Being an intellectual outside the academy: the sociology of branding strategies

I thought Jade Lindgaard and Xavier De La Porte identify something important about the strategic issues faced by those who style themselves as intellectuals while remaining resolutely outside the academy. This is from their incisive critique BHL in Wonderland loc 4617, describing the growing rivalry between their titular nemesis Bernard-Henri Lévy and his emerging foe Michel Onfray:

Both believe that philosophy and thought can exist outside the traditional university setting and should reach the widest possible audience, and thus their legitimacy is subject to their book sales and the publishing/media loop. This in turn imposes postures that are similar in certain respects: writing polemical books, giving proofs of seriousness without being too rebarbative or too theoretical, inventing a media persona that is both singular and flexible enough to comment at any time on the most varied issues.

About Mark