Bruce Charlton hit on something I instinctively knew but could not put my finger on when it comes to leftist thought. In his post this Sunday Clever Sillies and transcendental leapfrogging he explains how intellectual leftist's jump over the obvious point (of any subject) and dive into the esoteric in order to display their high brow superiority.
Thus Leftism ignores and leapfrogs the problem of economic production
(making stuff, doing stuff) in favor of the remote problem of
distribution (moving stuff around); Leftism ignores education (learning
stuff) and focuses on access to educational institutions and
credentials; Leftism ignores duties and harps upon rights;
ignores truth in favor of process - and so on. --end quote--
When you read and digest this consider any left leaning cable news opinion talk show or your favorite left leaning opinion columnist. If they cite the obvious point, the common sense point, it's only to ridicule those that stop right there and don't explore the nuance or deeper meaning.
Consider how leftists love to point out all the dirt behind our modern creature comforts yet they don't seem to mind using them. Driving past a rolling pantheon of leftist, anti-capitalist bumper stickers on the highway it's just amazing to see them steering their ultra modern car while talking on the latest smart phone on the way to their well equipped, well lit office in the big city. How do they think any of those wonders of modernity came to them if not through the miracle of capitalism?
For example they will rave on and on about oil while pushing for electric cars, conveniently ignoring the fact that the electricity has to come from somewhere. They will piously point to wind and solar, again ignoring the fact that those energy sources would leave us all dead on the side of the road. It's not intellectual to solve a "problem" with a half-baked scheme.
Intellectuals are trained - especially by the highbrow mass media, but
also by educational institutions, to ignore the obvious conclusions and
seek behind them.
Only by ignoring the obvious and moving behind it, can intellectuals
demonstrate to themselves and others their superiority. This is
the strategy of the modern elite mass media - indeed that is pretty much all that it does now.
The mass media takes an event, leapfrogs over the obvious and
traditional interpretations (often without mentioning them) and reframes
the issue for the elites. To favor the obvious interpretation is
therefore to lack the intelligence to make this move, or deliberately to
refuse to make it.--end quote--
We are told that the experts and the intellectual are our betters and that we must defer to their analysis since they are educated and we presumably are not. Instinctively we know more and understand better than to succumb to any nuance that does not begin and end with money. There is so much truth in the old adage 'follow the money'. Most leftist causes are bullshit regardless of the selflessness and so-called humanity they claim for themselves. It's so easy to be selfless and charitable with other peoples money.
Charlton attributes evil intent on the part of the intellectuals. I would say in some cases that's obviously true. In others it is actually ignorance of, and disdain for genuine humanity. They assign worth to book smarts and emotion and not the truth of common sense and the obvious.