Around 120 years ago, Emile Zola accused the French State of hiding the truth in the Dreyfus case. An incident many have referred to as the birth itself of the modern, power-critical intellectual. At that time, as now, ‘intellectual’ was akin to a swear word. Despite this, Norway some years ago established their Value Commission. And also at that time former President of Iceland, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, was appointed leader of UNESCO’s World commission for ‘ethics and science’ – a commission which will consist of 20 prominent people from scientific, legal, philosophical, cultural and political circles worldwide.
Norway and Island are not alone in invoking reflection. Yeltsin’s former head of staff introduced a similar initiative before Christmas. Sergej Filatov stated that a so-called «congress for the intelligentsia of the Russian Confederation” will, via a constituted General Assembly form a group making up over a thousand wise people who will discuss topics such as ‘Human, Society, Power’, ‘The Culture and Reforms’ plus ‘the intelligentsia and international relations.’ The purpose is to reconstruct the intelligentsia as a societal power and authority, meaning to provide moral supporters for the State in a chaotic Russia.
The philosopher Adorno pointed out that the crisis of modernity is in its lack of reflection and demanded people to reflect on fundamental problems as well as shouldering the blame for the mistakes of time. Jean-Paul Sartre has a similar claim of the universality of the thought and the transparent society. The role of the bare any power relation.