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Erasmus of Rotterdam was one of the foremost intellectuals of his time.
Foreign Policy magazine named the lawyer Shirin Ebadi a leading intellectual for her work protecting human rights in Iran.[1]

An intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking, research, and reflection about the reality of society, and who proposes solutions for the normative problems of society.[2][3] Coming from the world of culture, either as a creator or as a mediator, the intellectual participates in politics, either to defend a concrete proposition or to denounce an injustice, usually by either rejecting, producing or extending an ideology, and by defending a system of values.[4]

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  • Introduction to IP: Crash Course Intellectual Property #1
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  • Intellectual Honesty and Research Integrity | eSupport for Research | 2022 | Dr. Akash Bhoi


Hi, I'm Stan Muller. This is Crash Course and today we begin our miniseries on Intellectual Property Hey, isn't the entire concept of Intellectual Property illegitimate? I mean, how can we justify locking up the world of science and arts so corporations, publishing houses and other gatekeepers can control what we know and what we think! Information wants to be free, man! Hey, me from the past! There's a Stan from the past! This is great! Stan: Hey! Me from the past! There's a Stan from the past, this is great! Anyway. I can tell by looking at your vacant and bloodshot eyes that you've been up all night and I remember desperately trying to cling to any ethos that justified your rampant copyright infringement. That is if you ever participated in such activities. And even if you had participated in said infringing activities, the statute of limitations has likely run out. I don't even know what LimeWire is! I like how this is getting started, because Stan from the past raises some interesting points! There's a good chance that he, and a lot of you watching this video, might think about aspects of Intellectual Property as outdated and pretty much irrelevant. Maybe lots of you don't think of it at all! That line, "Information wants to be free", has been used to argue that current intellectual properly laws are outdated, over-broad and generally awful. The quotation is attributed to Stewart Brand and he said this to a group of computer programmers in 1984. "On the one hand Information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other." The full quote, which you hardly ever hear, actually spells out the major tension between intellectual property and technology quite well. And it did it more than 30 years ago, when the digital age was just beginning. As information technology becomes more and more pervasive and important in our day-to-day lives in the information society, information itself becomes exponentially more important and more valuable. Paradoxically, as our information technology improves, and as our computers and connections get better and faster, and sharing becomes easier, we're less able to control the copying and dissemination of this incredibly valuable information. The law of supply and demand pushes down the information's value. This tension is nothing new. Technology, especially in the context of copyright law, has always presented challenges. Socrates's and Plato's 'Phaedrus' bemoaned the advent of books, arguing that they "will implant forgetfulness in [human beings'] souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks." One way that humans have attempted to deal with these new technologies, with varying success, is by passing laws. The scourge of the piano roll was contemplated in the 1909 Copyright Act, the photocopier in 1976, and the Internet was covered in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But we're going to try to avoid this simplified intellectual property versus technology binary. The idea that we have to choose between devaluing the fruits of intellectual talent and labor, or devaluing the revolutionary information sharing capacity of our networks, is wrong-headed. The more interesting and more difficult question is how we can strike a balance; how we can incentivize and promote this revolution in the way we share information, while at the same time incentivizing and promoting the production of creative works and inventions by having respect for the human beings that actually created them. The difference between today's debates and those that took place 100 years ago is that intellectual property pervades our lives more and more every day. This is especially true for anyone viewing this video. I know that about 90% of you view Crash Course in a web browser, so consider the layers of IP in this very YouTube page. A lot of what you're looking at is covered by copyright. This video, for example, is covered as a motion picture work. The website itself is considered a literary work. The Thought Bubble, the theme song, and the video you watched right before this one, all have copyright protection. The software that streams the video is also a literary work. The web browser you're using is most likely registered as a computer program, as is the operating system. Lest you Linux weirdos think that you don't have a copyright on your OS: You do. You're just not enforcing it. Even your comments could be covered by copyright. That haiku you just posted: "Who is this person? What happened to Mr. Green? Dislike. Unsubscribe." That's copyright-able! When you agreed to this (image of YouTube user agreement), you granted YouTube a worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to use your content in any way they see fit. There are also patents in play here. There's proprietary video streaming technology, and many of the components in your computer are patented. But wait! There's more! YouTube is a registered trademark, and if you saw an ad before this video, there was most likely a trademark in there. This is a trademark and under this sticker is an image of a piece of fruit, also a trademark. And behind the camera, our most precious and valuable mark, Mark Olsen. Mark Olsen, everybody! The search algorithm that got you here? That's a trade secret. My appearance in this video, and subsequent marketing of commemorative mugs with my likeness fixed on each one- that implicates my right of publicity. If you're watching this on an iPhone or an Android, there's a whole other world of copyrights and patents that apply. When you start to deconstruct it like this, it's dizzying. But despite all this complexity, most of the time the system moves along with a fluidity that sometimes makes it easy to put it out of your mind. Kind of like the internal functioning of your digestive tract. But it's there. Always there. Gurgling and churning and functioning. Did anybody order lunch? Now most of this fluidity and seamlessness is borne on the back of hundreds or thousands of lawsuits, many of them against Google, thousands of pages of intricately complex contracts, and hundreds of millions of take down notices. The point is that none of us, or very few of us, can go about our daily lives without being impacted by intellectual property. It's only when it hits home, like when you receive a cease-and-desist letter from a trademark attorney for opening a restaurant called Burger Queen, or digital rights management software stops you from listening to your iTunes downloads on your Zune. Maybe your YouTube video gets taken down because of that T-Swizzie song in the background (that's what the kids call Taylor Swift). Maybe you get a letter from your internet service provider, informing you that someone using your account has downloaded every episode of Game of Thrones and that if it keeps up you may be fined or imprisoned- or beheaded! That's when it flares up. Flare up! God, are we still on the digestive tract metaphor? Somebody get me a Tums. Tums, by the way, registered trademark of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies. Most of us encounter IP only on its borders. We hear horror stories about the motion picture and recording industry suing grandmothers. We watch those unskippable FBI messages warning us about the consequences of copyright infringement, or we complain about paying thousands of dollars per pill for medicine. We tend to encounter intellectual property law in places where we, as users, are basically being told 'no'. And being told 'no' over and over again is irritating, especially when these "no's" don't seem to make any sense. And they're really irritating when they come with threats of fines or imprisonment. So in this course we're going to focus less on enforcement and the "no's" and more on the part of intellectual property that often says 'yes', 'sometimes', 'maybe', 'it is certain', or even 'ask again later'. I'm speaking, of course, of the "Liquid filled die agitator containing a die having raised indicia on the facets thereof", registered as patent US 3119621, which you might know as the Magic 8-Ball. Before we get too far, we should probably define intellectual property. This is going to get pretty abstract, so let's go to the Thought Bubble. The theoretical definition of intellectual property would begin by saying that it is: "Nonphysical property that stems from, is identified as, and whose value is based on an idea or some ideas." There has to be some element of novelty; the thing that we describe as intellectual property can't be commonplace, or generally known, in the society where it's created, at the time that it becomes property. You can't claim that you invented the wheel or that you wrote Moby Dick. Even though the source material for all IP is social -- the inputs are our education, our human interactions, and basically all the sensory data around us that we take in -- the thing that we call 'IP' is the product of us putting together all these social inputs into something that we're gonna call "the idea". "Only the concrete, tangible, or physical embodiments of the idea are protected by intellectual property law." The idea has to be fixed into a form and location in which humans have access to it. That could be a novel, or a logo, or a liquid filled die agitator containing a die having raised indicia on the facets thereof. Thanks, Thought Bubble. So in its purest and best form, IP is the propertization of intellectual effort and talent. In its most corrupt and worst form, intellectual property can be, and has been used by the propertied and powerful to protect concentrated markets and broken business models. At its very worst, it can be used a a censorship tool. Intellectual property differs somewhat from real property like cars or houses because it's limited in duration and scope. For example, copyrights last for the life of the author plus 70 years. Copyrighted works can be copied under the fair use exception for certain personal or publicly beneficial uses. Let's say a book reviewer quotes long passages of a novel, then pans the book. It's likely the author of the book wouldn't grant permission for this type of use. But we want to encourage informed public discourse. So there's a good chance it would be found to be a fair use. Patent laws carved out a limited experimental use exception that permits minimal use of a patent for amusement, to satisfy idle curiosity, or for strictly philosophical inquiry. Again, the patent owner probably wouldn't like this, but the law wants to encourage individual tinkering. Both these limitations exist to serve the primary objective of intellectual property: that's to promote the progress of science and useful arts by increasing our stock of knowledge. So in this series, we're going to focus on the 3 main branches of intellectual property: copyrights, patents, and trademarks. We won't have time to get into some of the lesser cousins of the family like trade secrets or the right of publicity, but all of these are included under the umbrella of intellectual property. So in the coming weeks we're going to try to get at some of the nuts and bolt of what intellectual property is, because like it or not, IP is only going to become more and more relevant as our lives become more and more digital. So regardless of what or how you feel about any aspect of IP, it's probably a good idea to have some basic knowledge of it. It doesn't matter if you're a consumer or a creator of protected content or both. Is understanding IP going to help you? You may rely on it. See you next week. Crash Course: Intellectual Property is filmed in the Chad and Stacey Emigholz here in sunny Indianapolis, Indiana, and it's made with the help of all of these nice workers for hire. If you'd like to help us make Crash Course in a monetary way that doesn't imply any ownership in the final work, you can subscribe at Patreon, a voluntary subscription service where you can support CrashCourse and help make it free for everyone forever. You can get great perks, but the greatest perk of all is the satisfaction of spreading knowledge. Right? So thanks for watching. We'll see you next week.

Etymological background

"Man of letters"

The term "man of letters" derives from the French term belletrist or homme de lettres but is not synonymous with "an academic".[5][6] A "man of letters" was a literate man, able to read and write, as opposed to an illiterate man in a time when literacy was rare and thus highly valued in the upper strata of society. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the term Belletrist(s) came to be applied to the literati: the French participants in—sometimes referred to as "citizens" of—the Republic of Letters, which evolved into the salon, a social institution, usually run by a hostess, meant for the edification, education, and cultural refinement of the participants.

In the late 19th century, when literacy was relatively common in European countries such as the United Kingdom, the "Man of Letters" (littérateur)[7] denotation broadened to mean "specialized", a man who earned his living writing intellectually (not creatively) about literature: the essayist, the journalist, the critic, et al. Examples include Samuel Johnson, Walter Scott and Thomas Carlyle. In the 20th century, such an approach was gradually superseded by the academic method, and the term "Man of Letters" became disused, replaced by the generic term "intellectual", describing the intellectual person. The archaic term is the basis of the names of several academic institutions which call themselves Colleges of Letters and Science.


The earliest record of the English noun "intellectual" is found in the 19th century, where in 1813, Byron reports that 'I wish I may be well enough to listen to these intellectuals'.[8]: 18  Over the course of the 19th century, other variants of the already established adjective 'intellectual' as a noun appeared in English and in French, where in the 1890s the noun (intellectuels) formed from the adjective intellectuel appeared with higher frequency in the literature.[8]: 20  Collini writes about this time that "[a]mong this cluster of linguistic experiments there occurred ... the occasional usage of 'intellectuals' as a plural noun to refer, usually with a figurative or ironic intent, to a collection of people who might be identified in terms of their intellectual inclinations or pretensions."[8]: 20 

In early 19th-century Britain, Samuel Taylor Coleridge coined the term clerisy, the intellectual class responsible for upholding and maintaining the national culture, the secular equivalent of the Anglican clergy. Likewise, in Tsarist Russia, there arose the intelligentsia (1860s–1870s), who were the status class of white-collar workers. For Germany, the theologian Alister McGrath said that "the emergence of a socially alienated, theologically literate, antiestablishment lay intelligentsia is one of the more significant phenomena of the social history of Germany in the 1830s".[9]: 53  An intellectual class in Europe was socially important, especially to self-styled intellectuals, whose participation in society's arts, politics, journalism, and education—of either nationalist, internationalist, or ethnic sentiment—constitute "vocation of the intellectual". Moreover, some intellectuals were anti-academic, despite universities (the academy) being synonymous with intellectualism.[citation needed]

The front page of L'Aurore (13 January 1898) featured Émile Zola's open letter J'Accuse…! asking the French President Félix Faure to resolve the Dreyfus affair.

In France, the Dreyfus affair (1894–1906), an identity crisis of antisemitic nationalism for the French Third Republic (1870–1940), marked the full emergence of the "intellectual in public life", especially Émile Zola, Octave Mirbeau and Anatole France directly addressing the matter of French antisemitism to the public; thenceforward, "intellectual" became common, yet initially derogatory, usage; its French noun usage is attributed to Georges Clemenceau in 1898.[citation needed] Nevertheless, by 1930 the term "intellectual" passed from its earlier pejorative associations and restricted usages to a widely accepted term and it was because of the Dreyfus Affair that the term also acquired generally accepted use in English.[8]: 21 

In the 20th century, the term intellectual acquired positive connotations of social prestige, derived from possessing intellect and intelligence, especially when the intellectual's activities exerted positive consequences in the public sphere and so increased the intellectual understanding of the public, by means of moral responsibility, altruism, and solidarity, without resorting to the manipulations of demagoguery, paternalism and incivility (condescension).[10]: 169  The sociologist Frank Furedi said that "Intellectuals are not defined according to the jobs they do, but [by] the manner in which they act, the way they see themselves, and the [social and political] values that they uphold.[11][page needed]

According to Thomas Sowell, as a descriptive term of person, personality, and profession, the word intellectual identifies three traits:

  1. Educated; erudition for developing theories;
  2. Productive; creates cultural capital in the fields of philosophy, literary criticism, and sociology, law, medicine, and science, etc.; and
  3. Artistic; creates art in literature, music, painting, sculpture, etc.[12][page needed]

Historical uses

In Latin language, at least starting from the Carolingian Empire, intellectuals could be called litterati, a term which is sometimes applied today.[citation needed]

The word intellectual is found in Indian scripture Mahabharata in the Bachelorette meeting (Swayamvara Sava) of Draupadi. Immediately after Arjuna and Raja-Maharaja (kings-emperors) came to the meeting, Nipuna Buddhijibina (perfect intellectuals) appeared at the meeting.[citation needed]

In Imperial China in the period from 206 BC until AD 1912, the intellectuals were the Scholar-officials ("Scholar-gentlemen"), who were civil servants appointed by the Emperor of China to perform the tasks of daily governance. Such civil servants earned academic degrees by means of imperial examination, and were often also skilled calligraphers or Confucian philosophers. Historian Wing-Tsit Chan concludes that:

Generally speaking, the record of these scholar-gentlemen has been a worthy one. It was good enough to be praised and imitated in 18th century Europe. Nevertheless, it has given China a tremendous handicap in their transition from government by men to government by law, and personal considerations in Chinese government have been a curse.[13]: 22 

In Joseon Korea (1392–1910), the intellectuals were the literati, who knew how to read and write, and had been designated, as the chungin (the "middle people"), in accordance with the Confucian system. Socially, they constituted the petite bourgeoisie, composed of scholar-bureaucrats (scholars, professionals, and technicians) who administered the dynastic rule of the Joseon dynasty.[14]: 73–4 

Public intellectual

The term public intellectual describes the intellectual participating in the public-affairs discourse of society, in addition to an academic career.[15] Regardless of their academic field or the professional expertise, the public intellectual addresses and responds to the normative problems of society, and, as such, is expected to be an impartial critic who can "rise above the partial preoccupation of one's own profession—and engage with the global issues of truth, judgment, and taste of the time".[16][citation needed][11]: 32  In Representations of the Intellectual (1994), Edward Saïd said that the "true intellectual is, therefore, always an outsider, living in self-imposed exile, and on the margins of society".[17]: 1–2  Public intellectuals usually arise from the educated élite of a society; although the North American usage of the term intellectual includes the university academics.[18][citation needed] The difference between intellectual and academic is participation in the realm of public affairs.[19][citation needed]

Jürgen Habermas' Structural Transformation of Public Sphere (1963) made significant contribution to the notion of public intellectual by historically and conceptually delineating the idea of private and public. Controversial, in the same year, was Ralf Dahrendorf's definition: "As the court-jesters of modern society, all intellectuals have the duty to doubt everything that is obvious, to make relative all authority, to ask all those questions that no one else dares to ask".[20]: 51 

An intellectual usually is associated with an ideology or with a philosophy.[21][page needed] The Czech intellectual Václav Havel said that politics and intellectuals can be linked, but that moral responsibility for the intellectual's ideas, even when advocated by a politician, remains with the intellectual. Therefore, it is best to avoid utopian intellectuals who offer 'universal insights' to resolve the problems of political economy with public policies that might harm and that have harmed civil society; that intellectuals be mindful of the social and cultural ties created with their words, insights and ideas; and should be heard as social critics of politics and power.[17]: 13 

Public engagement

The determining factor for a "thinker" (historian, philosopher, scientist, writer, artist) to be considered a public intellectual is the degree to which the individual is implicated and engaged with the vital reality of the contemporary world, i.e. participation in the public affairs of society.[citation needed] Consequently, being designated as a public intellectual is determined by the degree of influence of the designator's motivations, opinions, and options of action (social, political, ideological), and by affinity with the given thinker.

After the failure of the large-scale May 68 movement in France, intellectuals within the country were often maligned for having specific areas of expertise while discussing general subjects like democracy. Intellectuals increasingly claimed to be within marginalized groups rather than their spokespeople, and centered their activism on the social problems relevant to their areas of expertise (such as gender relations in the case of psychologists). A similar shift occurred in China after the Tiananmen Square Massacre from the "universal intellectual" (who plans better futures from within academia) to minjian ("grassroots") intellectuals, the latter group represented by such figures as Wang Xiaobo, social scientist Yu Jianrong, and Yanhuang Chunqiu editor Ding Dong (丁東).[22]

Public policy

In the matters of public policy, the public intellectual connects scholarly research to the practical matters of solving societal problems. The British sociologist Michael Burawoy, an exponent of public sociology, said that professional sociology has failed, by giving insufficient attention to resolving social problems, and that a dialogue between the academic and the layman would bridge the gap.[23][page needed] An example is how Chilean intellectuals worked to reestablish democracy within the right-wing, neoliberal governments of the Military dictatorship of Chile (1973–90), the Pinochet régime allowed professional opportunities for some liberal and left-wing social scientists to work as politicians and as consultants in effort to realize the theoretical economics of the Chicago Boys, but their access to power was contingent upon political pragmatism, abandoning the political neutrality of the academic intellectual.[24][citation needed]

In The Sociological Imagination (1959), C. Wright Mills said that academics had become ill-equipped for participating in public discourse, and that journalists usually are "more politically alert and knowledgeable than sociologists, economists, and especially ... political scientists".[25]: 99  That, because the universities of the U.S. are bureaucratic, private businesses, they "do not teach critical reasoning to the student", who then does not know "how to gauge what is going on in the general struggle for power in modern society".[25][page needed] Likewise, Richard Rorty criticized the quality of participation of intellectuals in public discourse as an example of the "civic irresponsibility of intellect, especially academic intellect".[26]: 142 

The American legal scholar Richard Posner said that the participation of academic public intellectuals in the public life of society is characterized by logically untidy and politically biased statements of the kind that would be unacceptable to academia. That there are few ideologically and politically independent public intellectuals, and disapproves that public intellectuals limit themselves to practical matters of public policy, and not with values or public philosophy, or public ethics, or public theology, not with matters of moral and spiritual outrage.

Intellectual status class

Socially, intellectuals constitute the intelligentsia, a status class organised either by ideology (e.g., conservatism, fascism, socialism, liberal, reactionary, revolutionary, democratic, communism), or by nationality (American intellectuals, French intellectuals, Ibero–American intellectuals, et al.). The term intelligentsiya originated from Tsarist Russia (c. 1860s–1870s), where it denotes the social stratum of those possessing intellectual formation (schooling, education), and who were Russian society's counterpart to the German Bildungsbürgertum and to the French bourgeoisie éclairée, the enlightened middle classes of those realms.[10]: 169–71 

In Marxist philosophy, the social class function of the intellectuals (the intelligentsia) is to be the source of progressive ideas for the transformation of society: providing advice and counsel to the political leaders, interpreting the country's politics to the mass of the population (urban workers and peasants). In the pamphlet What Is to Be Done? (1902), Vladimir Lenin (1870–1924) said that vanguard-party revolution required the participation of the intellectuals to explain the complexities of socialist ideology to the uneducated proletariat and the urban industrial workers in order to integrate them to the revolution because "the history of all countries shows that the working class, exclusively by its own efforts, is able to develop only trade-union consciousness" and will settle for the limited, socio-economic gains so achieved. In Russia as in Continental Europe, socialist theory was the product of the "educated representatives of the propertied classes", of "revolutionary socialist intellectuals", such as were Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.[27]: 31, 137–8 

The Hungarian Marxist philosopher György Lukács (1885–1971) identified the intelligentsia as the privileged social class who provide revolutionary leadership. By means of intelligible and accessible interpretation, the intellectuals explain to the workers and peasants the "Who?", the "How?" and the "Why?" of the social, economic and political status quo—the ideological totality of society—and its practical, revolutionary application to the transformation of their society.

