The 'fool' is an innocent, a simpleton, but truths issue from his mouth that are not simply tolerated but adopted, by virtue of the fact that this 'fool' is sometimes clothed in the insignia of the jester. And in my view it is a similar happy shadow, a similar fundamental 'foolery', that accounts for the importance of the left-wing intellectual.
And I contrast with this designation for that which the same tradfition furnishes a strictly contemporary term, a term that is used in conjunction with the former, namely 'knave'...He's not a cynic with the element of heroism implied by that attitude. He is, to be precise, what Stendhal called an 'unmitigated scoundrel'. That is to say, no more than your Mr. Everyman, but your Mr. Everyman with a greater strength of character.
Everyone knows that a certain way of presenting himself, which constitutes part of the ideology of the right-wing intellectual, is precisely to play the role of what he is in fact, namely, a 'knave'. In other words, he doesn't retreat from the consequences of what is called realism; that is, when required, he admits he's a crook.
Jacques Lacan, Seminar on the Ethics of Psychoanalysis