PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
TiisetsoMakhele
 
Comments: 23
Article views: 609
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all TiisetsoMakhele's badges.
 

The tasks of a public sector intellectual

27 January 2013, 19:18

Online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, defines an intellectual as a “person who primarily uses intelligence in either a professional or an individual capacity”.

The information super tank goes further to state that while an intellectual need not necessarily be actively involved in the academia, he or she may have an academic background and will typically have an association with the profession.

A vast array of literature elucidate that an intellectual has the following unique characteristics; 1) An intellectual is involved in theories and ideas; 2) An intellectual’s profession involves the production and dissemination of ideas; and 3) An intellectual has sizeable intellectual authority in public discourse.

A legal expert, sociologist, philosopher, economist, media commentator, columnist, and a newspaper editor are some examples of intellectuals.

For the purpose of this article, I will refer to a public sector intellectual as a person who uses thought, intelligence and analytical reasoning and is employed in the public, rather than the private, sector.      

As someone who is employed to produce and disseminate ideas within and for the public sector, either through research outputs or commentary, a public sector intellectual must influence the attitudes of the people towards his or her sector.

Through his work, a state law expert must ensure that the nation has confidence in the state’s legal capacity.

The same applies to all other intellectuals operating in the public sector.

It has become fashionable these days for public sector intellectuals to use, amongst others, social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, electronic and print media, etc., to ridicule the state, particularly government and its leaders.

This ridiculing is meted towards government in the name of impartiality and lack of blind loyalty to the state. I use the word ridicule, rather than criticism, because these messages are often so grossly biased against the state that they don’t deserve to be labelled as criticism.

I believe that there is a clear difference between criticising and attacking or ridiculing.

Criticism would entail the use of theories and models (theoretical or scientific) as well as available information to either affirm or negate a particular position, policy or approach.

This is an act expected of a public sector intellectual.

An act of attacking or ridiculing uses rumour, biased reasoning, speculation and untested information to push for an often factional or questionable position. This is contrary to what an intellectual must do.

Reacting to the views raised by Xolela Mangcu amd Songezo Zibi in their articles, Department of Arts and Culture’s Chief Director for Social Cohesion, Sandile Memela urges that we “celebrate our stars, not scars”.

As if caught in a trance, Memela bashes South Africans, particularly blacks, for turning a blind eye to the progress made by the democratic state and always complaining as if we are still under the apartheid regime.

“Also, there is much talk about poor education and corruption, but no one is interested in blacks who are obtaining distinctions in dilapidated schools or government officials who do not undermine good governance. Most of the time the talk is about how good Bantu Education was and how apartheid apparatchiks stole but did not forget to invest in infrastructure”, Memela pounces.

“So we have to ask why blacks continue to make a big deal about apartheid and its legacy when they run a government whose very mandate is to reverse everything colonialism and apartheid caused. They have the political power to direct the country in a way that serves their interests”, Memela continues.    

While Memela’s tirade was aimed at blacks in general, my focus is on the extent to which intellectuals in government in particular and the state in general celebrates the scars, rather than the stars, of the government they serve. Rather than produce ideas and theories to “reverse everything colonialism and apartheid caused”, some public sector intellectuals behave like village criers whose sole mandate is to lament this and that about the government.

A public sector intellectual is tasked with the following key functions: 1) To be involved in the production and dissemination of ideas for the benefit of the public sector in particular and society in general; 2) To use thought and analytical reasoning to ensure that the state has credible and scientific models to deliver quality goods and services to society; and 3) To use intelligence and thought to improve the credibility of the state.

Any deviation by a public sector intellectual from the above tasks warrants that such a person be classified as a reactionary or irresponsible public intellectual. The state is better off without reactionary or disloyal intellectuals. A public sector intellectual must be loyal to his employer. Failure to do this, he or she must seek employment elsewhere.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
23 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
KenEverett
God vs Evil Loo-Shin

I would like to present a few comparisons between these two unequal opponents so that those ‘on the fence’ can choose wisely. Read more...

66 comments 414 views
Submitted by
thailor
Don't be so yesterday! Wake-up an...

I urge the youth to inform their fathers, mothers and old relatives about the current state of our country. Read more...

3 comments 67 views
Submitted by
CynicalBookworm
One fine Day at Nkandla

Sometime in February 2014 at Nkandla. A leader and two ex-members of a political party are having a quick chat over a cup of tea. Read more...

0 comments 109 views
Submitted by
SydneyG
Kings and Queens. We were kids!

Given all the contamination in our God-given atmosphere; courtesy from all the bad vibes and vitriolic exchanges between political rivals in South Africa due to oncoming General Elections in May.  Read more...

0 comments 125 views
Submitted by
Tyronehster
Ballot's Ghost

Is this a ballot which I see before me, The pencil toward my hand? Come, let me spoil thee! Read more...

0 comments 77 views
Submitted by
Melt Botes
Are we responsible for poor gover...

The back bone of effective policy making is effective political participation. In a democratic republic, citizens have a social responsibility to influence and pressure government to act in favour of the community as a whole. Read more...

1 comments 199 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Digital Media & Marketing Association
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.