Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), Journal VO
, pp. [51-52] (1857):
Because our education is defective, because we are superficial & ill-read, we were forced to make the most of that position, of ignorance; to idealize ignorance. Hence America is a vast Know-Nothing Party, & we disparage books, & cry up intuition. With a few clever men we have made a reputable thing of that, & denouncing libraries & severe culture, & magnifying the motherwit swagger of bright boys from the country colleges, we have even come so far as to deceive every body, except ourselves, into an admiration of un-learning and inspiration forsooth.