15
   

Anti-intellectualism in Middle America.

 
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 06:17 pm
@dyslexia,
fascinating recollections dys....thanks
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 06:18 pm
@dyslexia,
Lots of interesting comments here, including Dys', re educational changes.

Who started the middle america stuff anyway? Was that Reagan?

There can be a tendency, as lightwizard alluded to, to put the coasts at the intellectual edges and the flyover states as the womb of middle america, but most of us know better than that. Middle america seems a marketing idea to me, not accounting for any complexity at all.

I do remember being pissed and barely finishing a book by a guy I previously liked, whose name I'm now forgetting (who wrote the popular book about hiking the appalachian trail?). This book was about some time he spent dashing through Iowa and making rude and insulting observations in an apparent funny way.

I think Panz nailed it - curiosity, continuing curiosity, is the key - and that can show up in all classes, all levels of bank accounts or no money at all, all gradations of formal education including almost none (my father in law stopped at fourth grade and had a life long curious mind), all ranges of religion or spirituality or neither. (I get that fundamentalists of any sort can be closed minded, but some can break such a mold.)

Adding, the anti part, re intellectualism, seems to me to be based on resentment, burning resentment.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 06:28 pm
@ossobuco,
Adds, some of that resentment is understandable.
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  -4  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 06:49 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Quote:
Anti-intellectualism in Middle America.


It's a vast left wing conspiracy.

The path to Socialism in the heart of America, as well as the rest of this country has been paved by government schools.

This "dumbing down" of America over the past few decades has resulted in the "Dumbmasses" we have today.
The Dumbmasses voted for and support Obama blindly and without thought, just as they were taught.
When it comes to making decisions in life... few Americans are capable of using common sense.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 06:52 pm
I think a lot of the popular notion of American disaffection with “intellectuals” is traceable to the beliefs of the post WWII generation of American self-styled liberal intellectuals, a group whose iconic historian was Richard Hofstadter, a Columbia University historian who published “Anti Intellectualism in American Life” in the early 1960s. Hofstadter certainly embraced the point of view of this group, and in this work assigned a good deal of the “fault” for the inadequate (in his view) appreciation of many Americans for their intellectual betters to the excessively (in his estimate) materialistic viewpoints of many Americans, particularly rural and small town Americans and much of the urban working class.

Whatever your view on the merits of Hofstadter’s case, the fact is that the divide he cited is real and is still a factor in American life and politics.

Dys pointed out the generational differences with his father who both sought higher education for his son and, at the same time appeared to scorn its occasional pretenses " an interesting duality that itself illustrates the issue.

My graduate education was mostly in mathematics and engineering -- subjects I still admire. However, I remain highly skeptical of the pretenses of academic types and self-styled intellectuals in other areas particularly as they may relate to political and social issues. They have a rather dismal historical record as prognosticators and appear to excel only in retrospective rationalizations of their favored themes.
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 06:59 pm
@georgeob1,
I think both democrats and republicans would benefit from having this memw die though. Even though I agree there is a real cultural fault line, I think that using it to be divisive as opposed to trying to mend it is wrong.

T
K
O
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 07:14 pm
@Diest TKO,
How would you mend it? Can you stop the pretenses of self-styled intellectuals who assume they know what is good for the rest of us in our daily lives, and imply that their status provides them authority? Can you prevent others for resenting it or noting the many occasions when the emperor has no clothes?
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 07:18 pm
@georgeob1,
I think its a matter of acknowledging a wider variety of wisdom and those people will slowly feel less culturally marginalized. I don't know. It's a tough one. I can't pretend I know the answer. I just have to hope there is one.

T
K
O

Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 09:05 pm
@Diest TKO,
I don't believe there is an answer -- it's the theme of Wells' "Things to Come" and many other socio-political sci-fi writings. The end of the novel is a description of a Theocracy, and the masses revolt. Once again, intelliphobia.
0 Replies
 
genoves
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 10:07 pm
Setanta wrote:

Politically conservative people have come to associate higher education with political "liberalism" (most Americans don't realize that in the eyes of the rest of the world, there is no political liberalism in the United States, just different degrees of conservatism).
end of quote
That's a lot of crap. Setanta is full of bullshit. One of the leaders of the conservative movement was Bill Buckley. He certainly was not an Anti-Intellectual.

