Education: The Siren Song

How much power does the intellectual have in 20th century society? In the Roman Catholic Commonweal, Hungarian-born Thomas Molnar,* an assistant professor in the humanities at the San Francisco College for Women, gives a depressing answer: the power of the intellectual has never been less. Indeed, says Molnar, "Intellectuals have been dismissed by society at the very time they thought their services most needed."

Once upon a time, as chief advisers to king and church, the intellectuals shared "the ancient power and prestige of the lawgivers who supported them," Molnar says. But once liberated by the political and industrial revolutions of the...

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