An enemy of society

‘Caught up in mere words a child is cut off from all reality: Kantian doctrine uproots him from the soil of his ancestors. A surplus of diplomas creates what we may call, after Bismarck, a “proletariat of graduates”. This is our indictment of the universities; what happens to their product, the “intellectual”, is that he becomes an enemy of society.’

—Maurice Barrès, in J. S. McClelland (ed.), The French Right (London: Jonathan Cape, 1970), cited in Zygmunt Bauman, Modernity and the Holocaust, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1989), 59-60.

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