Intellectual Fascism

I once spoke to my father about how some people aren’t that intelligent. That’s probably thirty years ago, so forgive me, dad, if I don’t remember exactly what you said. I’ll bet you don’t remember a damned thing about it. The gist of it was, though, that I, young whippersnapper that I was at the time, said, more or less –my God, what a sentence– that those who couldn’t keep up intellectually, well, damn them… tough tits and all.
To which he said: that is intellectual fascism. And he was right. Even then I knew he was right, he had misunderstood me, which was forgivable, because at the sweet tender age of 17 I did not express myself very well, or I expressed myself all too well, with intent: rile the old bastard, just for the hell of it.
The point being? I know very well, and knew it then, that there are countless people who can look down on me from olympian heights when it comes to intellect (in the sense of pure thinking capacity). And I know too that that is not the most important thing about being… well, what shall I call it? About being a good person. A good human being. Intellect is important to me, but it isn’t crucial. I’ve met plenty of wonderful people who couldn’t hold a candle even to my humble intellect. I once fell in love with someone who, well… just didn’t get it. And why? Because she was a wonderful person. A beautiful human being. Perfect, in her way.
She, just like so many people, had other capabilities. For example she knew how I felt, even though I didn’t. There are times when my smart-ass brain convinces me of God knows what, for example that I am feeling fine, though things aren’t quite right. But she would notice that immediately. And then she would ask me, perfectly innocent, if everything is okay…? She knew it wasn’t.
How did she know? It escapes me. Somehow she knew what I was feeling, and this is a capability I do not possess, generally. Of course I notice when people feel uncomfortable with a situation, and all that, but she knew, though I didn’t even feel uncomfortable yet. She saw it coming, before it even had the chance to become a thought you could nail down on an intellectual level. Gad, what a capability. I envy her for that to this day, though she hardly understood a fucking thing I said. Not only that, she had lovely eyes. She drove me crazy with her intuition. Drove me to drink, in the end. They all do.


Refusal to comply. That is what this German word translates to in English. I am always fascinated when single words aren’t directly translatable in another language, but rather have to be described in several words. It makes me wonder if the people speaking these different languages actually think differently. The fact that there is a single succinct word for refusal to comply in German makes me wonder why the Germans were so susceptible to Fascism, why they had such a penchant to compliance. On the other hand the Germans have a tendency to combine several words in to one single word, so what the hell, it probably doesn’t mean a damn thing, in the philosophical sense. We have the Germans language to thank for the word Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft. How’s that for a word?
But that’s not actually what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about Weigerungshaltung: refusal to comply. History has shown that refusal to comply, if it is done by enough people and consistently enough, is far more powerful that any other form of resistance, political or otherwise. So organize, refuse to comply, and do not waver, do not obey. As good old Winston said: “Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
Listening to Memories of Prof. Longhair by Dr. John. How’s that for a non-sequitur?