Wednesday 25 September 2019

Clever People

Looking at the recent antics of the British establishment as they make it only too obvious they will stop at nothing to thwart the democratic vote of the British public to leave the EU made me think about the difference between clever and intelligent. These people are very clever, no doubt about it, but I submit that they are unintelligent. They are all highly educated, extremely proficient with language and adept at argument but they see nothing and they understand nothing. Their minds are capable of constructing and finding their way through elaborate mazes but they have no clarity of vision or ability to see the deeper picture. They remind me of the Pharisees who constantly sought to entrap Jesus in some theological or legal nicety but did so not for love of truth or goodness but simply to maintain their positions of authority and places at the top of the financial pile.

The same patterns always repeat themselves. The people Jesus came to were simple people. Few of them were of the elite of the day. I am not romanticising the common man. After all, these were the ones who shouted for Barabbas. The common man has no special claim to virtue. However, there is a class of person who make their way to the top, especially in a so-called meritocracy when the merely clever often get on at the expense of the truly intelligent (no, this is not sour grapes!), because they have ambition and a gift of self-marketing and are able to fit in with bureaucratic procedures. They are the people who would gladly sell their soul (partly because they don't believe in a soul) for worldly advantage. They are subtle and articulate and able to grasp abstraction well but they lack any true insight.

In the modern highly educated world there are clever people in abundance. This partly explains the mess we are in.


Bruce Charlton said...

@William - I don't think the problem is much to do with cleverness or its lack (the modern Establishment are without doubt Much less clever than the Establishment was a few generations ago!) - indeed So much less-clever than they cannot even recognise the fact.

But the problem is evil, not cleverness or dumbness. The modern Establishment are more deeply and thoroughly corrupted by evil than any previous one. They actively advocate inverted values - they actually Want an evil world, and are working strategically for that goal.

This is more and more obvious for those with eyes to see - albeit not may have eyes to see. But that clarity is potentially very helpful, at a spiritual level.

William Wildblood said...

Oh I completely agree Bruce. I was just trying to draw a distinction between clever people and truly intelligent ones. That's why I brought in the Pharisees with their legalistic minds.

Francis Berger said...

Good post. Reminds me of one of my favorite song lyrics - "I have no genius for evil / That makes me common / Yeah, it makes me common."

As you say, this in no way implies common people cannot be evil, but being clever (and evil, as Bruce mentions) is the only way to rise up from the common level and join the elite class.

William Wildblood said...

This isn't a political or topical blog but sometimes when evil shows its hand particularly brazenly as with this court verdict I feel I have to say something. I'm not talking about the whys or the wherefores of this proroguing of parliament but that was clearly only done because of the constant blocking of Brexit by parliament.

If the Queen really stood for anything except self preservation she would stand up and say there should be a general election.

John Fitzgerald said...

It's worth remembering in all this that the armed forces answer to the Queen, not the PM and certainly not Parliament. If she stood for anything except self-preservation she would have called on them to stop this drift into chaos long ago. Maybe even before the referendum. But these judges are a joke. Charles Williams has a good line in 'Taliessin Through Logres' about what these sophisticated but shallow types are like and what happens under their aegis:

'The blind rulers of Logres
nourished the land on a fallacy of rational virtue;
the seals of the saints were broken; the chairs of the Table

William Wildblood said...

A fallacy of rational virtue describes it well John. Rational in the sense of reason used to deny God, that is.

Bruce Charlton said...

Another aspect of 'cleverness' is that in traditional societies it was easier to fool clever people; and even nowadays the most deeply fooled people are the intellectual workers. But the crucial difference is that - due, I think, to their loss of religion - nearly everyone is readily duped or confused into passivity. Nowadays, it is almost as easy to fool the lower middle class and the skilled working class people; who used to be solidly common sensical, very resistant to obvious nonsense and manipulative lies. ALmost everyone is insane, in terms of their basic inability to reason coherently!

William Wildblood said...

Yes, religion was like an inoculation against evil and when we lost that and its cultural influence (because it even protected non-believers in a way) we lost a vital safeguard.

Moonsphere said...

I'm not sure if the word "clever" has ever been entirely free from darker connotations. And rightly so - for the devil does "live in the details". Where once there was the simplicity of the old common Law we now have the monstrous modern legal system to navigate around.

Institutional "cleverness" weaves a spiders web around us. (To see that brooch worn by the supreme court judge hardly served to diminish that feeling!)

