A columnist in the Guardian attributes suicide bombing to a demand for infrastructure improvements. A young intellectual doesn’t believe that ordinary people were in any way responsible for the economic crisis. Why are intellectuals so often wrong?
On the one hand they seem to want to deny the deeper currents that underlie the most extraordinary behaviour such as suicide bombing; on the other, they want to deny the quite ordinary or commonplace motivation for genuinely prosaic behaviour, such as spending too much. This is odd…The avoidance of the obvious is an occupational hazard for intellectuals, because the obvious threatens them with redundancy. One might have thought that it was perfectly obvious that there were deep psychological currents in suicide bombing, and equally obvious that there us [sic] widespread greed and incontinence during epidemics of speculative behaviour. Therefore it is only natural that intellectuals should be found who would argue precisely the opposite, that deep motives are in fact shallow and shallow ones deep.