Copyright © Larry Johnson November 2020
In recent times there has been a development in what can be termed the ‘intelligentsia’. Society has probably always included such an establishment, most likely becoming more prominent in the 18th Century or perhaps even with Reformation in the 16th century; when too many supposed they had discovered the truth about life, but in fact thought themselves into some level of imbecility. There have always been groups or individuals who profess an expertise in everything, regardless of whether the appropriate qualifications and knowledge are extant. It is also peculiar that on particular topics, even in the case of the ostensibly qualified, agreement is beyond reach. Select any topic you like, climate change – whether it is warmer now than a thousand years ago, or CoVid-19 – whether borders should be closed or not, you will find opposite angles being taken by the ‘learned’. It even filters down to the trivial. I recall some time ago I was considering laying some lawn strips in the backyard. The first advice I received was from a gardening expert on the radio stating that the ideal time was at the beginning of Autumn. However not long after, another expert was adamant that Spring was the ultimate season. Being somewhat non-plussed I undertook to bypass the task at that moment. To be fair, both may have been (and probably were) correct; but their resolve in regard to their opinions left me not wanting to risk either option. Now I realise that many matters and things in this world are not black and white, and such controversies regarding trivialities are not the end of the world. However, when it comes to the more serious issues, thence the role, influence, and objective of the ‘intelligentsia’ is critical.
As stated, the intelligentsia has always existed. Whether it is the university scholar, the powerful business tycoon, politicians or journalists, opinions have been forthcoming since time immemorial. But there is a difference in the contemporary world. If you contemplate conditions before the advent of television, you will find opinions written in newspapers and commentaries on radio expounding advice and suggestions on fixing this matter or that. The commentator would state their view and defend it; but if others did not concur, they would acknowledge as much, normally without too much retribution. There may have been frustration, but it was not ordinarily worth working themselves into a monumental paroxysm. I would venture to assert that even the early years of television were ordered in this way.
But here is the thing. Many of the modern intelligentsia are too eager to meddle more than is necessary or useful. I assert that many of these individuals or groups are unable to objectify their thoughts and consequently their input becomes irrational. Their opinions are directed towards creating a new world view for everyone in accordance with their own. I realise that at this juncture, the reader will accuse the writer of the same behaviour. The reader will acclaim – aren’t you always stating your views? Have you not written essay after essay expounding your thoughts? Are you not putting yourself forward as intelligentsia? On the face of it you might have justification for your interrogation; but read on.
The reader of this essay may agree or disagree with my point of view. The reader may not even have reached this paragraph before casting the whole project off as nonsense and a waste of time. And whereas I would be chuffed to find everyone who perused this little deliberation to agree, granting me the feeling that I have changed the world, it would not represent a common-sense approach. If the reader is not in acquiescence with the thoughts expounded in my essays that is quite all right. Neither party should lose any sleep over it. The new intelligentsia do not appear to see it that way. If you are not in agreement, you are wrong: end of story. If you dare to challenge their views you could very well be made to feel like a pariah. Their victory will be complete when they have crushed any will to challenge them at all.
This has occurred with many issues in recent times. If you do not agree with abortion you are a misogynist. By the way, I wonder if women are really aware of the probable reasons that men support abortion. If not, they really do not know the male of the species very well at all. I will let the reader work it out, but it may have something to with fidelity and responsibility. We move on. If you don’t agree with same-sex marriage you are homophobic; if you don’t agree with climate-change you are a destroyer of the world; if you don’t ‘take a knee’ you don’t like coloured races; if you are not in agreement with IVF you are a callous individual with no concern for pro-creation. I wonder how many who agree with IVF also assent to the act of abortion, considering that many embryos are destroyed during the process of IVF.
On a political level the new intelligentsia have ambitions to rule, and similar to any form of totalitarianism will seek to crush any opposition. Once you have removed from society the confidence of people to express an opinion, the road to totalitarianism looms large. You see, I along with many others am a Christian. If I express Christian views on those social issues stated in the previous paragraph, there is a significant chance that the conversation will result in castigation by others, often radical left-wing socialists that perhaps including the authorities. My arguments may be presented in a civil manner, but the response will often be uncivil. I should be put down and made low so the fashion of the day may triumph. The irony is that if the other parties were not to agree with me, I would not consider that the end of the world. We must take the view that, in accordance with morality and common sense, cognisant of historical lessons, each is entitled to use his or her free will to decide for themselves. Conversely, if one cannot be persuaded to the view of the new intelligentsia, then upon that individual is lashed rebuke and humiliation, perhaps even violence.
