Intellectuals are a pretty unique species all by themselves, given to advocating things out of sheer brazenness that they could not themselves stomach if they were ushered in to witness the scene.
Somewhere in every intellectual is a dumb prick.
Intellectuals are rarely successful as leaders. They are so trapped in their ideals that they cannot venture out in the real world to win and lead.
Traditional American intellectuals are, in a sense, increasingly reactionary, and quite often proudly (and perversely) ignorant of many of the truly significant intellectual accomplishments of our time.
The communist regime in the East could stand and grow due to the enthusiastic support from an enormous number of Western intellectuals who felt a kinship and refused to see communism’s crimes. When they no longer could do so, they tried to justify them.
The popular element “feels” but does not always know or understand; the intellectual element “knows” but does not always understand and in particular does not always feel.
Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn’t trust the evidence of one’s eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the latest mission civilizatrice.
What is fascinating is that it is physical. You know, that’s one thing about intellectuals, they’ve proved that you can be absolute brilliant and have no idea what’s going on. But on the other hand, the body doesn’t lie, as we now know. Nono, it’ll be great, because all of those ph.Ds are in there, like, discussing modes of alienation, and we’ll be in here quietly humping.
There is nothing that an intellectual less likes to change than his mind, or a politician his policy.
Those intellectuals are our natural enemies; the only kind who are worth anything are the musicians and the dancers: they don’t insult anybody with their performances, and they neither sing nor dance politics. So I like them; but don’t let me hear a word about the rest