In America (let’s stay positive about America’s future), where conversation among the proletariat usually consists of ‘practical’ topics, such as what you might have done today, what you did yesterday, and what you’re going to do in the future, it isn’t difficult to get people to think you’re smart.
The American proletariat might also think you’re annoying, but they will also respect that you’re smarter than them (or so they think). What you have to do is insist upon talking about ‘ideas’ and ‘concepts’ rather than ‘practical everyday actions’.
This article will give you three (and a half) books (click here to see another good list of books) to get started on your way to being ‘smart’, and will help you fool people into believing it’s true. In America, I assure you, it’s easy to be called an ‘intellectual’. The Americans will say, “Gee whiz, you’re really smart.” And you will smile, and start believing it yourself.
A Wholly Different Way of Living – Jiddu Krishnamurti’s dialogue with Dr. Allen Anderson
I would suggest reading because of its intense and careful focus on language and communication. The detailed arguments will not only get you on the path to making your own precise arguments, but will also teach you about love, hate, death, and beauty in a very profound manner. These are good concepts for you to throw out to the American proletariat. This will make you seem smart, even if you don’t understand it completely. Most Americans will understand it even less.
*I would recommend Louis Althusser’s Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays also, but Althusser’s heavy, oftentimes convoluted language might be too much for those wishing to playact as an intellectual. But, if you don’t think it will exhaust you, and if you think you’re smart enough already, Althusser’s might be a good start as well.
Simulacra and Simulation – Jean Baudrillard
Want to step out of context? You need to, if you’re going to pretend you’re smart. Baudrillard posits that our society (assuming society exists…) is really a simulacrum, or representation of reality. Society, our whole way of life and the laws governing our little world, is really just a map of what some people thought reality was, and collective society has continued to build upon the illusion.
Keep in mind, as you must, to pretend you’re smart, that our society is only that map; a guide. It isn’t set in stone, it hasn’t been handed down by God, and the way you perceive society around you isn’t necessarily the way it has to be, nor is it ‘reality’. For example, the Mon-Fri work week doesn’t really, actually exist, but is made up and taken as reality.
Most people, it seems, have forgotten this. Whatever ‘reality’ is, and other ways humans can or should live has not, yet, been discovered. If you keep in mind that everything in society is just a representation of something else, and is a subset, or a set of parentheses in a larger sentence, equation, or even paragraph, then you’re on your way to being perceived of as smart.
VALIS – Philip K. Dick
This one might be a shock, or a surprise to you who wishes to be, or seem, smart. Don’t be surprised, and don’t scoff at ‘science fiction’ because Philip K. Dick, especially VALIS, transcends the genre, and you can learn about myriad theological and philosophical ideas and quandaries. Read it, consume it, and read it again. Philip K. Dick truly was smart, beyond the meaning of the word, whatever that means to you, and I know a fraction of it will rub off on you.
So, in conclusion, try these books, skim them, read them, whatever it takes, and throw out a few ideas to your co-workers, family, friends, the neighbor’s children, it doesn’t matter-soon word will get out that you are seriously smart, an intellectual, somebody will say, and then everybody will call you that.
Gee whiz, the Americans will say, he refuses to talk about the weather. Well yeah, another American will chime in, because he’s always talking about that fancy mysticism stuff.
Bullshit is more like it, another American will say (but don’t worry, some people are just jealous, and you can’t please them all).