Articles

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Left is Too Smart to Fail

The infrastructure of manufactured intelligence has become a truly impressive thing. Today as never before there is an industry dedicated, not to educating people, but to making them feel smart. From paradigm shifting TED talks to paradigm to books by thought leaders and documentaries by change agents that transform your view of the world, manufactured intelligence has become its own culture.

Manufactured intelligence is the smarmy quality that oozes out of a New York Times column by Thomas Friedman, Maureen Dowd, Frank Bruni and the rest of the gang who tell you nothing meaningful while dazzling you with references to international locations, political events and pop culture, tying together absurdities into one synergistic web of nonsense that feels meaningful.

There's a reason that there's a Tom Friedman article generator online. But it could just as easily be a New York Times article generator that sums up the hollowness of the buzzword-fed crowd that is always hungry to reaffirm the illusion of its own intelligence.

We all know that George W. Bush was a moron. And we all know that Obama is a genius. We have been told by Valerie Jarrett, by his media lapdogs and even by the great man himself that he is just too smart to do his job. And it's reasonable that a genius would be bored by the tedious tasks involved in running the most powerful nation on earth.

But what is "smart" anyway? What makes Obama a genius? It's not his IQ. It's probably not his grades or we would have seen them already. It's that like so many of the thought leaders and TED talkers, he makes his supporters feel smart. The perception of intelligence is really a reflection.

Smart once used to be an unreachable quality. Einstein was proclaimed a genius, because it was said that no one understood his theories. Those were undemocratic times when it was assumed that the eggheads playing with the atom had to be a lot smarter than us or we were in big trouble.

Intelligence has since been democratized. Smart has been redistributed. Anyone can get an A for effort. And the impulse of manufactured intelligence is not smart people, but people who make us feel smart. That is why Neil deGrasse Tyson, another obsessively self-promoting mediocrity like Carl Sagan, is now the new face of science. Sagan made science-illiterate liberals feel smart while pandering to their biases. Tyson does the same thing for the Twitter generation.

 Self-esteem is the new intelligence. Obama's intelligence was manufactured by pandering to the biases and tastes of his supporters. The more he shared their biases and tastes, the smarter he seemed to be and the smarter they felt by having so much in common with such a smart man.

Obama Inc. built his image around the accessories of modern manufactured intelligence, premature biographies, global reference points and pop culture. This marriage of high and low with an exotic spice from the east embodies modern liberal intelligence. Take a dash of pop culture, mix it with an important quote, throw in some recent technological development that promises to "change how we all live", mention your time in a foreign culture and draw an insipid conclusion.

That's not just the DNA of every other New York Times column, TED talk and important book by an equally important thought leader sitting under the floodlights at your local struggling chain bookstore with its portraits of great writers on the wall and the tables groaning under unsold copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, Malcolm Gladwell, Candace Bushnell and Khaled Hosseini.

It's also the DNA of Obama Inc. It is its assumption of intelligence through compassionate self-involvement, progressive insights derived from an obsession with the self and the sanctification of Third World references, real or imaginary, invoking the spiritual power of the Other, the totem of alien magic, to transcend the rational and the pragmatic. It is upscale Oprah; egotism masquerading as enlightenment, condescension as compassion and soothing quotes as religion.

Once upon a time, bright young American men went to Europe and wrote books about the world. That was our notion of intelligence. JFK did it and was widely praised for his intelligence. Today bright young American men and women go to the Third World and write their books about the world, mining the compost of their Flickr accounts, Tumblr updates and Twitter feed for deep thoughts.

Intelligence to a modern liberal isn't depth, it's appearance. It isn't even an intellectual quality, but a spiritual quality. Compassionate people who care about others are always "smarter", no matter how stupid they might be, because they care about the world around them.

An insight into how we live matters more than useful knowledge. Skill is irrelevant unless it's a transformative progressive "changing the way we live" application.

Obama and his audience mistake their orgy of mutual flattery for intelligence and depth. Like a trendy restaurant whose patrons know that they have good taste because they patronize it, his supporters know that they are smart because they support a smart man and Obama knows he is smart because so many smart people support him.

The thought never rises within this bubble of manufactured intelligence that all of them might really be idiots who have convinced themselves that they are geniuses because they read the right books (or pretend to read them), watch the right movies and shows (or pretend to) and have the right values (or pretend to).

