It comes from our blogging friend Artaxes (his blog). As you probably know, we’ve given some small indication that we don’t have a high regard for the intelligence of people on the political Left.
Artaxes wrote an insightful, intelligent post (here) taking exception with our occasionally over-simplistic depiction of the intellectual capacity of leftists. It’s an excellent post, and I posted a comment indicating that. Artaxes and I had a bit of a back-and-forth in which he said some more insightful things; things that I’d like to point out below. Here’s Artatxes’ comment. I’ve added some additional comments, in line and in red font.
Let me put it differently. I always make the distinction between intelligence and wisdom. [Editor’s Note: Yep! One’s intelligence represents his capacity to learn, to think, to think critically, to cogitate, to ratiocinate, to analyze… Wisdom represents how he chooses to use that capacity.] History is replete with examples of highly intelligent people doing stupid and unwise things. [Well said!] I’m sure that you personally know at least some intelligent people who are acting unwise or stupidly. [Well said!] On the other hand I’m equally sure that you know some simple persons with average intelligence who have the wisdom to live a successful, good and moral life. [This was the part that struck me. Yes, yes a thousand times yes! I have dear, dear friends whose lives are neither filled with headline-laden accomplishments, nor are they respected professors, writers, artists, pundits or athletes. They’re “just” good fathers (most of them are men, ’cause I’m a dude), good family men, good friends, good people, as generous as the day is long, and deeply decent, honorable men. These are great men because these are good men. Really good men. Pat, Phil, Steve, Mark, Greg, Dan, Duane, Jeff, Bill, Martin, Gary, Ralph, and many more. These men are not considered to be extraordinarily “intelligent.” And, an important point, in light of what Artaxes says just a couple of sentences further down: These are all Christian men. Their decency springs automatically, easily, naturally, reflexively from their very open Christian beliefs.] Why are intelligent people acting stupidly? I think it’s because they are driven by their passions and irrational desires and sometimes by their psychological illnesses. What does a rotten soul do to a brilliant mind? [Precisely! It turns the brilliant stupid.] In the end, we are driven by our heart, by our soul, no matter how brilliant our mind is. Our heart and our soul tells us where we want to go. Our mind tells us how we get there. [Nicely said. Yes, it’s abstract, a bit treacly, but we all know what it means. In order for it not to be treacly, Artaxes would have had to make the post a lot longer.] True wisdom tells us whether our hearts’ and souls’ desires should or shouldn’t be pursued. [Emphatically… Yep! Artaxes neatly sums up his long, kind of steam-of-consciousness paragraph brilliantly. ]
My intention for writing this post was, besides some emotional relief, to expand the understanding of the Left. [And he did. Quite well too.] We can defeat our enemy only if we understand the nature of our enemy. [Yep. An interesting finish to this second paragraph! This says to me (1) Artaxes understands that we have to defeat them, but (2) that they’re not really our enemy and Artaxes is gently trying to get us on the Right to understand that better.]
After some reflection, I see that I cannot expect other people to have the same insight of the Left’s nature that I have. I have the advantage of being a former leftist, being born into a leftist family and knowing many leftists close up and personal. [Lol! interesting revelation. I share this past with Artaxes, which is one of the reasons his perspectives intrigue me as they do. Here’s a simple fact: Almost all ideological migration goes from Left to Right. Since people ummmm… age, this means that the young tend to find themselves on the Left, while age tends to add wisdom, maturity, insight… and a general rightward drift in one’s ideological thinking. Needless to say, people become less ideological as they age, merely because they have less time, as children and the other responsibilities of adulthood bring greater perspective. There’s that word again. But greater maturity, greater wisdom from greater age, greater insight from greater experience, tend to produce… greater rightwinged-ness.]
I just did not found this aspect of the Left adequately [Editor’s Note: I believe that Artaxes means “inadequately.”] described in many writings on the Right. Perhaps it was written about and I just missed it. Anyway, I think that this aspect of the Left deserves much more prominence if we want to win the ideological war against the Left.
We here at our small but increasingly influential think tank… agree wholeheartedly, and we thank Artaxes for his worthy contribution to greater understanding.