Life as a radical intellectual, I have been teaching at the college level for twenty-three years. With degrees both in Sociology and Anthropology I am in a fortunate position to further the cause of democracy as a life style. Because the twenty-four years before that I was able to pursue the dual career of laborer and janitor, and six years before that I was a neo-beatnik during the real hippy movement of the second half of the sixties. Being a radical intellectual is almost a natural calling.
Martin Luther King Jr.:
“I choose to identify with the underprivileged, I choose to identify with the poor. I choose to give my life to the hungry. I choose to give my life for those who have been left out of the sunlight of opportunity.” August 28, 1966
Education leads to a strong feeling of belonging to a larger whole. Through an educated empathy grounded in historical facts and freedom through responsibility of citizenship students can participate in collectively designing their futures as part of a continual community as the authors and not the victims of their own fate. This not wealth is the reason for education. I have no complaints. If I had it to do all over again I would become a college professor. To do so I paid for my education by being a fulltime staff member, both as an undergraduate and graduate allowing me to understand as a student, staff and instructor/ professor higher education. To do so I needed to complete my PhD to be eligible for tenure track, which is a small price to pay for the freedom to be a revolutionary scholar and a Marxist professor. Now I do what I have always done, but I get paid for it, and I am not as tired. I truly have no complaints, and certainly would do it all over again. Retirement is very much over rated; this is my final chapter and thanks.
The revolutionary petty bourgeoisie must be capable of committing suicide as a class in order to be reborn as revolutionary workers, completely identified with the deepest aspiration of the people to which they belong.
--Amílcar Cabral, The weapon of Theory
To put this in updated terms the radical professional intellectuals often find themselves strongly indentifying with people who are not of their same educational, economic or social backgrounds.
Often because being in a relative position of privilege as far as autonomy to pursue their intellectual careers. These same intellectuals can use their comparative location of freedom to both teach others about groups of people who face poverty, disenfranchisement, powerlessness, dislocation, occupation, exploitation and oppression as part of their everyday lives and to indentify, to sympathetically understand and to advocate for those groups. Often this requires putting these wretched refuge and supine groups interests before our own.