This article seems mired in confirmation bias. The entire thing comes from the premise that intellectuals were once respected in society.
The truth is much more complex. Intellectuals certainly have a place where they’re valued, and that still happens today on our college campuses and many businesses.
Do intellectuals get respect from the world at large? Not necessarily. French salons were eradicated of philosophers in the 1700s, who were developing ideas for a modern form of government.
Although these ideas were later adopted by the fledgling America, they were scary to the ruling classes. Many times they preferred populations to chug along and not challenge the status quo.
This can relate with the Bush administration and it’s ability to lie to America in order to sell military occupations to us in the early 2000s. Yet it also shows that intellectuals were not ubiquitously respected until now.
The Internet can be a great tool for discussions of all kinds, just like the world at large. There are places where one may not be accepted, and that’ll continue to be the case. Yet there are also places where one will be accepted.