How a Bankrupt Intelligentsia Is Enabling the Rise of Fascism

How a Bankrupt Intelligentsia Is Enabling the Rise of Fascism

How come you speak about political leaders and religious leaders in the same tone – is there no difference between them?

“Fundamentally there is no difference at all. Superficially of course there are differences.

“The basic desire to be a leader arises in people who are suffering from an inferiority complex. It does not matter whether they move into the political world or into the religious world; the will-to-power is an absolute indication that the man feels himself inferior to others and he wants to prove to the world that it is not so.

“It is not only a question of proving to the world; through the world he wants to prove it to himself too, that he is not inferior to anybody.

The only way mind can manage it is to make everybody inferior to you.

“Mind is not your intelligence.

“It may sound strange but this is a truth, that mind is not your intelligence. Mind can be intellectual, which is a very poor substitute for intelligence. Intellectuality is mechanical. You can become a great scholar, a great professor, a great philosopher – just playing with words which are all borrowed, arranging and rearranging thoughts, none of which are your own.

The intellect is absolutely bankrupt.

“It has nothing of its own, all is borrowed.

“And that’s the difference between intelligence and intellect.

Intelligence has an eyesight of its own, a capacity to see into things, into problems.

“Intelligence is your born quality.

“It cannot be learned, it cannot be nurtured. Everybody is born with intelligence, but the society is in favor of intellect, because the intellectual person is not a real individual, he is phony. He has nothing of his own; he is a beggar, and beggars are not supposed to be emperors, are not supposed to be masters. They are destined to remain slaves.

So your so-called greatest scholars are continuously proving their slavery to the establishment. None of them is a rebel.

“They are hankering for the prizes and awards the establishment can bestow upon them: respectability, honor. They are all desiring to be Nobel laureates, but to get the Nobel prize you have to sell your soul. You have to accept a thousand and one things that no intelligent person can accept.

“You have to support the status quo, the people who are in power, who have the money. You are just a puppet to them.

Yes, it is a very mutual conspiracy: they give you the Nobel prize, they give you honorary doctorates, they make you world famous; in return you support their exploitation, their oppression, and whatever nonsense they are doing.

“You have to become a protecting wall.

“And of course the world is going to listen to you because you are a Nobel prize winner, honored by Oxford, by Cambridge, by Harvard. The ordinary people, the common masses are bound to listen to you.

“If you are supporting the society then naturally there is nothing wrong with the society; there is no need to change it. The problems are not created by the society but by the ‘anti-social’ elements. And who are the anti-social elements? All the rebels are anti-social elements. It is these people who provoke the masses, steal their souls, make them aware that they also are human beings, not cattle. These are anti-social elements; they have to be destroyed.

Either they have to be purchased in some way… give them a Nobel prize, and purchase them; give them honorary doctorates and purchase them. If they refuse to be purchased then society has all the ways to condemn them.

“Their books will not be published by the great publishers, because those great publications are owned by the vested interests. Their names will disappear from the newspapers, from the magazines, from the media. They will live almost as if they are not, as if they don’t exist.

“This is a far superior way to destroy somebody than crucifying. At least when you crucify a person you give him immense publicity.

Two thousand years have passed: Jesus is still hanging on the cross. He has become almost an eternal advertisement.

“Wherever you go you will see the cross – on the graveyard, on the churches, on the vehicles of the Red Cross Society.

“Now this is free publicity for two thousand years! Isabel, you should learn something! Not a single cent has been wasted. Jesus was certainly a Jew, not only by birth but by his very spirit. He managed his own crucifixion, and created publicity which goes on increasing.

It is a very essential thing to understand, that the establishment first tries to persuade you, to bribe you. When it fails in purchasing and bribing you, then it comes into its true color: then it starts destroying you.

“And it has learned through the centuries that poisoning a Socrates is not good. You killed the man, but you made him immortal; you imprinted his message on the very soul of humanity. You proved foolish – it was not the right way.

“Crucifying Jesus was not the way to destroy him. You have saved him.

