It may be a feature of Marxist thinking to characterize what they do as a "vocation." We have Max Weber's two wooden Vocation Lectures, the brutally honest Canadian C.B. Macpherson, and Sheldin Wolin's "political theory as a vocation" chorus. But there are traces of the same bastardized aspirations in liberals like John Maynard Keynes and the water carrying Canadian, John Kenneth Galbraith, among many others. To me, vocation should be reserved for calling as the root suggests, whereas theoretical activists are better described as professionals, which is the more everyday business meaning of a Beruf. A Beruf—despite its similar literal meaning as vocatio—is expressed in urbane rhetoric more or less free from anxiety, whereas a calling indicates an obeisance to a voice of spiritual authority. And eloquence is a nice distinction to reserve for this discourse over against rhetoric. Curiously, almost the only appearances of eloquence at the moment come in plain clothes without collars.

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