chapter
Arab intellectuals and authority
A continuity of an implied system
ByHassan Nadhem
Pages 13

This chapter provides a synthesis of different positions of Arab intellectuals, with emphasis given to the suitability and continuity of Arab tradition in the present condition of the modern Arab intellectuals. The projects of Arab intellectuals in rationalism and enlightenment have obviously failed in dealing with the sudden and dramatic transformation on the ground in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman and Syria. The role of the modern Arab intellectuals flourishes as a conflict intensifies over a particular issue; because the intellectuals repeal their role as idea producers, they no longer think or rethink their own ideas, but receive the politically dominant discourse. Therefore, the intellectuals are incorporated into the projects sponsored by the administrative elite and become state employees who receive patronage for their services. Due to the domination of Western civilization, Arab culture has witnessed an historical moment when a few Arab intellectuals could practise free thinking and relatively break with the authority's mainstream ideology.