An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. Can they be brought together? This is a practical question. We must get down to it. I despise intelligence really means: I cannot bear my doubts.
What never fails inside the mind of an intellectual never works outside the confines of his head. The world’s stubborn refusal to vindicate the intellectual’s theories serves as proof of humanity’s irrationality, not his own. Thus, the true believer retrenches rather than rethinks; he launches a war on the world, denying reality because it fails to conform to his theories. If intellectuals are not prepared to reconcile theory and practice, then why do they bother to venture outside the ivory tower or the coffeehouse? Why not stay in the world of abstractions and fantasy?
Intellectuals are judged not by their morals, but by the quality of their ideas, which are rarely reducible to simple verdicts of truth or falsity, if only because banalities are by definition accurate.
A fundamental approach to life transformation is using social media for therapy; it forces you to have an opinion, provides intellectual stimulation, increases awareness, boosts self-confidence, and offers the possibility of hope.
The second most dangerous thing about money is that it leaves most of the people who have a lot of it with the unshakable belief that they are intelligent and well informed. The most dangerous thing about it is that it leaves most of the people who do not have a lot of money with the very same belief.
People who are not blessed with the ability to make others laugh compensate for that by saying (or trying to say) things that are profound.
I was utterly convinced that an intellectual could never be anything but an intellectual, was simply not capable of being anything else, that his intellectuality would, sooner or later, erode his faith or erode whatever he'd masked it with . . . For example, intellectuals like to dress themselves up as peasants . . . but it never works. The intellectual's constitution is impervious to such things - it permits only one object of worship - oneself. Generally speaking, an intellectual in the contemporary version is an exceptionally resourceful and, essentially, pitiful being.
Intellectuals cannot find the bottom (base) of the faith. It is not possible to do both together, to remain afloat and (also) measure the ocean depth at the same time.
During the Bosnian war in the late 1990s, I spent several days traveling around the country with Susan Sontag and her son, my dear friend David Rieff. On one occasion, we made a special detour to the town of Zenica, where there was reported to be a serious infiltration of outside Muslim extremists: a charge that was often used to slander the Bosnian government of the time. We found very little evidence of that, but the community itself was much riven as between Muslim, Croat, and Serb. No faction was strong enough to predominate, each was strong enough to veto the other's candidate for the chairmanship of the city council. Eventually, and in a way that was characteristically Bosnian, all three parties called on one of the town's few Jews and asked him to assume the job. We called on him, and found that he was also the resident intellectual, with a natural gift for synthesizing matters. After we left him, Susan began to chortle in the car. 'What do you think?' she asked. 'Do you think that the only dentist and the only shrink in Zenica are Jewish also?' It would be dense to have pretended not to see her joke.
Anyone who has read enough, explored enough and experienced enough, somewhere in his/ her life will realize that the life is repeating itself again and again and again. He/she will soon understand there is nothing new to discover, all quests of human life have been experience and discovered in the past and all we do to play the game over and over to gain a different result, like an idiot who watches movie several time and hope to see a different ending. In such age, people no to remain enthusiastic, they need to still be excited about the story, which they have heard more than millions of times. Hence, intellectuals and creators create new toys for them. The toys that practically has the same purpose and affect the same result, but ordinary human does not need to know that. They need to be interested to play, because if we stop, the world will stop, and then the age of nothingness will end. And we cannot let that happen can we?
Scientists and inventors of the USA (especially in the so-called blue state that voted overwhelmingly against Trump) have to think long and hard whether they want to continue research that will help their government remain the world's superpower. All the scientists who worked in and for Germany in the 1930s lived to regret that they directly helped a sociopath like Hitler harm millions of people. Let us not repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
A professional headshot in front of a bookshelf says you're an intellectual. A professional headshot peeking though a bookshelf says you're probably under a restraining order.
I cleaned the shit off my pink high-tops and drove home, stopping for an espresso at the coffeehouse across from the college. Men and women were hunched over copies of Jean Paul Sartre and writing in their journals. Most wore the thin-rimmed tortoiseshell glasses favored by intellectuals. Their clothes were faded to a precisely fashionable degree; you can buy them that way from catalogs now, new clothes processed to look old. The intellectuals looked at me in my overalls the way such people inevitably look at farmers. I dumped a lot of sugar in my espresso and sipped it delicately at a corner table near the door. I looked at them the way farmers look at intellectuals.
Respectable opinion would never consider an assessment of the Reagan Doctrine or earlier exercises in terms of their actual human costs, and could not comprehend that such an assessment—which would yield a monstrous toll if accurately conducted on a global scale—might perhaps be a proper task in the United States. At the same level of integrity, disciplined Soviet intellectuals are horrified over real or alleged American crimes, but perceive their own only as benevolent intent gone awry, or errors of an earlier day, now overcome; the comparison is inexact and unfair, since Soviet intellectuals can plead fear as an excuse for their services to state violence.
Intellectual controversies tend to be like dog fights without the teeth, in which the barking not the biting does the damage.
