… is from page 423 of F.A. Hayek’s Spring 1949 University of Chicago Law Review paper titled “The Intellectuals and Socialism“:
It is perhaps the most characteristic feature of the intellectual that he judges new ideas not by their specific merits but by the readiness with which they fit into his general conceptions, into the picture of the world which he regards as modern or advanced.
DBx: So very true.
Many intellectuals surely attach some value at the margin to additions to truth – that is, to improvements in our understanding of reality. But far too many of these same intellectuals mistake the newness or edginess of an idea for that idea’s truth content. The novelty seems cool and progressive in comparison with older and more-established ideas’ ‘meh-ness.’
The typical intellectual more and more fancies himself or herself as being a member of the planning board for society’s Shining Tomorrow from which will be eradicated – in the name of love, course – all want, fear, unhappiness, hate, danger, and differences among humans (save for their access to the power of the state). Nothing good can come from this pretension.