Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Chris Hedges–The Treason Of The Intellectuals

I actually agree with most everything Hedges writes in this article.   In fact, in some way, shape or form, this article’s premise has been a topic on this blog numerous times.  That said, I certainly do not believe there has been any treason of intellectuals.  True intellectuals, like Albert Einstein, as one who is recognizable to everyone, never sold out. 

The very premise that liberal elites are intellectuals is preposterous in itself.   The very concept of liberal and elite evokes concepts of class.  Class is driven purely by ego-motive.  Ego is driven exclusively by an intent to control and defeats the purity of discovery and truth.    I generally chafe at any perspective of liberal or conservative or any ideological value because there are truths found in both governing values of conservatism and progressivism.  But, beyond conservatism and progressivism there is an even greater truth derived by the consideration of a stateless world.  A world where natural rights and true freedoms exist.  In this greater truth, both conservatism and progressivism are irrelevant, meaningless cults of control. 

By definition, an intellectual cannot be associated with any clique or class or dogma or bureaucracy or ideology or political party or political belief system or social stratification of any kind.   His mind must be free and unencumbered by any form of stratification or any type of faux allegiance to anything or anyone.   An intellectual uses mindfulness to become aware of his own faulty belief systems, subconscious and unconscious bias & dissonance, his own ego-motive’s intent of control and an awareness that rationalism and logic, while important, do not define all truths.  So, while we must embrace rationalism and logic, their truths are, in fact limited.  Frankly, a true intellectual cannot consider himself an intellectual, a meaningless social label, but only a seeker of the purity of discovery and truth.  And, that includes the purity of discovery and truth that resides within our higher self as well as the world around us because if I don’t really know who I am, how can I actually appreciate my own ego’s rationalizations of my behavior and beliefs or how I perceive the world around me?

If you understand the limits to the self’s perceptions of reality, we can start to understand how literally dumbed-down our society has become.  And how liberal elites were a major contributor to the dumbing-down of science, intellectualism, reason, human decency, human freedom and social values. 

If we truly embrace the purity of discovery and truth, and actually understand what is going on today both economically and socially, (systems of control –> perceptions and illusions)  we can appreciate how anthropogenic global warming, peak oil and the Palestinian issue, to name but three examples, are driven by liberal fanaticism and social cults.  They take complex issues that involve many known and even more unknown, understood and even more not understood factors and inputs and turn them into simple-minded, dumbed-down ideologies and fanatical cults.  Then when anyone challenges those fanatical beliefs, they aren’t met with the purity of discovery and truth but instead a ego-motivated fanatic intent to control.     

I could make the same remarks about the breadth and depth of conservative fanaticism as well.   It too is everywhere and equally destructive to true intellectualism.  Liberal fanaticism, a false truth, can only exist with a counterweight of conservative fanaticism, an equally false truth.   This is all driven by social stratification and the rise of politics, corporations and other institutions or bureaucracies of hierarchy as a form of near total control over our society.  Control that subverts intellectualism, the purity of science, discovery, freedom (true freedom exists within the uncluttered mind) and truth.    The institutions that have gained hierarchical control over society have led to overwhelming subversion of truth and a resultant dumbing-down of society.  Any complex ecosystem in nature that experiences this temporary illusion of control always reverts to a prior stable state, enters a new stable state or collapses.   That is why the corporate state is failing and its creation, modern capitalist society, is dying.   Systems of control including politicians, the state and corporations aren’t going to save anything.  They are simply making the ultimate destabilization far worse.

There certainly are many intellectuals in our nation.  Untold millions who have an ability to share their ideas and gifts with humanity.  But, their voices aren’t being heard.  This dumbed-down system of control has drowned them out.   And, as systems of control, that is exactly as intended.

A more appropriate title to Hedges’ article may be The Treason of Liberal Elites because they certainly aren’t intellectuals.  They are driven by the manifested self and its intent of control.

Those who doggedly challenge the orthodoxy of belief, who question the reigning political passions, who refuse to sacrifice their integrity to serve the cult of power, are pushed to the margins. They are denounced by the very people who, years later, will often claim these moral battles as their own. It is only the outcasts and the rebels who keep truth and intellectual inquiry alive. They alone name the crimes of the state. They alone give a voice to the victims of oppression. They alone ask the difficult questions. Most important, they expose the powerful, along with their liberal apologists, for what they are.

Hedges remarks sound a lot like Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience.   As well they should given the parallels to the times in which both were written are so similar. 

posted by TimingLogic at 10:07 AM

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