Roger Scruton at First Things:

I was brought up in a culture that made no special place for the “intellectual” as a distinct human type, and which regarded learning in the same way as any other hobby: harmless and excusable, so long as you kept quiet about it. The person who studied the classics at home, who wrote poetry in the early hours, or who listened in private to Beethoven quartets was, in my little patch of suburban England, no more to be despised than the expert in tarot cards, the amateur acrobat, or the breeder of exotic chickens. But if he should begin to display his hobby in ordinary social gatherings, or to imagine that his knowing the works of Emily Dickinson entitled him to some measure of respect not accorded to those who had gotten no further than page three of The Sun, then it was time to put him in his place as a social outcast.

Read the rest at