I found this quote at Critical Mass, “the blog of the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors.” It deals with the repsonsibility intellectuals bear to the societies within which they live. They attribute the quote to Noam Chomsky from his book American Power and the New Mandarins. To me it fits with the notion that “sociology is a verb,” and that those who understand basic social principles and processes have a responsibility for positive social change:

Intellectuals are in a position to expose lies of governments, to analyze actions according to their causes and motives and often hidden intentions. In the Western world at least, they have the power that comes from political liberty, from access to information and freedom of expression. For a privileged minority, Western democracy provides the leisure, the facilities, and the training to seek the truth lying hidden behind the veil of distortion and misrepresentation, ideology and class interest through which the events of current history are presented to us. The responsibility of intellectuals, then, are much deeper than what [Dwight] Macdonald calls the “responsibility of peoples,” given the unique privileges that intellectuals enjoy.

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