6 thoughts on “In the most secret heart of every intellectual”

    • *keeps hands down*

      I’m not even a “thought leader.” Whatever the German word is for “face that needs to be punched,” is more or less how I react to the term “thought leader.” I first saw it in this amusing thread at Ask A Manager: “How to Become a Thought Leader in Your Field.”

      Don’t know if that trend is still a thing, but if someone is calling themselves a “thought leader” or an intellectual (or an intellectual badass as some writer called herself) they’re likely too pretentious to take seriously. Follow the Fred Flintstone Rule: he didn’t want to talk about his own greatness, so he suggested Betty and Wilma should talk about his greatness instead. Point being, let other people bestow accolades if you’re worthy. Don’t bestow them on yourself.

  1. Well, I’d suggest that Trilling was really talking just about people like himself — except that no hardcore Freudian is really an “intellectual.” But maybe the mark of an intellectual is that I’d care and make that kind of distinction in the first place about those people.

    As to the second objection: I’ve had to deal with an awful lot of theocrats in my time. Trilling’s glib description fits them a lot better. And perhaps even moreso to orthodox economists…

  2. The OP is simultaneously falsely general and a false implied distinction:

    Every intellectual? Really?

    Only intellectuals? Really?

    • 1- Yes.
      2- No.

      Truly smart/learned folk don’t proclaim themselves “intellectuals”.

      Cliff Claverns, the lot of them.

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