[lbo-talk] "Anti-intellectualism

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Sun Dec 18 15:18:39 PST 2011

-----Original Message----- From: lbo-talk-bounces at lbo-talk.org [mailto:lbo-talk-bounces at lbo-talk.org] On Behalf Of // ravi Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2011 4:13 PM To: lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org Subject: Re: [lbo-talk] "Anti-intellectualism

On Dec 18, 2011, at 12:14 PM, c b wrote:
> ?"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way
> through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion
> that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your
> knowledge.' " - Isaac Asimov

IMHO, the trouble with these sort of statements (usually uttered from science types) is that "your knowledge" is often a sort of preying on "my ignorance". Nobody (ordinary citizens) understands why the banks had to be bailed out in great haste and without any serious penalties or regulation. But the "science" of economics and finance - across the acceptable political spectrum - told us it was absolutely necessary.

I think the Tea Party and OWS are, in part, motivated by the suspicion or resentment that "your knowledge" doesn't entitle you to bypass "our democracy".

And many (most?) of the more prestigious _left_ economists were equally insistent on the necessity. Wisconsin & OWS have had _some_ effect in penetrating the fog of economics, showing the need for a _political_ rather than a "scientific" (Marxist or otherwise) perspective. Among other criteria, to think politically is to try to see what, in the case of an enormous left upsurge, you will wish in the future that you had said in the present. If you are wrong, nothing is lost. If you are right, you have helped to prepare for that hyupothetical upsurge of the left.


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