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Pseudo intellectualism offers no solutions

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FromEditorsDesk Tony CroppedBy Tony Farkas

The definition of the term pseudo intellectualism is an apt description of the state of affairs in this country, particularly regarding social issues.

Someone fitting this description wants to win arguments, or impress people with their knowledge or virtue, instead of attempting to arrive at the truth.

Pick an issue and you can see how that plays out.

The current transgender “discussion” is exactly that, with both sides saying something with equal conviction but nothing remotely making sense results.

Same thing with the gun debate. One side says no guns equals safety, the other side says all the guns equals safety, and nothing comes from that.

My current favorite thing is the marches and demonstrations and protests over the Hamas attack on Israel. Thousands of people are throwing virtue hissy fits over Israel being an aggressor, and I end up asking myself what the point of that is.

See, someone who’s approaching things in a pseudo-intellectual manner seems to think that they know it all and will loudly proclaim that to the world. Problem is it’s just smoke and mirrors, signifying nothing since there is nothing proposed to end the conflict, nor will there be.

I’m certainly not advocating running over to the Middle East to join the fight, but I am saying that screaming and hollering and gluing yourself to pavement in the middle of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade accomplished, well, squat.

Aside from the notoriety gained, demonstrations are meaningless. Personally, I’ve always thought that the phrase “raising awareness” was a code for “I got nothin’ else.”

Naturally, those same PIs will seek some authority figure to right the wrongs, such as passing legislation to make misgendering people a hate crime or enacting draconian regulations to regulate carbon emissions to save the climate.

The arguments for that are pseudo intellectual as well; we’ll let an authority figure make our decisions for us, that way we can say we’ve done something while expending extremely little effort. One of my favorites always was people saying that since I pay taxes to the government, and the government is taking care of the little people, that it means I’m taking care of the little people.

Here’s the thing, we were admonished to do good works, not to allow good works to be done in our name.

It’s one thing to squall about injustices, it’s completely another to actually do something, and in case the message wasn’t clear, whining isn’t doing something. You want to help Israel and Palestine, go help them. Get up and get moving.

You want to end gun violence, get up and start educating people. Get up and help people in distress before problems escalate.

You want to help the environment, start campaigns for recycling or conservation. Create your own compost, grow your own crops, capture your rainwater.

If you allow others to solve problems, then you run the risk of losing rights and liberties. Aside from keeping control of your fate, the feeling of accomplishment will be more satisfying than any time spent protesting.

Tony Farkas is editor of the San Jacinto News-Times and the Trinity County News-Standard. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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