Noam Chomsky not only represents the antithesis of intellectual accommodation, he exemplifies a new kind of intellectual, one who refuses, as C. Wright Mills put it, the role of “a sociological book-keeper,” preferring instead to be “mutinous and utopian” rather than “go the way of the literary faddist and the technician of cultural chic.”
Intellectuals are out of place in a society that values only ideas that serve the interests of the market and the powerful and rich. Their chief alleged wrongdoing today is that they have revealed the illegalities, military abuses, sordid diplomacy and crimes committed by the United States government in the name of security.
Occasionally we meet the unsullied images, history and legacy of intellectuals who symbolize a rare combination of civic courage, political commitment and rigorous scholarship. Angela Davis is one of those exemplary individuals.