Smart is surplus when you have Gladwell sitting under a full DVD set of The Wire prominently displayed on your bookshelf right alongside a signed copy of The Audacity of Hope.

Marxists thought that Marxism was smart. Progressives measure intelligence in progressivism. Its only two qualities are "world awareness" and "progressive future adaptation".

Obama hit both these qualities perfectly with his Third Culture background and the appearance of modern technocratic polish. Not just a politician, but a thought leader, he had the pseudo-celebrity quality of their kind, able to move smoothly from a celebrity panel about Third World microfinance, to a Jay-Z concert to a fundraiser for DIY solar panels for India to a banquet for a political hack.

Everyone who encountered him thought that he was smart because he made them feel smart. And that is the supreme duty of the modern liberal intellectual, not to be smart, but to make others feel smart. Genuine intelligence is threatening. Manufactured intelligence is soothing. And those intellectually superior progressives who need to believe that Obama is smart in order to believe that they are smart cannot stop believing in his brains without confronting the illusion of their own intelligence.

Manufactured intelligence isn't smart. It's stupid. It's as stupid as building windmills for sustainable energy in places where the wind hardly blows, as stupid as calling inflated budgets "investments" and as stupid as believing that a man is smart because he can reference poverty in the Third World.

It's easy to tell apart fake intelligence from the real thing. Manufactured intelligence fakes "smart" by playing word games. It constantly invents new terms to provide the enlightened elites with a secret language of Newspeak buzzwords that mean less than the words they are replacing. The buzzwords, Thought Leader and Change Agent, quickly take on cultist overtones and become ways of describing how the group's leaders would like to use power, than anything about the world that they describe.

Manufactured intelligence is a consensus, not a debate. It's not arrived at through a process, but flopped into like a warm soothing bath of nothingness. It's correct because everyone says so. And anyone who disagrees is clearly stupid and lacks awareness of the interconnected ways that the world synergistically works. And probably doesn't know science, Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson either.

Real intelligence is the product of constant debate. It is forever striving to overthrow the consensus and willing to challenge anything and everything. It uses a specialized vocabulary only to describe specialized phenomena, rather than replacing existing words with new words to describing existing phenomena in order to seem as if it understands the future better by going all 1984 on it.

Finally, manufactured intelligence is self-involved. It mistakes feeling for thinking. It deals not with how things are or even how we would like them to be, but how we feel about the way things are and what our feelings about the way things are say about what kind of people we are.

Liberal intelligence is largely concerned with the latter. It is a self-esteem project for mediocre elites, the sons and daughters of the formerly accomplished who are constantly diving into the shallow pools of their own minds to explore how their privilege and entitlement makes them view the world and how they can be good people by challenging everyone's paradigms and how they can think outside the box by climbing into it and pulling the flaps shut behind them.

Perpetual self-involvement isn't intelligence regardless of how many of the linguistic tricks of memoir fiction it borrows to endow its liberal self-help section with the appearance of nobility.

Liberalism isn't really about making the world a better place. It's about reassuring the elites that they are good people for wanting to rule over it.

That is why Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize for having good intentions. His actual foreign policy mattered less than the appearance of a new transformative foreign policy based on speeches. Gore promised to be be harsher on Saddam than Bush, but no one remembers that because everyone in the bubble knows that the Iraq War was stupid... and only conservatives do stupid things.

Liberal intelligence exists on the illusion of its self-worth. The magical thinking that guides it in every other area from economics to diplomacy also convinces it that if it believes it is smart, that it will be. The impenetrable liberal consensus in every area is based on this delusion of intelligence. Every policy is right because it's smart and it's smart because it's progressive and it's progressive because smart progressives say that it is.

Progressives manufacture the consensus of their own intelligence and insist that it proves them right.

Imagine a million people walking in a circle and shouting, "WE'RE SMART AND WE'RE RIGHT. WE'RE RIGHT BECAUSE WE'RE SMART. WE'RE SMART BECAUSE WE'RE RIGHT." Now imagine that these marching morons dominate academia, the government bureaucracy and the entertainment industry allowing them to spend billions yelling their idiot message until it outshouts everyone else while ignoring the disasters in their wake because they are too smart to fail.

That is liberalism.

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the most genuinely intelligent article I've read in ages. Thank you for daring to speak this truth.

black mamba said...

