Editorial, Greeklish.info, the first greek public intellectualism site

26.05.2013
Editorial, Greeklish.info, the first greek public intellectualism site

While we may all fry an egg or sew on a button from time to time, this does not mean that we are all cooks or tailors.”

Whenever I read these lines by Antonio Gramsci I think that it as likely to hear a wise thought by an illiterate old man as it is likely to hear a ludicrous thesis from an academic. The only difference is that the first one has his grandchildren as his auditors, while the second one has an audience of hundreds including government leaders. Apparently, in the mass media era everyone has an opinion and whoever hasn’t got one can easily acquire one. But the question is how many actually listen to an opinion or how many are influenced by someone who has one.

In a colloquy at the University of Notre Dame the conclusion was that the people who have a strong influence on their societies — through their speeches and writings — should be called public intellectuals. According to the Oxford dictionary, “public intellectuals” are those who express opinions on familiar issues in a way that is understandable to the general public. According to Greek dictionaries, an intellectual is a scholar who gets involved in social and political life. Edward Said rightly said that the “public” intellectual serves as a standard-bearer, a representative or a symbol of a struggle or a movement.

As Gramsci said, everyone is an intellectual but not all have the function of an intellectual in society; greeklish.info, being the first Greek public intellectualism site, hopes to open its doors to the public by hosting partisan-free opinions. The Greek academics and researchers working abroad are an intellectual capital which greeklish.info presents to our country for the first time. The columnists of greeklish.info comprise an ever-expanding network of people, each one having specific knowledge and experience. They develop their theses on matters mainly concerning Greece and their audience includes not only academia, but also the real world — us.

The great asset of these academics is that they are too “far” away to be influenced by partisanship and sterile “academism” but also quite “close” so as to inform us about Greek matters from the viewpoint of the countries they work in.

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