Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tyler Cowen — The five most influential public intellectuals?

A few of you have been demanding this, here are those who come to mind, note that “influence” does not have to mean I agree with them. And I am sticking with the West, otherwise Uncle Xi wins hands down.

Marginal Revolution
The five most influential public intellectuals?
Tyler Cowen | Holbert C. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University and serves as chairman and general director of the Mercatus Center

My quick list in no particular order. I do not limit myself geographically.

1. Xi Jinping (Xi Jinping Thought)

2. Noam Chomsky (huge output over decades spanning many fields)

3. Alexander Dugin (large output and premier Eurasian thinker)

4. Pope Francis (encyclicals, pronouncements)

5. Jürgen Habermas (large output and influence of critical theory)

The chief intellectual challenge of the day in my view is the ending of Modernity and the rise of Post Modernity. These thinkers realize that are standing on the bridge, attempting to bridge the gap in this transition rather than burn it down by jettisoning Modernity for Post Modernity, or build a wall to preserve Modernity.

Xi Jinping and Pope Francis have bully pulpits as well as wide influence not only in their communities but world wide. What they think and say will shape the world as a matter of course. Each speaks for an ancient tradition that is faced with bridging the gap between the past and future.

Noam Chomsky, Alexander Dugin, and Jürgen Habermas are not only influential owing to their output and connections but also because of the wide range of the thinkers that influenced them and to whom that have reacted. So in a sense they speak for and against many more than themselves.

1 comment:

Tom Hickey said...

Dugin is actually a Russian nationalist-monarchist. He also has one the sharpest minds on the planet.