The Invasion of Rococo Marxists

Brilliant, eloquent and funny: Tom Wolfe’s Rococo Marxists!

“From the very outset the eminence of this new creature, the intellectual, who was to play such a tremendous role in the history of the twentieth century, was inseparable from his necessary indignation. It was his indignation that elevated him to a plateau of moral superiority. Once up there, he was in a position to look down at the rest of humanity. And it hadn’t cost him any effort, intellectual or otherwise. As Marshall McLuhan would put it years later: “Moral indignation is a technique used to endow the idiot with dignity.” Precisely which intellectuals of the twentieth century were or were not idiots is a debatable point, but it is hard to argue with the definition I once heard a French diplomat offer at a dinner party: “An intellectual is a person knowledgeable in one field who speaks out only in others.”

Read the whole thing, as they say…

Perhaps I should give a second read to Nietzsche. Unfortunately, all I notice about Nietzsche is what Rococo Marxists taught me and what little gay Nazis of San Francisco Neo-Pagan scene spit out. Then again, it will probably be a while until I will read something other then a book on child-rearing.

…At least my late adviser was no Young Turk.

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August 29, 2007. A Must-Read.

3 Comments

  1. Lupo replied:

    “Moral indignation is a technique used to endow the idiot with dignity.”

    My new .sigfile of the year.

    His reading of Nietzsche is … kind of unique. I mean, everything Wolfe said is in there, but I never thought of Nietzsche as being that kind of prophet; he was more Ezekiel than Isaiah.

  2. B. REX replied:

    His Nietzsche is very much a prophet of doom.
    I don’t know much about that Marshall McLuhan guy, except that he’s highly quotable (see, for instance http://www.marshallmcluhan.com/poster.html) and that he had a cameo in a Woody Allen movie.

  3. daily fun replied:

    Guess who just brightened up my day? 🙂 Thanks a lot!

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