I do like to bash this point to death, so here goes: if Obama's so smart, how come his wife - who is his own age and not some cute bimbo or anything; presumably there's a meeting of minds between the two - how come she's a semi-literate?

http://townhall.com/columnists/dineshdsouza/2008/06/30/michelle_obamas_inferiority_complex/page/full

Do highly intelligent men generally marry women who aren't able write at an acceptable middle school level?

Anonymous said...

This constant feedback loop shoring up the leftard mythology is impenetrable.

Anonymous said...

Heh, heh. Love the picture of the stereotypical leftist, Daniel. That's exactly what they look like all over the UK and Europe as well.

My favourite piece of their attire is the ever present keffiyeh, to "show solidarity with their Palestinian brothers".

Dennis Latham said...

Michelle Obama runs the whole show. She is actually Idi Amin in a great disguise. There are so many great quotes in this article that could be plastered across the liberal news media. Those quotes could cause serious strokes in the progressive limited brain function. Just like the movie Mars Attacks. Dan Greenfield quotes could be the equal to the Slim Whitman song answer to stop the Liberals.

Brooks Imperial said...

One rooted in modernity would mine Greenfield's comments for the sound reasoning and accurate fact analysis they contain, and thereby learn something. The Left won't do this. I'm still puzzling over whether this comes from a character flaw, a lack of real intelligence, or a stubborn devotion to the great efforts they've invested to make sense out of the various Marxist derivative philosophies that so excite them.

kirk said...

Also, How many of these people can change a tire,drive a nail,use a shovel ect. very few if I was to guess.

meema said...

Psychopaths always perceive themselves as not just smarter than others, but entitled to dictate what the dumbs should do, be, think, say. But smart and dumb are relative to a given circumstance. If you were a passenger on a small plane with Obama and Phil Robertson, and the plane is about to crash into a wilderness, who do you pray survives with you, the 'smart' one or the 'dumb' one?

Call me biased but I’ve always thought even the dumbest Americans have a unique spark of survival smart that once ignited is hard to put out. Sometimes ‘dumb’ gets fed up and rises up...

Al Sharpton’s Chicago Town Hall Erupts into Anti-Machine Revolt
December 19, 2013

“We’ve been trained to vote in a specific manner...”
“Stop blaming the violence in the city of Chicago on the white people...blame the RIGHT people!”
“Mr. President, the man that you have sent down here as the mayor, hate us!”
“You said, the man that you have sent down here as mayor hates us, who voted for him? ...we do the same ole thing. I say, how dumb can you be?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jzo9lCBYzA4

Edward Cline said...

Kirk asked: "Also, How many of these people can change a tire, drive a nail, use a shovel, etc,? Very few if I was to guess." Kirk, you guessed right. These people wouldn't be caught dead performing these tasks. They're the "elite," you know. Those tasks are for us to perform. Also, we write clear sentences, employ logic, reach conclusions because we expend the mental effort. All this, our "masters" hold their noses to. We do the work of the world; they make it more difficult to work. Were it not for us, our "masters" of the liberal/left would perish.

theunrecordedman said...

Daniel, I love your writing and the points you make are super important. Even so, could you see your way to hammering home your points rather less? If you did, I swear I would link to almost every single post you write. As it is, I feel I am being bludgeoned with the same points, over and over again when I've already got it. Thanks.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Do you mean that the articles are similar or that the same point is made too many times in the same article?

If it's the latter, you can find a more condensed version of the article here

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/obama-is-too-smart-to-fail/

theunrecordedman said...

Anonymous said: "Heh, heh. Love the picture of the stereotypical leftist, Daniel."

The 'stereotypical leftist' looks suspiciously like Gavin Macinnes to me, in which case he has intentionally dressed up to look like a stereotypical leftist.

theunrecordedman said...

I meant the latter. I will immediately go to Frontpage mag. Thanks for replying. I love your stuff.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Yes it's him

John Jaeger said...

Fathom the hypocrisy of this corrupt narcissist who orders everyone else to cut back on their carbon footprints while HE takes every Christmas vacation in Hawaii; while HE flies Air Force One to Ohio to plant a single tree on *Earth Day*; while HE flies to the Left Coast to raise money for the Democrat Party with fat cat dinners after lambasting the "greedy rich" as those whose money must be taken from them and distributed to the poor (read his supporters).

It's more than a body can bear. Now please this on the Global Warming Fraud:

http://theglobalwarmingfraud.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

This all comes down to what I call ‘The Harvard Problem’.

