The intellectual's struggle to deny the obvious is never more desperate than when reality is unpleasant and at variance with his preconceptions and when full acknowledgment of it would undermine the foundations of his intellectual worldview.
Good scholars struggle to understand the world in an integral way (pedants bite off tiny bits and worry them to death). These visions of reality […] demand our respect, for they are an intellectual's only birthright. They are often entirely wrong and always flawed in serious ways, but they must be understood honorably and not subjected to mayhem by the excision of patches.stephen jay gould
Of course, fanatical Communists and Russophiles generally can be respected, even if they are mistaken.:; But for people like ourselves, who suspect that something has gone very wrong with the Soviet Union, I consider that willingness to criticize Russia and Stalin is the test of intellectual honesty.:; It is the only thing that from a literary intellectual's point of view is really dangerous.george orwell
A free society is as much a threat to the intellectual's sense of worth as an automated economy is to the workingman's sense of worth. Any social order that can function with a minimum of leadership will be anathema to the intellectual. The intellectual craves a social order in which uncommon people perform uncommon tasks every day.
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