There are few genuine conservatives within the U.S. political system, and it is a sign of the intellectual corruption of the age that the honorable term 'conservatism' can be appropriated to disguise the advocacy of a powerful, lawless, aggressive and violent state, a welfare state for the rich dedicated to a lunatic form of Keynesian economic intervention that enhances state and private power while mortgaging the country's future.
Those intellectuals are our natural enemies; the only kind who are worth anything are the musicians and the dancers: they don’t insult anybody with their performances, and they neither sing nor dance politics. So I like them; but don’t let me hear a word about the rest
There is nothing that an intellectual less likes to change than his mind, or a politician his policy.
In advanced societies it is not the race politicians or the rights leaders who create the new ideas and the new images of life and man. That role belongs to the artists and intellectuals of each generation. Let the race politicians, if they will, create political, economic or organizational forms of leadership; but it is the artists and the creative minds who will, and must, furnish the all important content. And in this role, they must not be subordinated to the whims and desires of politicians, race leaders and civil rights entrepreneurs whether they come from the Left, Right, or Center, or whether they are peaceful, reform, violent, non-violent or laissez-faire. Which means to say, in advanced societies the cultural front is a special one that requires special techniques not perceived, understood, or appreciated by political philistines.
We've no use for intellectuals in this outfit. What we need is chimpanzees. Let me give you a word of advice: never say a word to us about being intelligent. We will think for you, my friend. Don't forget it.
To leave town, and the struggle and the swim of life, and go and hide yourself in a farmhouse is not life -- it is egoism, laziness; it is a kind of monasticism, but monasticism without action. A man needs, not six feet of land, not a farm, but the whole earth, all Nature, where in full liberty he can display all the properties and qualities of the free spirit.
What is fascinating is that it is physical. You know, that's one thing about intellectuals, they've proved that you can be absolute brilliant and have no idea what's going on. But on the other hand, the body doesn't lie, as we now know. Nono, it'll be great, because all of those ph.Ds are in there, like, discussing modes of alienation, and we'll be in here quietly humping.
In the most secret heart of every intellectual ... there lies hidden ... the hope of power, the desire to bring his ideas to reality by imposing them on his fellow man.
The real problem of the world is that the number of the current idiots is much greater than the intellectuals of the past decade all together.
Notwithstanding the memories of slavery, and in the face poverty, ignorance, terrorism, and subjugation still deeply woven into their lives, the embittered past of blacks was taken onto a much higher plane of intellectual and artistic consideration during the Renaissance.
Richard Wright and his Negro intellectual colleagues never realized the plain truth that no one in the United States understood the revolutionary potential of the Negro better than the Negro's white radical allies. They understood it instinctively, and revolutionary theory had little to do with it. What Wright could not see was that what the Negro's allies feared most of all was that this sleeping, dream-walking black giant might wake up and direct the revolution all by himself, relegating his white allies to a humiliating second-class status. The negro's allies were not about to tell the Negro anything that might place him on the path to greater power and independence in the revolutionary movement than they themselves had. The rules of the power game meant that unless the American Negro taught himself the profound implications of his own revolutionary significance in America, it would never be taught to him by anybody else. Unless the Negro intellectuals understood that in pursuit of this self-understanding, they would have to make their own rules, by and for themselves, nationalism would forever remain--as it was for Wright-- a bewildering and vexing question.
Traditional American intellectuals are, in a sense, increasingly reactionary, and quite often proudly (and perversely) ignorant of many of the truly significant intellectual accomplishments of our time.
If mind is seen not as a threat but as a guide to emotion, if intellect is seen neither as a guarantee of character nor as an inevitable danger to it, if theory is conceived as something serviceable but not necessarily subordinate or inferior to practice, and if our democratic aspirations are defined in such realistic and defensible terms as to admit of excellence, all these supposed antagonisms lose their force.
The sciences have two extremities which meet. The first is the ignorance in which men find themselves at birth. The second is that attained by great souls. They have surveyed whatever man can know, find that they know all, meet in that same ignorance whence they started. It is a clever ignorance, which knows itself. Those among them who, having emerged from the first ignorance, have been unable to achieve the other & have some smattering of this self-satisfied knowledge, pose as experts. The latter do not disturb people, are no more mistaken in their judgments on everything than others. The masses, the skilled, make up the retinue of a nation. The others, who respect it, are equally respected by it.
Two classes of people make up the world: those who have found God, and those who are looking for Him - thirsting, hungering, seeking! And the great sinners came closer to Him than the proud intellectuals! Pride swells and inflates the ego; gross sinners are depressed, deflated and empty. They, therefore, have room for God. God prefers a loving sinner to a loveless 'saint'. Love can be trained; pride cannot. The man who thinks that he knows will rarely find truth; the man who knows he is a miserable, unhappy sinner, like the woman at the well, is closer to peace, joy and salvation than he knows.
If a man isn't willing to take some risk for his opinions, either his opinions are no good or he's no good
One minute. You know nothing about him. He probably has his own joys and interests- wife, children, snug little home. That's where we practical fellows'- he smiled-'are more tolerant than you intellectuals. We live and let live, and assume that things are jogging on fairly well elsewhere, and that the ordinary plain man may be trusted to look after his own affairs.
Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn't trust the evidence of one's eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the latest mission civilizatrice.