The anatomy of the Left’s intellectual superiority complex

The Left and its culture of silencing opposing views through bullying tactics is rooted in its superiority complex.

The anatomy of the Left’s intellectual superiority complex

The ontology of hegemony and its modalities has emerged as a subject of analysis with the advent of the modern state and has gained traction, especially post the Gramscian discourse about the nature of hegemony. Sustenance of hegemony of any kind needs the development of a certain level of superiority complex in the psyche of the hegemon, which serves as a source of legitimacy for their hegemonic position. It also imparts a sense of necessity for the maintenance of the position, for the supposed greater good of the society. Be it in any field, the complex goes as a necessary corollary to the establishment of a hegemony. It constructs both a sense of entitlement to one’s position at the top of the hierarchy as well as responsibility towards the upliftment of those below in the hierarchical structure. Nevertheless, the superiority complex also ensures that the sense of responsibility never goes overboard so as to change the structure of the hierarchy itself by pushing oneself towards a downward position. This is a consequence of the patronising attitude of the hegemon, who allocates the responsibility of upliftment by restricting it only to itself, as the hegemon considers itself to be the only one capable of carrying out such a task. Colonialism has been a fantastic explainer of hegemony in action. The very theatrics of hegemony demands a performative ritual of ‘benevolent despotism’. The hegemon considers itself to be chosen by destiny itself in order to uplift and work for the betterment of the lesser mortals around.

The hegemony of the Left in the academia is a contemporary, lived experience of how superiority complex articulates itself, coupled with huge remnants of colonial culture. The Left ecosystem has a deep-seated intellectual superiority complex, stemming in part from its faith in the perfect workability of the solutions that it provides to societal problems. Add to this the emotionally-stirring nature of the societal malaises themselves, which gives the Left its confidence in the self-righteousness of its position, and one gets a potentially heady mixture. The elitist origins and its continuing hold over the Left’s discourses and politics surely contribute to the psychological complex. Such a complex also results in a lack of reflection on its positions and eventually a failure in producing results on the ground. Filled with abstract idealism to be practical enough, this explains the Left’s abysmal performance where democratic processes are involved.

The feeling of entitlement of being placed at privileged positions, a holier than thou attitude, and the compulsory imposition of one’s ideological worldviews are characteristic traits of the Left, and all of these are a direct consequence of the complex that the cancerous ideologies prevalent within the Left’s fold create. One only needs to recall a petty incident such as the JNU administration demanding the “historian” Romila Thapar’s CV for some regular administrative purposes and the massive uproar from the academia following it. The cooked-up fiasco around a regular procedural issue reeks of entitlement and displays an extremely egoistic attitude. Even the recent scamming of Nidhi Razdan (Allegedly, she got an appointment letter from Harvard University as an Associate Professor of Journalism, though later it turned out that she had been conned. It has also been claimed that the university doesn’t offer such a course, though it needs to be verified.) speaks volumes about the level of entitlement the superegos of people with leftist inclinations carry along. The appointment letter seemed to be such an obvious offer to the journalist that she did not feel the need to do any background check. Despite not having sufficient academic credentials to deserve the position, she didn’t care to reassess the credibility of such an appointment.

Although the journalist has made a mockery of herself which the social media has enjoyed through and through, it’s time to seriously rethink about the root cause of such a frame of mind. The rot in the academia due to extensive infiltration of the Left has been a worrying trend for decades now. One has only to do a brief survey of the academic institutions in the West and one instantly realizes that cancel culture, shunning of free speech, regulation of free thought, the unlimited expansion of the scope of hate speech, are part and parcel of the Left’s enterprise. Universities in the West are plagued with it. A culture of discussion, debates and the free exchange of ideas which is the hallmark of a university is actually anathema for the Left. Left’s hegemony has left the universities as a marketplace of ideas in a battered condition, and the dissenters have been reduced to cripples without any institutional support. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the quality of research has been hit hard. The superiority complex has served as a major driving force behind this sorry state of affairs. The threat that our society faces from such ideological worldviews is imminent which makes it all the more essential for us to scrutinize them. The Left has for long deployed the power of language and narrative to manufacture discourses which play a vigorous, emotionally-rousing role in legitimizing the use of faulty methodologies and analytical frameworks, and also push its flag bearers towards adopting and justifying the use of barbarous means for the sake of achieving supposed utopian ends.

Leftists never realize how simplistic their analytical models are because they genuinely believe that they have reached the pinnacle of critical analysis and nuance. Their ingrained superiority complex always attempts to find an easy way out to the societal problems it identifies, eradicating all the complexities and nuances of reality.  Living in their cocoons, it is no wonder that they completely lose touch with reality. The elite bubbles that they form for their comfort, instead of working on the ground, are yet another display of this complex at work. The Left has lost all its creativity (or should I dare to say, it has never been creative in the first place), due to which it has been mechanical in its inventiveness. This bland, mechanical aptitude is pretty evident in the socio-political discourses manufactured every few decades by the Left. It’s almost shocking how the Left so conveniently peddles rudimentary investigative frameworks in the name of nuance and intensive critical analysis. Irony dies a million deaths every time the Left comes up with a “fresh” perspective towards “reflecting” on the social, cultural, political structures of the society. Such is its level of ignorance that those who wish to counter its hegemony shall always be in a better position to weed it out from the academia through free discussions and debates unless it actually decides to reflect on its ideological positions.

In the face of the crisis of legitimacy of its ideological worldviews that the Left faces today, it genuinely needs to shed off its intellectual superiority complex and allow the breeze of logic, rationality and practicality to flow through its intellectual arena so as to inculcate some common sense into its worldviews. In the meanwhile, rest of the sane, free-thinking world may continue to entertain itself by reading and reflecting upon the “intellectual theories” of the Left, while also being extremely vigilant to avoid their percolation into the society at large.

About Author: Yashowardhan Tiwari

Yashowardhan is a final year BA LLB (H) student at Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat. He is primarily interested in the studies of jurisprudence, sociology of science, and the interface between science and religion.

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