“Now the modern status quo, establishment, vested interests, are far more clever. If Jesus comes back he should not be afraid that he is going to be crucified again.

No, this time it is going to be worse: he will be ignored. To be crucified does not take your dignity, but to be ignored….

“Nobody bothers about you, nobody pays any attention, nobody is for or against you. This is real humiliation that is being done.

“But intellectuals are not capable of resisting; they don’t have the guts, they can’t have, because all that they have is borrowed. They are easily purchasable, cheap. But they become a very significant protective wall around the establishment. People look toward them with respect. People think that if a Nobel prize winner is saying something it must be right – as if by winning the Nobel prize one attains to enlightenment, nirvana!

It is a political game. It is all politics.

“Once in a while they go on giving a Nobel prize to a Russian scientist, to some scientist whom they would like to get out of Russia; his being in Russia is dangerous for them. He is close to finding something – or he has found it already – in which they are far behind.

“Now you see the ways of the politicians? Give the man a Nobel prize – now you create trouble. The scientist is not capable of resisting the temptation of accepting the Nobel prize, because that is the world’s greatest honor. It does not happen to everybody; it happens once in a while to one individual in millions.

“Now, a poor scientist, howsoever great a scientist he may be – as a man he is a poor man with all the desires to be famous, to be well known. Now, the politicians have put him into a dilemma: if he accepts the Nobel prize he goes against the Russian establishment because the Russian establishment knows perfectly well – politicians know each other well; nobody knows them as well as they know each other.

They speak the same language, they work the same strategies.

“The Russian politicians know why the Nobel prize has been given to this man. By giving the Nobel prize a rift has been created between the man and the Soviet government. The Soviet pressure will be: ‘Reject the Nobel prize. It comes from the capitalist world; it is not an honor, in fact it is an insult. Reject it, and if you don’t reject it then you will be in trouble.’

“And it has happened with many people: either they have been imprisoned…that’s what the politicians of the other side wanted, that they should be imprisoned so their work is spoiled. They may have been coming close to something which may have made Russia the most powerful nation in the world. They have disrupted it; they have sabotaged it in a very clever way – without interfering, without saying a single world.

“Or if the man has a world-wide reputation already – which scientists generally don’t have…perhaps a literary person, a poet, a novelist may have. If the person has a world-wide reputation, then from all capitalist countries all the intellectuals, their institutions, academies and societies will start a great campaign and movement against the Russian government.

“Now, the Russian government has only two choices: either to release that man and stop this campaign…. But they cannot keep this man any longer in the country; he has become an enemy. And now he is in the hands of the enemies, he can become an informer. He is dangerous – he has to be expelled. That too is good for the capitalist world. Once the man is expelled he is received with great honor all over the capitalist world; he is made a hero.

“If you look into the ways the politicians go on doing things you will be surprised. But they succeed only with intellectuals, because intellectuals are really not intelligent people. If they were intelligent then nobody could manipulate them, neither the communist nor the capitalist; nobody would be capable of manipulating them. It would be impossible; they would see things clearly.

Intelligence is of the soul.

Intellect is of the mind.

“Mind is just garbage. Mind is that which has been given to you by others. The whole collection, the whole junkyard all kinds of people have been throwing in you – that is your mind. That mind continuously suffers from an inferiority complex, is bound to suffer: it has nothing of its own, it has no ground underneath its feet.

“The mind wants power, prestige.

“It can have power through politics, which is the criminal’s way. If your mind has a criminal tendency then you will follow the path of politics. Politicians and criminals are not basically different people.

Politicians are successful criminals.

Criminals are unsuccessful politicians.

“Criminals are poor, pitiable. They had tried but they failed. Politicians are of the same tribe, with only one difference: they have succeeded.

“And in this world success makes everything right. What you have done, how you have arrived, what method and means you have used – who bothers about it? When you are successful it is enough proof that you are a man of tremendous capacity. Your success is the proof.

“And when you have failed, your failure is also a proof that you were hankering for the moon; you were just foolish. Try to walk on the earth, don’t try to fly toward the moon; otherwise you will fall and get multiple fractures. That’s what poor criminals have got – multiple fractures.