Complexity is now used not just in defence, in camoflage but as a weapon. In the case of the EU, we are now accused of simply not being clever enough for our vote to be taken seriously. In this tactic especially, the hallmark of evil seems glaringly obvious.

William Wildblood said...

It may seem fanciful but the judge's spider brooch did almost seem as though someone or something was laying claim to the act and even if that's just imagination it's appropriate. There are webs of deceit everywhere. In fact as you rightfully say complexity is the hallmark of evil.

Moonsphere said...

Yes, the sheer size of that spider seemed to suggest a complete domination of the individual. Not mere accessory rather the primary characteristic.

What were once considered creatures of darkness are now the muses of the powerful. Rudolf Steiner stated that if we were truly sensitive to the etheric emanations of bats - we would be physically sickened by their presence. And yet the strictest laws exist to protect their roosts, sometimes taking precedence over a human householder.

A future race of sub-earthly spider type beings also are mentioned as the bitter enemies of spiritual humanity.

And yet millions now worship the super-heroes of Batman and Spiderman!

William Wildblood said...

Shelob springs to mind!

I remember going to an ancient temple in India which had a real evil presence and it was full of bats.

Howard Ramsey Sutherland said...

Great Britain chased another bad American trend when Leftish MPs (of all parties) and civil "servants" saddled the country with a Supreme Court in 2009.
The Law Lords had more than enough power of judicial review without making them a supreme court.
In America, starting only a few years after the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court has unconstitutionally arrogated to itself the powers of a super-legislature, with little resistance from presidents and less from Congress. Federal courts below them - U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals and U.S. District Courts - do the same, as one can see from their frustrating President Trump's constitutional actions to enforce immigration law.
The supreme courts of several of the states take the same liberties within their jurisdictions.
Accordingly, policies metropolitan elites prefer but the people at large dislike are imposed from the bench without the mess and risk of a vote.
That is why Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate are such disgusting spectacles, as the Left (Democratic Party and the media) dig up or more frequently simply invent dirt in attempts to defeat any Republican president's nominees. It is all about where true power resides.
The fight is one-way, however, as Republican senators and the GOP generally are too spineless to fight when Democratic presidents nominate lawless Leftists that everyone knows have no respect for the U.S. Constitution and no intent to be bound by it.
That the misbegotten UK Supreme Court is aping its American ancestor became obvious with the unanimous ruling against Johnson's prorogation, but was easily predicted. "Justice" Hale's spider brooch is symbolic indeed (in quotes because what Lady Hale and her henchmen are imposing is not justice). Whether or not the Prime Minister can prorogue the House of Commons is a purely political question. If it is not, then nothing is. No judge should have anything to say about it.
The British Constitution may be largely unwritten, but it surely exists. If Great Britain is to have a Supreme Court, as it should not, an unwritten Constitution only increases judges' scope for malicious mischief once they have full power to "interpret" it. In America the Constitution is very much written, and that doesn't deter activist judges' legislating from the bench at all.
The UK Supreme Court is quite obviously interfering in politics in order to frustrate Brexit. I hope enough people will see that and, once Britain is free of the EU, act to abolish this unnecessary layer of meddlesome lawyer-bureaucrats. Is that a challenge Farage should take up? And what about Tories who actually seem a bit conservative, such as Rees-Mogg?
As for the Queen, while I strongly support the Crown for the UK, she has lost her lustre for me. Elizabeth II has presided over decades of national decline (far more than simply loss of empire, which was likely inevitable), religious, social, political, at every level, without precedent since the Dark Ages. And, as far as I know, she has done nothing to stem the tide, said nothing of consequence about it - certainly not publicly - and done nothing to warn Britons about the morass into which they're sliding. I know she is constrained in her public role, but hers remains a powerful voice. Has she sounded warnings privately to her prime ministers? If so, I'm not aware of it. What was her view of the Common Market at the time Britons were lied into it? I've no idea. What is her view of the EU today? No clue. What are her thoughts about the mass immigration now transforming the nation over which she's sovereign? Any idea?

William Wildblood said...

It's as you say. We can take it as axiomatic that anything Tony Blair introduced is bad. What is so telling is the unanimity of the court especially after the High Court decision. This is one of the reasons I called the act brazen.

The Queen, I'm afraid, is hopeless. I know she's 93 now but she has stood by as her country has been relentlessly attacked and undermined. A silent example is just not enough. It does seem as though she's more concerned for the institution of monarchy than the integrity of the country of which she's the monarch which is not to underestimate the difficulties that would be involved in her speaking out.