Thomas Sowell: The “Dubious Achievements” of the American Intelligentsia

“Intellectuals give people who have the handicap of poverty the further handicap of a sense of victimhood.”

Thomas Sowell
excerpted from Intellectuals and Society
February 2011

Intellectuals encourage people who contribute nothing to the world to complain and even organize protests, because others are not doing enough for them…

…In schools and colleges, the intelligentsia have changed the role of education from equipping students with the knowledge and intellectual skills to weigh issues and make up their own minds into a process of indoctrination with the conclusions already reached by the anointed.

They have put the people whose work creates the goods and services that sustain a rising standard of living on the same plane as people who refuse to work, but who are depicted as nevertheless entitled to their “fair share” of what others have created – this entitlement being regardless of whether they observe even common decency on the streets or in the parks.

The intelligentsia have treated the conclusions of their vision as axioms to be followed, rather than hypotheses to be tested.

…They have acted as if they are anointed to decide which segments of society to favor, who should be allowed to pick their own associates and who should not, which small risks people should be forbidden to take and which larger risks are all right.

They have romanticized cultures that have left people mired in poverty, violence, disease and chaos, while trashing cultures that have led the world in prosperity, medical advances and law and order. In doing so they have often disregarded, or even filtered out, the fact that masses of people were fleeing the societies intellectuals romanticized, to go to the societies they condemned…

Read the entire article at RightNetwork.

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