The Italian communist theoretician Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937) developed Karl Marx's conception of the intelligentsia to include political leadership in the public sphere. That because "all knowledge is existentially-based", the intellectuals, who create and preserve knowledge, are "spokesmen for different social groups, and articulate particular social interests". That intellectuals occur in each social class and throughout the right-wing, the centre and the left-wing of the political spectrum and that as a social class the "intellectuals view themselves as autonomous from the ruling class" of their society.

Addressing their role as a social class, Jean-Paul Sartre said that intellectuals are the moral conscience of their age; that their moral and ethical responsibilities are to observe the socio-political moment, and to freely speak to their society, in accordance with their consciences.[28][citation needed]: 119 

The British historian Norman Stone said that the intellectual social class misunderstand the reality of society and so are doomed to the errors of logical fallacy, ideological stupidity, and poor planning hampered by ideology.[17][citation needed] In her memoirs, the Conservative politician Margaret Thatcher wrote that the anti-monarchical French Revolution (1789–1799) was "a utopian attempt to overthrow a traditional order [...] in the name of abstract ideas, formulated by vain intellectuals".[29]: 753 

Latin America

The American academic Peter H. Smith describes the intellectuals of Latin America as people from an identifiable social class, who have been conditioned by that common experience and thus are inclined to share a set of common assumptions (values and ethics); that ninety-four per cent of intellectuals come either from the middle class or from the upper class and that only six per cent come from the working class. [30]

Philosopher Steven Fuller said that because cultural capital confers power and social status as a status group they must be autonomous in order to be credible as intellectuals:

It is relatively easy to demonstrate autonomy, if you come from a wealthy or [an] aristocratic background. You simply need to disown your status and champion the poor and [the] downtrodden [...]. [A]utonomy is much harder to demonstrate if you come from a poor or proletarian background [...], [thus] calls to join the wealthy in common cause appear to betray one's class origins. [31]: 113–4 

United States

The Congregational theologian Edwards Amasa Park proposed segregating the intellectuals from the public sphere of society in the United States.

The 19th-century U.S. Congregational theologian Edwards Amasa Park said: "We do wrong to our own minds, when we carry out scientific difficulties down to the arena of popular dissension".[26]: 12  In his view, it was necessary for the sake of social, economic and political stability "to separate the serious, technical role of professionals from their responsibility [for] supplying usable philosophies for the general public". This expresses a dichotomy, derived from Plato, between public knowledge and private knowledge, "civic culture" and "professional culture", the intellectual sphere of life and the life of ordinary people in society.[26]: 12 

In the United States, members of the intellectual status class have been demographically characterized as people who hold liberal-to-leftist political perspectives about guns-or-butter fiscal policy.[32]

In "The Intellectuals and Socialism" (1949), Friedrich Hayek wrote that "journalists, teachers, ministers, lecturers, publicists, radio commentators, writers of fiction, cartoonists, and artists" form an intellectual social class whose function is to communicate the complex and specialized knowledge of the scientist to the general public. He argued that intellectuals were attracted to socialism or social democracy because the socialists offered "broad visions; the spacious comprehension of the social order, as a whole, which a planned system promises" and that such broad-vision philosophies "succeeded in inspiring the imagination of the intellectuals" to change and improve their societies.[33][citation needed] According to Hayek, intellectuals disproportionately support socialism for idealistic and utopian reasons that cannot be realized in practice.[34]

Persecution of intellectuals

Totalitarian governments manipulate and apply anti-intellectualism to repress political dissent. Intellectuals were targeted by the Nazis, the communist regime in China, in communist Romania by the Romanian Communist Party (PCR) and the Securitate, the Khmer Rouge, the Young Turks, and in conflicts in Bangladesh, the former Yugoslavia, and Poland.[citation needed]


The economist Milton Friedman identified the intelligentsia and the business class as interfering with capitalism.

The French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre noted that "the Intellectual is someone who meddles in what does not concern them" (L'intellectuel est quelqu'un qui se mêle de ce qui ne le regarde pas).[35]: 588–9 

Noam Chomsky expressed the view that "intellectuals are specialists in defamation, they are basically political commissars, they are the ideological administrators, the most threatened by dissidence."[36] In his 1967 article "The Responsibility of Intellectuals", Chomsky analyzes the intellectual culture in the U.S., and argues that it is largely subservient to power. He is particularly critical of social scientists and technocrats, who provide a pseudo-scientific justification for the crimes of the state.

