From the May 15, 1999 WOL
Michael C. Tuggle’s Edgefield Journal article, “True Believers and the South,” reminded me about Eric Hoffer. Hoffer was a philosopher many of our so-called “intellectuals” are trying desperately to forget. He had several characteristics the modern academic cannot stand.
To start with, the ideal of the modern academic is Karl Marx.
Karl Marx, the left’s Champion of the Working Class, never did a day’s labor in his entire life. Academics all insist they are “friends of the working class,” but they don’t want to hear from anybody who actually does any work.
From the point of view of our so-called “intellectuals,” Hoffer’s first crime was that he was an actual working man.
Hoffer was a longshoreman who read a lot. He never had any formal education, but he wrote a number of brilliantly intellectual books, starting with “The True Believer.” He repeatedly pointed out that intellectuals who claimed to be “friends of the working class” had nothing but contempt for real working people.
This real working man had contempt for other leftist pretensions. President Johnson appointed him to the Civil Rights Commission, and within a few weeks he declared the whole thing a fraud. Later he was given a professorship at Berkeley. Within a few weeks he pointed out that these high-powered university students were great at repeating cliches, but “They simply cannot THINK!”
Hoffer wrote in the 1950s and 1960s, back when almost all professional academics declared that working people needed a socialist economy. Hoffer’s statement on how socialism treated real working people was as blunt as the rest of his comments. “Under capitalism,” he said, “We are expected to work for money. Under socialism, we are expected to work for words.”
For a sane person, reading the Soviet Constitution after their so-called “Worker’s Revolution” is hilarious. In 1917, once he became the Soviet dictator, Lenin — who also had never done a day’s work in his life — declared that Russia was now “a nation of workers, peasants, soldiers, and INTELLECTUALS.”
Now let me ask you something, gang. Which one of these groups — workers, peasants, soldiers and INTELLECTUALS, is going to sit on its backsides and give orders to the rest?
Lawyers, bureaucrats, and academics, these are the people who rule us. All of these people produce only one thing: Words. For those words they expect lots of money and ALL the power. These people constitute a vast and almost unimaginably powerful lobby dedicated to the importance of words over everything else. The only purpose of government, from their point of view, is to give them money and power.
Lawyers, bureaucrats, and academics insist that the only purpose people are united under one government is for purposes THEY lay down.
Lawyers, bureaucrats, and academics believe that a common race or a common culture means nothing. It is DOCUMENTS that unite men. To them, an American is neither more nor less than a person who has filled out the proper papers. All that matters to our rulers today are the words and documents they produce and control.
Those who want lawyers, bureaucrats and academics to rule are the opposite of nationalists. Nationalists believe that men are united by a common heritage and by blood ties, not by words and documents. Lawyers, bureaucrats and academics believe that the only thing that makes one a citizen of a country is words. A person who believes that men should be united according to their nation — their common race and culture — is a nationalist. One who believes that men are only united by words should therefore be called a “wordist.”
Every wordist says that his philosophy will unite all mankind into one huge, loving community. But in the real world, different kinds of wordists are every bit as divided as nationalists are, and infinitely more vicious. Communism is a form of wordism. Communism is supposed to unite all mankind into a single, loving unit. The Communist form of wordism has killed over a hundred million people this century.
All wordists claim they love everybody and that their words unite everybody.
Then they proceed to kill real people by the millions, all in the name of their words.
Every wordist claims that his particular words will unite all mankind. The religious wars that slaughtered millions of Europeans in the sixteenth century were fought between fanatics who believed the words of Protestantism united all men and the fanatics who insisted the words of Catholicism united all men.
Each form of socialism is a form of wordism. Each form of socialism claims it makes all mankind one.
There are many different kinds of socialism, and each form of socialism claims to unite all mankind. Actually, each type of socialism unites only the people who are dedicated to the same form of socialism. Willy Brandt, the anti-Communist mayor of West Berlin during the 1950s, was a Democratic Socialist. He was the opponent of his fellow socialists, those of Soviet Communist variety, in East Berlin.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Communists, who claimed their form of socialism united all mankind into a single loving unit, were enemies of Brandt AND East Germany. And, as usual with loving wordists, the Chinese Communists were busy murdering tens of millions of people in the name of their particular form of Love and Brotherhood.
A lot of noise is made about how brutal and vicious war between different nations or different races can be. But the worst wars in history were wordist wars. Those who devote themselves to Catholicism and Protestantism in the sixteenth century were wordists. Like all wordists, they said their philosophy, their books, their doctrines would unite all mankind. But, as usual, the only people they united were the people who agreed with their books and their dogma. But people who subscribed to the OTHER wordist dogma were their deadly enemies.
When the Protestant wordists and the Catholic wordists went to war with each other in the religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the slaughter was incredible. In our century, we talk endlessly about Hitler’s killings, but he was an amateur compared to Stalin. Hitler was a piker compared to the wordist Communist Mao Tse-Tung.
Today, the media talks about the ethnic cleansing of Milosevic. But compared to the Cambodian Communist Pol Pot, Milosevic is nothing. Pol Pot killed a QUARTER of the entire population of his country, whose population was about equal to that under Milosevic. By comparison, Milosevic is small change.
But Pol Pot is excusable, because he did what he did in the name of wordism.
Milosevic is a fanatical nationalist, so he is like HITLER. Wordism is dear to the hearts of a society ruled by lawyers, bureaucrats, and academics. For the wordists who rule us, it is nationalism, not killing, that is the only crime that matters.