Video: The Blue Collar Intellectual

And the alternative headline to this piece is, “Why Cornel West Doesn’t Even Understand What Comes Out of His Own Mouth.”

But, you see, for Professor West and the self-appointed modern-day intellectuals, conveying knowledge to audiences that is both applicable and useful is never the goal.

It’s all about multi-syllabic words, circuitous sentence structures, and tweed jackets. In other words, we have an army of insecure professors on college campuses across America who are trying to prove to us little people just how big their brains are, dammit!

In his new book Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America, Daniel J. Flynn succinctly describes the aloofness of contemporary academicians.

“Today’s intellectuals often speak in a jargon that they don’t even understand; they speak at conferences that nobody attends; they write books that nobody reads. It’s as though they are not communicating any substantive idea – they’re really just communicating their apartness from the rest of society.”

That, and they have awesome Karl Marx hair (Ahem, Cornel West).

I take it that you’re familiar with Flynn’s work by now. He’s been a part of the HUMAN EVENTS family for sometime now. In part one of our video interview with him, Flynn breaks down what exactly is a “blue collar intellectual” and how they’ve richly added to the American experience.

For instance, Milton Friedman was such a great economist because he actually worked in the economy. Whether it was scooping ice cream as a boy, selling fireworks on the side of the road, or waiting tables while attending Rutgers University, Friedman understood the synergistic relationship between people and the economy.

It wasn’t abstract.

“You can’t afford to have bad ideas when there are repercussions,” observes Flynn.

Now contrast Friedman’s workingman upbringing to that of the iconic liberal economist John Maynard Keynes’s privileged background, and it’s no wonder why Keynesian-based policies fail no matter the country (lost decade Japan) or U.S. president implemented them (How’s that shrinking labor force going for you, Barack?). 

Keynes himself had no clue how life operated in the real world.

I’ll let Flynn explain: