Swaggering Imbeciles

I have been reading and writing on the usenet for donkey’s years. It is a wonderful mine of information and an amazing sink of time. You could waste time like there is no tomorrow (or should that be the other way around?). Anyway, here is one gem from someone who writes under the pseudonym of Uncle Al.

Newly educated and semi-educated classes – social or intellectual – seek positions in government bureaucracies or social advocacy rather than in industry and commerce where competence is inarguably measured at the end of every business quarter. The growth of bureaucracies needed to absorb these swaggering imbeciles is precisely opposed to society’s growth and development both as direct philosophical enemy and as infinitely hungry sump to resources otherwise needed to support productive endeavors.

I like his expression swaggering imbeciles. Reminds me of the idiot politicians of India, especially the ruling dynasty.

Categories: Indian Bureaucracy and Politicians, Quotes

6 replies

  1. Atanu for 50 years we voted em in power. Who is the bigger idiot?


  2. Atanu, ‘swaggering imbecile’ reminds me of John Travolta in Grease 🙂 but the time Uncle Al is talking about seems to me the 1970s and 80s, not now India…
    (by the way, I linked to an old wonderful post of yours in my blog yesterday – http://indsight.org/blog/archives/2005/06/28/remaining-stoic-on-everyday-disasters/)


  3. Atanu,

    Hold on there. Don’t you see that ‘swaggering imbeciles’ refers to *us*?

    newly educated intellectual class check
    social advocacy/government bureacracy check

    yes.. I know you are not in a government bureacracy, but isn’t writing/reading blogs about ‘developmental issues’ something like social advocacy? Maybe we can do useful work elsewhere, as Uncle Al suggests? 🙂


  4. No, Eswaran, one has to be in a position of power to be a swaggering imbecile. As a mere observer, I don’t have any effect on the system. I am harmless. The imbeciles in power do great deal of harm. If they could just sit on their hands, it would improve the situation.


  5. Atanu,

    You are an obsever , alright . Change your status and try to run a state or even a city for that matter ; whom will you blame.
    In the developed countries , the intellectuals once in power , become “swaggering imbeciles” thanks to the voters who know the art of demanding unattainble promises.


  6. Pardeshi,

    I see your point. Would I, if I were to become one who was responsible for a even a city, become one who promises unattainable things just because voters demand it? I don’t know how I would actually react in that situation, but my conviction is that indeed I would become a “swaggering idiot” if I were to give in to those demands in my greed to continue to hold power. Therefore I hope that I am not that greedy that I would excuse my immoral behavior by rationalizing that it is the voters who demand that I make unattainable promises and I am just an innocent bystander compelled by others to do a dirty job.


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