The Opium of the Intellectuals

What with the “communisants” (the priesthood and their bureaucratic Stasi-like enforcers) in charge of the academy, Raymond Aron’s classic The Opium of the Intellectuals (the original English translation freely available here), still has resonance. (Want to know more about Aron? — a good place to start is here and here and I’d highly recommend Aron’s wonderfully lucid two-volume Main Currents of Sociological Thought). Anyway, in the article Whatever happened to the public intellectual? John Gray might well be right that because of their marginalization (and manifest frustration, resentment, snobbery, and entitlement) arising from not being exposed to the pressing issues of the day (they are self-deluded about Islam), they come over as trivial whinny wets subjecting each other to purity tests of their “theological” commitment. Through their self-defeating and shallow social ontology and its ridiculous number of permutations (an ontological slum), they have “lost a sense of reality”:

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