Confusion about an intellectual and a politician

Prof. Alhagi Manta Drammeh, Professor of Islamic thought and International Relations

Prof. Alhagi Manta Drammeh

The importance of the intellectual is a great and important topic in intellectual and social life. An intellectual is a person who has extensive and critical knowledge of different things, can interact with other cultures, and contributes to the enlightenment and development of his society.

An intellectual engages in critical thinking, research, and reflection about the reality of society, and is also someone who proposes solutions for the normative problems of society. An intellect spends a lot of time and intellect studying complicated ideas to reach conclusions and make inferences, comparisons and identify differences.

Some of the functions performed by the intellectual are: Spreading knowledge among people, motivating them to continuous learning and scientific research, Directing public opinion towards public interests, and defending rights and freedoms, Facing challenges, and finding innovative and logical solutions to them.
Self- and personal development, and the development of creative skills and abilities. Appreciate the diversity of opinions and seek dialogue and understanding with others.

While an intellectual makes critical analysis and judgment, a politician makes policies and decides on them. It is not the job of an intellectual to make those policies or decide on them, although politicians can make use of the conclusions reached by an intellectual. A successful politician may not necessarily be an intellectual on one hand, an intellectual may not be a good politician on the other. It would be a utopia for a politician to be also an intellectual as idealized by Socrates, Plato and al-Farabi among others.

Therefore, there is a need for a synergy between political power and knowledge-based power for the development of any society. We may therefore claim that the intellectual is a wealth of humanity and a necessity for progress and civilization.


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