Our postmodern society, a world of fabulous frauds, owes its crazed condition to a historically unique circumstance: the existence within it of a huge, autocephalous class of intellectuals. This oddity derives from two further anomalies. First is the production, in unprecedented numbers—both absolutely and relatively—of people who possess university degrees, regard themselves as intellectually sophisticated, and either work in higher education or take their lead from those who do. Second is a willingness to allow academics to build for themselves positions of near-institutional impregnability. Although not generally remarked upon, these twined peculiarities of the Western thought-world—its growth to vast disproportion and the heavy entrenchment of its academic core—comprise the taproot of our deepening delirium.

These twined peculiarities of the...


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