- Unknown Binding
- ISBN-10: 1400082692
- ISBN-13: 978-1400082698
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
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Intellectual Morons Unknown Binding
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm sure someone else could take some right-wing ideological tenets and do the same thing, but they haven't.
If you read this with an open mind, and disregard your own biases, it may allow you to take a fresh look at some of your own opinions. In the chapters dealing with Animal Rights and Environmentalism, Flynn makes a good argument that people blinded by ideology have actually caused more pernicious problems by "solving" a simpler one through their efforts. What he points out is how ideology becomes an overpowering force in some people's lives, and that is something we should all consider.
The premise for the book is promising, and, in some of the chapters (each of which chapter is devoted to a particular `intellectual moron' and his or her adherents) Flynn succeeds at this admittedly ambitious goal. For instance, the first chapter on Herbert Marcuse is generally excellent (though it too has its flaws); Lynn eviscerates the idea that Marcuse's obscurantist prose contained worthwhile ideas. Rather he compares Marcuse's often contradictory and perplexing phrases to that of Orwell's Newspeak in 1984 ("Ignorance is Strength," etc.) Unfortunately, this effort is inconsistent throughout the book, and some of the claims Flynn makes are bizarre, unsubstantiated, or just plain vicious in their nature.
Flynn believes that Marcuse's writing leads to the logical consequence of courts' upholding gay marriage, Clinton's lechery, Madonna, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears (page 21 of the hardcover edition). It is not clear how this follows; certainly, if we are to adduce causes for these pop culture phenomena we can point to many strains of thought over the past 100 years that have allowed vapidity to flourish.Read more ›
The first chapter brilliantly summarizes Marcuse and "Cultural" Marxism wherein every facet of human existence is politicized. His ideas permeated our culture - from "diversity" wherein the Left was supported and the Right silenced, to identify politics (gay/ethnic/gender group rights) to victimization to anti-Western bias to a redefinition of education. He had particular disdain for old-fashioned liberals like Hubert Humphrey. He was astute, though, in recognizing that the common worker would never accept his ideas and therefore must be "forced" to be free.
Elements of violence and authoritarianism are present in all these groups; the "truth" must prevail and violence is necessary for the greater good. This explains the perplexing notion of "liberals" praising despots whole first act would be silencing them or of commentators praising Arafat while condemning Israel. Each ideology seeks Utopia - from an (ir)rational Randian world to Strauss's American Empire to a primitive garden of Eden where humans live in peace with nature and its creatures and have sex without consequences or emotion.
The article on Chomsky and his continual excuses/espousing of various events (to this day he denies the Kymer Rouge killed millions of Cambodians) was another tour de force. He emphasizes that the mjority of those in non-academic studies (identity politics) drift into three major areas: Academia, politics and the media.
The introduction alone is worth the price of admission. To an alarming extent people do believe what they read in the papers, and, worse, they believe demagogues and gurus. People love to find heroes and to give up the effort of thinking for themselves.
The chapters on Kinsey and Sanger were particularly powerful. In parts they were actually hard to read because of extent of the misdeeds of these people. It's really important that more of this stuff is in the public domain because of the glib treatment afforded many of these types.
First, Flynn often moves from fact-based, reasonable argument to more fanciful hypotheses, but states these as fact without really backing them up. According to Flynn, Kinsey is responsible for initiating the largely damaging changes in sexual behavior following his reports and the remarkably fawning coverage by much of the press. That might be an idea worth exploring, but there isn't much to go on in the book itself.
Second, it's a terrible pity that a writer with a mind as acute as Flynn's cannot turn his scrutiny on conservative ideologues. I wonder if he is a bit torn here. On pages 82-83 of the book he describes the recent civil war in Guatemala at some length. This began with a US-backed military coup which replaced a democratically-elected left winger with links to communism, with a brutal military dictator ("the man the Americans helped install"). Large-scale atrocities ensued, committed by the guerrillas but also by the US-backed government.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this book pretty interesting. It definitely needs to be read with an open mind but Flynn does a good job explaining how seemly smart people can get caught up in ideas that... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kelly
VERY REVEALING! This is one of the first books that has kept my attention all the way to the end. It made me think, which I really appreciate. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Carl D. Kerby
Very interesting, well written and covers a variety of people. Blatantly right wing. I suggest you read this book and then look up the facts about whatever you may disagree with. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Marlene
This is a very neat book. Flynn takes to task certain theories that underpin the outlook of liberals in the world. Read morePublished on January 8, 2014 by Gene Rhea Tucker
This author clearly has taken a very serious and extremely serviceable idea, consciously, and badly, botched it. Read morePublished on August 31, 2013 by Herbert L Calhoun
Flynn raises valid points about how ideology causes people to ignore facts, or to distort or fabricate them to serve some cause. Read morePublished on August 9, 2013 by Matthew Stern
I thought this was going to be a critique of all ideologies, instead its a right winger complaining about left wing ideologies without being able to turn his gaze upon himself. Read morePublished on February 15, 2013 by Jay M
This book cuts to the chase, unimpeded by any PC bilge. For a number of years I've averaged reading three books every two weeks --and I've yet to read one that tops Intellectual... Read morePublished on March 10, 2012 by Daren T. Johnson