JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2008/07/quote-of-day_30.html (12 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1217429405-594834  Sailorcurt at Wed, 30 Jul 2008 14:50:05 +0000

"I think one must be careful in assuming that intellectuals have some kind of insight. In fact, if the track record of intellectuals is any indication, not only have intellectuals been wrong almost all of the time, but they have been wrong in corrosive and destructive ways."
--Sander L. Gilman, University of Illinois at Chicago

"The fact that academics are overwhelmingly of the political left is perfectly consistent with their assumption that third parties -- especially third parties like themselves -- should be controlling the decisions of other people who have first-hand knowledge and experience."
--Thomas Sowell

"Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously."
--Gilbert Keith Chesterton

jsid-1217429746-594835  Kevin Baker at Wed, 30 Jul 2008 14:55:46 +0000

Oh, those are good. Especially the last one.

jsid-1217437726-594843  Ed "What the" Heckman at Wed, 30 Jul 2008 17:08:46 +0000

I'll repeat this quote from Modern Fascism, plus a little more, just 'cause it fits so well here.

"No one should doubt the intellectual sophistication of the National Socialists. Elie Wiesel discovered that, contrary to the myth that the Nazis were uneducated brutes, most of the killers of the death squads had college degrees, including some with Ph.D.s in philosophy, literature, and even theology. Jaroslav Krejci likewise found that while fascist movements in general tend to draw heavily from the lower middle-class, in those countries where fascism has been most successful—namely, Italy and Germany—students and the university-educated were strongly represented. One study of a local Nazi party organization shows that 43.3 percent were university students.

"Georg Lukás has observed that tracing the path to Hitler involves the name of nearly every major German philosopher since Hegel: Schopenhauer, Nietzche, Dilthy, Simmel, Scheler, Heidegger, Jaspers, Weber. That the Nazis emerged out of such a distinguished intellectual tradition should by no means discredit completely the achievements of these important thinkers. But ideas have consequences, and the ideas that led to Auschwitz deserve special scrutiny. This is especially true when those ideas, often adopted uncritically, are still in vogue."

Later in the book he also quotes Hitler:

"Nothing makes me more certain of the victory of our ideas than our success in the universities."

jsid-1217438172-594844  Ed "What the" Heckman at Wed, 30 Jul 2008 17:16:12 +0000

BTW, Juris. It is exactly this parallel that I think carries more weight and has more impact on the direction of our country than the mere fact that our basic framework of government hasn't changed for so long. Our ability to draw on that history can make it more possible to defeat these destructive ideas. But to do so requires first that we recognize the true threat and that we can successfully destroy these evil ideas in the court of public opinion—a distinctly unlikely outcome given our population's obvious preferences for emotion and dissipation over logical reasoning and self discipline.

jsid-1217441471-594846  anon at Wed, 30 Jul 2008 18:11:11 +0000

I think it would be more correct to say intellectuals don't just want you to obey, then NEED you to BELIEVE.

jsid-1217442804-594847  Mastiff at Wed, 30 Jul 2008 18:33:24 +0000

Interesting. I'm reading Gramsci right now, and one of his complaints about the Italian education system is that it is heavily skewed towards liberal arts, to the near exclusion of "productive" education which he (as a doctrinaire Socialist) prefers. This provided fodder for the endless growth of the bureaucracies, without actually generating economic development.


jsid-1217443715-594848  Kevin Baker at Wed, 30 Jul 2008 18:48:35 +0000

I think it would be more correct to say intellectuals don't just want you to obey, then NEED you to BELIEVE.

No, it's worse than that. Re-read Hoffer:

He wants you to get down on your knees and praise the one who makes you love what you hate and hate what you love. In other words, whenever the intellectuals are in power, there's soul-raping going on.

I can't find the quote, but somewhere else I read a similar characterization of communist "pravda." The purpose behind printing lies, it said, was to break down the will of the people to resist. Forcing them to see, day after day, things they knew were untrue, and to repeat them at the fear of vanishing in the night, was part and parcel of indoctrination. The inability to refute the obvious lies, over time, breaks the will.

They don't need you to believe. They need you to consciously submit to the lies.

jsid-1217464930-594854  DJ at Thu, 31 Jul 2008 00:42:10 +0000

Bullseye, Kevin. I've never seen it put more clearly.

jsid-1217467501-594857  anon at Thu, 31 Jul 2008 01:25:01 +0000

My original statement was trying to make the point that they have an EMOTIONAL NEED for us to believe. Your clarification of the resultant practical NEED for us to believe their lies hit me like a hammer and drives home the fact that you were already one step ahead of me! So... Humbly, I now echo DJ; 'bullseye.'

jsid-1217527638-594879  GrumpyOldFart at Thu, 31 Jul 2008 18:07:18 +0000

Hmmm... makes me think of something that occurred to me this morning...

Republicans attempt to be the party of justice, and are (often rightfully) chastised for their failure to achieve it.
Democrats attempt to be the party of revenge, and are praised for their success in it.

But you will note that Democrats will never CLAIM to be after revenge. No, they CLAIM justice. The important point is for the voter to believe that justice and revenge are synonymous.

jsid-1217772300-594970  Steve Sky at Sun, 03 Aug 2008 14:05:00 +0000

They don't need you to believe. They need you to consciously submit to the lies.

That summarizes George Orwell's 1984, "he loved Big Brother."

Unfortunately, we have politicians that truly love Big Brother (or see themselves as Big Brother), and want to force the rest of the population to love Big Brother as well.

jsid-1217807471-594986  Ed "What the" Heckman at Sun, 03 Aug 2008 23:51:11 +0000


You had argued that we had a different form of government than pre-WWII Germany and that our form had been around longer than theirs. I said that I didn't think so.

I just came across an interview with Kevin R. C. Gutzman, J.D., Ph.D., the co-author of a new book, Who Killed the Constitution?: The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush. Here is part of what he had to say:

"When last I was here, we discussed my previous book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution. There, I demonstrated that the Constitution as we now live with it is highly unlike the one that was actually ratified. In fact, its chief principles – federalism, republicanism, and limited government – have been almost entirely abandoned.

"In discussing that project with people, I noticed that many conservatives think that conservative politicians and judges, unlike their liberal opponents, respect and try to abide by the original understanding. I hoped to demonstrate that more than a partisan difference, the death of the Constitution has been a cultural development: virtually no one in the federal system adheres to the Constitution as originally understood. This is true of Democrats and Republicans, presidents, congressmen, and judges alike. It has been for a long time. My co-author Tom Woods and I prove it in
Who Killed the Constitution?"

It is exactly information like this which leads me to think that our government is no longer truly bound by the Constitution, and the protections it is supposed to provide against tyranny are now largely illusory. That, and actions like this:

Homeland Security: We can seize laptops for an indefinite period

What a breathtakingly obvious and audacious violation of the 4th Amendment! Of course, the 9th Circus, err, Circuit Court doesn't see any constitutional problem with it. :(

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