Like all intelligent men who are not in any way creative, Sir Robert Peel was dangerously sympathetic towards the creations of others. Incapable of formulating a system, he threw himself voraciously on those he came across, and applied them more vigorously than would their inventors.
I don’t know enough about Sir Robert to have an opinion about whether this was a fair assessment of him, but I think it’s a valid and important point in general. “Intelligent but not creative” describes a high percentage of people in academia, ‘nonprofits’, and the media (as long as you don’t set bar for ‘intelligent’ too high, especially in the case of the media)…and I think this has a lot to do with their eager adoption of theoretical frameworks such as critical race theory, cultural Marxism, and various types of gender theorizing…and the special and often weird vocabularies that tend to go with such things.
The need to conform, the desire to promote oneself and to feel superior, and the search for meaning also play a part, of course.
See Lead and Gold, which is why I discovered the Maurois quote in the first place. As LG notes, the voracious-framework-adoption phenomenon is also found in business, though at a somewhat lesser level than in academia, media, and nonprofits, I think, due to the exigencies of competition and the need to deal with reality sufficiently well to actually produce products and services.
See also my post Professors and the Pornography of Power, which cites Jonathan Haidt on what he calls the single-lens approach.
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