The Public Intellectual

Within the last few decades, the emergence of public intellectuals as important cultural and social critics has raised fundamental questions not only about the social function of academics, but also about the connection between higher education and public life, between academic work and the major issues shaping the broader society. Truthout’s Public Intellectual Project will provide progressive academics with an opportunity to address a number of important social issues in a language that is both rigorous and accessible. All too often, academics produce work that is either too abstract for a generally informed public, or they separate their scholarship from the myriad of issues and contemporary problems that shape everyday life in the United States and abroad.

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Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

Why the World Is Smarter Than Us

Why does the U.S. lag behind our peers when it comes to educating our students? Dana Goldstein on a new book that looks at school systems across the globe to come away with a startling conclusion: they value the intellect more than we do.

educationIt has always been one of the most puzzling aspects of living in the United States: realizing that the lack of education, the dearth of critical thinking, and a penchant for wrong-thinking, is celebrated as being a part of the “true” America. Just listen to Sarah Palin. Even the colleges and universities, which once were centers of knowledge and critical thinking, have been transmogrified into capitalistic centers for the training of new recruits who will be prepared to increase the profits of the plutocracy at the taxpayer’s expense.

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Education in America

I had a dream last night. In this dream I saw hundreds of hard-working employees heading into work and starting their jobs on the manufacturing floor or in the administrative offices. Not everyone looked happy but, realistically, they were receiving a decent salary, healthcare benefits, and the cafeteria had an ersatz coffee machine that also dispensed lattés. The corporate officers were earning their inflated salaries by keeping the cost of doing business at an absolute minimum thereby assuring themselves of continued profits and benefits.

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