To Ludwig Wittgenstein (first letter)

Dear Sir,
When you enter my thoughts they become both admiring and suspicious. I’m trying to resolve it. The way you’ve dismantled intellectual pretension (the self-interested rational mind, the sophist-exploiter) remains so vital. Propositions still struggle to keep meanings attached to their signs.
There’s hope and a balanced confidence to be gained from this, but the accomplishment has come from such a privileged place (both inherited and procured) — a place irretrievably complicit in maintaining a pre-existing hegemonic order. Only someone who doesn’t have to work (so the folk wisdom claims) can romanticize the virtues of manual labour. After experiencing the humiliations of illiteracy, the patronization of a more learned class, discrimination of any sort, can you really obtain a kind of mystic grace in silence?
You once said, amongst many other things, that “knowledge is in the end based on acknowledgement”. I don’t think you could exist now because of this. The system you played in has become too specialized — too competitive. Philosophy as a professional sphere, just like all the others, can no longer accommodate maverick behavior, self-reflexivity — thought. Besides, you never published enough. Academia has become another service industry with the usual labor practices. If you don’t do the job the way you’re asked to somebody else will.
Your Socratic ways would be on the street now, a reanimation of mythical conversations on the margins of decent society, but without title or affirmation, without money in the bank, without inclusion in the canon.