Subjugation through intelligence

It is unfortunate that those with the most valuable insight on a topic are regularly considered too ignorant to share it adequately. And–due in large part to the Goliath we imagine denouncing us for our sheer stupidity–we volunteer our own weight to the silencing throng. And thus–by withholding valuable, reasoned opinion–we ensure that the ones heard most often are they who are not worth hearing.

But I contend that intelligence is entirely subjective. Humans are extremely intelligent by nature, and an individual’s understanding is in a state of constant change. Attempts to measure it at any given point in time prove inadequate. In addition, any random moment can carry a number of factors that distort the image of intelligence, which is all it’s reduced to. Meaning, our concept of intelligence is no more than a facade, and some are better at maintaining the illusion than others. Those who play it well are bestowed power to deem people and subjects as having or lacking intelligence. And should some person or idea receive the dreaded label of “dumb”, they are cast aside with no hope of redemption.

But let me make clear the line I am drawing between intelligence and knowledge. Knowledge of a subject can be shown quite objectively. Take for example the comparisons of a biologist and a mechanic, a carpenter and a lawyer, an architect and an administrative assistant. Each knows more about their subjects than I do, and it is this knowledge that encourages me to seek their expertise. And yet the biologist, lawyer, and architect will usually be considered more intelligent than the others. Digging reveals that what we are perceiving is merely a prejudice. Certainly they’re required to work harder to attain accreditation. And perhaps a retention of more in-depth knowledge in a very specific area is also a necessity. And while I applaud this effort and study, I must point out that it carries no intrinsic intelligence.

In like manner, while some discussions require a high degree of knowledge, others only require a minor amount. But all intelligent discussion must have a healthy supply of logical reasoning. And here I promote an oft obscured truth; logic is the people’s domain. For when does reason not react almost as an instinct? Certainly we train ourselves to hone such skills or to stop them for fear of where they may lead, but when doing so we interact with the raw material. We never alter its amount.

So, I encourage all to join in the conversation–whatever yours may be–and to do so without fear. But certainly not in the trend of the day by rushing thought and judgement. Take time to form your opinion and to gain the knowledge at work in the discussion–you will still be relevant when you are through, and your intelligence will shine brighter for it.

4 thoughts on “Subjugation through intelligence”

  1. Marie says:

    Very well put. It seems that the “experts” are rarely the innovators who change the world on a large scale (it’d be interesting to see a case study on the topic.). That’s not to suggest that expertise cancels out innovation; however, it seems that expertise does tend to keep thinking inside the box.

    1. Peter J Story says:

      Oooh, that would be fun. Well put, by the way. And thank you for commenting with absolutely no bias in favor of the author.

  2. Patty says:

    Peter this is a great topic, is love to discuss, easy to follow & appreciate with thought until…
    “logic is the people’s domain. For when does reason not react almost as an instinct?”
    Could you please clarify this & expound on the rest of the paragraph?

    Also; my sense is that generally people are lead by logic presented to them (whether the points of that logic be true or not) & reasoning goes right out the window. Reasoning seems to be being programmed out of the masses via our educational system’s techniques & that loss carries over into all facets of life & potential discussion.

    Lastly, it does requires a certain amount of intelligence to maneuver one’s way through developing the skills required & applying them by those such as you mention.
    And can knowledge not also be subjective? … As “beauty in the eye of the beholder”? One might think his own or another’s knowledge incredible, until a “seeming “simpleton”comes along with greater working & applied understanding. All 3 would have a different opinion of each others intelligence.
    Interested in your additional views.

    1. Peter J Story says:

      Excellent points you’re bringing up here. I tend to prefer brevity at the minor expense of clarity in the hopes that clarity can be regained through the much greater medium of ongoing conversation.

      First to respond to your first two paragraphs. I’m referring in this conversation to logic and reason as synonyms. While I value the nuanced differences, I’m not concerned with those here. With that in mind, my point is that reason/logic is so ingrained that we use it without thinking. This is rather telling in my opinion, and points toward a hasty society that would depend on reason handed down rather than reason explored. So this would really be in agreement with your second paragraph. It’s unfortunate that too many are too often found to reason from a major premise of so-and-so told me that, and thus I believe this–whether so-and-so is the favorite news channel, politician, or celebrity.

      And that would bring us to your third paragraph. My assertion here is admittedly going to be refuted by some, but I’ll still attempt to explain. I firmly believe that human beings are created with an astounding amount of intelligence (with the possible exception of those with mental illnesses or the like, though I hesitate to mention this as it is easy for this set to expand eternally to include anyone who disagrees). I have witnessed far too many individuals who disparage themselves based on society’s standard of intelligence. It saddens me because these individuals obviously have a tremendous amount of intelligence, but opt not to apply it in the situation or back down in the face of those supposed to be intelligence incarnate. All that to say that I agree that reason does not come except by way of intelligence. However, I assert that intelligence sufficient for robust reasoning is inherent, and thus I make this plea to exercise such intelligence for the sake of all.

      And your point about knowledge being subjective is also one I would agree with. I hadn’t thought about that aspect when writing this, but it’s very true, so thank you for giving me something more to think on. I suppose I was going from the angle that knowledge can be objective, while intelligence cannot. And by that, I’m referring more the attempts to rank intelligence between humans.

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