Intellectuals and the Marketplace discusses the important problem of the hostility to capitalism by the “intellectuals”. Interestingly, the article itself is written in an intellectual style and ignores Ayn Rand (a major contributor on this topic) in favor of quoting people with more "intellectual" styles or reputations. The article covers only a limited range of theories about what the problem is, and doesn’t offer solutions. But I still think it has value because it’s such an important problem with so little work being done to address it.
I think the key fact is that understanding and valuing capitalism, freedom and other parts of liberal civilization is the rare exception in the world. Only a few societies have ever done that, and only in a partial, incomplete way. There has never been much of a pro-capitalist society. Things didn’t get worse. We didn’t forget what we knew. By and large, people just never knew it in the first place. Almost no one has ever understood capitalism very well or been competent to defend it intellectually. Historic periods of greater economic flourishing were largely unplanned and were never on an adequate intellectual footing to withstand sustained criticism over time.
Why haven’t the few people who understood capitalism well been able to widely share that knowledge? Because of generic resistance to learning and new ideas. It’s not about capitalism specifically, the same thing happens with most innovative ideas in most fields. People are bad at changing their minds, feel attacked by criticism, don’t study/learn/think much, avoid effort, and focus on things like social status rather than truth. That is really ingrained in people, so it’s hard to spread important new ideas, like about how and why capitalism works or anything else. A few independent thinkers learning economics doesn't address the problem of widespread irrationality.
Almost all people, whether “intellectuals” or not, are puppets of static memes. The most notable thing about the anti-capitalist intellectuals is they are totally ignorant of how and why capitalism works – e.g. they are clueless about logical consequences of price controls or tariffs, and they often fall for variations on the broken window fallacy (so do lay people). The “intellectuals” are not people who learned about an intellectual field like economics, they are the people who learned how to achieve the label “intellectual” as a social status. People actually interested in ideas are very rare.
Real intellectuals, people who energetically seek the truth, are rare and have always been rare because static memes cause people, especially parents, to crush the rationality of children – mostly before age 7. The big picture solution is rational parenting, which can only be done effectively by the few outliers who are fairly rational and honest themselves, and who are capable of learning a lot of cutting edge philosophy and who want to do that. (The solution to bad ideas is not a retreat from ideas, but a better approach to ideas which is better at finding and correcting mistakes.)