Freedom 
Keys
a collection of amusing, 
fascinating, insightful, or 
maybe even useful information

     "There is nothing so absurd that some philosopher has not already said it." - Marcus Tullius Cicero

     "Nothing so offends the doctrinaire intellectual as our ability to achieve the momentous in a matter-of-fact way, unblessed by words." --Eric Hoffer

     "The talkers and writers resent being left on the sidelines by the doers." -- Thomas Sowell

      “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”- Albert Einstein 

"[The world is full of] intellects whose desires have outstripped their understanding." - Friedrich Hayek

      "Intellect is not wisdom." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell 


"There was a time when intellectual meant someone who uses reason and intellect. Today, people who call themselves intellectuals are in a form of mental death spiral: they search for, and find, those index cards that support their world view, and clutch little red books like rosaries in the face of all external evidence. They are ruled by appeals to authority. Their self-image and sense of emotional well-being trumps any and all objective evidence to the contrary. " -- Bill Whittle

"The most ridiculous, most despicable of all con artists are those pompous, condescending, so-called 'intellectuals' who purport to use the intellect to 'prove' the worthlessness of human intelligence -- and thereby, of the intellect.  They don't even seem to realize all they're doing is admitting their own self-negation in the most pathetic way possible, in public, to all but the most gullible." -- Rick Gaber

"The terrorists have spoken in words and in deeds, including suicide bombers. They have what Churchill once described in the Nazis as 'currents of hatred so intense as to sear the souls of those who swim upon them.'  We saw that on 9/11 -- or should have seen it. But many, especially among the intelligentsia, are determined not to see it. ... People who have long been sheltered from mortal dangers can indulge themselves in the belief that there are no mortal dangers. Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran or North Korea -- and, through them, in the hands of hate-filled terrorists -- may be all that will finally wake up such people. But that may be tragically too late." -- Thomas Sowell

"Adolescence is a relatively recent thing in human history -- a period of years between the constraints of childhood and the responsibilities of adulthood. This irresponsible period of adolescence is artificially extended by long years of education, much of it wasted on frivolities. Tenure extends adolescence even further for teachers and professors." -- Thomas Sowell

"Oh, I forget. It's CAMBRIDGE. Simple logic and reason doesn't apply. They are not only utterly divorced from reality, but they've obtained a permanent restraining order keeping reality a safe distance away." -- Jay Tea

"One of the surprising privileges of intellectuals is that they are free to be scandalously asinine without harming their reputations." -- Eric Hoffer

"Over the last 20 years or so the philosophic orientation known as 'postmodernism' (or 'po-mo,' to the cognoscenti) has become the dominant mindset in many humanities departments in American universities, especially in English departments. ... The po-mo view is metaphysically anti-realist and anti-naturalist ... socially subjectivist in epistemology ... In short, postmodernism is relativism run riot, skepticism on stilts." -- Gary Jason, "Socialism's Last Bastion"

"The decay of society is praised by artists as the decay of a corpse is praised by worms." --  G.K. Chesterton

"Karl Popper once advised a student that if he wanted to reap intellectual fame, he should write endless pages of obscure, high-flown prose that would leave the reader puzzled and cowed. He should then here and there smuggle in a few sensible, straightforward sentences all could understand. The reader would feel that since he has grasped this part, he must have also grasped the rest. He would then congratulate himself and praise the author." -- Anthony de Jasay

"This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read." -- Winston Churchill

Find "a reminder of the obstacles that continue to be faced by entrepreneurs everywhere: Really Smart People With Really Bad Ideas" .. [who use the coercive powers of the government]  Here
  "What are intellectuals for but to complexify the obvious? -- Zhangliqun
POETIC JUSTICE: Precisely the
                                      kind of thug Chomsky's kind of
                                      intellectual empowers
"Since when is Noam Chomksy's famous statement, 'Colorless green ideas sleep furiously,' nonsensical?  It describes environmentalism perfectly." -- John Alejandro King
Academic nonsense at Dartmouth
The Chomskybot!
Now you'll never need to hire a posturing intellectual again! This program will do all the pretentious posturing you'll ever need for you!

