Intellectualism values reason or rationality above emotion. It prefers ideas to people. Intellectuals form part of an elite in 'Western' civilization and in countries influenced by it, where the systems and policies they evolve control the lives of ordinary people. These policies may be impractical and abstract and may not take enough consideration of majority needs, particularly of an emotional kind. The weight of intellectual opinion may be evaluated on the strength of paper qualifications rather than practical experience. Intellectuals anxious to promote the redeeming, transcending Truth, the establishment of which they see as their mission on behalf of humanity, have little patience with the mundane, everyday truth represented by objective facts which get in the way of their arguments. These awkward, minor truths get brushed aside, doctored, reversed or are even deliberately suppressed.
Intellectualism is a universal and increasing problem. It is most prevalent in industrialized societies and in government controlled societies, and is increasing in developing countries where planning, especially along 'Western' lines, is becoming more pervasive. Strictly Communist societies, such as China, temper intellectualism by obliging people who work in planning and other intellectual fields to intersperse it with periods of purely practical and mundane work.