Sunday, September 5, 2021

The Clash of Intellectuals and Politicians

Intellectuals always hate the masses. To them the perfect people always exist just behind the last corner, in the mists of the past, or they exist beyond the next, in the myth of the future. All that the intellectuals possess comes from the masses but they escape the masses in their rationalizations of the past and future. Civil wars are necessary at regular intervals to free society from the stranglehold of alienated intellectuals. The nations which do not fight civil wars are corrupted and misdirected by their intellectuals. When intellectualism becomes a debilitating disease, civil wars are the cure. 

Many of the Roman civil wars can be analyzed as a contest between Greek intellectualism and Roman paganism, realism, and militarism. The purge of intellectuals from the Library of Alexandria in 145 BC, during the reign of Ptolemy VIII Physcon, and then the burning of the library in 48 BC, by the Roman legionaries commanded by Julius Caesar, must be seen as the efforts of the Roman political establishment to curtail the power of the Greek intellectuals. The last traces of the Library of Alexandria were wiped out in 391 AD under a decree issued by Coptic Christian Pope Theophilus of Alexandria.


William Dais said...

How do you define an "intellectual?" This vague, subjective term doesn't seem enough with which to build a theory of cycles of civilizations upon.

Anoop Verma said...

@William Dais: The word "intellectual" is given to those who rationalize and deal in abstract ideas. Those who deal with the material world are not intellectuals, though they might be very educated, intelligent, and even geniuses. The intellectuals are very good at bragging, self-promotion, and propagandizing. They control the books industry, media industry, academia (in the modern world) and so they are capable of making people think that they are responsible for all the good things in life. But that is not true.