The university intellectuals also play an important role in carrying out the System's trick. Though they like to fancy themselves independent thinkers, the intellectuals are (allowing for individual exceptions) the most oversocialized, the most conformist, the tamest and most domesticated, the most pampered, dependent, and spineless group in America today. As a result, their impulse to rebel is particularly strong. But, because they are incapable of independent thought, real rebellion is impossible for them. Consequently they are suckers for the System's trick, which allows them to irritate people and enjoy the illusion of rebelling without ever having to challenge the System's basic values.
Because they are the teachers of young people, the university intellectuals are in a position to help the System play its trick on the young, which they do by steering young people's rebellious impulses toward the standard, stereotyped targets: racism, colonialism, women's issues, etc. Young people who are not college students learn through the media, or through personal contact, of the "social justice" issues for which students rebel, and they imitate the students. Thus a youth culture develops in which there is a stereotyped mode of rebellion that spreads through imitation of peers—just as hairstyles, clothing styles, and other fads spread through imitation.