Phi Beta Cons

Intellectuals Can Dish It Out, But Can’t Take It

In today’s Pope Center piece, Jane Shaw writes about Thomas Sowell’s recent book Intellectuals and Society — and in particular, about a hostile, dismissive, virtually content-less review of the book by leftist intellectual Alan Wolfe. Wolfe is the sort of big-thinking, social-justice-minded scholar Sowell had in mind in writing his critique of the way intellectuals foist their overwhelmingly statist ideas on the rest of us, but never lose reputation (much less their own money) for having pushed such notions as “home-ownership is best, so let’s have the government encourage it.”

Of late, there has been a great deal of hand-wringing among leftist commentators over the rebellion brewing among Americans who are fed up with rule by experts. (My Freeman colleague Sheldon Richman spars with two, Jacob Weisberg and Mark Lilla here.) Sowell’s book does a good job of exposing exactly why they should be fed up.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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