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Hard vs. Soft Science

Reader comment on item: The Folly of the Intellectuals

Submitted by Robert (United States), Aug 14, 2020 at 15:57

It looks like you want out of your way to pick those "intellectuals" who are an iota above crackpots.

And I think you ask the wrong question on this matter. The question to ask is how is it possible for such individuals to get a following? It reminds of course of the fairy tail in which it took a child to recognize that "the Emperor has no clothes."

In the West we have distinguished between the Hard and the Soft Sciences. Math, Physics, Chemistry are considered "hard," while the so-called Humanities are "soft." What you seem inadvertently to show us is that these are both oxymoron because what's deemed hard is relatively easy to get right, while the soft is more difficult.

I also take issue with your time-frame. Our constitutional form of government is only a bit over a couple of centuries old. Neither Germany or Italy, the 2 fascist states, existed until after the middle of the 19th century. Russia replaced it's autocrat Czar with "worker" (banker robber) Stalin. The (weak) Emperor of China was replaced by "commoner" Mao. Glorification of such leaders by so-called "intellectuals" is not as peculiar as you make it appear. I think you give too little weight to the horrors of the Industrial Revolution and the Capitalism which it produced when (German) Marx wrote his Communist Manifesto right before the 1848 Revolutions which took place all over Continental Europe; and Marx died in 1883 (before Electricity or the Internal Combustion Engine that runs on Gasoline, a new product). You also overlook the fact that Lenin took Russia out of the bloody World War One and established himself as its ruler, fearing that Stalin would succeeded him.

Democracies were not an established institution - the United States only became relevant when it entered WWI. And we were an extremely Racist country after ending Slavery only in 1865 with the Bloodiest war of all time - because of perfection of the Winchester Rifle out of Hartford, Connecticut.

Even our so-called Conservative Movement was only created by Catholic Intellectual William F. Buckley, Jr. after WWII. And we are still over our Racist inheritance as visualized by the rise of Black Lives Matter.

It's relatively easy to find crackpot intellectuals with absurd prophesies who believed by cult followers.

But I don't buy the idea of the common sense of the Truck Driver. What the Truck Driver has - but you don't - is the ability to recognize Donald Trump as the right man for the office of President of the USA. It took you 4 years to choose him and acknowledge that he's the best candidate. What makes our Democracy great is that such picks are made by Truck Drivers rather than scholarly intellectuals such as yourself who finds him extremely distasteful to associate with. And thanks to our Founding Fathers - who recognized, apparently, the need for the Electoral College to avoid sheer Majority (or Mob) Rule. Otherwise, we would have had Hillary as out President for the last 4 years.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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