Over on the First Things blog, Nathaniel Peters points us to this sharp article by Thomas Sowell that notes the crowing of journalists that with the election of Obama we have turned away from the anti intelligent position of America. Now ‘intellectuals’ are going to be valued. Intellectuals (we should explain) are people who are comfortable with complexity, like ideas and read the classics. Sowell points out how intellectuals down through the ages have consistently messed up big time.
Fact is, you might be really smart and really educated, and your theories might sound wonderful, but if your basic principles and foundation assumptions are wrong you’ll end up with the wrong conclusions, and Sowell shows how those wrong conclusions cost lives.
Check out Sowell’s article. I especially like this quotation from Wm Buckley saying he’d rather be represented by the first 100 names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard.