"THE upper class in England, or at least the part of it that troubles itself with politics and such things, consists at this moment mainly of sophists. That is to say, it consists of men who have no touch with real life at all, but who have two powers which make it possible to speak and even to rule with some effect- first, a somewhat insincere controversial cleverness; and, secondly, a perfectly sincere hatred of all generous ideas. They ask only two things of an argument. First, that as a verbal argument it should hold water, always cold and sometimes dirty water; secondly, that it should be possible to throw this cold water over every outbreak of the dangerous fire of human spirituality. What they do not ask of an argument is that it should have anything at all to do with things as they manifestly are."
~G.K. Chesterton: Daily News, April 2, 1904.
(h/t Mike Miles)