In a new column, Paul Krugman writes of his concern about anti-intellectualism.
He is probably correct when he writes that anti-intellectualism helped get Donald Trump elected.
Indeed, we did get quite the anti-intellectual in Trump.
But here is the thing. The battle shouldn't be between intellectuals and anti-intellectuals but between what I call house intellectuals and truth-seeking intellectuals. For the record, Krugman sits near the top of the house intellectual pecking order. He is concerned about the attack on house intellectuals, not intellectuals.
House intellectuals run government, academia and the media. It is difficult to see how any of these sectors will be re-captured by truth-seeking intellectuals anytime soon. Indeed, most often, a truth-seeking intellectual, unless extremely principled with a very strong inner core, will, upon entering these sectors, be captured by the house boys.
But it is wrong, terribly wrong to reject intellectualism because of this.
The battle for the very fabric of civilization is an intellectual battle---and right now truth-seeking intellectuals are losing badly.
Mises, Hayek and Rothbard always understood the battle for liberty was an intellectual battle. Everyone from Ayn Rand to John Maynard Keynes understood that tomorrow's economic and social mass thinking is based on today's intellectual battles.
The truth-seekers will have to battle from outside the system but intellectualism should not be cast aside because of the current preponderance of house intellectuals.
Truth-seeking intellectuals have a powerful weapon, the truth.
Shakespeare used the phrase in a slightly different context when he wrote: "The truth will out," then in the sense, the phrase has meaning for intellectuals but it is a powerful phrase.
The brain is wired for truth. Once truth is discovered, it is difficult for a false idea to be held. The brain won't allow it. That is why house intellectuals who understand the truth are so often miserable, as the brain serving a false idea results in the worst kind of mental state.
It is why, the masses are a perfect target for truth. They have only crumbs to push them in the direction of mental falsehoods.
Once this is understood, it is clear that the job of the truth-seeking intellectual is to seek truth and then communicate in a manner that can be easily understood.
House intellectuals with their miserable mental state and their cozy institutions can never survive such an attack.