The Chomskybot is a demonstration of a peculiarly primitive variety of computational linguistics.  Once you've seen how it works -- if you care, and if you don't recognize quickly how it's done -- you're not likely to be interested in the boring details, but there are explanations of how it works in the links provided just in case you are. The operation, though, can be quite amusing, even delightful, once you "get it." 

The output it delivers just hovers on the edge of understandability, teasing you with a sort of semantic mumbling, the most interesting effects being in the mind of the beholder. Its output often induces a strong feeling of inferiority in the unsuspecting, a sense of "I just don't get it, so I must be dumber than I'd thought." which, of course, is precisely what posturing intellectuals, as well as your other, more common street-corner grifters and con artists, want you to feel.

Of related interest:
The Emperor's New Clothes: An All-Star Illustrated Retelling of the Classic Fairy Tale by Hans Christian Andersen


   "From time to time you can run across an article or a statement which is obviously written in phrases much more complex and convoluted than necessary.   In these cases I suspect a pompous intellectual is deliberately sacrificing clarity just for the false pride of appearing smart." -- Rick Gaber

"Americans should be ruled by educated elites because they are too stupid to think for themselves." -- Communists for Kerry

"Ego trips by coteries of self-exalting people are treated in the media as idealism, rather than the petty tyranny it is." -- Thomas Sowell

"People who are very aware that they have more knowledge than the average person are often very unaware that they do not have one-tenth of the knowledge of all of the average persons put together. In this situation, for the intelligentsia to impose their notions on ordinary people is essentially to impose ignorance on knowledge." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"No single person possesses anything close to the invisible collective knowledge held by the society as a whole." -- Jonah Goldberg, paraphrasing Friedrich Hayek, here

"The Many are Smarter than the Few" by James Surowiecki

"The world is full of smart people who have information about every imaginable topic, and until the Internet came along, there wasn't any practical way to put it together." -- John Hinderaker, as quoted in Time

"The power of the blogosphere (more properly, the internet) does not lie in a handful of bloggers with well-read sites. It resides in the hundreds of thousands, or millions, of smart, well-informed, engaged readers who, collectively, have amazing knowledge and expertise in just about any area you can think of. What is new is the ability to bring together these disparate sources of knowledge, analyze them, and disseminate them in real time. We help to do this, but on a big, fast-breaking story like this one, the real impetus comes from our readers--a point we make in every interview we give." -- John Hinderaker

"Question: What does the stock market know that the mainstream media do not? Answer: almost everything." -- Larry Kudlow

"There's nothing that does so much harm as good intentions." -- Dr. Milton Friedman, as interviewed in "Is America No. 1?" by John Stossel.

"Benevolence in public institutions has a short half-life no matter how noble its original intentions." -- Richard A. Epstein, Principles for a Free Society

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." -- Martin Luther King, Jr 

"Ego trips by coteries of self-exalting people are treated in the media as idealism, rather than the petty tyranny it is." -- Thomas Sowell

"Certain kinds of economic controls tend to paralyze the driving forces of a free society." -- F.A. Hayek

"Using governmental force to impose a vision on others is intellectual sloth." -- Ken Schoolland

"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance." --  Murray N. Rothbard

"Most intellectuals outside the field of economics show remarkably little interest in learning even the basic fundamentals of economics. Yet they do not hesitate to make sweeping pronouncements about the economy in general, businesses in particular, and the many issues revolving around what is called 'income distribution'." -- Thomas Sowell

"The perception of poverty as morally intolerable in a rich society had to await the emergence of a rich society."
-- Nathan Rosenberg 

"The cultivation -- even celebration -- of victimhood by intellectuals, tort lawyers, politicians and the media is both cause and effect of today's culture of complaint." -- George Will

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." -- Israel Regardie

"Someone once defined a social problem as a situation in which the real world differs from the theories of intellectuals. To the intelligentsia, it follows, as the night follows the day, that it is the real world that is wrong and which needs to change." -- Thomas Sowell

"Sociotropic voters with biased economic beliefs are more likely to produce severe political failures than are selfish voters with rational expectations." -- Bryan Caplan

"The meaning ascribed in popular usage to the word 'selfishness' is not merely wrong: it represents a devastating intellectual 'package-deal,' which is responsible, more than any other single factor, for the arrested moral development of mankind." -- Ayn Rand

