The Intelligence of the Left – Freedom Philosophy


The theory of multiple intelligences has always fascinated me. Someone could be an Einstein in conceptual thinking, but unable to figure out how to tie their shoes. Someone could be a top-level academic but not be able to figure out where a leak in their foundation is coming from, despite a trail of water leading to the culprit. How this is so, when the process of deduction and methodology is essentially the same, has puzzled me.

The particular intelligence that thrives in academia, media, politics, and law, is the intelligence of rhetoric. These people can write eloquent essays and they tend to be better with hermeneutics. They can make persuasive arguments. Not necessarily logical arguments, but very persuasive arguments.

Barack Obama will speak to this form of intellect.

He will give rousing speeches on ornate podiums in front of large crowds, shouting that we should help the poor, and follow it up with poetic repetition: “Yes We Can!” I would argue that charity and helping the poor is one of the first principles of ethics that we all share, which amounts to his speech not actually saying anything. It’s akin to shouting that “2 + 2 = 4, Yes It Does!” His execution and his follow-up revealed this. He didn’t actually do anything to assist the poor during his presidency.

Contrast this with Ron Paul, our patron saint.

His speeches are not rousing. He doesn’t speak eloquently. He usually ineloquently and unpoetically discusses how unsound money is hurting the poor. However, he’s actually saying something. He’s communicating economic principles that are seldom discussed and absolutely not stage one, first principles, of thinking or ethics.

Ron Paul has connected with a different type of intellect. He’s connected with the type that has executional capacity – the intelligence that gets things done. People that build things, business people, entrepreneurs, engineers, tradespeople, tend to view concepts like Marxism with extreme suspicion, while the essay writers are more fond of it.

It becomes extremely problematic when the essay writers come into office. Not only do they fail to understand sound economics, they don’t even know who to consult on economic issues. The economists they select are the essay-writing economists, who’ve published the most essays for the most prestigious journals. They aren’t the economists that have accomplished anything, such as accurately predicting the 2008 collapse.

They will eloquently discuss new investments in healthcare without actually having improved healthcare, or health, for that matter. A practice that would be completely unacceptable to the builders, the people that must accomplish something, can be politically popular. The builders will insist on measurables, they will insist on whether or not the healthcare investment reached its expected outcomes, while the essay writers will be swept up in the rhetoric, the optics, the smoke and mirrors, the visible, the appearance of action, the motivation, the benign intent without consideration of malign impact.

Consider Marxism. The clearest example of the absolutely worst measurables in terms of an economic proposal, and yet the essay writers are infatuated with it. Their claim, which is itself false, is that true Marxism has never been tried. But this is the point that the builders know – the implementation of Marxism, the expected outcomes, the execution of its vision, was a failure. It was a failure for precisely the reasons the libertarians suggested it would be: the despotic seizure of wealth, combined with the same form of reasoning as racism and sexism – class analysis – will attract sociopaths to the project.

This is a generalization, not a ruling. There are high-performance individuals that are left-leaning, Warren Buffet is of note; and to be immodest, I can craft a potent essay and am a libertarian. The generalization leaves us with this conclusion: There is a massive intellectual deficit on the left. Not a deficit of intellectuals, but certainly an intellectual deficit.

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Brandon Kirby

Brandon Kirby has a philosophy degree from the University of New Brunswick and is a current MBA candidate finishing his thesis. He is an AML officer specializing in hedge funds in the Cayman Islands, owns a real estate company in Canada, and has been in the financial industry since 2004. He is the director of Being Libertarian - Canada and the president of the Libertarian Party of Canada.

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