Robert Nozick is an Idiot — and a former professor at Harvard. Given his “success” in the “currency” of the intelligentsia, I suppose there is hope for me as well. He wrote a little diddy a while back exploring the link between being an intellectual (which he links to wordsmithing, a dubious linkage to begin with, but we will allow it) and harboring anti-capitalist sentiment. Well, hella, Bob, what could be the LINK? Well, I provide a couple objections to this theorem of Nozick’s, as follows — because I had too much wine and avoided (real) work!
“These wordsmiths include poets, novelists, literary critics, newspaper and magazine journalists, and many professors. It does not include those who primarily produce and transmit quantitatively or mathematically formulated information (the numbersmiths) or those working in visual media, painters, sculptors, cameramen. Unlike the wordsmiths, people in these occupations do not disproportionately oppose capitalism.”
Verify? I mean, other than the tidy fact that we are presuming some sort of distinction between wordy and numbery intellectuals, does it actually hold up that intelligent mathematicians (oh, those wizards of the Ideal that are beyond reproach!) are less anti-capitalist than your given wordy thinker? I don’t think so. But then, I don’t think that too many of your given wordy intellectuals are anti-capitalist. That is a mere bogeyman.
“Wordsmith intellectuals fare well in capitalist society; there they have great freedom to formulate, encounter, and propagate new ideas, to read and discuss them.”
False implication: what if I don’t think that these “freedoms” are a result of capitalist society?
“Intellectuals now expect to be the most highly valued people in a society, those with the most prestige and power, those with the greatest rewards. ”
Do they, really? That is a crock of shit, Bob — I mean, outside your bald assertion that it is truth. And even if that were so, I’d like to see you claim that the given megalomaniac wordthumper has more fantasies of power than Al G. Carsalesman.
“However, even those intellectuals who do not mix socially are similarly resentful, while merely mixing is not enough — the sports and dancing instructors who cater to the rich and have affairs with them are not noticeably anti-capitalist.”
Stupid assertion, idiotic claim (see the title of this post).
“Unsuccessful businessmen and workers do not have the same animus against the capitalist system as do the wordsmith intellectuals. Only the sense of unrecognized superiority, of entitlement betrayed, produces that animus.”
Notice that resentment against capitalism isn’t motivated by a sense of capital’s essential injustice, but rather by an over-inflated sense of self. Ad hominem? (Please, again see title, in all irony).
“Indeed, there need not be any pattern of distribution a society is aiming to achieve, even a society concerned with justice. The justice of a distribution may reside in its arising from a just process of voluntary exchange of justly acquired property and services. Whatever outcome is produced by that process will be just…”
What? This makes no sense, other than a trite, tautological, and patently deniable one. “Justly” “justly” “justly.” Saying the world ain’t round don’t make it flat, Bob.
“What factor produced feelings of superior value on the part of intellectuals? I want to focus on one institution in particular: schools.”
After this, can we hope for an in depth and engaging discussion of the genealogy of educational institutions? Hm: nope:
“The schools, too, exhibited and thereby taught the principle of reward in accordance with (intellectual) merit. To the intellectually meritorious went the praise, the teacher’s smiles, and the highest grades. In the currency the schools had to offer, the smartest constituted the upper class.”
Ha! Ah, currency still is the established metaphor: what if capitalism isn’t essential but is simply an exercise of Power, Mr. Nozick? Does that foul up your rhetorical ploy here? Dipshit.
“The intellectual wants the whole society to be a school writ large, to be like the environment where he did so well and was so well appreciated.”
The capitalist wants the whole society to be exchangeable, subordinated to his enslavement of other’s labor through the exercise of capital, so that he can extort a palace from others’ sweating. See, I can make stupid, bald assertions too!
“It is not surprising, therefore, that distribution of goods and rewards via a centrally organized distributional mechanism later strikes intellectuals as more appropriate than the “anarchy and chaos” of the marketplace.”
Bullshit. The marketplace is not chaotic, it is not “free,” and anyone who claims otherwise is an idiot. The market exists because the State enacts legislation to ensure that it does. It is not “natural,” nor is it essential to human creativity, volition, or, you know, happiness. Consider this: if the Man with the Stick did not threaten to cudgel those who pirated Microsoft products, do you think Bill Gates would be claiming that the greatest danger to Freedom since Communism was infringement on intellectual property rights? Hm: Nope!
“Some readers may doubt this explanation of the anti-capitalism of intellectuals. Be this as it may, I think that an important phenomenon has been identified. The sociological generalization we have stated is intuitively compelling; something like it must be true.”
Those anticapitalist bastards will suggest that the present author take a course in introductory logic: intuition does not suggest truth, shit-bat.