"The American elite ... is almost beyond redemption. Moral relativism has set in so deeply that the gilded classes have become incapable of discerning right from wrong. Everything can be explained away, especially by journalists. Life is one great moral mush -- sophistry washed down with Chardonnay." -- Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

"Moral relativists are so insane that they don't even realize how totally they negate themselves by passing vehement moral judjments on people who make moral judgments." - Rick Gaber

"In the same way that so many intellectuals once turned a blind eye to the massacres perpetrated by communists, most intellectuals now evade the three decades of mass destruction and misery perpetrated by environmentalists. ... What is not seen are the countless human lives they have taken. By depriving Third World people access to the electricity that Western environmentalists take for granted, those people remain mired in poverty, darkness, wretched sanitation, and the resulting diseases and malnutrition that take millions of lives each year." -- Robert James Bidinotto, HERE.

"Multiculturalism asserts that all cultures are equal and therefore none may criticize another; intellectuals and politicians are therefore reluctant to declare the obvious superiority of Western culture to Islamic culture." -- Edwin A. Locke

"An e-mail from a reader says that liberals like to take the moral high ground, even though their own moral relativism means that there is no moral high ground." -- Thomas Sowell

"I can say (with a little funerary exaggeration) that Derrida taught me how to think. I saw that he was wrong about everything, and in figuring out exactly how anyone could be as wrong (and as boring) as he was, I learned a great deal about thought and logic." -- Stephen Cox

"It is the idea that all order must be explained by a functioning mind at the helm, not its denial, that has the closet affinity to the religious instinct." -- Julian Sanchez

"The belief that all wealth comes from stealing is popular in prisons and at Harvard." -- George Gilder

"The gap between what one knows and what one thinks one knows may be higher in the ranks of the elite. The result is supposedly-clever government interventions, introduced with excessive confidence, leading to disastrous results." -- Arnold Kling

"During the 1930s, some of the leading intellectuals in America condemned our economic system and pointed to the centrally planned Soviet economy as a model -- all this at a time when literally millions of people were starving to death in the Soviet Union, from a famine in a country with some of the richest farmland in Europe and historically a large exporter of food." -- Thomas Sowell

"Abetted by misguided or co-opted intellectuals, the rulers weave a cloak of legitimacy to disguise their theft and hence to ease their extraction of wealth from the rightful owners." -- Robert Higgs

"Screaming racism is the last refuge of leftist intellectuals who've completely lost their mojo." -- Neal Boortz

"Let's face it, most of us are not half as smart as we may sometimes think we are-- and for intellectuals, not one-tenth as smart." -- Thomas Sowell
 


"On Not Being a Patsy for Today's Intellectuals"

On Intellectual Dishonesty

The Malignant Fantasies 
of Collectivist Intellectuals

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COMMON GENIUS: Guts, Grit, and Common Sense
How Ordinary People Create Prosperous Societies
andHow Intellectuals Make Them Collapse
by Bill Greene




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OBSERVATIONS  ON 
POSTURING  INTELLECTUALS
______________

      "If you cannot state a proposition clearly and unambiguously, you do not understand it." -- Dr. Milton Friedman

   “There is not in all America a more dangerous trait than the deification of mere smartness unaccompanied by any sense of moral responsibility.” -- Teddy Roosevelt,  Abilene, KS, May 2, 1903

     "We Americans are lucky to live in a country with a history full of noble ideas, great leaders, and awe-inspiring accomplishments. Sadly, many of our elites want no part of it." -- Michael Barone

   "The magic formula of 'race, class and gender' ... has replaced thought in many intellectual circles." - Dr. Thomas Sowell

  "...Shockingly, half of all Americans have IQs below the median [And not so shockingly, many 'intellectuals' have no sense of humor].  But intelligence is not the same thing as wisdom or sense. Very intelligent people have been known to advance very compelling arguments on behalf of very bad ideas. ... What's more, there is a particular type of stupidity to which intelligent people are uniquely prone: intellectual snobbery, or the tendency to cultivate an attitude of contempt toward those who are not as bright. This may appeal to New York Times readers or voters in, say, Hyde Park -- that is, to people who think they're better than everyone else too." -- James Taranto

    "People who are very aware that they have more knowledge than the average person are often very unaware that they do not have one-tenth of the knowledge of all of the average persons put together. In this situation, for the intelligentsia to impose their notions on ordinary people is essentially to impose ignorance on knowledge." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

