To the intellectual the struggle for freedom is more vital than the actuality of a free society. He would rather work, fight, talk, for liberty than have it. The fact is that up to now the free society has not been good for the intellectual. It has neither accorded him a superior status to sustain his confidence nor made it easy for him to acquire an unquestioned sense of social usefulness. For he derives his sense of usefulness mainly from directing, instructing, and planning---from minding other people's business---and is bound to feel superfluous and neglected where people believe themselves competent to manage individual and communal affairs, and are impatient of supervision and regulation. A free society is as much a threat to the intellectual's sense of worth as an automated society is to the workingman's sense of worth. Any social order that can function with a minimum of leadership will be anathema to the intellectual.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Eric Hoffer Gets It
Quoting Eric Hoffer's The Ordeal of Change