Ivy League universities, most notably Harvard, have been deemed the fonts of all wisdom and truth. It’s pretty much been established that if you have a degree from Harvard, you are a know-it-all whose ideas are so profound that us mere peons can’t comprehend them and must accept them without question. ‘WE are smarter than YOU are’.

These people live in an incestuous bubble of influence. They know each other and they hire each other based on their association with schools like Harvard.

'Have YOU graduated from Harvard? No? Then your opinions don’t matter. '

These people can argue that up is down and left is right. ‘Progressive’ liberals remind me of this passage from ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

“The argument runs something like this. "I refuse to prove that I exist", says God, "for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing." "But", says Man, "the Babel Fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It proves you exist, and so therefore you don't. QED." "Oh dear", says God, "I hadn't thought of that", and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. "Oh, that was easy", says Man, and for an encore he goes on to prove that black is white and gets killed on the next zebra crossing.”

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Joe said...

You're missing th ebig one. Hating happy, normal people makes leftists feel smart.

Anonymous said...

Wisdom is fear of the Lord.

Intelligence is searching for truth and when finding it, accepting it.

Being smart means you aren't fooled by every fad, every con, every talking head, every remake of old things, and never, ever believing anything a politician says.

Elaine

Anonymous said...

Another fine exemplar (avatar?) of this phenomenon: Fareed Zakaria.

Burke said...

Look up the letter Obama wrote for the Harvard Record shortly after he was selected to be editor of the Harvard Law Review.

And ask yourself how smart he is.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

indeed

Anonymous said...

Its the Dunning-Kruger effect applied to politics, The left is so ignorant and incompetent that they don't even recognize that they lack the knowledge and intellectual skills to even assess the situations about which they feel so morally superior. Then they create the self-reinforcing culture of "in" and "cool" to reassure themselves, as you wrote.

Anonymous said...

You handle that hammer very well, I feel. I can't get enough.
-BarbaCat

Anonymous said...

The worst crime of these sanctimonious, self-important, and self-adoring nitwits is that they are so boring. They are without a shred of wit, charm, humour or irony and make very dull dining companions. But then it's difficult to be interesting when your only love affair is with yourself.

Anonymous said...

"Liberalism isn't really about making the world a better place. It's about reassuring the elites that they are good people for wanting to rule over it."

That is the quote of the year!

AskTheReferee said...

Don't change your style Daniel. You are a marvelous writer with wit and intellect matched by few. Your production is astounding and range and spectrum unrivaled. Max.

The Ray Esquivel said...

Fantastic writing! You have looked into the soul of stupidity and seen liberals for what they really are ... fearful, incompetent posers who use whatever they are blessed with to try to control a world they do not understand. You show them always in front of a looking glass saying to themselves "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the wisest of them all?" You, of course, is the reply. Always Me. But the real producers of the world know what a fake, a poser, a pretender are all about. In marketing it is called "All sizzle and no steak." I prefer "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bull pucky."

Great stuff Daniel. Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

Daniel Greenfield is the Bo Jackson of intelligentsia.
Bo Jackson is the Daniel Greenfield of athleticism and all around bad-assery.

Dan Mesa/AZ

Anonymous said...

I love the picture of Gavin McInnes!

Anonymous said...

The liberals referred to themselves as being "politically correct," or PC. PC actually stands for what they are: political children. Liberals are people who have never grown up. And when children are running things, instead of adults, bad things happen.

But whose fault is it that they are in charge? It's us.

If you want to change things, take over the Republican Party at the precinct level. Half of the Republican Party precinct committeeman slots are STILL vacant despite five years of this idiocy. Conservatives need to unite and organize for real political action where they live inside the Republican Party. The ONLY Republicans who get to elect the Party officers are the precinct committeemen. We need a Republican Party that will FIGHT and one that can get conservatives to defeat RINOs in the primary elections. The BEST way to do that is to get conservatives into every vacant precinct committeeman slot asap.

Go here for more info on how to do it:

http://precinctproject.us
http://theprecinctproject.wordpress.com

Thank you.
ColdWarrior

fsy said...

I looked up deGrasse Tyson, and he does seem to be a genuine Ph.D astrophysicist, which certainly puts him in a different category than charlatans like the Obamas. That said, he does look like an ideologue who has no qualms about using his technical knowledge as a means to put over his propaganda.

Anonymous said...

