25 January 2010

Edmund Burke, Boob Bait & The Elite

Michael Barone, who was once a senior writer at US News & World Report but who now writes for the Washington Examiner, has written an excellent piece about what pseudo-conservative David Brooks has called--"the educated class" or what Barone calls, "the elite, university-educated, often secular professionals." God bless him. Anyone who reads this blog with any regularity knows that elites are a favorite target here--that avocation just dovetails very nicely with my Scots-Irish populist heritage; not that disdain for elites belongs solely to Scots-Irish--almost everyone dislikes snobbish, arrogant, condescending individuals.

Some may mistake my criticism as "anti-intellectual" or "anti-education"--quite the contrary. Rather, it is false intellectualism and false education at which I hurl my arrows. As a parent who helped home educate 4 of my children, anyone suggesting that someone willing to make that kind of sacrifice is "anti-education" is either woefully ignorant or simply pushing an agenda. And, as is evident in America these days, it is quite possible to be educated beyond one's intelligence. Intellectuals are not my heroes, though some of my heroes happen to be intellectuals. But I digress . . . back to Barone's piece.

In his piece, Barone refers to Edmund Burke -- in many ways, the philosophical and political father of the South and a man to whom I refer in the header of this blog--quite on purpose.

The following excerpt from Barone's piece is priceless:

"Members of 'the educated class' may have heard of Edmund Burke, but they take the very un-Burkean view that those with elite educations can readily rearrange society to comport with their pet abstract theories. These often secular Americans have a quasi-religious faith in government's ability to, in Barack Obama's words to Joe the Plumber, 'spread the wealth around' and to recalibrate the energy sector to protect against climate dangers they are absolutely sure are impending. Ordinary Americans, even in Massachusetts, may not have heard of Edmund Burke, but they share his skepticism that self-appointed experts can reengineer institutions in accordance with abstract theories."

Edmund Burke wins in Massachusetts--now there's something to celebrate.

(I've promised more on this issue in a rather lengthy post for quite a while. It's coming, it's coming . . .)

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