The Servants of Power: A History of the Use of Social Science in American Industry

The Servants of Power: A History of the Use of Social Science in American Industry

The Servants of Power: A History of the Use of Social Science in American Industry

The Servants of Power: A History of the Use of Social Science in American Industry

Excerpt

Intellectuals in the United States have long bemoaned the assumed fact that they are unloved and unappreciated by their society. Those men who live the life of the mind and who are critical of life in America have usually been able to cope with social alienation; many of them have understood that social hostility is merely payment in kind for their services. But another group of intellectuals has not enjoyed quite as clear a definition of their place in society or its attitude toward them. These are the men who have accepted at least what they believe to be the main contours of American society, the essential direction of that civilization. These more acceptable intellectuals still worry that other Americans do not distinguish between intellectuals-that is, between those who approve and those who do not. The "approving" intellectuals, with whatever justice, feel that American society simply mistakes the "critical" New for the whole intellectual body, and indiscriminately scorns all intellectuals. Some approvers are thus put in the position of being forced to criticize a society they do not want to attack -- to criticize it for failing to see that at least one group of intellectuals does not deserve the hostility earned by the salmon, those who swim against the current.

Frequently an intellectual has been described as one whose most essential job depends on resistance to his society. Thus, the argument goes, any intellectual who . . .

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