Intellectuals are more likely than others to come under the spell of dicta because of their “belief in beliefs, and their still stronger belief in those who believe in beliefs—that is, in themselves.” Intellectuals may pride themselves on their lack of wealth and their putative resistance to the powers that be, but they find it hard to resist doctrines that offer an adherent “gratifying confidence in one’s own clear-sighted and worldly sophistication.” An intellectual who believes, with Freud, that he “discovered the scientific method by which the unconscious could be studied,” or, with Marx and Engels, that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” is entitled to look down on all those unable or unwilling to grasp such all-important truths.Just because you think you are an intellectual, or maybe even because you think you are, it doesn't follow that you're actually intelligent.
Friday, August 22, 2014
… Why Do We Read? | The Weekly Standard. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)