Do We All Listen to The Prophecy of Intellectuals

Do We All Listen to The Prophecy of Intellectuals

Every born individual is intelligent but not intellectual. It is terrible that if the individual who has the ability to survive is not considered an intellectual in a real sense, what we call them intellectual. Intellectuals producing cultural capital are individuals with a faculty of representation, incarnation, articulation of a message, a view, an attitude, a philosophy or a opinion of the public and of oneself. And this role has an advantage, and we cannot play without the feeling of being a person whose place is to publicly ask embarrassing questions, before orthodoxy and dogma, of being a person who cannot be easily assumed by governments or businesses, represent all those people and problems that are usually forgotten or hidden under the carpet. So what do the intellectuals mean?

Intellectuals are the individuals, an influential being of human species, of special interests, an extremely assertive description of the intellectual as a figure of the opposition, a brilliant and unique amalgam of scholars, aesthetes and political activists who challenge and stimulate human thinking in each area or have greater responsibility for themselves or for others. Terribly, independent public thinkers approach this question with extraordinary eloquence.

It is not like this? Intellectuals are like an exile and an amateur whose function is to “tell the truth to power,” even at the risk of ostracism or imprisonment. Jonathan Swift and Theodor Adorno, Robert Oppenheimer and Henry Kissinger, Vietnam and the Gulf War, Afghanistan War and Kashmir conflicts between India and Pakistan, are examples that explore the implications of this idea and this shows what happens when intellectuals succumb to the attractions of money, power, war or specialization.

In The Heartless Lovers of Humankind (1987), the journalist and popular historian Paul Johnson said: ‘It is not the formulation of ideas, however misguided, but the desire to impose them on others that is the deadly sin of the intellectuals. That is why they so incline, by temperament, to the Left.

For capitalism merely occurs; if no-one does anything to stop it. It is socialism that has to be constructed, and, as a rule, forcibly imposed, thus providing a far bigger role for intellectuals in its genesis. The progressive intellectual habitually entertains Walter Mitty visions of exercising power’.1

Intellectuals and their understanding of intellectualism is in the debate about the status and value of the most famous and influential intellectuals, placing the debate in the context of the reaffirmation of colonial or imperial power. They are still, to a large extent, in the academy- the rise of postcolonial studies. The intellectuals are leftist, liberating and nationalistic; as such, they are always clearly different from those of most of their readers and postcolonial interlocutors.

For this reason, intellectuals are so atypical throughout the work of intellectuals and come to examine their various comments in representations of intellectuals, on the social role of intellectuals, for instance, the application and conceptual value of the intellectual and intellectual terms are socially negative when the practice of the intelligentsia is exclusively at the service of the Establishment that exercises power in a society, as such Noam Chomsky said: ‘The Intellectuals are specialists in defamation, they are basically political commissars, they are the ideological administrators, the most threatened by dissidence.’ 2

Clearly, this shows that intellectuals write from premises and in the name of principles very different from those generally prevailing in postcolonial studies or in power with its will, and that the representation of intellectuals is particularly brilliant in their clear vision of what is specific to intellectual work, namely, their understanding of what they do both socially and non-socially in an intellectual field of non-competition, representing social agents, for instance, Jean-Paul Sartre said, ‘The Intellectual is someone who meddles in what does not concern them.’3

Intellectuals make the case that intellectuals maintain a vigilant skepticism toward all received wisdoms, and conceive of the ideal intellectual as “exile and marginal, as amateur, and as social agents that tries to speak the truth to power cautioning thinkers against allowing their ideas and reputations to be co-opted by patriotism, nationalism, and various forms of group-think. But they see the irony as well, and he struggles honestly in these essays to describe a role for the intellectual in which the moral authority of the prophetic outsider is not purchased by forfeiting all political and social engagement.

Intellectuals seize exile as a means of attaining intellectual freedom through analyzing their identity and lack of belonging.