"Manufactured intelligence is the smarmy quality that oozes out of a New York Times column by Thomas Friedman, Maureen Dowd, Frank Bruni and the rest of the gang who tell you nothing meaningful while dazzling you with references to international locations, political events and pop culture, tying together absurdities into one synergistic web of nonsense that feels meaningful."


In other words they specialize in word salads.


Keliata

black mamba said...

Burke - oh my. I knew about Michelle. I didn't know about Barry.

Anonymous said...

That was me. I'm afraid I have no idea who Gavin McInnes is.

Anonymous said...

Senator "Stuart Smalley" said it best,
"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DIETlxquzY
.

Mt Top Patriot said...

It's a question of the lowest common denominator.

Nir said...

Generally I like the article. I don't understand the ripping on Carl Sagan though. He's not Einstein, and he my for all I know gone overboard in promoting at some point. But he's definitely not a mediocrity, I mean he was a legit physicist at a strong school. He was also a strong proponent of scientific thought; true scientific thought has very little good to say about the kind of intelligence and thought patterns you expound on in your articles. Indeed, people that study math, physics, etc are usually pretty into their own version of intelligence and don't take the people that you described seriously.

Drow Ranger said...

Michelle isn't smart enough to realize that the rubbish she wrote for her "thesis" is exactly that, rubbish. She was taught in the "ivy league" school that this is how smart people write, so she copied it. She wasn't even smart enough to realize that her blanket, uncritical acceptance of the jargon-laced, grammar-challenged Liberal Newspeak indicates that her blood levels of Jonestown Formula Purple Koolaid reached toxic levels.

In other words, she's gullible as well as dumber than a sack of hammers.

Glen Filthie said...

The problem is that these people can't even put on a good appearance of intellect. Consider Obama:

He can't even memorize a short speech and is in serious trouble if the teleprompter craps out. He can't win a debate unless some liberal idiot plays the race card when he loses - and the novelty of that trick wore off long ago.

If these people are intelligent I have yet to see any evidence of it. Even the appearance of it, to be honest.

zeppo said...

Excellent, thank you.

Bill Kerr said...

Liberals are in a bubble where Style is perceived to be more important that Substance. How you say it has become more important than Content or What you say.
Thoughts or ideas from liberal elite/academia are valued more than real world experience and observations! Truly the world is upside down.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to watch the creative destruction going on right now with the next generation. The privileged children are in real trouble. They have debts and no jobs because all they have is a college degree in a discipline that is strictly academic. This combined with the expectation of success and lack of ambition leaves them adrift in their parents house. At the same time, the smartest person in the world when your toilet is broken is the plumber that fixes it. A young well-trained welder is a hot commodity. The only TED I ever watch was the Mike Low talk on manual labor. Talk about paradigm shifts . . .

Exurban said...

Good stuff. The phenomenon of making undistinguished people feel special has been ramping up for some time; among commercial products, I first noticed this effect with Macintosh computers and Volvo cars. There is a parallel with fashionable charities, which aim strictly at making the benefactors feel good about themselves.

Fred Z said...

Oh dear, I hate to run counterclockwise, but this article and most of the comments are deeply stupid.

There are many types of intelligence and you lot all have the same physical world logico-mathematical brains and it makes you blind to other types of intelligence.

There are brains and abilities which specialize not in understanding and controlling the physical universe, but rather in understanding and controlling other humans.

They understand you, you do not understand them. You sing and dance for them, they force you to wait on them and give them your money. And yet you have the temerity to call them stupid.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

The trouble with that argument is that the people being fooled are the supposedly intelligent ones, not the people in the comments section.

Being a con artist does involve a certain type of intelligence, but to be both the con artist and the one being conned only makes one a fool.

Fred Z said...

Ah, I see you take my point, even though you try to resist it, perhaps because you too are one of the manipulators, though for now not too successful as the enemy manipulators seem to be in the ascendant.

There are an awful lot of very high IQ Obama voters, who are fools when it comes to being manipulated by masters of the science of human manipulation.

Those of us with linear, logical brains, the manipulators of matter and energy, mathematics and logic, can clearly see the idiocy of global warming, the stupidity of things like high speed rail in the California desert, yet we cannot persuade anyone.

It is often wrong to call the manipulators of men simple 'con-men' because it avoids the issue, and colors it with emotion. How do they do it? Why do so many fall for it? Can their skills and techniques be studied, learned and defended against? Rather than call Obama and the Dems con-men, let's study them very, very, closely.

