Marcuse-Anon: Cult of the Pseudo-Intellectual
Reviewing "Repressive Tolerance" and other works by Herbert Marcuse, the quack who became America’s most influential thinker
In my early twenties, I read an expedition was being planned in search of the grave of Genghis Khan. Being young, game, and interested in writing on an adventure, I inquired about tagging along.
I found a professor at Harvard connected with the mission, whom I quizzed about its likelihood of success. The man laughed and eventually revealed the team had little idea where Khan was buried. Some colleagues merely dug up a few stories of Khan’s death that would be enough to take in a sponsor.
I was blown away. How, I asked, could the archaeologists justify that?
“Son,” he laughed. “They’re intellectuals. They can justify anything.”
People complain about QAnon, but truly lasting, impactful lunacy is always exclusive to intellectuals. Everyone else is constrained. You can’t fish on land for long. Same with using a chainsaw for headache relief. An intellectual may freely mistake bullshit for Lincoln logs and spend a lifetime building palaces. Which brings us to Herbert Marcuse.
Often called the “F…