Paradoxes of "free floating" and Controversy of betrayal: Intellectuals' Reflections on themselves against the background of terror

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    Abstract

    Throughout the 1900s, intellectuals have been defined as a "privileged minority" (according to Chomsky), or as outsiders, whose "free floating" condition (Mannheim) guarantees their functioning as "custodians of values like reason and justice" (Hofstadter). Julien Benda accused intellectuals of betraying this mission. But, perhaps, betrayal is built into the very nature of their privileged position; perhaps, by pretending to be "free floating," generations of intellectuals have actually been constructing predictable paradigms, using calamity as a new kind of raw material for the old myth of lucrimax (Etkind). The tragic experience of Russian intellectuals provides us with fresh insight for this discussion.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)531-549
    Number of pages19
    JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
    Volume25
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 2013

    Keywords

    • Bakhtin
    • Baudrillard
    • Carnival
    • Chronotope
    • Elite
    • Foucault
    • Intellectuals
    • Mythology
    • Sowell
    • Terror

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