‘We live in an age in which ideas – important ideas – are worn like articles of fashion’.
We must be careful to make a distinction between the intellectual and the person of intellectual achievement.
The two are very very different animals.
There are people of intellectual achievement who increase the sum of human knowledge – the powers of human insight and analysis.
And then there are the intellectuals.
An intellectual is a person knowledgeable in one field who speaks out only in others.
Starting in the early twentieth century – for the first time an ordinary storyteller – a novelist – a short story writer – a poet – a playwright – in certain cases a composer – an artist – or even an opera singer could achieve a tremendous eminence by becoming morally indignant about some public issue.
It required no intellectual effort whatsoever.
Suddenly he was elevated to a plane from which he could look down upon ordinary people.