The Responsibility of Intellectuals, Redux: Using Privilege to Challenge the State
Noam Chomsky revisits his classic 1967 essay, illustrating the various ways “intellectuals” have been defined in the twentieth century in relation to the interests of state power. Although technocrats who support power are generally praised by the intellectual mainstream—while “value-oriented” intellectuals who oppose authority and challenge state policy are often dismissed as eccentrics or condemned as criminals— Chomsky’s scathing indictment of U.S. foreign policy exhibits the moral courage of a public intellectual willing to reject conformity and speak the truth. Read the article…
Published by The Boston Review, September/October 2011
Tag Archives: Obama
Playing Racial Politics in America Today
The popular colourblind narrative in the United States is deeply worrying. By asserting that the nation is “post-race,” colourblindness negates the very real and continuous presence of racism. Accordingly, this ideology casts current inequalities as products of individual choice, veiling the structural racism in which these inequalities are rooted and the historical processes that shaped them.
David Theo Goldberg asserts that “colourblindness” has been used by conservatives not only to cover up present racisms, but to foreclose resistance to racism by suffocating its exposure—for example, colourblindness renders any consideration of the ongoing impact of race as itself racist. When faced with the necessity of transforming realities that many people refuse to acknowledge, Goldberg encourages readers to break through colourblindness and reveal racisms by being critical and attentive citizens. As Goldberg exemplifies in his academic and popular writings on critical race theory, public intellectuals can take up the call to challenge colourblindness and racism through critical engagement by analyzing the ongoing presence of race and its workings in their own communities. Read the article…