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As a person with a degree in philosophy I have to say I agree with the fact that intellectual snobbery is a big problem with those in academic world. However, I learned that despite the fact that ideas may not always reflect how the real world works they often influence the direction that politics and economy are going. For example, Adam Smith was a philosopher that had focused on morality...and also is heralded as the father of capitalism. The apostle Paul, Jesus, Newton and Kant used ideas that still impact our world. Strauss, the brain that so heavily influenced the neo-conservative movement took heavily from Plato. My point is that while philosophers and all the rest of those in the ivory tower are just people who are, yes, fallible. I have agreed with Chomsky on some stuff, but I think he's wrong about stuff, too. They do have to defend their arguments in debate with opposing thinkers, but don't think these thinkers don't influence policy (Chomsky's debated Richard Perle). Personally, I like to understand the arguments of the people I don't agree with. Usually I agree with some of their points and causes me to reexamine my own views. Or if I think the person is a demagogue I just don't pay them too much mind.