Privatized Empathy and Cowardly Public "Intellectuals"

Uploaded 5/19/2024, approx. 5 minute read

The vibrant world of private empathy has been replaced by faceless state lodges, pity, mercy, the elation of giving, they are all tax deductible.

In generally speaking, it is a sorry sight. It's the demise of empathy.

We have been warning against this for like ages. And no one would listen, and no one would listen because the efforts of money, efforts of power, efforts of manipulating other people to obtain desirable goals and preferable outcomes, it's taken over.

Even public intellectuals who tell you how to live your life, how to become better people, they're not telling you how to become better people. They're teaching you how to become more efficient people, very often at the expense of others.

I'm sorry, I can't think of a single public intellectual who is not narcissistic, psychopathic, self-centered, egotistical, narcissistic, sadistic to some extent, and all of them are teaching you, all of them are teaching you not how to develop empathy, compassion and care and love towards your fellow beings, but how to make maximal use of your natural endowments and to fake and to lie and to pretend so as to obtain whatever and to extricate whatever you can for others.

In other words, the view of public intellectuals today is that the world is a win-lose situation.

In this sense, I'm terribly sorry, terribly sorry to say that I can't see any difference in principle between Donald Trump's jungle, Darwinian view of the world, and any public intellectual I know, they're all saying the same, but some of them are saying it in a high-faluting way, some of them, you know, in a pub with a pint kind of way, but they are all saying the same.

It's eat or be eaten, kill or be killed, manipulate or be manipulated, to be the sucker, get ahead, make the most, and the hell with others.

The world in Macedonia can be divided into four groups, I would say. By far the biggest group are the fearful or paranoid intellectuals.

These are intellectuals who are so afraid of the government and its machinery that they chose to live in a solipsistic world.

They communicate only with a few trusted ones. They don't go out in public. They refuse to comment on public processes, public debate and public questions. They actually self-annihilate, self-destruct.

And in this sense, they have very little impact on society and culture, and they do not function as intellectuals.

Then you have an equally large group of intellectuals in Macedonia, of intellectuals who are self-interested.

They leverage their intellect, they leverage whatever knowledge they have and so on, in order to obtain political positions, in order to make money, in order to get jobs. These intellectuals are affiliated and aligned and identify with, usually, political parties, on the left and on the right. It's not limited to one part of the spectrum.

They pursue their self-interest and sacrifice their integrity as intellectuals.

Again, in Macedonia, this is a very large group. The vast majority, if not all, public intellectuals in Macedonia are heavily politicized and are self-interested. They are not real intellectuals in any sense of the word.

Then you have a third group, which is what I call the territorial group.

These are intellectuals whose education was finished in the 1970s. They speak no foreign languages or no major foreign languages. Their knowledge is not updated and they don't bother to read or to update their knowledge.

Knowing that they are inferior intellectually compared to their Western intellectuals and compared to younger intellectuals, they are fiercely territorial. They protect the monopoly of knowledge. They exclude young intellectuals. They do not allow new blood, fresh blood, to come in. They block new ideas. They destroy new knowledge, fight new knowledge and so on.

This territoriality renders the intellectuals seen in Macedonia very dead, very stagnant, kind of fossil landscape.

Lastly and fourthly is a new breed of intellectuals, which has arisen in the last three years, especially under the current Vemiro government in the last few years.

This is what I call the malignantly romantic intellectual. The intellectuals who are demagogues, the intellectuals who falsify history or use folk myths and folk heroes to foster a false nationalistic pride, the intellectuals who, these are the intellectuals who actually created Balkan wars and Balkan tensions in the last century.

And there is a new breed, a new malignant breed of such intellectuals coming to being in Macedonia.

It is very difficult to get rid of these intellectuals even when the regime changes because they poison public opinion. They poison public debate and it's later their impacts, their effects are the equivalent of infection or disease.

So, unfortunately, when you look at the intellectuals seen in Macedonia, you see these people.

The fearful, the paranoid, the self-interested, those who pursue money and jobs, the territorial, those whose knowledge is completely irrelevant yet protect their territory against newcomers, new knowledge and new ideas, and the malignantly romantic.

In this sense, the intellectuals of Macedonia betrayed Macedonia and betrayed the people because it is the role of intellectuals to invigorate the nation, to invigorate the collective, to invigorate society and to integrate society and culture in the global trends.

While intellectuals in Macedonia did exactly the opposite, they isolated Macedonia. They made it into a floating island, Alakustuwica. It's completely the reverse of what intellectuals should do.

Finally there's the question why. Why do intellectuals in the Balkans in general and in Macedonia in particular behave this way?

Well, the short and the long answer is Marxism and later on socialism and communism, the manifestations of Marxism.

You see, classical Marxism and even modern post-Marxism re-defined the intellectual. Marxists of all varieties and colors believed that intellectuals should be leaders. They invented the concept of mobilized intellectual. They did not believe in the capacity of the proletariat to lead itself, to generate ideas and to decide on a direction.

So what they did, they plucked the intellectuals and then made them part of the nomenclature.

The intellectual, the manager of big industry, the politician in communist regimes were of equal status. The intellectual was co-opted, subverted, became part of the power machine.

Instead of standing outside the machine and subverting it, it perpetrated the machine. It created the machine.

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