Present Memoir

It’s no wonder to me why the non-indigenous and non-white bred half of my friends sought money and stability while we, the white bred native born Americans, or even some black Americans I’ve known, sought something more intangible, and though this was often undefined, the concentration was on identity and a secular spirituality.

These aspirations were glimpsed by the non-native and curiously enough, the more conservative friends as well, but not as of yet realized, and perhaps never will be.

It’s kinda like what my mom always said about the ‘nouveau riche’ vs. old money in how the former clings on to their new possessions for dear life while old money treats all the richest coats, cars, and what not, no different than any other common object.

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‘The Responsibility of Intellectuals’: A Noam Chomsky Article

I just found this insightful article by Noam Chomsky from 1967 at the beginning of the Vietnam War, on the responsibility of intellectuals. I will not synopsize this article, as it is available to read here:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/12172

I did, however, wish to point out that this article reflects the notion of intellectuality that I was describing in my last post on what characterizes an intellectual by nature rather than simply the somewhat undefined idea culturally regarded to be the standard definition. I also wanted to make a few comments on it.

What is most notable about an article like this is that it (being from 1967) still regards intellectualism as a force to be reckoned with, and above this, considers it inseparable from a moral level.

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A Practical Definition of ‘Intellectual’

The commonly regarded definition of an intellectual runs along the lines of not much beyond a vague notion of someone who thinks deeply about ideas and/or concentrates a certain amount of effort to learning an area of intellectual expertise.

“An intellectual is someone who uses their intellect to speculate, reflect, and ask or answer questions about a wide variety of different ideas.” –Wikipedia

I, and many others, however, would beg to differ since I believe this definition is unsuited to the facts of reality akin to the nature of this topic, which vastly underestimates its history. Though I do not believe in completely, nor totally provide a historical definition since my idea of an intellectual person is nature and necessity based, I do think its history is reflective of its nature to a great degree. Where this degree ends and my definition begins is as yet, unknown to me.

However, I have come down the following, practically oriented definition to what an intellectual is, and must be as necessitated by the objective facts of reality.

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A Personal Resolution to the Selfishness Debate

I have been in a quandary over what selfishness means and as to its moral value. More than several years ago now, I converted into the thinking that there is no such thing as selflessness, since every act, is and must be an act for the self, since everything anyone does benefits themselves in some way.

And for a very long time this is what I thought. Entailed in this thinking, was the belief that only being concerned for oneself, or involved with oneself wasn’t bad selfishness, and since selfishness itself was considered a moral standard, one could never be ‘too selfish.’

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Comprehensive Evaluation of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand: Part I: Intellectualism:

It took me a while to articulate that Rand regards intellectuality as implicitly all pervasive, in a fully explicit way to myself.

On the other hand, it did not take me too long to figure out that most people in our culture really don’t like to think that is, think critically about things in their ‘spare time.’ Conversely even to this, however, it has taken me half my life to come to terms with this fact.

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