I have heard and seen your disdainful phrase 'a certain type of intelligence' far too often. Right now, those with 'a certain type of intelligence' are winning handily, which seems to me to suggest that we losers in this intellectual war are in fact the ones with the disdained 'certain type of intelligence'.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

It takes no special genius to manipulate people when you dominate the media, the entertainment industry, academia and much of the regulatory bureaucracy.

What the left has is organization and dedication. It isn't persuading people through brilliant tricks, but by controlling the means of distributing information.

Anonymous said...

The left have have run many of their cons out to the limits. Bankrupt Europe, Global Warming, Obamacare, Detroit, endless recession,etc and even the public is waking up to the manipulation and control and the backlash will be strong. False concepts and False Promises can only be delivered confidently for so long before Reality hits home. There will be a day of reckoning for the false prophets. In the past they would have been stoned.

Mr. Enns said...

This article is interesting and important. If it were less overtly political, it would be something to share around. As it is, it will only be read by "the choir".
Do you think you could re-write it after a politectemy?

jkatzman said...

I'm going to take issue with one point here, and that's Carl Sagan. He's not the target you're looking for.

No, he wasn't Richard Feynman. Who is? He was still a good scientist by the standards of the field. Where he went beyond good and achieved legitimate greatness that even someone like ridiculously smart and historically elite scientist Niels Bohr would have to defer to, was as a science teacher. That's a legit skill.

Sagan looked at Venus, saw global warming as a possibility, and spoke up about it as a risk before the science was really there. I don't think it makes him dumb, any more than I think Elon Musk (a genuinely smart guy, or the term means nothing) becomes dumb for buying into it.

It's legitimate disagreement. My basis is a policy level that short-circuits the science debate (Pointer: I agree with Walter Mead's devastating takedown of the policy and of Al Gore).

I'll add 1 point you probably didn't expect: Carl Sagan and his book Cosmos are the reason I became a conservative.

Sagan writes about the scientific ethic, its failure to thrive for many centuries, and the consequences for the world we live in. That really hit me. Once you start asking how to keep science's ethic alive and prospering over the long term, you cannot accept an ideology of continual deceit.

That will make you a conservative, albeit an unconventional one.

jkatzman said...

As a separate subject, I have to concede Fred Z's point here:

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-left-is-too-smart-to-fail.html?showComment=1388171430349#c68750612719763475

It does no good to complain "I'm surrounded by fools!" As the saying goes, if you allowed a bunch of fools to surround you, how smart does that make you?

We're in a trap, and we need to think our way out. Part of that process involves acknowledging the limits of logic, and figuring out approaches that work with the reality of the situation.

Jolene said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You put into words what I knew in my heart but frankly, didn't have the words to put it down on paper. I've seen Obama as an empty suit since the beginning. I have a high school education and a license for my job. Yet, I haven't had to go on gov't assistance ever and have made a good living. I don't need a stinking college degree to do my job, or get one for that matter. I believe the Obama economy is showing us all that right now. A family friend was wanting to hire my husband into his company, but my husband is one class short of an associates degree. He doesn't want to bother with it as he has a good job. I finally asked the friend why it was so important and he stated it showed my husband stuck to something and competed it. I replied, "If retiring after 23 years in the Army as a Sergeant Major isn't proof enough he can stick to something, then he doesn't need your job."

Anonymous said...

After so much complaining about self-congratulation and consensus, it's funny to see everybody patting themselves on the back in the comments.

lanid said...

Black Mamba, what makes you think the O is literate? There is no direct evidence that he is. He doesn't know the difference between corps and corpse. He does not write his speeches. There is no evidence that he did any actual editing when he was supposedly editor of the Harvard Law Review. There is no legislation that he wrote, other than perhaps dictating his ideas to lick-butt sycophants.

David Beer said...

i stopped reading after the statement about Obama making his people feel smart(paraphrased). That might be the jist of this article? the United States has been manufacturing it's existence for quite some time...Obama is just the latest and greatest self professed Guru. In my lifetime, I have yet to see a great man in the Oval Office, even Kennedy was a manufactured existence. He is my first understanding of an American President, liken to the greatest of Presidents and shrouded in a manufactured existence. Because the men at war on the ground saw the true war being fought and not the manufactured war that their leaders were pounding into them and forcing them to fight, the wars are lost. for they being again next door. we are failing because our leaders think they have a handle on autonomy, yet they understand it not. so their facade creates facade and we drink in the poison and die slowly anyway...oops sorry for that creative outburst. every time a person says yeah but....the are speaking through a mind that is already poisoned.