The whole affair would not be such a threat if there were not sufficient gullible masses to follow the new intelligentsia. I fear the multitudes have lost the ability to discern the information they receive, or perhaps are too uninterested to bother. If something sounds fair enough, or convenient to their circumstance they will follow to nth degree, perhaps to the point of hostility. Many will follow an idea, not because the notion is at all intelligent or withstands moral scrutiny, but merely because of expediency, a skewed moral view, or that it conforms to their preferred lifestyle. Given the selfishness of the motives these constitute some of the most dangerous reasons to follow misguided cognoscenti. They that are so easily led into wayward ideas surrender meekly to them as it may at first appear that their life may be rendered easier, or perhaps be empowered. Empowerment can be a good thing as long as the aim itself is objectively good. For example, violently tearing down society in search of some supposed anarchic utopia is hardly morally upstanding. At the time of writing, many in the United States of America appear to have climbed aboard the socialist bandwagon at their recent election. One wonders if the majority that did vote in this way really knew what they were doing. Again, many leaders around the world appear to support the move. Do they know what they are doing? The world spent the twentieth century denigrating the evils of socialism and communism, yet now we appear to be willing to swallow the bitter pill that was once anathema. The problem is either gullibility or imbecility leading to an incompetence in discerning the message of the new intelligentsia who propose this direction. The test tube, tailor-made baby is another example. Does anybody recall the Second World War? Correct me if I am wrong, but did not the allies fight to defeat individuals that wanted to eliminate certain races? Were not the offending countries condemned for experimentation with genetics? Yet here we are many years hence pushing forward with similar callousness. As I mentioned earlier, how many embryos are discarded or destroyed as a result of IVF. Yet we assent to it because the self-appointed intelligentsia consider it reasonable.
So, who is this new intelligentsia? Well, it comprises those professions that are ever present: activists, politicians, journalists, and academics. These individuals and groups enjoy influence and currently appear hell-bent on creating a world according to their trajectory. It would be one thing if one had the confidence in their level of intelligence and motives, but the evidence is clear that primarily they are not that clever, and secondly their motives appear self-serving.
Moreover, in recent times a worrying trend has arisen. I write of ‘contributions’ from the world of the arts who have added their voice to the aforementioned. It now seems as though because you can act in movies or theatre, sing a song, write a novel, or paint a picture, it entitles you to be all-knowing and undertake the guidance of humankind. I once witnessed a ‘rock star’ who determined it a good idea to support a candidate who was an avid supporter of abortion. I have to assume the individual was also a supporter of the slaughter. I watched the ‘rock star’ carry on about how he wanted his country back. Unfortunately, the individual he was supporting won the election and the country henceforth descended upon a rocky road to rabble and continues to do so. The gentleman is not the only one. There is the case of a famous singer supporting a famous political family in the same country many years before: only to be subsequently let down when the family declined to invite one his best friends, a coloured gentleman, to some outlandish party. From what I have read he regretted his initial involvement. Now it is true that famous ‘stars’ have a history of being overtly involved in fund raising for various political parties. I see nothing wrong with that, but I draw the line when their own mouth runs away with them and they begin to play the politician; attempting to influence the masses through their ‘art’ – a lot of which in current days struggles to get any higher than sub-standard.
The dilemma as I see it, is that in particular, politicians, the media and the ‘artistic’ are groups that are ubiquitous to the masses. Politicians, journalists, television news presenters, comics, singers, actors, writers etc. possess such pervasiveness that they are, so to speak, ‘always in our faces’. They use this exposure to convince the multitudes of the efficacy of their ideals, realising that the multitudes are not alert to their agenda and not greatly interested in a virtuous society. Modern generations appear content to settle for a lower intellectual benchmark and are prone to not sufficiently question what they hear and read. If the man can play guitar, he must know all there is to know about life! Yes? So, we will hang on every word he speaks! Regrettably, many of the aforementioned groups have a severe leaning toward the socialist radicalisation of society; and they are the ones who will pummel you if one dares to question their dogmas or actions. So, what are we to do? In the case of the ‘rock star’ previously alluded to, although he had long been a favourite of mine, ties were cut in terms of further purchases of his music or even listening to that already in my possession. The usual response to this is that we should separate someone’s views from their music (or art). I retort that it depends on the gravity of what they proclaim and about what subject. In my view, tolerance is difficult to apply when it comes to something as serious as abortion and the response needs to commensurate. Apropos politicians, journalists, the ‘artistic’ etc. sub-standard as their quality is these days, it would appear we are affixed to this state of affairs for a while at least. My advice in regard to the new intelligentsia is for the rest of us to use the brain bestowed by God. Research, reflect, and discern whether what is said is morally upstanding and good in light of the history of humankind and upon that base your judgement. The example of socialism is a case in point. Historically it never worked. Morally and economically it was a disaster and for those who in the past believed it to be the answer to their happiness, the results were gravely disappointing. Henceforth why are we silly enough to consider such a pathway once more.