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I can’t take it anymore. Uncle! You were right, Thomas Sowell — though not right enough. Nothing good can come of intellectuals.
This is a stunning reversal from my earlier position. If you told the 2014 version of me that I’d join the barricades against the educated, against the literature junkies and the philosophy hobbyists and the “curious” class writ large, I’d have laughed in your face. But here I am.
Why have I changed? Because they’ve changed. Because I didn’t know, lo those many years ago, what a vacuous lot they were. I didn’t know that they, and not the illiterate underclass, were the real cultural vandals. Nothing in their behavior suggested as much. Forgive me, for I was blind.
If I drew a Venn diagram with two circles; one circle devoted to people who self-identify as voracious readers, and one circle devoted to people who think the United States is “systemically racist” and that believing in and publicly acknowledging the existence of two sexes is “hate,” the two circles would overlap by about 95 percent. And the problem isn’t that these people have been filling their heads with garbage and nothing else. A devotee of Charles Dickens or Fyodor Dostoyevsky is as likely to yell “ACAB!” as a devotee of Angela Davis. Nor is it about the educational institution, either. What happens to the idealistic young 21-year-olds churned out by the country’s six or seven classical liberal-arts colleges — the beacons of hope we conservatives pour so much money into? They head off to the charter and parochial schools, ready to enlighten a new generation . . . and turn woke. In with “pyramid of white supremacy” diagrams! (This very diagram circulated among Hillsdale alumni last summer, to some acclaim.)
So, I’m out. Call it reverse snobbery. Call it an overreaction. But if all that exposure to the best that’s been thought and said gives me is a mop of blue hair and a warm and fuzzy feeling whenever Ellen “Elliot” Page appears on television, then . . . what’s the point? Best to take my chances with the pipefitters.Published in