From Publishers Weekly
Flynn (Why the Left Hates America
) takes aim at those he calls "intellectual morons," smart people who make themselves stupid by letting "ideology do their thinking"; stock or fanatical answers, bad logic and lies are all part of their putative arsenal. To make his case, Flynn lambastes a series of prominent leftist "gurus" and the ideological movements they inspired: Herbert Marcuse, Peter Singer, Margaret Sanger, W.E.B. Du Bois, Michel Foucault, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal. (Ayn Rand and Leo Strauss, hardly leftists, if hard to classify together, come in for token baiting.) Flynn does not shy away from ad hominem argument: sex researcher Alfred Kinsey appears as a pervert; Betty Friedan was apparently richer than she let on. Flynn is on firmer ground when looking at actual claims, such as those of the late Guatemalan writer and activist Rigoberta Menchu. Amusing but not consistently enlightening, Flynn's book aims at foundations but glances surfaces.
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From the Inside Flap
Why do well-educated antiwar activists call the president of the United States "the new Hitler" and argue that the U.S. government orchestrated the September 11 attacks?
Why does Al Gore believe that cars pose "a mortal threat to the security of every nation"?
Why does the Princeton professor known as the father of the animal rights movement object to humans eating animals but not to humans having sex with them—and why does PETA defend that position?
In other words, why do smart people fall for stupid ideas?
The answer, Daniel J. Flynn reveals in Intellectual Morons, is ideology. Flynn, the author of Why the Left Hates America, shows how people can be so blinded to reality by the causes they serve that they espouse bizarre, sometimes ridiculous, and often dangerous positions. The most influential social movements have spawnedideologues who do not care whether an idea is good or bad, true or false, but only whether it can serve their cause.
It is startling how many Americans—and particularly how many media, academic, and political elites—fall for bad ideas. The trouble is, their lies become institutionalized as truth, and we all suffer as a result.
In Intellectual Morons, Flynn reveals:
•How rabid anti-Americans simply parrot the delusional claims of a few gurus
•How the environmental movement, spawned
by a "scientist" whose doomsday predictions are almost always wrong, has bred fanaticism, stupidity, and dishonesty
•How the hero of the animal rights crowd is a crank who promotes infanticide and euthanasia
•How a scientific fraud—and pervert—launched the sexual revolution
•How abortion rights activists ignore (or cover up) the fact that their matron saint advocated eugenics and concentration camps
•How our universities have become hothouses of leftist ideology
•How historians and journalists have airbrushed history to turn a racial separatist into a civil rights icon
Filled with jaw-dropping lapses in common sense from even our most celebrated opinion leaders, Intellectual Morons is a welcome reality check for the glaring excesses of today's political and cultural debates.