But the mind of the politician and the criminal is the same.

“Those who are not courageous enough will go in a way which can lead either to the world of criminals or to the world of politicians. Of course, of the hundred people who will walk on the path, ninety-nine will go to the world of criminals; ninety-nine will be in the jails. One percent will also be in jail, but of a different kind: it is called the White House.

“All kinds of black deeds – naturally you have to call the house the ‘White House’ to hide them….

“I have always wondered why they call this topmost criminal place in the world the White House. Perhaps unknowingly the idea came from their unconscious that everything inside is going to be black, but from the outside you have to keep a white face, everything clean.

One person reaches to the White House, ninety-nine to the black houses.

“So there are people who are not courageous enough to take this risk – ninety-nine percent possibility of failing, and only one percent possibility of succeeding. They want far surer ground. Religion provides that ground: there is no failure in it.

“You become religious, you become a great religious leader. If you succeed you become a great saint; if you don’t succeed, still you are a small saint, you don’t fail. The smallest saint is still a saint – the lowliest priest is still in the same line as the pope. In religion there is no failure.

So, cowardly people– who are as much interested in gaining power, who are suffering as much from an inferiority complex, who are on a power trip but don’t have the guts to follow the criminal path – find the path of righteousness, asceticism, morality, prayer.

By becoming a saint they will also attain to power. Of course, this power cannot be very effective. They cannot become Alexander the Great, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin; they cannot have millions of lives in their hands – and now such politicians have the whole of humanity’s life in their hands. Of course these saints can’t have that much, but in a certain way, from a different aspect, they are more powerful because the politicians will come to touch their feet, the presidents will come to bow down in respect to them.

“The politician does everything according to a particular strategy. If just before the elections President Reagan goes to the Vatican to pay respects to the Catholic pope, it is not accidental, it is preplanned. When Reagan goes to the Vatican and gives his respects to the Catholic pope, all the Catholics of America are, without much effort, converted to giving him votes: this is the right man.

“All the bishops, all the cardinals in America will now tell their congregations that Reagan is our man. Now, to persuade so many Catholics in America…if he had to go from home to home it would have taken eternity. And how many stupid things politicians have to do! They have to go on kissing all kinds of children – their noses are running and they are kissing them…. The politician has to do it.

“This is easier, to go to the pope – just kiss his hand and millions of Catholics are on your side. And the pope blesses you: that way he feels far superior to the presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens. Of course his power is only airy-fairy, but you enjoy it. It has nothing substantial in it, it is hollow inside. But it does not matter, because when the presidents and the prime ministers come, the whole media is there, all the newspapers, all the television stations of the world, all the radio stations are talking about the pope – you can feel a certain gratification.

But the gratification is of the same desire – the will-to-power.

“That’s why I go on talking about the political leaders and the religious leaders without making any distinction – because there is no distinction a tall, only a superficial distinction. Their psyches are functioning in the same way.

“Neither the religious leader nor the politician is interested in the people whom they pretend to lead.

“They are interested in being leaders – and of course the leader cannot be without the led, so it is a necessity to go on promising the people things. Politicians promise them things of this world; religious leaders promise them things of the other world. But do you see any difference in what they are doing? Both are promising so that you go on following them, afraid to get lost somewhere else, because if you lose the path then you will miss the promise.

The promise keeps you with the crowd – and promises don’t cost anything.

“You can promise anything. Promises are always for tomorrow, and tomorrow never comes. And you are not going to live here forever.

“Just look at past history. All politicians have been promising people things which have not materialized in thousands of years. Thousands of political leaders have been promising the same things. How blind humanity must be!

“The promises have not changed – that means certainly nothing has been achieved. The same promises are being given to you and you go on following, hoping.

Hope is the greatest drug that man has invented.

“Strange, that religious people are against drugs; politicians are also against drugs. Politicians make laws against drugs, religious people create hell and punishment against drugs.

“Why are they so afraid of drugs?