In "An Interview with Milton Friedman" (1974), the American economist Milton Friedman said that businessmen and intellectuals are enemies of capitalism: most intellectuals believed in socialism while businessmen expected economic privileges. In his essay "Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?" (1998), the American libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick of the Cato Institute argued that intellectuals become embittered leftists because their superior intellectual work, much rewarded at school and at university, are undervalued and underpaid in the capitalist market economy. Thus, intellectuals turn against capitalism despite enjoying more socioeconomic status than the average person.[37]

The economist Thomas Sowell wrote in his book Intellectuals and Society (2010) that intellectuals, who are producers of knowledge, not material goods, tend to speak outside their own areas of expertise, and yet expect social and professional benefits from the halo effect derived from possessing professional expertise. In relation to other professions, public intellectuals are socially detached from the negative and unintended consequences of public policy derived from their ideas. Sowell gives the example of Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), who advised the British government against national rearmament in the years before the Second World War.[38]: 218–276 


  1. ^ Amburn, Brad (2009). "The World's Top 20 Public Intellectuals". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  2. ^ The New Fontana dictionary of Modern Thought Third Edition, A. Bullock & S. Trombley, Eds. (1999) p. 433.
  3. ^ Jennings, Jeremy and Kemp-Welch, Tony. "The Century of the Intellectual: From Dreyfus to Salman Rushdie", Intellectuals in Politics, Routledge: New York (1997) p. 1.
  4. ^ Ory, Pascal and Sirinelli, Jean-François. Les Intellectuels en France. De l’affaire Dreyfus à nos jours (The Intellectuals in France: From the Dreyfus Affair to Our Days), Paris: Armand Colin, 2002, p. 10.
  5. ^ The Oxford English Reference Dictionary Second Edition, (1996) p. 130.
  6. ^ The New Cassel's French–English, English–French Dictionary (1962) p. 88.
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  10. ^ a b Williams, Raymond. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (1983)
  11. ^ a b Furedi, Frank (2004). Where Have All The Intellectuals Gone?. London and New York: Continuum Press.
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  • Aron, Raymond (1962) The Opium of the Intellectuals. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers.
  • Basov, Nikita et al. (2010). The Intellectual: A Phenomenon in Multidimensional Perspectives, Inter-Disciplinary Press Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  • Bates, David, ed., (2007). Marxism, Intellectuals and Politics. London: Palgrave.
  • Benchimol, Alex. (2016) Intellectual Politics and Cultural Conflict in the Romantic Period: Scottish Whigs, English Radicals and the Making of the British Public Sphere (London: Routledge).
  • Benda, Julien (2003). The Treason of the Intellectuals. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers.
  • Camp, Roderic (1985). Intellectuals and the State in Twentieth-Century Mexico. Austin: University of Texas Press.
  • Coleman, Peter (2010) The Last Intellectuals. Sydney: Quadrant Books.
  • Di Leo, Jeffrey R., and Peter Hitchcock, eds. (2016) The New Public Intellectual: Politics, Theory, and the Public Sphere. (Springer).
  • Finkielkraut, Alain (1995). The Defeat of the Mind. Columbia University Press.
  • Gella, Aleksander, Ed., (1976). The Intelligentsia and the Intellectuals. California: Sage Publication.
  • Gouldner, Alvin W. (1979). The Future of the Intellectuals and the Rise of the New Class. New York: The Seabury Press.
  • Gross, John (1969). The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters. New York: Macmillan.
  • Huszar, George B. de, ed., (1960). The Intellectuals: A Controversial Portrait. Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press. Anthology with many contributors.
  • Johnson, Paul (1990). Intellectuals. New York: Harper Perennial ISBN 0-06-091657-5. Highly ideological criticisms of Rousseau, Shelley, Marx, Ibsen, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Bertrand Russell, Brecht, Sartre, Edmund Wilson, Victor Gollancz, Lillian Hellman, Cyril Connolly, Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Kenneth Tynan, Noam Chomsky, and others.
  • Kennedy, Michael D. (2015). Globalizing knowledge: Intellectuals, universities and publics in transformation (Stanford University Press). 424pp online review.
  • Konrad, George et al. (1979). The Intellectuals On The Road To Class Power. Sussex: Harvester Press.
  • Lasch, Christopher (1997). The New Radicalism in America, 1889–1963: The Intellectual as a Social Type. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
  • Lemert, Charles (1991). Intellectuals and Politics. Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage Publications.
  • McCaughan, Michael (2000). True Crime: Rodolfo Walsh and the Role of the Intellectual in Latin American Politics. Latin America Bureau ISBN 1-899365-43-5.
  • Michael, John (2000). Anxious Intellects: Academic Professionals, Public Intellectuals, and Enlightenment Values. Duke University Press.
  • Misztal, Barbara A. (2007). Intellectuals and the Public Good. Cambridge University Press.
  • Molnar, Thomas (1961). The Decline of the Intellectual. Cleveland: The World Publishing Company.
  • Piereson, James (2006). "The Rise & Fall of the Intellectual," The New Criterion, Vol. XXV, p. 52.
  • Posner, Richard A. (2002). Public Intellectuals: A Study of Decline. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press ISBN 0-674-01246-1.
  • Rieff, Philip, Ed., (1969). On Intellectuals. New York: Doubleday & Co.
  • Sawyer, S., and Iain Stewart, eds. (2016) In Search of the Liberal Moment: Democracy, Anti-totalitarianism, and Intellectual Politics in France since 1950 (Springer).
  • Showalter, Elaine (2001). Inventing Herself: Claiming A Feminist Intellectual Heritage. London: Picador.
  • Viereck, Peter (1953). Shame and Glory of the Intellectuals. Boston: Beacon Press.

