Intellectuals in Developing Societies - S.H. Alatas
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First published in 1977.
As indicated earlier, the function of the intellectual in any society is to take the lead in thinking about its problems. During the latter half of the nineteenth century in the Philippines, the problems were the creation of a Filipino nation, hence of Filipino society, and also the relations with Spain. These were evaluated as the most urgent problems by the intellectual Filipinos of the time such as Rizal, del Pilar, and others. The movement for the independence came later. Now, following the independence, other problems have cropped up, while some old ones remain. In a country like Malaysia, the main problems seems to be the reform of Malaysian society and the creation of a Malaysian nation forged out of the existing communities of Malays, Chinese, Indians, and others. The lack of a functioning intellectual group in developing countries, writing and talking about national problems and thereby moulding public opinion requires an explanation.