Wag-a-Muffin said...

When I try to engage in a discussion with my leftist friends they always insist that we begin with a consensus that "Obama is brilliant." (Their argument is, "well, everyone knows that Obama is brilliant. Therefore, he MUST be brilliant.") This fact must be conceded by both sides before we can even begin to make our cases. If I don't admit this, then I am stupid and the discussion ends. Obviously, I don't do much debating with my leftist friends any more.

yodasracis said...

Well, that was pretty incredible. I didn't say this as eloquently as the author did by any means, but here was my take from a few months ago: http://datsracis.com/2013/08/13/throw-a-blanket-over-it/

Bradley Buck said...

I think the problem with both liberals and conservatives is that they each listen only to what confirms their own views. The other side is deemed to be unintelligent, while our side is always where the true geniuses are. Most people on either side are unwilling to be challenged and to question their presuppositions, so we stick with the media sources that we feel comfortable with, the ones we can trust. I know very intelligent liberals, as well as very intelligent conservatives (and libertarians, etc), but it seems like there are more than enough stupid people to go around.

Anonymous said...

Agreed

Anonymous said...

tTis is quite possibly the most brilliant and articulate thing that have read in the last 25 years.

Mitch Sanders said...

Well said, my friend. Could you maybe put this into a TED talk?

Anonymous said...

Now that comment is right on the money.

allanius said...

This is great. Manufactured intelligence is all the rage where I work. Openly discussed in terms of "branding" yourself. The rise of the salesman..

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Ah yes, you are your own brand. If your brand is smart, you are smart. After all, what is smart except convincing other people you are smart?

Anonymous said...

It is not even a great disguise, when you think about it.

Anonymous said...

Coined this word June 2011- suits

"Intelite" (noun)

1. (Often used with a plural verb) The intellectually superior or best of anything considered collectively unto themselves, as of a group or class of persons.

2. (Used with a plural verb) Persons believing themselves to be of the highest intellectual class: “Only the intelite should make decisions for the common good, because they know what is best.”

3. A group of persons exercising the major share of authoritarian influence within a larger group: “the intelite rule because they are the smartest; no need to question their motives.”

hillbuzz.net said...

Well, this article itself seems to want to reassure conservatives that they are the smart kids in the room. If this was so obvious, none of you would

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

It says nothing about conservatives being smart. It deals with the false branding of intelligence by the Obama left.

John Campbell said...

A liberal attorney friend of mine was recently insisting to me that President Obama was, in spite of his many blunders, a brilliant man. I rolled my eyes, and in an indignant fit of name-dropping he declared, "Lawrence Tribe says Obama was the most brilliant student he ever had! And Lawrence Tribe is the most brilliant man I ever met!" Well, I thought to myself, that certainly is convincing. You, a liberal, let Lawrence Tribe, a liberal, who taught Barack Obama, a liberal, and you all think that you are all very smart...nay, brilliant. This tiresome mutual-congratulation society is just out of hand. They attend the same schools, cocktail parties and award ceremonies where they all give one another awards. Suppose I told a liberal that I met Don Rumsfeld, who told me that Dick Cheney was brilliant? I somehow imagine this would fail to inspire them. So in the interest of balance, I too am unmoved by a liberal's assessment of another liberal's intelligence. Intelligence is like physical strength. It can be demonstrated. Yet the smartest people seem to do very little lifting these days.

Jan Posthumus said...

I agree - absolutely masterfully done - Daniel deserves a standing ovation!

Gene said...

The "liberalism" touted in the U.S. today is not liberalism. It is a nice sounding catch-all phrase that seduces the low information American into supporting collectivism, which has many names. All of them are anti liberal. A liberal, before modern media, is a person who defends personal freedom and liberty. Once the statist have confused voters, they obtain power and begin to "collect" money and power for their own use; then whine about a tax cut as giving people money!

The average person has to act as the gate is closing on the corral. The weak minded have to be branded and removed; there should be no tolerance or political correctness. If this is not done, there will be blood. The government is planning for it because they know people will awaken They would close the gate now except awake people bought millions of guns. Its best to act now to avoid conflict. My advice: Vote in Any Primary. There your vote has meaning.

Anonymous said...

intelligence in the age of narcissism

-- spanky

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