Intellectual Bureaucracy – Human Intellect Applies For Salary and Is Trained by Job-Descriptions

“Millionaires collect intellectuals.”
Michelangelo Antonioni, “La Notte” («The Night»)

Willful and wealthy (by some estimates, only one percent of American population) – these personifications of civilization and Family, the salt of the Earth, the diamonds of the mines, the milk of the farms and the blood and sperm of the matter, are hiring the decision makers who make the decisions in the name of their imperatorial employers.

Decision makers, in their turn, are hiring the chief experts (encircled by cohorts of lesser specialists) whose task is not only to guarantee that decisions about the country’s present and future will be made in tune with the interests of golden one percent, but also to make these decisions look democratically in best sense – unconditionally dedicated to the public good. The implication here is, of course, that the interests of the one percent, if not completely identical with the interests of the country and the world in general, are at least highly congruent with them, that they are like two flowers on the same stem.

Intellectual bureaucrats in U.S. can be of three kinds: honest servants, cynical career-developers (the both groups consist of people with liberal sensibility), and the ideological fighters (people with conservative sensibility serving the goal of promoting either neo-conservative agenda or fundamentalist religious values).

It is significant that the same three categories of intellectual bureaucrats were clearly discernible in Soviet Union. There were hard liners among the intellectuals (the equivalent of conservative thinkers and pundits in U.S.), and also a “more delicate” intellectual careerists straightforwardly if not simplemindedly serving the cause while thinking more softly-gently. Between these two groups we can locate soft-liners-cynics – who tried their best to represent the decisions of the Soviet Communist Party always as humane and moral while secretly understanding that it is not the case.

But what right do we have to reproach the intellectuals who survive by serving their employers with their brain power? People sell their bodies (soldiers), their muscle power (workers), or their technical-scientific thinking (technical scientists, engineers and technicians). Why for the intellectuals in the area of humanistic sciences and politics not to sell their brains like salesmen sell bras? Still, there is some sense in expecting from socio-cultural intellectuals more humanistic responsibility and moral sensitivity in comparison with people whose thinking is farther from the issues of public life. Here we touch on the problem of the two kinds of thinking – cognition that is connected and compatible with psychological wholeness, and the one that is cut from it and is realized by psychological fragment.

Technical-scientific thinking is by definition fragmentary, the engineer works for money, and nobody expects him to control the applications of his work that is completely in the hands of his employers. But when we come to the situation of scholar we somehow expect from him to have an integrity (based on continuity between his moral perspective and his professional opinions). Of course, this expectation is idealistic and naïve – it is a result of underestimating the degree of non-freedom in freedom and the degree of a lack of democracy inside the democracy, but the problem persists.

Traditional socio-cultural intellectuals were capable of being much more in tune with their psychological wholeness. Their thinking was human and immediately connected with their moral views. Today intellectuals became intellectual bureaucrats. They sold their brains to their stomachs and intestines. They exchanged their independence for their survival/success. This change has radical socio-political consequences – with the disappearance of independent thinking the truth has disappeared from the socio-cultural discourse. Society becomes a battlefield for clashes between private and group interests. Needless to say, that this society can be barely called democratic.

Shots from Antonioni’s “La Notte”
The Shadow of Emotional Alienation
Lydia in a Casual Car
Striptease With Acrobatics
Writer capable of being moved by his conscience and being oriented on the truth puts his personal life on hold while suffering moral disappointment with the social world he lives amidst.

Being Abandoned by Each Other
Sharing the Grief of Being Lost In the World
Compassion and Pain of Mutual Repentance
Compassion and Mutual Repentence
Amorous Pain of Redemption
He recovers his ability to love only after he got the courage to refuse the great money-falling-from-sky offer to write the history of a mighty global corporation.