Science will become available to the general population and that will cause dangerous consequences

Vladimir Odoevsky : Philosopher, writer
Going up to our aircraft we saw a crowd of people on a nearby platform who were calling our loudly and shouting and waving their arms about and apparently arguing.

"What’s all that about?" — I asked Khartin "Oh it’s better not to ask", — answered Khartin — "that crowd is one of the strangest phenomena of our age". In our hemisphere education has spread even to the lowest ranks of society, so there are lots of people are not intellectually capable of being simple craftsmen but who wish to proclaim themselves as scientists or men of letters. These people collect here nearly every day in front of the Academy. But, of course, the doors are closed to them so they try to draw attention by shouting. They still can’t comprehend why our scientists abhor their company. So in disappointment, they have started to mimic them and they’ve started engaging in something like science and literature. Unfortunately they are not motivated by the common good like true scientists and they have turned both science and literature into a kind of manufacturing. One churns out rubbish, another one praises it and then a third sells it. The person who sells the most is regarded as a great man. They have these constant financial deals and constant arguments – they call the two sides parties – and each party tries to trick the other. Those are two parties, almost coming to blows. Each wants to achieve a monopoly and even more, to take over real scientists or literary figures. That’s the only time when they can forget about the arguments between parties and act in unison. They call anybody who tries to avoid them an "aristocrat" and they try to make friends with their flunkies. That way they can find out some household secret and then spin different sorts of cock and bull stories against their enemies. Anyway these manufacturers don’t succeed in their enterprise, and it only makes the general suspicion towards them grow with every passing day.
"But" I asked "how can such people appear in the blessed kingdom of Russia?"

"Most of them have come here from other parts of the world; and they aren’t familiar with the Russian spirit, and neither do they have a love for Russian civilization. They just want to make their fortunes – and Russia is rich. In antiquity people like this did not exist. At least they aren’t recorded in history. Someone I know, who works in the field of comparative anthropology suggests that they might be direct descendants of the boxers, a kind of warrior that once existed in Europe. What can be done… These people are, unfortunately, the dark side of our age. We can only hope that with the further spread of education that this blight on our society will disappear."

"The Year 4338: Petersburg Letters"|outline