One study I had read labeled the prophets in the Old Testament one type of intellectual. I disagree, since they operated as revelators to a nation which had rejected the laws of God and rejected His precepts. The philosophers of Ancient Greece and Rome fall into this “intellectual” category more accurately, since they praised their reasoning, research, and logo ahead of revelation and physical effort.
The common denominator among them? They were spectacularly wrong on a number of issues, whether in science or sociology.
Modern Day intellectuals spend more time thinking that they themselves are God, and that their take on issues is the ultimate statement of truth and error in our culture.
What is it about these towering minds (in their own mind), and their increasingly negative impact on our culture?
Thomas Sowell shares his well-studied views on intellectuals in this interview:
What is about these wannabe brainiacs?
They are a lot like Millennials. Because they have a degree--actually a series of degrees--they are convinced that they have the top-notch knowledge on all the latest issues. The bubble-culture of universities tends to reinforce the false notion that they know more, that they know better about society. They surround themselves with flatulent
It's the fatal conceit, as identified by Friedrich Hayek in his book published in 1988.
The truth is they are actually very limited in their full understanding of many issues. The work-a-day experience of the common man often exceeds the self-absorbed arrogance of the white-collar intelligentsia.
Another reason why the degree chattering classes want to have and impose their opinions on current events. It's all about power. They believe in a world of aristocracy run wild. Of course, their political aspirations are nothing new. Plato and then Aristotle of Ancient Greece advocated this kind of governing structure with "Rule by the best", and they thought themselves as the right people to fill those seats. During the Enlightenment, German thinkers invested their hopes in benevolent despots like Frederick the Great, even though he was more despot than benevolent.
Just because someone is smart does not mean they have all the answers.
Many people mocked President Trump because of his shaky grasp of some issues, or his less-than-polished rhetoric. Other destructors, both Republican and Democrat, slammed Trump because he did not have prior experience as an elected official. After 100 days he has proved himself an admirable executive. His "lack of experience" has not prevented him from governing effectively. Reminder: James Buchanan, the 15th President of the United States, commanded consummate experience, holding political office from both chambers of the Pennsylvania state legislature, to both houses in Congress and even key executive offices. He was one of the worst presidents in the nation’s history, doing nothing while the country split up over slavery.
And he was an experienced intellect, too.
This intellectual bias is not unusual among young people, too, especially in today’s political discourse. I have found a particularly aggressive form of it among young libertarians, or should I write "liberal-tarians." They are convinced that they see the world in a better light, with not only less government, but the disregard for family values and life. They are wrong.
The very voters who can help the state of California bounce back from its illiberal doldrums is a focus on Judeo-Christian values and regard for the well-being of lie and family. Liberal-tarians are convinced that they are the more progressive, more modern purveyors of future victories. Yet they are still losing. The very culture which permits free markets and free enterprise depends on regard for life and respect for individual families.
All of this is under attack, and the fight for limited government will fail as long as these so-called experts ignore the most important institution for any society: the family.
The intelligentsia impulse is all about power. It's about a small faction of academics, intellectuals, and arrogant eggheads who think they know better than everyone else. After years of study, however, how many of them have any record of accomplishment to show for their "elevated" views on anything?
True intellect depends on wisdom, which includes the deep understanding that individuals, no matter how educated, do not have all the answers nor probing information on every issue. Furthermore, "being smart" is not the calling card to justify having a statement on everything, and more so dictating to others what they should do, say, or believe.