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Volume 13, Issue 5: Similitudes

The Educated Fool

Douglas Wilson

I am the educated fool. My influence in the course of this world's events is powerful, dominant, and pervasive. I bow before no one, and I am confident of my prowess. Few know my secrets, and still fewer know why I have them.

Before all other factors, I am clever. With this craftiness, I have beguiled millions. If I say that the South American Marxist scholar Raimondo Juarez has conclusively shown that current class conditions are oppressive to the poor, what I mean is that it can cost a dollar to make a loaf of bread, but we can make everyone sell bread for fifty cents, and still have bread. When it turns out that we don't have any bread, and we don't have it for the next three decades, every one scratches his head and wonders why not. I point out that another Marxist scholar has conclusively shown that the existing power structures have conspired to keep bread from the people.
If I say that all life on this planet evolved from our single-celled ancestor, and if I nod sagely as I say this, and I do, then all who differ with me are dismissed from the room as thick-fingered fundamentalists who probably breathe through their mouths. Think the world is flat too. But what I have actually said is that virtually anything can turn into anything else, and that the destructive forces of entropy are the most creative and imaginative forces in the universe. Throw a deck of cards up into the air and watch them come down into a complex castle of cards, with a royal flush up one side, and a straight flush down the other. What I have said is that the universe exhibits too much intelligence for an intelligence to have made it. The liver is so complicated that God couldn't make one. Q.E.D.
I am educated enough, intelligent enough, and fool enough to embrace the truly idiotic idea, and make it shine in the public eye. All that is necessary is a vocabulary specialized enough and sufficiently convoluted to throw everyone off the trail of understanding. The degrees from accredited universities, the big words, the sense of the inevitable, the reinforcement from every public quarter, all conspire to let the common herd know that the big boys have it all under control. Watch this. The epistemic realities involved in pursuit of ontological nullities can in no way be compared to Wittgenstein's observation that truth qua truth is not to be had, at least not readily, and nevertheless hovers perpetually on the thresholds of sense. And you think it does.
I learned millennia ago that clever people can say anything they want. You want the universe to explode into being out of a pin prick of stuff, and call it a Big Bang? You got it. Concentrate of cosmos. Only an imbecile questions the discoveries of astronomy. You want vibrating super string in the tenth dimension to be the foundation of all things? Sure, why not? Only a ninth-rater disputes the findings of physics. You want men to have sex with men, and women with women? Enlightened people do, you know. Want to hook up your stereo with all male fittings, no female ones? Hey, give it a try. Better than listening to some bands.
You want history to have done something other than what it did? You want to reject totalizing metanarratives from the ruling class who say that Atilla swept across Europe at the head of a horde of Huns? You want greater Hispanic representation in that army? You got it, laddie. Hope you feel good about yourself.
I receive honors from others in my ruling class, and I give them as well. "How can you believe," your Savior said, "when you receive honor from one another?" Penetrating question. We cannot, and since we do not want to believe, we honor one another with grants, degrees, money, awards, reputations, titles, and if you are sufficiently docile, we might give you a couple to make you think you are being an effective witness in the ranks of the secular academy. But you should know, in all honesty, that we hold your pitiful flailing in contempt. You evangelicals follow an argument like an editor at Christianity Today, and you throw like a girl.
At the fundamental level, my wisdom is wisdom that does not want to know your God, does not seek Him, does not allow for Him, and mocks those who do. Many of your number are sufficiently cowed by their fear of seeming anti-intellectual to go along with all this without actually ditching the Godwords. Suit yourself. When the last day comes, according to what your fathers believed, the one who is ashamed of Christ's meanings will find themselves repudiated by the One in whose name they wrestled with all those thorny theological issues, trying to make them relevant to the modern and postmodern mind. Did it all for me, trying to make the gospel palatable to someone for whom it is the smell of death. Appreciate that.
Pleased to meet you. Guess you know my name.

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