September 02, 2004

Letter to the Paper XXIX

Bemoaning intellectual degradation has a long pedigree. Unfortunately, while change is possible, most such complaints are just empty and without any impulse to improve things. Even worse, much of it is fatalistic, dismissive of the possibility of improvement. Here's a comment from me on some Spanish complaints:

There seems to be a general recognition that Spain's intellectuals could use some upgrading. Well, go to it! Such things are not a permanent fact of life but a state that can be both improved or further degraded. The US had similar problems in the post WW II period with conservative intellectualism being absolutely steamrolled by the liberal juggernaut. Concentrated, prolonged action by right wing intellectuals created an avalanche of magazines, books, foundations, and seminars, all improving the intellectual climate. I expect that in a generation or two, academia will similarly get upgraded as tenured radicals slip from power due to old age.

There is no reason Spain cannot similarly upgrade its own intellectual space.

Posted by TMLutas at September 2, 2004 09:56 AM