Bob Jensen has a new book out on critical thinking. In the book he poses an important question, "why do intellectuals who should help us criticize the frailties of our culture, defend those frailties instead? He asks, for example, why do intellectuals so often tend to defend hierarchy? His answer: --The systems and structures in which we live are hierarchical. --Hierarchical systems and structures deliver to those in the dominant class certain privileges, pleasures, and material benefits. --People are typically hesitant to give up such privileges, pleasures, and benefits. --But, those benefits clearly come at the expense of those in the subordinated class. --Given the widespread acceptance of basic notions of dignity, solidarity, and equality, the existence of hierarchy has to be justified in some way other than crass self-interest. --One of the most persuasive arguments for systems of domination and subordination is that they are “natural.”
In other words, intellectuals are usually imbedded in a system such as a university that manifest the hierarchy. For very human reasons many intellectuals are tempted not to see the flaws in a system that gives them privilege and the admiration of their colleagues.