Apropos of your post, John, I wrote the following to some friends in email a few weeks back:

A couple of weeks ago I saw The Wizard of Oz. It’s been a long time since I saw that ? since I was a kid. So I didn’t realize that the Wizard’s charlatanry extended to the very end of the movie, even after he was exposed. Those gifts he gave at the end, which I used to think were rewards? What a joke. Scarecrow wants a brain; the wizard gives him an academic degree, and he and everybody else thinks it means he’s got a brain.

It’s a perfect parody of the degree-worship we see in this country, especially from the Left. … You no longer need the fruits of intellectualism as long as you have the degree and the correct “dispositions,” and voil?! you’re an unimpeachable intellect saying Important Things.

I think history will regard our time as one of a resurgent superstition among the supposed intelligentsia, marked by a quasi-religious fervor of scientism, credence in anything that speaks in the language of scientific research regardless of whether scientific rigor was applied.

Here’s what the wizard says to Scarecrow:

Why, anybody can have a brain. That’s a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain! Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts ? and with no more brains than you have… But! They have one thing you haven’t got! A diploma!