Fact Versus Fiction Snobbery
This is a corollary to, or even an explanation of, my last post and concentrate on intellectual snobbery.
Throughout my education, I was used to being in the top three of the class, and very often I was the best. So, as
you can imagine, I loved school and I loved exams because I knew that I would always be amongst the winners, the
Not that I realised that at the time. My school chose me to sit the entrance examination to the elite schools of
the Atlantic College and Oxford - the only one out of hundreds of boys.
It was much later that I realised that the only reason that I was so successful in academia was because I could
retain facts; and only later again, did it dawn on me, that these 'facts' were being thrust into my memory without
In a way, I was being used as a receptacle for the Establishment's version of events, of reality. And I was a
keen collaborator, because I enjoyed the praise, something that was not common in Welsh families of my day.
It was in university that my eyes started to open to snobbery, and I began to see university lecturers as people
just like me, people who had been filled up with the official account of the world, and they were filling me up
with it too, so that I could take over from them later.
I saw intellectual snobbery everywhere.
'Oh, you read that?!'
'Oh, you have never seen this film?!'
'How quaint, but I don't suppose you get much opportunity in South Wales?'
One day, I saw something that I should have seen fifteen years before: none of my teachers of Religious
Instruction had ever known anything about the Spiritualism that my family had practised for generations.
It made me think about about the other facets of my education and little of it came off well. My beloved
languages, and maths fared best.
I lost a lot of respect for intellectuals very soon and then I went to work for my Dad.
He had a profound suspicion of anyone calling themselves an expert. That gelled with me and has stuck.
I have no respect for authority or experts until I deem they are worthy now, and intellectual snobbery gets
right up my nose, as does any form of prejudice.
Please read part three here
by +Owen Jones