"A dozen people picked at random on the street are at least as likely to offer sensible views on moral and pollitical matters as a cross-section of the intelligentsia. But I would go further. One of the principal lessons of our tragic [twentieth] century, which has seen so many millions of innocent lives sacrificed in schemes to improve the lot of humanity, is - beware intellectuals. Not merely should they be kept well away from the levers of power, they should also be objects of particular suspicion when they seek to offer collective advice. Beware committees, conferences and leagues of intellectuals. Distrust public statements issued from their serried ranks. Discount their verdicts on political leaders and important events...Above all, we must at all times remember what intellectuals habitually forget: that people matter more than concepts and must come first. The worst of all despotisms is the heartless tyranny of ideas."
- Paul Johnson