The Ivory Tower and the Seat of Power

The system of higher education always has a significant place in national political affairs. Politically indifferent academics may legitimately ignore this. Those concerned with the welfare of the system of higher education, however, cannot afford this luxury. Further, intellectuals, including academics, are a significant political factor even when passive. Even were all of them to ignore all politics, including the ever-present political importance of the educational system for national politics, they would still play a particularly significant role in national politics as what Elihu Katz and Paul Lazarsfeld call the opinion leadership. This way the maintenance of responsible government, and the maintenance of democracy, much depends on what intellectuals demand of the system. Any regime may be endangered by the negative attitudes that opinion leaders may have towards public affairs -- even if it is merely passively negative
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