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Monday, July 30, 2012

Men of Business v. Men of Genius

"Wit and humour are the dress and ornament of the mind;  but honesty and truth are the soul itself, and the difference in a man's care of his reputation for one and the other is just in proportion that being robbed bears to being murdered."  Richard Steele quoted in Sir Richard Steele by Willard Connely , p.305 (1934)

The kind of elegant prose Estase refers to as Burkean should perhaps be described as Steelesque instead.  Richard Steele was probably not as well educated as Joseph Addison or Jonathan Swift, and his unfavorable qualities included trading on the labor of African slaves in the West Indies, gluttony, lechery, and what would today be seen as alcoholism.  That last characteristic was common to many of the great men of his time, notably Lord Carteret.  His educational deficiencies were the source of much malevolent fun for Dean Swift, who probably would have thought himself one of the first deserving of that title of Liberal aristocracy coined by John Stuart Mill, the "Man of Genius."  While not even seeking the title of a man of genius, Steele preferred to call himself a "Man of Business,"  meaning that though he was unable to make puns in Greek, what he possessed instead was a knowledge of things as they really are.  Even today, the Leftist intelligentsia disdains all forms of practical knowledge, and while precious few of those today could make puns in Greek, they ascribe great weight to such unpractical studies as Sociology or Law, which also explains why a higher percentage of faculty in fields such as Engineering or Economics are conservative.  The phrase "conservative sociologist" is nearly an oxymoron.  Indeed, the ranks of the Occupy movement would be empty but for the large number of college graduates with degrees in Sociology or Gender Studies who find themselves with no productive work, but $40,000 in debt to pay off.

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