Some Thoughts of a Private Intellectual

We know what a public intellectual is and we have many examples of these, for example the late Edward Said, Toni Morrison, Gerda Lerner, Cornell West. Each of these individuals, in their written and spoken words, has shared their thoughts and concerns with us. Each has, in their own way, demanded a response to and, perhaps, even an elaboration of their shared thoughts. This demand can be met in several ways, one of which is the written word. But how is this to be done for those who are not public intellectuals ?

To be a “private intellectual” does not mean to sit in isolation, If there is any such thing, it refers to those of us who read, think, work, write, struggle with the “issues of our time and destiny” and live lives out of, or usually out of, public view. On occasion, however, at times of great difficulty, even peril, private intellectuals must attempt to raise their voices; to add to the discussion of issues that are not and cannot be, in a democratic society, the property of “experts”.

It is because I believe our republic faces peril that I take up my pen to ask several questions. It is because I believe our republic, the handicraft of millions of foremothers and forefathers, is in peril that I take up my pen. It is, finally, because I believe our children, my children and yours, should inherit something of value in this republic, that I occasionally take up my pen.

AJ Layon

Gainesville, FL



Further Thoughts of a Private intellectual

While there is no real excuse, the pulling and pushing of work and life has made keeping this blog active something of a problem. It was and is sometime easier to simply post a few words on a Face Book page and be done with it. However, my New Year’s Commitment is to stop being lazy and to keep this blog active.

I will continue to tie this to Health Care Policy and Health Care in general, but with the election in our United States of a man who has given voice to racism, misogyny, encouraged violence and, to my reading, is as close to a strictly-defined fascist as I have seen since the 1970’s, I will venture into areas that are outside of my broad area of expertise.

As always, comment if you agree, disagree, or just want to say something. If you think I am being exaggerated, comment. If you think I am being too polite (seems unlikely !), comment.  If you wish to give voice to another angle to the issue under discussion, comment. We are all brothers and sisters. We all will end the same way.

Thank you.


AJ Layon

Lewisburg, PA


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