“It needs a deep search, investigation. They are afraid of drugs because drugs are competitors to them. LSD can give you hallucinations of heaven.  That’s the trouble. No religion can afford to allow people to use LSD. LSD is not dangerous; taken in the right proportions, under medical care, it can be tremendously helpful in religious growth.

“But religions are not ready to allow it for the simple reason that if LSD can give you a beautiful experience – hallucinatory, but still it is an experience and tremendously satisfying, fulfilling – then just promises will look like dry bones without any juice in them.

Only idiots perhaps may continue to chew the dry bones.

“Dogs do that. They chew dry bones and enjoy very much, not knowing what is happening. When they chew dry bones those dry bones hurt their mouths and their mouths start bleeding. The more they chew, the more bleeding happens. And blood goes through their throat and they think –logically enough – that the blood is coming from the bone. Now, how to explain to a dog that, ‘it is your own blood; the bone is absolutely dry.’

“So perhaps a few idiots may still continue to go to the churches, but intelligent people will stop. Rather, when they feel the urge to have a beautiful hallucination, whenever they want to live in another world, they will not wait for death to come: they will go to a medical clinic and have a two, three-day session with LSD, and enjoy everything that their religious leaders have been telling them that they will get after death.

“Drugs are dangerous to religions for the simple reason that they are their greatest competitors. And even better drugs can be invented, but religions continuously cripple the research.

“Politicians are against drugs, because if people start taking drugs then who cares about your five-year plans? Who cares about the classless society that will come in the future to your grandchildren? Who cares about the revolution, democracy, freedom of speech?

“You don’t have even the freedom to hallucinate!

“This is absolutely innocent because only you are doing it, nobody else is involved. No, you don’t have the freedom to hallucinate.

Reduced to the basics, that’s what drug prohibition means, that you don’t have the freedom to hallucinate. The government is in control of your dreams.

Drugs can  give you dreams, and properly used, can help you to see many things in yourself which in psychoanalysis will take three years, four years; then too it isnot certain that you will be able to see.

“It is a well-known fact that scientists have discovered something like truth serum, but it is prevented from being used, because if something like truth serum is possible…. You take an injection of truth serum and then suddenly you can see all your falsities, your hypocrisies, your bogus personality…and certainly if anything can make you aware of truth, it is bound to make you aware of all that is false: that is going to happen simultaneously. The moment you see the truth you see the false too.

“Now, the whole of politics depends on falsities.

“Communism goes on talking about equality of people – an utter untruth.

People are not equal, people are unique.

“Once you see the truth, that people are unique, how can they be equal? That does not mean that somebody is inferior to you and somebody is superior to you. You are not equal, you are not unequal either. You are simply different.

“You don’t compare things that are different. You don’t say that the house and the tree are equal. If you say that, you will be thought insane, because a house is a house and a tree is a tree; they have different functions. Their individualities are different. You don’t compare them. You cannot say that the house is superior to the tree, or the tree is superior to the house. In fact, the category of comparison is inapplicable.

“Each individual is so unique. When you know the truth of it you cannot be a communist.

Communism will never allow anything that makes you aware of the truth.

“In the non-communist countries, there are different lies, different falsities. For example, freedom of expression: it exists nowhere; it is only written in constitutions….

“Politics has power. Vinoba was a religious leader, but through the politicians he has power. Although that power is not very substantial, still the power is there.

The religious leader or the political leader – both are in the same boat, helping each other. The politician protects the religious leader, the religious leader protects the politician.

“He protects him through people’s religious feelings, and the politician protects the religious leader by his power. It is a mutual understanding. Hence I don’t make any difference between the two. To me, the political leader is more criminal-minded; hence is ready to take the risk.

“The religious leader is a coward, but cunning; through cunningness he manages to rise even higher than the political leader; at least in the abstract sense he is higher than the political leader.

“But the desire of both is the same: to rule, to have control over millions of people….

But this is how religious leaders and political leaders…. They are all made of the same stuff, the same holy cow-dung.

“I don’t see any difference, except superficial differences about which there is no need to talk.”


Excerpted and abridged from: Osho, From Darkness to Light, Talk #5 – Successful Criminals and Cowardly Politicians

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