Further reading

  • Aczél, Tamás & Méray, Tibor. (1959) The Revolt of the Mind. New York: Frederick A. Praeger.
  • Barzun, Jacques (1959). The House of Intellect. New York: Harper.
  • Berman, Paul (2010). The Flight of the Intellectuals. New York: Melville House.
  • Carey, John (2005). The Intellectuals And The Masses: Pride and Prejudice Among the Literary Intelligentsia, 1880–1939. Chicago Review Press.
  • Chomsky, Noam (1968). "The Responsibility of Intellectuals." In: The Dissenting Academy, ed. Theolord Roszak. New York: Pantheon Books, pp. 254–298.
  • Grayling, A.C. (2013). "Do Public Intellectuals Matter?," Prospect Magazine, No. 206.
  • Hamburger, Joseph (1966). Intellectuals in Politics. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Hayek, F.A. (1949). "The Intellectuals and Socialism," The University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. XVI, No. 3, pp. 417–433.
  • Huizinga, Johan (1936). In the Shadows of Tomorrow. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
  • Kidder, David S., Oppenheim, Noah D., (2006). The Intellectual Devotional. Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Books ISBN 1-59486-513-2.
  • Laruelle, François (2014). Intellectuals and Power. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Lilla, Mark (2003). The Reckless Mind – Intellectuals in Politics. New York: New York Review Books.
  • Lukacs, John A. (1958). "Intellectuals, Catholics, and the Intellectual Life," Modern Age, Vol. II, No. 1, pp. 40–53.
  • MacDonald, Heather (2001). The Burden of Bad Ideas. New York: Ivan R. Dee.
  • Milosz, Czeslaw (1990). The Captive Mind. New York: Vintage Books.
  • Molnar, Thomas (1958). "Intellectuals, Experts, and the Classless Society," Modern Age, Vol. II, No. 1, pp. 33–39.
  • Moses, A. Dirk (2009) German Intellectuals and the Nazi Past. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Rothbard, Murray N. (1989). "World War I as Fulfillment: Power and the Intellectuals," The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. IX, No. 1, pp. 81–125.
  • Sapiro, Gisèle. (2014). The French Writers' War 1940–1953 (1999; English edition 2014); highly influential study of intellectuals in the French Resistance online review.
  • Shapiro, J. Salwyn (1920). "The Revolutionary Intellectual," The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. CXXV, pp. 320–330.
  • Shenfield, Arthur A. (1970). "The Ugly Intellectual," The Modern Age, Vol. XVI, No. 1, pp. 9–14.
  • Shlapentokh, Vladimir (1990) Soviet Intellectuals and Political Power. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
  • Shore, Marci (2009). Caviar and Ashes. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Small, Helen (2002). The Public Intellectual. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Strunsky, Simeon (1921). "Intellectuals and Highbrows," Part II, Vanity Fair, Vol. XV, pp. 52, 92.
  • Whittington-Egan, Richard (2003-08-01). "The Vanishing Man of Letters: Part One". Contemporary Review.
  • Whittington-Egan, Richard (2003-10-01). "The Vanishing Man of Letters: Part Two". Contemporary Review.
  • Wolin, Richard (2010). The Wind from the East: French Intellectuals, the Culture Revolution and the Legacy of the 1960s. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

External links

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