Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky

Part 1: Reflection

Chomsky makes an impression of the privileges that intellectuals enjoy that are essential in ensuring the prevalence of truth in leadership. Of these, freedom of expression is portrayed as one of the privileges. However, I believe that freedom of expression is a right to and should be upheld for every person. It does not matter whether one is an intellectual or not for them to have the right to freedom of expression. However, I strongly agree with the article that the intellects have a great responsibility in promoting the welfare of people by criticizing unfound ideologies, distortion and self-interests by leaders. Intellectuals are in the best position to confront leaders with facts that they are the only one who have assessed or have information about. In would be difficult for any other person to the public to make allegations of falsehood of a policy.

Often, leaders distort information to favor or promote  the adoption of ideologies or requests that are more based on self-interests. The article highlights that intellectuals have been critical in promoting prevalence of this retrogressive behavior by our leaders. The American policy in Asia is an example of such follies perpetrated by intellects. The article clearly and accurately states this misconduct of the intellects in failing to identify misinterpretation of policies. Such failure saw the country impose policies that helped it to monopolize Iranian oil. Rather than helping Iran overcome the challenge of monopolization of oil, America used a backdoor to implement policies to achieve same motives as Russia.

Intellectuals have the power of information. They stand a better chance to enlighten the rest of the people and validate things as being true or false. The access to information that most intellectuals enjoy can enable them to identify and expose lies. Therefore, I agree with the article that intellectuals have a responsibility to expose lies. For instance, the media should enlighten the public regarding controversial occurrences or events that may be detrimental to their welfare. Regarding truth, Chomsky states that intellectuals have lacked concern for the truth. However, I believe that intellectuals still have a concern for the truth. The only reason as to why they do not expose lies is that they are submissive for fallacies from the community such as politics. Other intellectuals fail to understand their social obligation to the community by being blindfolded by their desires for self-actualization.

In elucidating the effects of any policies formulated by leaders, consideration of motives of the policies is an essential component of the process. An examination of the motives of a given policy helps an intellect to determine any existing controversies in the formulated policies. The assertion by the article that it is prudent to consider motives of policies by leaders is an indispensable fact. In consideration of motives of policies, intellectuals would be able to identify ill-intended policies that seek to extend America’s political domination of developing countries.

It is essential for intellectuals to discern the motives of their ideologies. Use of motives in questioning policies would help a person to develop a hypothesis of the likely consequences of implementation of a policy. Concerning this explanation, I strongly agree with the article that any formulated ideology should ensure that it does not jeopardize preexisting relationships or worsen the current situation. Failure to consider such factors is only a revelation of pretense, insensitivity and failure to uphold morals. In drawing an example of this, Chomsky gives the example of Professor Rowe sentiments of using starvation as a weapon in China. Professing such kind of ideologies seems to be a deviation from the requirement to promote welfare and give back to the community. Such ideologies reveal malice and ill intent to their intended targets.

The concept of democracy is an essential aspect of any given country. In this article, Chomsky explains that development of democratic institutions is an integral aspect of ensuring societal development. It is in no doubt that this assertion of the role of democracy in promoting societal development in the article is indisputable. Democracy ensures that the concerns of the majority are effected while upholding the differences of the minority. In such an instance, events or actions projected by leaders are all aimed at meeting the satisfaction of the public. Such consideration of the public in implementing policies helps to promote societal development. However, I do object to the acknowledgment by the article that third-world countries. The use of the concept of limited availability of options to create room for authoritarianism is uncouth and promotes ideologies based on fallacies. Democracy is needed in any given country whether developed or developing.

Part 2: Area of clarification

On page 10, in the second paragraph of the article, the author states that, “… by “accepting society” as it is and promoting the values that are “being honored” in this society” (Chomsky, 1967). The author goes forth and explains that intellectuals provide technical problem’s solutions in the society. However, I do not understand whether the article requires intellectuals to accept all the ideologies and values professed and honored in the society. Therefore, how will the values promote to the responsibility of exposing the truth that is expected of intellectuals if they are based on fallacies?




Chomsky N. (1967, February 23). A Special Supplement: The Responsibility of Intellectuals. The New York Review of Books.

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