    "No single person possesses anything close to the invisible collective knowledge held by the society as a whole." -- Jonah Goldberg, paraphrasing Friedrich Hayek, here

   “The intellectual wants the whole society to be a school writ large, to be like the environment where he did so well and was so well appreciated.” -- Robert Nozick, PhD (1986) 

     "The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn’t need its brain any more so it eats it. It’s rather like getting tenure." -- Daniel C. Dennett, Consciousness Explained  

   "...the vast majority of intellectuals don’t really originate any ideas, but they peddle ideas that other people have originated.  And that gives them a great deal of freedom, because ideas are so malleable. Words are so malleable.  Reality is not malleable.  And so, they can believe in all sorts of things which have no realistic possibility, and which are fatal time and again in history. But because they know how to rephrase it and repackage it, they can just keep right on going." -- Thomas Sowell to Brian Lamb

   "It's the Intellectual's Curse. What causes people to be intellectuals is a disposition to think that abstractions and concepts are more real than actual reality – so they become more afraid of the hypothetical consequences of the abstractions in their brains than by concrete threats in the real world." -- Jack Wheeler 

     "The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues." -- Rene Descartes      

     "Few of the great tragedies of history were created by the village idiot, and many by the village genius."- Thomas Sowell

      "An intellectual is someone who, upon being shown something that works in practice, wonders if it would work in theory." -- Rick Gaber, paraphrasing Ronald Reagan

 "Never allow anyone who's never worked in the real world, who could only get a government job or teaching job, tell you how to run your life -- or how to think about it." -- Dan Skinner

     "Virtually no idea is too ridiculous to be accepted, even by very intelligent and highly educated people, if it provides a way for them to feel special and important. Some confuse that feeling with idealism." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

     "Dalrymple's latest book, published this year, is titled Our Culture, What's Left of It and now he takes a look at the intellectual and political elite, as well as the underclass that has served as guinea pigs for their social experiments.  His account of the smug ignorance of this elite is as chilling as his account of the catastrophic effects of their notions on society." --Dr. Thomas Sowell

    "The more profound problem, however, is the degree to which many academic intellectuals, especially in the humanities, have lost their ability to distinguish the 'state' from 'society'." -- "Assumptions of Power" by Stephen Cox, Reason magazine, March, 1993

    "Using governmental force to impose a vision on others is intellectual sloth." -- Ken Schoolland

    "The economic disasters of socialism and communism come from assuming a blanket superiority of those who want to run a whole economy." --Thomas Sowell

    "Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it." -- Thomas Sowell

   "Many academicians and self-styled intellectuals, with a habitually arrogant and condescending attitude, treat the rest of the world with contempt.  These so-called 'intelligentsia' congratulate themselves for, not only having high IQs and lots of education in their particular fields, but for having achieved the allegedly momentous insight that free-market capitalism and pure altruism are ultimately incompatible (duh).  Yet they're still too damned stupid to realize, and too damned ignorant to acknowledge, that altruism is NOT the only moral code available to mankind.  (It is, in fact, the bloodiest and most regressive one of all).  This stunted thinking has resulted in their committing the intellectual atrocity of rejecting the capitalism and freedom instead of the altruism and coercion." -- Rick Gaber

   "The secret dread of modern intellectuals, liberals and conservatives alike, the unadmitted terror at the root of their anxiety, which all of their current irrationalities are intended to stave off and to disguise, is the unstated knowledge that Soviet Russia [was] the full, actual, literal, consistent embodiment of the morality of altruism, that Stalin did not corrupt a noble ideal, [but that his use of brutality was] the only way altruism has to be or can ever be practiced." -- Ayn Rand
  

Socialist intellectuals will tell you that Cuba is a model nation: universal free health care, near total literacy, and essentially no gap whatsoever between the rich and the poor. They call it an island paradise where brotherhood and compassion reign in stark contrast to the brutal inequalities of the heartless and racist capitalist monster to the North, ruled by its Imperial Nazi King, who is the devious mastermind of all manner of Conspiratorial Wheels and also a moron. 

Capitalist intellectuals -- and there are not many, since most of these people have jobs -- argue that Cuba is a squalid, corrupt, poverty-ridden basket case, a land of oppression and secret police and torture chambers run by a megalomaniac who practices the most idiotic, inhuman and degrading economic system ever invented. 

