A good society needs a balance between aptitudes relating to head (cognitive), hand (manual/craft) and heart (caring/emotional). In recent decades in Western societies they have got out of kilter. One form of human aptitude – cognitive ability – has become the gold standard of human esteem. The cognitive class now shapes society, and largely in its own interests: in the knowledge economy, the over-expansion of higher education and in the very idea of a successful life. To put it bluntly: smart people have become too powerful. David Goodhart, who in his last book described the divide between the worldviews of the Anywheres and Somewheres, now reveals the story of a cognitive takeover that has gathered pace in the past forty years.
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