Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Revolt of the Intellectuals

In his article, “The Revolt of the Intellectuals,” Whittaker Chambers writes: “When the train of history makes a sharp turn, said Lenin, the passengers who do not have a good grip on their seats are thrown off.” The article was published in Time magazine on Jan 6, 1941, when the intellectuals in Western countries were projecting Stalin as the messiah who would rescue their society from the crass consumerism of capitalism. Chambers believed that the communist strategy was to take over the world by taking several sharp turns and keeping the western countries off balance. On the attitude of American intellectuals during the great depression, Chambers writes, “The Depression came to them as a refreshing change. Fundamentally skeptical, maladjusted, defeatist, the intellectuals felt thoroughly at home in the chaos and misery of the ’30s. Fundamentally benevolent and humane, they loved their fellow countrymen in distress far more than they could ever love them in prosperity.” Chambers believed that the intellectuals were revolting, while the masses were either apolitical or the blind followers of the intellectuals.

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