So here we sit in the chartroom, with our competing maps. What to think? 

Well, ask yourself what it would take to give up your home, your country, your family and all your friends. Ask yourself how desperate you would have to be to sneak out in the night, and strap your family -- your grandmother and infant son -- to a collection of inner tubes lashed together and set out in the dark surf across 90 miles of shark-infested water in the dead of night, hoping against hope to make landfall. We can all agree, I think, that that kind of desperation could only be driven by fairly passionate first-person opinion of such things. Surely this goes beyond what you or I would do to win a map argument at Starbucks. 

So. Go up on deck, get out the telescope, and answer one simple question for me and for yourself:

Which way are the rafts headed?

 -- Bill Whittle
 

  "To embrace a collectivist system ... and thereby jeopardize sustained economic growth, inevitably misallocate scarce resources, and almost necessarily perpetuate destitution, hardly merits moral acclaim. Indeed, intellectuals in general and church leaders in particular who bewail the continued existence of poverty absolutely defined, and who state that they yearn for a world in which the hungry are fed, the naked clothed, and the destitute housed, yet who ceaselessly undermine the very system which, to date, has best done what they claim to value most, are, surely, moral imbeciles." -- The Reverend Doctor John K. Williams

   "Anything other than free enterprise always means a society of compulsion and lower living standards, and any form of socialism strictly enforced means dictatorship and the total state.  That this statement is still widely disputed only illustrates the degree to which malignant fantasy can capture the imagination of intellectuals." -- Lew Rockwell

    "Having imagined a world in which each individual has the same probability of success as anyone else, intellectuals have been shocked and outraged that the real world is nowhere close to that ideal. Vast amounts of time and resources have been devoted to trying to figure out what is stopping this ideal from being realized -- as if there was ever any reason to expect it to be." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

   "When Western countries in the past were as poor as Third World countries are today, these Western countries nevertheless had one big advantage: There was no large and influential class of the intelligentsia to impede their progress with unsubstantiated theories and counterproductive propaganda." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

   "It is a measure of the intellectual corruption of our times that to so many of the self-righteously self-deluded, the more immediate threat to our survival is 'global warming'." --Robert Bidinotto

"The fashionable idiocy that haters must have justifications is one of those ideas that George Orwell said only an intellectual could believe --  because no one else could be such a fool." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

   "One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that; no ordinary man could be such a fool." -- Eric Blair, aka George Orwell

   "Left to themselves, people tend to sort themselves out into communities of like-minded neighbors.  This has been so obvious that only the intelligentsia could misconstrue it — and only ideologues could devote themselves to crusading against people’s efforts to live and associate with other people who share their values and habits." - Dr. Thomas Sowell   

   "To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." --Teddy Roosevelt

   "The power of morality is the greatest of all intellectual powers -- and mankind’s tragedy lies in the fact that the vicious moral code men have accepted destroys them by means of the best within them. … The fallacies and contradictions in the economic theories of socialism were exposed and refuted time and time again, in the nineteenth century as well as today.  This did not and does not stop anyone; it is not an issue of economics, but of morality.  The intellectuals and the so-called idealists were determined to make socialism work.  How? By that magic means of all irrationalists: somehow." -- Ayn Rand

   "...If peace were the goal of today's intellectuals, a failure of that magnitude -- and the evidence of unspeakable suffering on so large a scale -- would make them pause and check their statist premises.  Instead, blind to everything but their hatred for capitalism, they are now asserting that 'poverty breeds wars' ... But the question is: What breeds poverty?  If you look a the world of today and if you look back at history, you will see the answer:  the degree of a country's freedom is the degree of its prosperity. " -- Ayn Rand

   "The obsession with the pixilated versions of big pictures, with trees instead of forests and with the consideration of every barbaric viewpoint of every primitive culture on every continent on every issue is what the self-congratulatory intellectuals consider to be the primary sign of the 'intelligence' or 'advanced thinking' they demand of candidates and office holders, nomatter how indecisive, ineffectual and ridiculous such 'paralysis from never-ending analysis' makes them." -- Rick Gaber

