Idaho's Weekly Journal of Local & National Commentary Week 2815


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by Free Market Duck

America's Intellectual Hierarchy

   What Age do we live in:  the Age of Reason?  The Age of Enlightenment?  The Age of Envy?  The Age of Altruism?  Or maybe it’s the Age of Stupidity?

   The Age we live in is characterized by our culture.  Our culture is characterized by what we think, by our intellect.  Our predominant cultural thoughts are determined by the so-called intellectuals at our Universities.  Judging by that criterion, one could argue that in 2004 we are slowly backsliding from our forefathers’ Age of Enlightenment to an Age of Intellectual Stupidity.

   How can that be happening?  Is it possible for intellectualism to go backwards from smart to stupid?  Yes.  Let’s review what passes for intellectualism in our society today.

   First, one notes that there are diverse areas of intellect and various levels within those areas.  On a hierarchical scale of difficulty of understanding, the physical sciences of physics, math, chemistry, and biology are relatively easy areas of intellect compared to the qualitative area of economics.  (Ironically, economists have tried to justify the difficulty of their “dismal science” by emulating the methods of the physical sciences because they do not understand the epistemological differences, but to no avail as our current economic anomalies refute their assertions.)  Quantitative Economics – called Econometrics – has itself been a dismal failure since one cannot model a qualitative science of human action after Einstein’s E=mc2 or F=ma or why cells undergo meiosis.  There exist fundamental intellectual differences between these two areas of science.

   Skipping physics, math, and biotechnology, let’s jump into the levels of intellect that comprise human action, commonly called economics.  Economics encompasses all socio-political-economic activity, qualitative decisions and actions by individuals who commonly disagree with each other; hence we have divergent political parties based upon the constituents’ intellect in each party.

   What are the hierarchical levels of intellect in each of the major political parties in America?

   In the area of socio-political-economics, we define “intellect” as whether or not somebody understands the set of scientific laws that govern such thoughts as individual rights and freedoms, free market price formation, supply and demand, competition, and the proper role of government, to name a few.  While some of these intellectual ideas may seem obvious – and some are – they pose great intellectual conflicts between individuals who fall into simplistic economic sophisms (untruths) and thus run off on tangents of economic intellectual stupidity.  For example, supply and demand price formations and thus true economic calculations can only be accomplished in a free market in which the participants are allowed to freely exercise their priorities or wish lists – whether their priorities are deemed frivolous or even objectively contradictory to their own well being or not.  Economics is color blind except for the color of fiduciary media:  money.

   At the bottom of the intellectual scale in human action (economics) are those who gravitate toward socialism and its various corollaries such as fascism, communism, a mixed economy, and dictatorships.  These types of individuals are usually at the intellectual level of a rock and have fallen for all the absurd economic sophisms long since disproved hundreds of years ago by free market economists.

   The next intellectual level up from socialism – and it’s not a clean break between the two -- are the left liberal Democrats.  The left liberals are like little school children that have only learned to read by sight-reading rather than phonetics.  Sight-reading, if not quickly changed to phonetics, trains young minds that every word is a new mystery in pronunciation.  They get lost in the millions of words in the English language.   Phonetics, on the other hand, trains young minds that there are only about 26 or less sounds to learn, that all words can be categorized into those sounds, and thus the pronunciation of millions of new words becomes easily integrated into one’s intellect.

   The problem with sight-reading is that it leads to sight thinking, or what I call disconnected thought globs.  Left liberals act like emotionally disturbed little children who can’t think logically in a straight line.  Like sight-reading, they have never been taught to “phoneticize” their thought processes into logical, step-by-step categories and thus be able to think clearly and draw logical conclusions.  Instead, left liberals tend to think in child-like terms of touchy-feely, of emotionalism, of kids throwing a temper tantrum at the mall because they want a cookie and don’t understand why mommy and daddy can’t always just give them a cookie.  If liberals see cookies, they think – like children – that the cookies belong to everybody and that society owes them a free cookie or that the cookies should be all divided up equally.

   Because left liberals tend to think in “disconnected thought globs” – like little children who have yet to integrate their thoughts and have learned to survive by mumbling what looks like the best “thought glob” to throw out at any given moment -- they gravitate toward the Democratic Party which is about two notches above the intellect of stupid socialists.  This touchy-feely group tends to feel empathy for social issues such as a woman’s right to abortion, gay rights, and freedom of speech – and rightly so -- but one notes that none of them can put forth the correct philosophical premises for these basic rights – premises which do exist but are beyond the intellect of the liberals.  If they did understand, they would be able to extrapolate those same premises to free market economics, voluntary exchanges of ideas, commodities, and services and thus graduate to a higher level of intellect than stupid left liberalism.

   A couple of notches above the left liberals in economic intellect are the GOP Christian Socialists.  Individuals who gravitate to this group are both economic “sight readers” and “phoneticists.”  While they superficially understand many of the principles of free market economics, they are incapable of reconciling their altruistic ideas of Theism with free market principles.  Steeped in theocracy and never having understood the difference between Theism and Deism, that man has free will and God does not intervene, the GOP Christian Socialists attempt to drag everybody back to a pre-Articles of Confederation and Divine Right of Kings intellectual level.  This is quite ironic since our American Revolutionary forefathers were Deists who made fun of the Theists as they dumped King George during the Age of Enlightenment, the predominant feature of which was that man obtained his freedoms from Nature, not the government and certainly not from the church (which always turns out to be the government anyway.)

   A higher level of socio-political-economic intellect describes those rare individuals – intellectuals – who gravitate toward Libertarianism.  The individuals in this group clearly understand and can elaborate at length – often too lengthy, snore z-z-z – about all phases of human action, from individual rights to how prices are formed in an evenly rotating free market economy.  They are way beyond the left liberals and GOP Christian Socialists in their intellectual development.

   The highest level of economic intellect, however, can best be described as those individuals who understand Randian Objectivist philosophy and Libertarian free market economics and their relationship.  Many Libertarians cannot make the leap to an understanding of the metaphysical, epistemological, or moral step by step reasons concerning why individuals in a rational society ought to be free, not just for freedom of economic trade, but for the sake of the individual qua him and herself.  Objectivist Libertarians correctly reason that free market economics is a natural consequence of their a priori Objectivist philosophy.

   In conclusion, what Age do we live in?  I would guess that the five levels of intellect just described from lowest to highest is probably comprised of the following percentages of society and can thus be rated as:

Idiots – Socialists, 5%
Stupid – Left Liberals, 45%
Smart – Republicans, 45%
Intellectuals – Libertarians, 4%
Humorous Intellectuals – Objectivist Libertarians, 1%

   Therefore, my guess is that history will record the years surrounding 2004 as The Age of Altruistic Stupidity, The Age of Oxymoronic Rights to Receive, or, put simply, The Age of Economic Suicide.  I predict we will thus reap the rewards accordingly unless more individuals learn how to think more clearly.  What we really need is a Renaissance of Free Market Thinking and a big dose of Objectivist Individual Rights Philosophy.

   And where will that come from?  Certainly not from the stupid left liberals who currently dominate our universities and colleges.

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