“Millions, billions of men may be oblivious of the process, they may be ignorant of philosophy, they may even be contemptuous of abstractions, but knowingly or not they are shaped ultimately by the abstractions of a small handful of individuals. In this sense it's far too weak a statement to say that the pen is mightier than the sword. The pen and only a couple of pens create all the swords and the swordsmen and the cause of their battle and the final outcome.
"Now, you may, understandably, find this ominous from one point of view, because it would leave the whole world vulnerable to a monster if he unleashes the power of philosophy against them, and that is of course what happened in the West in the past two centuries. From another point of view, however, it is not ominous; it can even be regarded as encouraging, because it means that if a good philosopher arises who answers and philosophically destroys the monsters, that will overturn the reign of the evil and save the world."
~ Leonard Peikoff, from his online lecture "The Role of Philosophy and Psychology in History"
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[Hat tip John Shepard]