   "All the enemies of capitalism act as if its elimination would have no ill consequences for our lives. In the classroom, on television, at the movies, we are continually presented a picture of what a perfect world of bliss we would enjoy if we could just get rid of those who make a living through owning, speculating, and amassing wealth.  For hundreds of years, in fact, the intellectual classes have demanded the expropriation and even the extermination of capitalistic expropriators.  Since ancient times, the merchant and his trade have been considered ignoble.  In fact, their absence would reduce us to barbarism and utter poverty." -- Lew Rockwell

   "Intellectual freedom cannot exist without political freedom; political freedom cannot exist without economic freedom; a free mind and a free market are corollaries." -- Ayn Rand, "For The New Intellectual,"For The New Intellectual

   "In the market economy the production and distribution of goods and services is determined by the decisions of entrepreneurs, and this fact has generated much wrath on the part of many members of society, especially intellectuals, and especially those in the social sciences and the humanities. ... Economic affairs in the market economy may be directed by entrepreneurs, but consumers are the ultimate decision-makers." -- Thomas J. DiLorenzo

    "Today, in the Twenty-First Century, an age of jet aircraft, personal computers, wireless telecommunications, laser surgery, and incipient space travel, the mentality with which many presumably educated, intelligent people approach matters of economics and business is, however astonishing it may seem, still that of the Dark Ages." --George Reisman

    "Intellectuals love Jefferson and hate markets, and intellectuals write most of the books.  Intellectuals often think that they should, for the benefit of mankind, act as fiduciaries for the clods who don't have to be intellectuals, and I suspect that has to do with [why historians love Jefferson and not Hamilton, even though Hamilton's vision of America's commercial future was vastly more accurate than Jefferson's]." -- John Steele Gordon

    "It would be devastating to the egos of the intelligentsia to realize, much less admit, that businesses have done more to reduce poverty than all the intellectuals put together. Ultimately it is only wealth that can reduce poverty and most of the intelligentsia have no interest whatever in finding out what actions and policies increase the national wealth. They certainly don't feel any 'obligation' to learn economics ..." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

  "It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance." --  Murray N. Rothbard

  "Of all ignorance, the ignorance of the educated is the most dangerous.  Not only are educated people likely to have more influence, they are the last people to suspect that they don't know what they are talking about when they go outside their narrow fields." -- Thomas Sowell

  "Charles Murray, however, clearly believes that being able to cure fatal diseases is more important than some other things and that Rembrandt was a greater artist than your local sidewalk cartoon sketcher. Most people might regard this as obvious common sense but some of the intelligentsia may be seething with resentment at seeing their pet fetishes ignored." -- Thomas Sowell

   "The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us noble and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false." -- Celebrated Historian Paul Johnson

    "From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently.  Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time." -- F. A. Hayek

    "Machan shines as he exposes embarrassing contradictions of egalitarianism. Example: 'If welfare and equality are to be primary aims of law, some people must necessarily possess a greater power of coercion in order to force redistribution of material goods. Political power alone should be equal among human beings; yet, striving for other kinds of equality absolutely requires political inequality.'" -- from Jim Powell's Review of  Private Rights and PublicIllusions by Tibor Machan. 

  "...the question becomes, are you going to have everyone play by the same rules, or are you going to try to rectify the shortcomings, errors and failures of the entire cosmos? Because those things are wholly incompatible. If you're going to have people play by the same rules, that can be enforced with a minimum amount of interference with people's freedom. But if you're going to try to make the entire cosmos right and just, somebody has got to have an awful lot of power to impose what they think is right on an awful lot of other people. What we've seen, particularly in the 20th century, is that putting that much power in anyone's hands is enormously dangerous." -- Thomas Sowell, in an interview in Salon11-10-99

   "I wish that some way could be found to add up all the staggering costs imposed on millions of ordinary people, just so a relative handful of self-righteous environmental cultists can go around feeling puffed up with themselves." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell    

   "Those who can't do, teach. Or remain permanent students and perpetual adolescents. And flock together in college towns, spinning tall tales and crackpot theories about why they're superior to people who live in the real world and why they ought to be put in charge of them." -- Bert Rand

   "The vast majority of intellectuals don’t really originate any ideas, but they peddle ideas that other people have originated." -- Thomas Sowell