Setanta is a senile old man!
0 Replies
 
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 10:15 pm
Setanta wrote:

But there are many people without a higher education who support the right to abortion, the use of birth control and tolerance of homosexuality.
end of quote.
Setanta is again fond of the unsupported generalization.

Setanta wouldn 't know evidence if it hit him in the ass.

Here is my sentence to counter Setanta's blurb above.

But there are MANY people without a higher education who support a pro-lie stance, and are opposed to the advancement of marriage rights among homosexuals.


I am sure that Setanta, tolerant and, of course, holding the MORAL HIGH GROUND( he thinks), has never been in a Black Baptist Afro-American church to hear the sermons about the 'SIN" of Homosexuality. Of course, Setanta is four square for civil rights and therefore would never deny Afro-Americans full freedom of expression. ( or would he?)
0 Replies
 
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 10:30 pm
Setanta wrote:

In the 1930s, there was a Canadian priest, Charles Coughlin--known to his huge radio audience as "Father Coughlin"--who became a popular radio personality. Originally, he supported Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "New Deal" policies in Depression Era America, but rebuffed by many of Roosevelt's supporters, he became a critic of the New Deal. He was also unabashedly anti-semitic, and frequently and continuously praised Hitler and the NSDAP, and Mussolini and the Fascists. Because Roosevelt had established a "brain trutst" to run his administration, when Coughlin turned against Roosevelt, he wove a strong anti-intellectual thread into his rants. He has been called the "father of hate radio," and whether or not that is justified, i think he can be considered the father of the anti-intellectual strain in American politics and religion, at least in the modern era.

*******************************************************************
Setanta is full of ****.

I don't know if Setanta has ever read--"Anti-Intellectualism in American Life--The classic by Richard Hofstader. If he had and he was an honest reporter, he would certainly have touched on more facts than his one sided blurb did.

Here is what Hofstader wrote:

"In some quarters the Socialist Party suffered from the cult of proletarianism. In the party's frequent factional fights, intellectual spokesmen wer often branded as middle class academics.

Robert Rives La Monte , a leading Socialist, wrote that the existence of a reasonable degree of suspicion of Intellectual and Parlor Socialists was a most reassuring sign that the proletariet are approaching maturity as a class."

"The Communist Party was monolithic. It wanted no writers that would not subject themselves to its characateristic rigid discipline...in Communist party circles one is aware of the anguish of party or fellow-traveling intellectuals because they are not, by occupation or birth, workers themselves."

Hofstader gives myriad examples of the Anti_Intellectualism of the Socialist Party and the Communist Party.

If Setanta does not know this, he is ignorant. If he does know this but does not report it, he is merely a vicious liar>



0 Replies
 
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 10:38 pm
Setanta wrote:

The religiously conservative are, undoubtedly, motivated by that aspect of religious fundamentalism which finds all the answers it seeks in scripture, and therefore sees little value in education outside scripture.

Setanta is full of ****. Setanta is senile. Why? Note the sweeping unsupported generalization. Not even a fifth grader would write such a stupid sentence.

That aspect of religious fundamentalisim that finds ALL the answers it seeks in scripture>

Absolutely stupid....No one, even the most fervent religious fanatic finds ALL the answers it seeks in scripture.

Setanta is full of ****!
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 10:39 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:
Please can someone explain the viewpoint/ideology to me, please.

You probably want to ask Blatham that question. It's a big theme of his.

Myself, I continue to doubt that anti-intellectualism, in middle America or elsewhere, exists as a distinguishable ideology. My impression is that this is mostly a projection by eggheads who have the power to coin sociological terms, who feel unappreciated by the riffraff who can't, and who project their feelings onto their putative underappreciators as an ideology.

The obvious alternative -- that in the grand scheme of things, we eggheads are just not as impressive as we think we are, and that the riffraff are only sizing us up realistically -- is too uncomfortable for us to deal with.
0 Replies
 
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 10:48 pm
Setanta wrote:

In the 1930s, there was a Canadian priest, Charles Coughlin--known to his huge radio audience as "Father Coughlin"--who became a popular radio personality. Originally, he supported Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "New Deal" policies in Depression Era America, but rebuffed by many of Roosevelt's supporters, he became a critic of the New Deal. He was also unabashedly anti-semitic, and frequently and continuously praised Hitler and the NSDAP, and Mussolini and the Fascists. Because Roosevelt had established a "brain trutst" to run his administration, when Coughlin turned against Roosevelt, he wove a strong anti-intellectual thread into his rants. He has been called the "father of hate radio," and whether or not that is justified, i think he can be considered the father of the anti-intellectual strain in American politics and religion, at least in the modern era.

