Intellectuals do not matter



Publication Details

Melleuish, G. C. (2013). Intellectuals do not matter. In G. Johns (Eds.), Really Dangerous Ideas: What Does and Does Not Matter (pp. 103-109). Ballan: Connor Court.


One of the most distinctive features of our age is the presumption that intellectuals and the ideas they create are crucial for the health of our body politic and the progress of the nation. Thomas Sowell's Intellectuals and Society has a neat definition: 'an intellectual's work begins and ends with ideas.' Without their contribution apparently we would have to suffer being ruled by the ignorant and the ill-informed who normally go by the name of citizen, or even redneck or bogan. In the modern age, it is contended, the contribution of intellectuals is crucial if we are to create a prosperous and just society. Of course, much of this argument derives from people who think of themselves as intellectuals. After all, as we produce more and more university graduates there has to be some sort of justification for such enormous public investment in universities.

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