   "Bad and discredited ideas, it seems, never die.  Neither do they fade away.  Instead, they keep turning up, like bad pennies or Godzilla in the old Japanese movies." -- Murray N. Rothbard

 "The most brilliant individuals -- individuals whose intelligence far outstrips the rest of us -- can be completely wrong in their factual appraisals of the world." -- Alan Ebenstein

  "There is no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders among the ablest men." -- Prof. John E. E. D. Acton

   "Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God." -- Thomas Sowell

   "All of us necessarily hold many casual opinions that are ludicrously wrong simply because life is far too short for us to think through even a small fraction of the topics that we come across." -- Julian Simon 

   "There is always an easy solution to every human problem -- neat, plausible and wrong." -- H. L. Mencken 

 "I think a major reason why intellectuals tend to move towards collectivism is that the collectivist answer is a simple one.  If there’s something wrong, pass a law and do something about it." -- Milton Friedman

   "There are only two means by which men can deal with one another: guns or logic.  Force or persuasion.  Those who know that they cannot win by means of logic, have always resorted to guns." -- Ayn Rand 

"Intellectuals are people who go to study things other people do naturally." - Bill Cosby

"For decades, the left has dominated the intelligentsia: the media, the universities, and the other institutions that provide credentials for 'experts' -- another term Al Gore has been harping on. This leads the left to act as if the latest consensus among its favored experts--whether it be the superiority of socialized medicine or the imminent threat of global warming -- must be what every 'rational' and well-informed person thinks, because it is the consensus of the elite.

"Thus 'reason,' as Al Gore uses the term, refers to the ability of the leftist elite to impose its conventional dogmas on the national debate, without the need to persuade or convince others." -- Robert Tracinski

    "President Bush, by his very persona, triggers the very wellsprings of anger and resentment on the part of the secular fundamentalists who dominate the contemporary Left. A large segment of the American intelligentsia and its hangers-on has found an object wholly outside their framework of affection. People who obtained their status and income partially from the ability to speak articulately, and master a body of learning, find it troubling when one who does not flaunt his reading of books and newspapers and does not wield a large vocabulary of eloquently-spoken words rises above them in status. It is an insult to the personal values they have embraced, and on whose rightness their own sense of self-worth depends. ... His open Christian faith is an affront to their pretentious embrace of denatured religion, agnosticism or atheism. That such a man should be the head of state for the political entity they regard as the vehicle for transformation of humanity is both profoundly embarrassing and infuriating to them." -- Thomas Lifson

  "It appears that some among our intellectual elite, having finally achieved the giant government they've always sought, are finally realizing that it can -- and WILL -- all fall into the 'wrong' hands. The rest of them are in complete denial of the fact that the monstrosity they built could be used for purposes diametrically opposed to those they intended, and they even seem congenitally incapable of ever questioning the wisdom of giving so much power to government in the first place." -- Rick Gaber

   "It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers.  James Madison said, ‘We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.’  This idea that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power, is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man.  This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves." -- Ronald Reagan, October 27, 1964

    "...pathetic 'intellectuals' demonstrate how ridiculous they are by confusing  psychopathic control freaks such as Hitler and Mussolini with warm-hearted, easy-going live-and-let-livers such as Ronald Reagan.  Only hate-filled psychotics as intensely uptight and humorless as Hitler and Mussolini themselves could be so psychologically incapable of telling the difference." -- Rick Gaber

   "For sheer lack of intelligibility, sociology is far and away the number one subject.  I sat through hundreds of hours of sociology courses, and read gobs of sociology writing, and I never once heard or read a coherent statement.  This is because sociologists want to be considered scientists, so they spend most of their time translating simple, obvious observations into scientific-sounding code.  If you plan to major in sociology, you'll  have to learn to do the same thing.  For example, suppose you have observed that children cry when they fall down.  You should write: "Methodological observation of the sociometrical behavior tendencies of prematurated isolates indicates that a casual relationship exists between groundward tropism and lachrimatory, or 'crying,' behavior forms." If you can keep this up for fifty or sixty pages, you will get a large government grant." --Dave Barry

   "My sociology class consisted primarily of my professor coming up every day with a new way of saying, 'Sociology is a science.  I know it's a science, and I'm telling you it's a science.  It really, really is a science!  Please say it's a science, or I'll cry." -- Bob Draper

