"For an intellectual now it seems there are some rather difficult choices, given the present state of affairs. One choice is to become an almost full-time political activist. Now the present state of the world and America's role in the world would certainly justify such a commitment. The second choice is ...to become a full-time professional. That's very tempting.
"On the other hand there is a middle ground which I would like to occupy, and I think people are going to have to find ways to occupy: namely to try to keep up a serious commitment to the intellectual values and intellectual and scientific problems that really concern you and yet at the same time make a serious and one hopes useful contribution to the enormous extra-scientific questions. Commitment to work on the problems of racism, oppression, imperialism and so on...is an absolute necessity. Now how one can maintain that kind of schizophrenic existence I'm not sure; it is very difficult."
-- Noam Chomsky, in CP Otero (ed), 2004. Noam Chomsky: Language and Politics. AK Press, p 71.