Do Academics Have A Duty To Join The Government? The New Republic

Posted on March 11, 2011

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Do Academics Have A Duty To Join The Government? Abbott Gleason, Larry Summers, And Me. | The New Republic.

I keep thinking of Cicero’s acerbic commentary on philosophers who refuse to serve the public realm: “Impeded by the love of learning, they abandon those whom they ought to protect.” Even worse, he accuses them of arrogant self-indulgence: “They demand the same thing kings do: to need nothing, to obey nobody, to enjoy their liberty, which they define as doing what you like.” It’s difficult not to hear that voice in one’s dreams, even if one believes, as I do, that writing itself can serve the public good.

replace “protect” with “help empower themselves” and I agree with the sentiment.  I think people don’t want to get involved because everyone knows politics are dirty… so why do we not feel compelled to change it?

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