The gracefully filthy world of ‘Intellectual Prostitution’

Shehrbano Naqvi

A frown on the forehead and a cringe on the face is what you see when you say the term prostitution in public. By literal meaning, the term is used to refer the unworthy or corrupt use of ones talents for personal or financial gains, manipulation precisely. With zero intentions of vindicating or defending the social stigma and the baggage attached with this word, here is a valid question that we all need to ask if not to each other then atleast to ourselves. How can we sit back with open eyes and close minds conveniently snubbing the daily intellectual manipulation around us?

For instance, political leaders practice intellectual manipulation when they play with mindsets and mask their intentions with public welfare in the name of diplomacy and politics. All of this is done for the greed of votes that will benefit them and their stakeholders who fund their parties. Thus, exploiting right to access the basic amenities of life by first depriving them of it and then making use of their deprivations for their ulterior motives.

Similarly, journalists shape opinions of masses by conveying information that would benefit them rather than the truth for money and favors their respective stakeholders in the end of the day. Here comes exploitation of the right to information. A lawyer does the same by fighting cases for money irrespective of getting his hands on information about the real culprit by digging into truth. Merely done through exploiting the miseries of clients who have been struggling hard to approach a lawyer who can win their case in affordable range.

How on earth can we brush off intellectual manipulation by marketers and teachers who change their stance and opinions with time and situations? A marketer subliminally or at times directly alters the perceptions of consumers in order to sell their products where as a teacher switches viewpoints with courses and students as she often gets involved in gaining from student’s needs to get good grades. Both exploiting emotional weakness in their own ways.

In the same ship of intellectual manipulation also board company owners and clerics who promote their products/services/brands on various forums and programs and by twisting their opinions and passing on verdicts as per the order of their superiors so that their funding is never stopped irrespective of their ideologies and manifestos. They too exploit the difference between different minded groups and individuals.

Lastly, the intellectual manipulation by doctors and security forces can never be over seen. Doctors diagnose diseases that never exist in patients and prescribe medicines for earning their illicit commissions from pharmaceutical agents. Simultaneously, security forces justify the existence of weaponry so that their budget allocations are not compromised in any way. Both are exploiting the basic right of health and security by shutting eyes from deadly outcomes.

All in all, this entire system stands as a felon, which keeps manipulating masses on macro level in order to keep their capitalist structures in place no matter to what extent poor and unaware public suffers with something as trivial as a desire to live a modest life.

In a nutshell, all the above-mentioned cases fall in the same category of fraudulent dealings, misleading stances and exploitation of rights just like the term of prostitution is used to notify  when fibs are embraced instead of finding truth. The only difference is here the mind is being used and manipulated for same illegitimated motives instead of body. Therefore it’s easier to throw disgust with something apparent although both of them stand on the same scale of detestation.

Obliviously, we all stand as ‘intellectual prostitutes’ trying our level best to negate the fact that we are too in the same queue, having the power of of legitimizing and illegitimating whatever we feel convenient to satisfy our fragile egos. The only distinguishing factor is that few have the audacity to accept what it is while others sugarcoat to please their coward selves. There is a very thin demarcation that separates both pools of greed and manipulation. This brings us down to a clear difference between a tabooed prostitute and an intellect prostitute.

Emphatically, welcome to the gracefully filthy world of intellectual prostitutes!

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