Rising Anti-intellectualism Alarming(zz)

zz from wikipedia

Anti-intellectualism describes a sentiment of hostility towards, or mistrust of, intellectuals and intellectual pursuits. This may be expressed in various ways, such as attacks on the merits of science, education, art, or literature.

Anti-intellectuals often perceive themselves as champions of the ordinary people and egalitarianism against elitism, especially academic elitism. These critics argue that highly educated people form an isolated social group that tends to dominate political discourse and higher education (academia).

Anti-intellectualism can also be used as a term to criticize an educational system if it seems to place minimal emphasis on academic and intellectual accomplishment, or if a government has a tendency to formulate policies without consulting academic and scholarly study


Anti-intellectualism is often used by dictators or those seeking to establish dictatorships. Educated people as a social group have often been seen by totalitarian elements as a threat because of the tendency of intellectuals to question existing social norms and to dissent from established opinion. Thus, often violent anti-intellectual backlashes are common during the rise and rule of authoritarian political movements, such as Fascism, Stalinism and Theocratic rule. Moreover, because many intellectuals refuse to embrace nationalism, they are also commonly portrayed as unpatriotic and subversive.

The most extreme dictatorships, such as that of the Khmer Rouge, simply murdered anyone with more than a rudimentary education. Other expressions of anti-intellectualism range from the closure of public libraries and places of learning through to official declarations that intellectuals are prone to mental illness and enacting laws to have them placed under psychiatric care. In addition, intellectuals in countries ruled by authoritarian governments are often subject to popular condemnation and used as scapegoats to divert the anger of the public away from those in power. Anti-intellectualism is not necessarily violent, however, and not necessarily oppressive. Anti-intellectual attitudes can be held by any group, including non-violent ones, as well as by individuals who merely disfavor intellectualism and learning in general. According to Jorge Majfud, "this contempt that arises from a power installed in the social institutions and from the inferiority complex of its actors, is not a property of ‘underdeveloped’ countries. In fact, it is always the critical intellectuals, writers or artists who head the top-ten lists of the most stupid of the stupid in the country."

see also China’s loyal youth (NYTimes)

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2 Responses to Rising Anti-intellectualism Alarming(zz)

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