"Unfortunately, since at least the time when Plato wrote his famous philosophical dialogue The Republic, those in business have gotten a bad rap. This was due, in part, to the fact that the writers of such tracts were usually intellectuals, artists, or members of some other group that had its own agenda and an incentive to place its own calling on top of the heap. Plato went to great lengths to suggest that perhaps something like a philosopher-king would be a great model for political rule. He also spilt much ink indicting trade and business and wealth creation, and for hundreds of years this mantra was repeated by those in the humanities, and continues in a big way today.  Very sadly the human species has had too many thinkers who were idealists of the worst sort, placing before us impossible goals to strive for while demeaning the possible and desirable ones. ... And it is really quite unjust, when you come to think of it -- with all those diligent people in business, breaking their necks to produce what millions of us want, working ceaselessly to help us all prosper, and they are routinely put down, lumped together with the relatively few crooks among them." -- Dr. Tibor R. Machan

   "The secret dread of modern intellectuals, liberals and conservatives alike, the unadmitted terror at the root of their anxiety, which all of their current irrationalities are intended to stave off and to disguise, is the unstated knowledge that Soviet Russia [was] the full, actual, literal, consistent embodiment of the morality of altruism, that Stalin did not corrupt a noble ideal, that this is the only way altruism has to be or can ever be practiced." -- Ayn Rand

   "Many academicians and self-styled intellectuals, with a habitually arrogant and condescending attitude, treat the rest of the world with contempt.  These so-called 'intelligentsia' congratulate themselves for, not only having high IQs and lots of education in their particular fields, but for having achieved the allegedly momentus insight that free-market capitalism and altruism are ultimately incompatible (duh).  Yet they're still too damned stupid to realize and too damned ignorant to acknowledge, that altruism is definitely NOT the only moral code available to mankind.  (It is, in fact, the bloodiest and most regressive one of all).  This stunted thinking has resulted in their committing the intellectual atrocity of rejecting the capitalism and freedom instead of the altruism and coercion." -- Rick Gaber

   "That kind of wishful thinking is something that intellectuals are particularly prone to -- because they wouldn't be intellectuals in the first place if they didn't believe that it is clever political decisions which make good things happen and stupid ones which make bad things happen. ... The best comment on the Chatham House report was that of the British defense secretary, John Reid: 'The idea that somehow by running away from the school bully, then the bully will not come after you, is a thesis that is known to be completely untrue by every kid in the playground.'  Or at least every kid who's not an intellectual." -- James Bowman

   "The average Ph.D. thesis is nothing but a transference of bones from one graveyard to another." -- J. Frank Dobie

   "... So here we get the two essentials of Nazism: the rejection of reason and the mind in favor of the worship of brute emotion, and the elevation of the collective over the individual. What, then, distinguishes the ideas of the modern intellectuals from the philosophy of the Nazis? The addition of an altruist twist. The Nazis were certainly pro-self-sacrifice, because they advocated (and enforced) the sacrifice of the individual self to the collective aggrandizement of the race. But the modern intellectuals declare that they are even more altruistic because they want to sacrifice our own race to other races." -- Robert Tracinski, HERE

   "In short, altruism requires the systematic sacrifice of the good and valuable for the vicious and the worthless. ... But it is impossible to sell people on total, unadulterated sacrifice. It is too glaring a contradiction to tell them to find value in the destruction of values -- so it is necessary to pretend that it is not really destruction.  The facts must be distorted, hidden, or declared to be irrelevant.  Whatever the method, altruism requires and sanctions a war on reality. ... Philosophically, this war is manifested in the attempts to base morality on any bizarre fantasy philosophers can dream up."
    -- Robert Tracinski, "Altruism's War on Reality", HERE

    Here's an example of how the blind insanity of American "intellectuals" enable and facilitate the most unspeakable of evils.

 "There is an ancient slogan that applies to our present position: 'The king is dead -- long live the king!' We can say, with the same dedication to the future: 'The intellectuals are dead -- long live the intellectuals!' -- and then proceed to fulfill the responsibility which that honorable title had once implied." -- Ayn Rand, For The New Intellectual
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Also see:  Observations on Journalists |on Academics and Schooling

Observations on Government |on Democrats and Republicans,

About that Gap between Rich and Poor,


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