*****************************************************************

Is that all? Either Setanta is ignorant or a vicious liar---

Setanta mentions the right wing Coughlin but not the left wing Upton Sinclair, who, in his early years was a Marxian Socialist who kowtowed strictly to the Communist Bible excluding any real Intellectuals.

Setanta mentions the right wing Coughlin but not the left wing Floyd B. Olson and the leader of the Socialist Farmer-Labor Party. He was descibed as a man without an ounce of social theory in his head but with a very practical realization of a need for change.
0 Replies
 
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 10:52 pm
Diest TKo wrote: In his clear intellectual style of course--

Set is right though, the anti-intellectual movement is not unique to the midwest. It can be found in any part of the USA. The basics that you need to understand is that at it's root it is a means to manipulate people.

????????
you need to understand that at IT'S ROOT IT IS A MEANS TO MANIPULATE PEOPLE?????

WHAT DOES" IT'S ROOT IT IS" MEAN?
0 Replies
 
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 11:03 pm
lIGHT WIZARD WROTE:

Re: panzade (Post 3677129)
Certainly there has to be upper class wealthy people who are anti-intellectual (again, exactly what does that mean -- are they actively anti-intellectual are just passively anti-intellectual?) There are also college graduates who might be anti-intellectual but if they went to a specialized school and only learned a profession (like Harvard Business College which still requires at least a modicum of liberal arts courses as far as I know). Is it a reaction to having intelligent students lord over them as being stupid? Could be.

Maybe a new word has to be coined like intelliphobe. After all, most of the so-called anti-intellectual reaction is a fear the intellectuals are in control -- at least of something. What, I'm not sure. Is it the media?

**************************************************************

Lightwizard should read "Neoconservatism" by Irving Kristol.

Kristol writes:

Though a commercial society may offer artists and writers all sorts of desirable things--freedom of expression especially...it did and does deprive them of the status that they feel themselves entitled to. Those who fancy themselves to be intellectuals have always taken themselves to be very important people, and they are outraged by a society that merely tolerates them,,Bertold Brecht was once asked how he could justify his Communist loyalties when his plays could neither be published nor performed. He replied:
Well, there, at least, they take me seriously.
0 Replies
 
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 11:18 pm
Mr. Thomas wrote:

Myself, I continue to doubt that anti-intellectualism, in middle America or elsewhere, exists as a distinguishable ideology. My impression is that this is mostly a projection by eggheads who have the power to coin sociological terms, who feel unappreciated by the riffraff who can't, and who project their feelings onto their putative underappreciators as an ideology.

The obvious alternative -- that in the grand scheme of things, we eggheads are just not as impressive as we think we are, and that the riffraff are only sizing us up realistically -- is too uncomfortable for us to deal with.

***********************************

It would appear, Mr. Thomas, that you agree in part with the quote from Kristol's NEOCONSERVATISM in my last post.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 11:23 pm
I do, however unclean my agreement with Kristol makes me feel.
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 11:29 pm
Diest TKO wrote:

PQ - Honestly I'm better off from experiencing it firsthand in my life. It's just a tool to manipulate people. I understand its potency. After meeting some of the most brilliant people in my life while being in the Midwest, I do harbor resentment for the way the fly-over-food-states are culturally obscure in the USA..

end of quote.

Really? the fly over food states are culturally obscure???

Well- If one looks at the US News and World Report for the list of best law schools in the USA, we find---Chicago, Northwestern and Michigan as three of the top ten Law Schools in the USA--

Engineering? four of the top ten Engineering Schools in the so-called "flyover" over country--Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Purdue.

Schools of Medicine--Washington U( in St. Louis; Duke; Michigan; Mayo in Rochester.

**********************************************************

All Diest TKo has to do to remedy this state of affairs is to cause these schools to move from flyover country. He can do this by revealing himself as a divine one who, of course, has the most exquisitely tuned sense of MORAL UPLIFT of anyone in the USA.
0 Replies
 
 

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