Thursday, November 10, 2016

The narrow minded see things in binary

What is it that intellectuals find so attractive about Maoists, Naxalites and separatist ideologies?
Ok, this question I had tweeted a few days back answered with a thread. Makes a point.

Q: What is it that intellectuals find so attractive about Maoist, Naxalite, and separatist ideologies?
A: They are intellectual in origin.
A lot of research has been done on this topic but the latest and most eye-opening is Redner's “The Triumph and Tragedy of Intellectuals”.
Redner shows that intellectuals have literally intellectualized the world, resulting in people being disenchanted with it.
Our disenchantment with the world because of intellectualization is so severe it has crept into every cultural space imaginable.
From cultural dimensions like art, religion, ethics, politics, all the way to philosophy and so on, intellectualization has degraded it all.
Which is precisely why intellectuals tend to be hated and despised by their own people because the people often find them disgraceful.
Which is what Arnold Toynbee brought up in his masterful "A Study of History”. From those twelve volumes, one statement still rings true.
As Arnold Toynbee put it: "An intelligentsia is born to be unhappy."
Why? Because it is constantly working to bring in the unfamiliar.
To paraphrase Toynbee: "Wherever we find an intelligentsia, we can infer that one of two civilizations is in the process of being absorbed."
And that is also why Arnold Toynbee described intellectuals as “suffering from the congenital unhappiness of being hybrids."
Another great thinker who picked up on the same was Raymond Aron, who hailed from the line of the even greater Alexis de Tocqueville.
In "The Opium of the Intellectuals”, Aron highlights the mentality of intellectuals: they exist to denounce their past and renounce society.
Why do intellectuals do that? As Aron points out—since "reality is always more conservative than ideology"—intellectuals turn to revolution.
The desire for a systematic certainty is known as "determinism". This is the foundation of Leftism and the hallmark of intellectualism.
And since intellectuals "no longer feel attached to anything, they instead opt for certainty, a system. Revolution is their opium.”
An ideological example of a revolutionary opium is Communism; and “the Communist opium invites intellectuals to revolt."
That's why Aron says "the myth of the revolution serves as refuge for utopian intellectuals"—it's their "universally comprehensive scheme".
But the best definition of intellectuals is given by Francis Wilson in his "A Theory of Public Opinion”, a study on how values are formed.
"Intellectuals are those who least respect what may be called the traditional values of any long-standing or operating community." –F Wilson
To put it differently, intellectuals are first and foremost occupational, as Thomas Sowell explains in “Intellectuals and Society”.
By occupational, it is meant that intellectuals are workers of ideas, of the abstract, not concerned with the practicality of traditions.
But that idealism and intellectualism are inseparable is made much clearer in Lewis Feuer's great work "Ideology and the Ideologists”.
In "Ideology and the Ideologists", Feuer connects the Mosaic revolutionary myth with Marxism, bridging Abrahamism with secular ideology.
"The prototype for the ideologies of intellectuals is the Mosaic [distinction]." –Lewis Feuer
Maoist, Naxalite, separatist, Marxist ideologies, and so on, which are creations of intellectuals, follow an Abrahamically-rooted scheme.
A people are oppressed, a savior (messiah) or saviors (proletariat) come, there is revolution, liberation, and then “true history" starts.
In other words the liberation meme that's so characteristic of deterministic philosophy and secular ideology actually has religious origins.
Liberals conceptualize freedom by the sum of individuals (i.e., individualism) rather than the sum of communities making up civil society.
Individualism not only has deep roots in moral philosophy, it is moreover a self-oriented moral philosophy steeped in Christian tradition.
When missionaries of liberalism preach to Hindus a separation from their Dharmic past, it's reminiscent of what happened to European pagans.
This can be seen in every self-oriented moralism out there—from Marxism, feminism, to various socialisms—a breakage with the ancestral past.
So not only do these ideologies have intellectual origins, their intellectualism (i.e., framework) is itself Abrahamic.
A religious-like certainty—that “nostalgia for the absolute”—provides intellectuals with something definite, like how Leftist ideologies do.
As social engineers, the repudiators of their inheritance, intellectuals are thus attracted to ideologies that help them usurp the past.

@OGSaffron Anti-intellectualism is not the way you're going to take this nexus down. Nationalism & Dharma also intellectual in origin.
@OGSaffron Antidote to Maoist intellectualism not anti-intellectualism, but Nationalist intellectualism like Bankim-Vivekananda-Arobindo did

Beautiful thread. Intellectualism without the grace and comfort with uncertainties is nothing but self-deluding arrogance.
Intellectualism is typically disconnected, and on the autistic spectrum, with little intelligence to relate at a human level.

@OGSaffron Marx was a complete Abrahamic .. Communism has it;s origins in the Liberation theology of Christianity
@OGSaffron Thanks.. That is also why Gandhi is being crafted in a Liberation Theology mould. Very different from real Gandhi

@NumbYaar they r caught in a time warp. Recall @SrBachchan 's movies where poverty was romanticized and rich ppl were hated.

@NumbYaar If you notice it, anti-establishment has always been popular among so called intellectuals. govt is always seen as opressor

@NumbYaar They are Rational people, not narrow minded who see things in binary.

Read this thread. A gem only a SHRI RAM BHAKT like OG can create.
I would also add a lot of intellectualism is actually a charade. It is born from confirmation bias and need to toe the current line for many
While the 18-19th century intellectuals broke away from the dogma of their times,the so called current intellectuals living by old dogma.
I wont accord everything to intellectual affinity to disruption of conservatism. It is also a case of old leftists choosing their succesors

I think the essential nature of the intellect is to "take apart & look inside". It's like a kid taking apart his toy
If you observe any intellectual activity, you see this tendency to try and achieve a clarity of the mind with respect to the world outside.
This intellectual quest for clarity is based in the seeker's own experiences and perceptions. A consensus may not occur & can be conflicting
It happens quite frequently with "theorists". These intellectuals don't find the need to relate to reality since they espouse a notion.
So one hears a lot abt "I believe in this" or "I do believe this is good and that is bad". This is where intellectual quest turns dangerous
This also becomes ideology in the hands of "ideologues" who are basically intellectual theorists.
So the curious need of the human mind to explore the world outside leads to distorted belief systems leading to ideologies to impose.
Think about the uncountable political ideologies & positions such intellectualism has given rise to. Now, think about their theory component
This is a very dense topic and it's not simple to grasp. I'll stop here. If you have Qs, happy to try and answer.

@yugaparivartan @OGSaffron @NumbYaar @_Mauna_ @Marut_ @Parikramah This admirable thread proves why everyone should read Sri Aurobindo deeply

Olivia Goldhill laments that "discussions about social and political affairs are entirely uninfluenced by those working in philosophy."

"The second essential, according to him (Rajan), is protection not of specific ideas and traditions but the right to question and challenge, the right to behave differently, so long as it does not hurt others seriously. In this protection lies societal self-interest, for it is by encouraging the challenge of innovative rebels that society develops," reminded vice-president Hamid Ansari, recently.

Sri Aurobindo and Hinduism by Peter Heehs (2006)

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