“Intellect is Dangerous.”

July 26, 2009

“Intellect is dangerous. . .there is no way of guaranteeing that an intellectual class will be discrete and restrained in the use of its influence; the only assurance that can be given to any community is that it will be far worse off if it denies the free uses of the power of intellect than if it permits them.

“To be sure, intellectuals, contrary to the fantasies of cultural vigilantes, are hardly ever subversive of a society as a whole. But intellect is always on the move against something: some oppression, fraud, illusion, dogma, or interest is constantly falling under the scrutiny of the intellectual class and becoming the object of exposure, indignation, or ridicule.”

— Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, Winner of the 1964 Pulitzer Prize in Non-Fiction



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