Beware of Intellectuals

“One of the principal lessons of our tragic century, which has seen so many millions of innocent lives sacrificed in schemes to improve the lot of humanity, is – beware of intellectuals… For intellectuals, far from being highly individualistic and non-conformist people, follow certain regular patterns of behavior. Taken as a group, they are often ultra-conformist within the circles formed by those whose approval they seek and value… [enabling] them to create climates of opinion and prevailing orthodoxies, which themselves often generate irrational and destruction courses of action. Above all, we must at all times remember what intellectuals habitually forget: that people matter more than concepts and must come first. The worst of all despotisms is the heartless tyranny of ideas” (Paul Johnson, quoted in The True Face of Atheism by Ravi Zacharias, page 67).

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