In his latest blog, Aldo Matteucci, Diplo’s resident contrarian, questions the function of academia in modern society. According to Aldo, ‘It is a game an elite plays when it has lost its social function – i.e. has become a caste, living off a rent. Rentiers live by entitlement, and their only concern is to limit their own number.’ Although it does not benefit society, this social function is tolerable if it is contained within its circles (conferences, papers, peer reviews). The problems start when some of these thoughts spill over into the general public sphere and influence events. As an illustration of this risk, Aldo analyses J. Mearsheimer’s concept of ‘offensive realism’ (Mearsheimer has been named influential thinker in international relations).