case that Rand was was another impractical intellectual theorist who spent her working life in solitude as writers must,never mixing on a 9 to 5 basis with real people,who when she did attempt to work as a waitress before she became a writer was a complete failure and was sacked on the first day,who could not learn to drive so impractical was she but who yet created a whole fantastic world and brilliant philosophy of Objectivism which has yet not born any fruit whatsoever outside the drawing room in the political arena with Objectivist forever saying that it is too early yet.

Of course I am not comparing the two abovementioned writers as Rand was clearly a genius and I am sure her 'dry as dust philosophy' as it was called rather unfairly in a Daily Mail article a decade ago  can no doubt can be traced  back to practical concretes but rather to say all those who live by their intellect do not live as the average person does, subject as they are to the coarseness of every day life.

Maybe this is the root of the traihson de clerics - treason of the intellectuals phenomena (see my post on the Postmodernists), intellectuals are generally speaking a weird bunch. Try listening to Jordan Peterson on faith versus mysticism to know what real casuistry sounds like -or the even more ridiculous David Icke who lives in his own autistic parallel universe, admittedly notwithstanding  his essentially philistine anti conceptual anti intellectualism.

The British and indeed Americans have been praised in some quarters for their anti intellectualism and although there is a grain of truth in this and seeing how insane most public intellectual have been and continue to be such suspicion of the intellect is justified, it is however the only tool we have to make sense of the universe and the only alternative is mysticism and its concomitant barbarism.

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