Excerpt from here. I have written on this at greater length here (or here)
Schooling, maintains Nozick, breeds in intellectuals a sense of superiority, and with it a sense of entitlement to the highest rewards society has to offer - not just top salaries but praise comparable to that lavished on them by their teachers. After completing their formal academic training in the centralized environment of the classroom, intellectuals go forth into a seemingly chaotic capitalist society, which purports to reward individual citizens by merit but in fact applies a different standard of merit from the one imparted in the classroom.
So an open, capitalist society falls just short of satisfying intellectuals' sense of entitlement. At least three points are worth teasing out of Nozick's essay. One, capitalist society allows wordsmiths to live comfortable lives-but those who excel outside the classroom often reap the highest material rewards. Entrepreneurship in business or other applied disciplines -- disciplines that may or may not depend on pure academic knowledge or verbal dexterity -- can bring a far more extravagant lifestyle than a career in journalism, government, or the academy.
This runs afoul of intellectuals' sense of their place in the natural pecking order. But it should have little bearing on intellectuals' attitudes toward the armed services, given the less-than-generous salaries and benefits paid to soldiers, sailors, and airmen. Servicemen rank well below wordsmith intellectuals from a purely material standpoint. This disparity should seem to reinforce intellectuals' sense of superiority.
But, American society reserves the highest respect and admiration not for professors or journalists but for those in practical disciplines such as the armed forces, law enforcement, firefighting, or emergency medicine. Americans typically rate the military at or near the top of the nation's institutions, with journalism and lawmakers near or at the bottom. This status deficit rankles intellectuals. While America certainly needs academic skill and enterprise, an open society maddeningly-prizes other things as much as if not more than the ability to turn a clever phrase.....
Nozick observes that academic training teaches intellectuals to prefer a centralized environment in which an authority figure, not the vagaries of the market, sets standards and dispenses rewards and punishments according to certain rational standards.
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