I have always been puzzled by the academic world's reverence for the French intelligentsia. Michel Foucault was a colossal bore—and a bore, moreover, who encouraged the practice of seeing history exclusively in terms of the exploitation of an ever-multiplying band of victims even as living standards rose to unprecedented levels. Louis Althusser was a wife-killing buffoon. Pierre Bourdieu laboured the obvious. Jacques Lacan produced incomprehensible bilge. (France has produced its share of greats, of course, most notably Raymond Aron, but they are routinely ignored).
Yet Foucault et al look like giants compared with the current crop of intellectuals, if the commentary on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair is anything to go by.
Schumpter even addresses the column FLG referred to previously.