The new age of unreason: why has the world suddenly turned against experts? The first article in a mini-series by Andy Bodle, exclusive to Politics Means Politics.
In 415AD, a band of thugs dragged the mathematician, astronomer and Neoplatonist philosopher Hypatia from her carriage and took her to a nearby church, where they stripped her naked, battered her to death with roof tiles, dismembered her and set the body parts on fire.
During the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39, the majority of the 200,000 Spanish civilians killed were members of the intelligentsia, as were most of the victims of the “killing fields” of Cambodia in the late 1970s. In the months after the invasion of Poland that triggered the second world war, the Nazis captured and killed around 100,000 Poles, 61,000 of whom were academics, priests, lawyers and doctors, in a secret cleansing operation codenamed Intelligenzaktion.