Dirty Money; And The Real Reason That “Public Intellectual” Talks About What They Talk About

I didn’t even know this was a movie before I just googled it

The world of finance can be either a scary place for most or a benign one for most; yes I chose those words exactly as they sound and could be read. People are either afraid to pay their taxes because they owe money to the IRS, or they’re accountants who think the IRS is a harmless agency. And either way, it is a good mechanism for hiding things you don’t want others to see. Looking at you Donald Trump

But we’re not here to talk about finances, we’re here to talk about so-called “public intellectuals”. And the power they wield, and the power they don’t wield; and where there’s power, there are also questions about finances.

I’ve had a couple of run-ins with some aspiring pseudo-intellectuals, I’ve even written about them on my blog/account here; I’m still not impressed by them. I’m not impressed not because I wish to be them, I am the farthest now than I’ve ever been from wanting to be a public intellectual. If anything I don’t want to be any sort of academic upon graduation in 2023 from graduate school and law school. But I’ve been around them enough to have observed a couple of things about them:

  1. Academia does give them power, lots of power, and authority that they can exercise. Sometimes more than they even realize
  2. They do like the attention, it’s why students who give it to them are always the ones who are most at risk
  3. They like to talk, a lot. It’s why the lecture format of teaching is so popular amongst them. It happens to be the easiest for them to do.
  4. The majority probably don’t have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but the fact that many of them have narcissistic tendencies will make it easier to spot them as potential candidates for the disorder.
  5. They have no problem taking the grant money you see as dirty and an unclean source of revenue. It’s part of the privilege of being an academic and knowing how to write grant proposals.
  6. If you’re from the working class they don’t relate to you at all, even if they were once a part of the working class in some capacity.
  7. If they hold a doctorate (outside of law & a medical degree) they WILL want you to remember that; maybe you don’t have to address them as such in your everyday life…but they’ll make sure you remember the degree they hold. Or degrees, some do get Master's Degrees along the way.
  8. Most are going to be politically, center-let to conservative; at least the way I see politics. They most political thing they’ll do is attend or organize protests, which isn’t a bad thing per-say. But this is what I’ve seen.
  9. Because they tend to be center-left to conservative by nature, most will expect you to know some level of manners/respectability politics. Whether they use those with you, that’s up in the air; but they do expect you to learn/know what they think is the baseline for them.
  10. They do care about the labels, way more than any group I’ve ever seen. Whether they’re on the left or the right, trust me…they care about the labels that were born out of academia.

So if you see someone crowdfunding for a research proposal, just remember these 10 things. If you still donate to them, hey I’m not gonna knock it; academia can be a rough place. But me personally, issa no; write a research proposal just like the rest of them.




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E. I. D. Esqueda

E. I. D. Esqueda

Writer/poet for hire and fighting game enthusiast. I’m a neurodivergent queer who is also a military veteran. I write about politics & culture sometimes.