Popular thinker William F. Buckley
once joked he would prefer to be governed by the first 200 names in the Boston phonebook than the Harvard faculty. A is for Anti-intellectualism; the colourful credo hung on the nursery walls of neo-liberalism. It is the view of formal reason as elite that gives us bunkum like Nick Cater’s The Lucky Culture
with its "latte sippers", "champagne socialists" and other beverage typecasting long since lost its pop. It is this view of "book learning” as the work of statist monsters that informs the Right.
Except, of course, that it really doesn’t and really hasn’t; not, at least, since influential neo-liberal economist F.A. Hayek urged in the middle of the 20th century for a "free society (that is) once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage". Hayek and his rival John Maynard Keynes didn’t agree on much
, as illustrated by the rap anthem below, but they both knew that the ideas of intellectuals shaped the future.
Buckley, of course, knew this as well; the Yale alum and professed intellectual used more $20 words than Guy Rundle
. The Right’s "anti-intellectualism" is a tactic and a fiction retold convincingly by windbags like Cater and Bolt.
It is also a story, to our shame, now used quite sincerely by the Left.
In recent weeks, our nation’s better feminists have taken up the essential work of protest against state legislation that will potentially restrict access to abortion services. In response to the "foetal personhood" changes
in New South Wales and in Victoria, the still murky propositions by Geoff Shaw, we have seen protest on social media ...