The Fate Of Intellectuals

“Two images have been with me throughout the writing of this essay. Between them they seem to show the alternative paths for the intellectual. The one is of John Maynard Keynes, the other of Leon Trotsky. Both were obviously men of attractive personality and great natural gifts. The one the intellectual guardian of the established order, providing new policies and theories of manipulation to keep our society in what he took to be economic trim, and making a personal fortune in the process. The other, outcast as a revolutionary from Russia both under the Tsar and under Stalin, providing throughout his life a defense of human activity, of the powers of conscious and rational human effort. I think of them at the end, Keynes with his peerage, Trotsky with an icepick in his skull. They are the twin lives between which intellectual choice in our society lies.”

— Alasdair MacIntyre, “Breaking The Chains Of Reason” in Out Of Apathy (1960)

Image result for trotsky reading newspaper

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