"Intellectuals deal with ideas--with recollections of the past, definitions of the present, and images of possible futures. By intellectuals I mean scientists and artists, ministers and scholars; I mean those who represent the human intellect; those who are part of the great discourse of reason and inquiry, of sensibility and imagination that in the West began in Jerusalem and Athens and Rome, and that has been going on intermittently ever since. They are the organized memory of mankind, and such cultural apparatus as it has they create and they maintain. If they write, paint, speak, if they create and distribute images and ideas, their work is publicly relevant. In so far as it is attended to, it focuses the views of men; and it distracts attention from that which it ignores. It justifies ideas of authority or it criticizes them.
Every time intellectuals have the chance to speak yet do not speak, they join the forces that train men not to be able to think and imagine and feel in morally and politically adequate ways. When they do not demand that the secrecy that makes elite decisions absolute and unchallengeable be removed, they too are part of the passive conspiracy to kill off public scrutiny. When they do not speak, when they do not demand, when they do not think and feel and act as intellectuals--and so as public men--they too contribute to the moral paralysis, the intellectual rigidity, that now grip both leaders and led around the world"
Wright Mills Sociologist
The Causes of World War III
The time is long gone for sitting idly by ,while straddling the fence ,in the distorted notion that all is well, since we as individuals are fine, or appear- on the surface at least- to be immune from society's prevailing problems and wider issues.
Seek out fellow progressives, then strive to get engaged on the pertinent affairs of the day, in effort to encourage positive change where necessary.