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Forum Post: fertile ground for demagogues by chomsky

Posted 11 years ago on Aug. 18, 2012, 8:44 a.m. EST by flip (7101)
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There has been a striking change in the behavior of the intellectual class in recent years. The left intellectuals who 60 years ago would have been teaching in working class schools, writing books like "mathematics for the millions" (which made mathematics intelligible to millions of people), participating in and speaking for popular organizations, etc., are now largely disengaged from such activities, and although quick to tell us that they are far more radical than thou, are not to be found, it seems, when there is such an obvious and growing need and even explicit request for the work they could do out there in the world of people with live problems and concerns. That's not a small problem. This country, right now, is in a very strange and ominous state. People are frightened, angry, disillusioned, skeptical, confused. That's an organizer's dream, as I once heard Mike say. It's also fertile ground for demagogues and fanatics, who can (and in fact already do) rally substantial popular support with messages that are not unfamiliar from their predecessors in somewhat similar circumstances. We know where it has led in the past; it could again. There's a huge gap that once was at least partially filled by left intellectuals willing to engage with the general public and their problems. It has ominous implications, in my opinion.



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[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

school broads have driven intellectuals from the classrooms in many places, not an "excuse" just an observation,

as the system becomes ever more unbalanced the things needed to keep it upright become more obviously unnatural

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 11 years ago

This is an important topic.

Also watch this (from 2009): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2zYaKXeyXE