Also, they universalize their marginality and imagine a contemporary world where nothing is absolute due to constructed boundaries; they create a similar intellectual revolution from their exilic position home or abroad as they reveal how culture is connected to colonial or imperial power. In effect, such a revelation resists connection and boundaries. Because of this resisting power that exile endows intellectuals with, they transform homelessness into a significant idea of ‘exile’. Therefore, their ‘exile’ does not necessarily mean physical deracination from a homeland. Rather the ‘exile’ implies intellectuals’ disconnection from pre-existing dominant notions. The “exile” utilizes their critical faculties for forming unattached and non-discriminatory judgments on identity, culture, as opposed to being at “home” with unexamined notions about them. Exile thus enables intellectuals to uphold truths that are not jejunely formed to serve any unjust powers.

It often happens that intellectuals in their field go beyond their disciplinary boundaries and affirm their wider political and cultural significance.

The discipline of the intellectuals is based on what we might call power or “universal” political relations, explains what the intellectuals mean when these intellectuals have come closer to the proletariat and the “masses”, even if the specific problems or ” not universal “face. They are often very far from those of the masses.

The struggles in which certain intellectuals participate are “real, material and everyday” and often face the same adversary as the proletariat, namely “multinational corporations, judicial and police apparatus”, and speculators of the property. The “leftist” intellectual marched as a teacher of truth and Justice. However, this has been abandoned and now the intellectuals are dealing with specific problems and problems that are not universal. Intellectuals were also those who wrote, and these were opposed to mere technicians who simply executed the will of the capitalist order. But now, “writing” as sacralising marks of intellectuals have disappeared, and all are politicized. There is, therefore, a sort of division of labor between those who “write” and those who “write”. Instead of this division, intellectuals are then witnessing a “global process of politicization” that includes psychiatrists, magistrates, doctors, social workers, sociologists, and so on. Identify the atomic scientist as an important transition point between the old type of “universal” intellectual and the more “specific” or skill-oriented intellectual who is, however, able to produce what intellectuals call “global effects. The specific intellectual will not stay at the level of economic struggles.

This does not call into question all the oppressive effects of society. The SI is that this type of intellectual is not a bearer of universal values, but of someone who occupies a specific position related to the general functioning of the truth, and it is this relation to the truth, says Foucault, which allows SI assumes a general meaning Intellectuals are a person whose knowledge in a particular field of human research “legitimized” a much wider range of effects.

Chomsky’s negative view on intellectual establishment suggests the existence of another type of intellectual who might be called the “public intellectual”, namely Edward Said said: ‘[S] omeone able to speak the truth, […] courageous and angry. The real or true intellectual is an outsider, living in self-imposed exile, and on the margins of society. He or she speaks to, a public, necessarily in public, and is properly on the side of the dispossessed, the un-represented and the forgotten.’ 4

Intellectuals are called to act as providers of truth, as a person capable of telling the deep truth about the world. We call this role “seeing”; intellectuals often use the term “prophet”. The intellectuals of today are not those of a prophet. They should not tell others what they do, but today they should not make laws or rules, propose solutions or prophesy, to answer the previous question, reject the role play model mentalities. This indicates how they think other intellectuals should also behave.

On the contrary, they are more likely to participate in the prophecy, the universal intellect, the decline and their rejection of the prophecy could lead to a nihilistic conclusion if we consider it a denial opposition of the intellectual role of the prophet in expressing a total rejection, saying a negative answer to the intellectual prophecy, the intellectuals take position of the other side of the prophet, acting as the external negative necessary to define the inside and the consolidate.

Instead of encouraging others to speak and act for themselves, to reduce their call to prophecy, such a strategy may continue to respond with negativity imbued with the authority of truth. The prophecy of intellectuals as a rhetorical strategy can contribute to the goal of eventually undermining the call to prophecy, especially if intellectuals are mentioned in a broader sense.


.1Johnson, Paul. “The Heartless Lovers of Humankind”, The Wall Street Journal, 5 January 1987.

2 Mitchell, Peter R. and Schoeffel, Michael John. Chomsky, Critique, 2002, ISBN 8484323781, pg. 250

3TAnnie Cohen-Solal, Sartre, Gallimard, 1989, págs. 588–89.3

4Jennings, Jeremy and Kemp–Welch, Anthony. (Eds.) Intellectuals in Politics: From the Dreyfus Affair to Salman Rushdie, 1997. pp. 1–2.

*Hamid Rayhan, Poet & Fiction Writer

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