Intellectuals and Capitalism: Honeymoon and Divorce
By Arnold Kling
To put it baldly, since capitalism undermined aristocracy, it was a good thing from an intellectual’s point of view.
That is from Alan S. Kahan, Mind vs. Money: The War between Intellectuals and Capitalism. quoted in a review by Daniel Klein.
Kahan’s history is that as long as aristocrats at birth were important, intellectuals as a class had something to gain by bringing down these aristocrats, and promoting capitalism did that. Once the birth aristocracy weakened and a strong business class emerged, anti-capitalism became the more natural ideology of the intellectual class. Remember the Masonomic view that politics is about relative group status. Intellectuals aspire to the status of the clergy and aristocracy in Kahan’s view. Klein raises the question of what accounts for those of us who claim to be intellectuals yet are pro-capitalist. Well, we’re outliers.