The other day I did a post featuring a description of the Neo-gnostic currents of ideology that are so dominant among the Ruling Class in modern America. While these ideologies obviously involve the manipulation of concepts--often to an excessive degree of complexity, with resort to outlandish neologisms--they are actually characterized by a desire to conform reality to the human will, either in the form of escapism or, as we see increasingly, a demonic will to power. As such, despite the excessive rationalism they exhibit--the conceptual gymnastics--these ideologies are actually anti-intellectual in this sense: the use of conceptualism is about escapism or domination, but in neither case about deep and sympathetic understanding of reality.
Today at the same site that I linked (above) Peter Kwaśniewski--another traditionalist Catholic thinker--has an article that describes the alternative to Neo-gnostic ideology: What Is the Catholic Intellectual Tradition? Before quoting several of the basic elements of this intellectual tradition--or perhaps, better, this tradition of intellectualism that seeks to unite the understanding to reality in a sympathetic fashion--I'd like to suggest two points of reference for readers in evaluating what Kwaśniewski has to say.
The first point of reference is the thought of C. S. Lewis. I suspect many will be familiar with one or more of Lewis' books. Lewis himself, of course, was a noted intellectual as well as a committed Christian and championed in his books the Thomist style of intellectualism that came down through the likes of Anglican thinkers like Richard Hooker.
The second point of reference is simply the experience of each reader. My contention is that these essentials of intellectualism reflect what we could call the overall spirit of the American tradition--a tradition of reasonability and of an embrace of reality that unites the American tradition with the intellectual tradition of the West while setting it apart from Neo-gnostic ideologies. I'm thinking here of something along the lines of Russell Kirk's Roots Of American Order.
I realize that, historically, this may appear to be an over simplification. However, I'm not attempting here a detailed demonstration but simply a kinship of spirit, of intellectual approach, as distinct from the dominant ideologies of our Ruling Class that so violently reject the intellectual tradition of the West.
So, here we go, in severely abbreviated excerpts. I offer this for those who are seeking to consciously define where they stand as opposed to the currently dominant forces that seek to transform us into their image and likeness.