re.mental/manual

wdrb at siva.bris.ac.uk wdrb at siva.bris.ac.uk
Tue Jun 6 10:10:18 MDT 1995


It has always seemed to me that the division
between mental and manual workers is important
socially, economically and politically. I'm
not sure whether this is so true in other
countries...England is perhaps particularly
dominated by class divisions.

The seperation between those who sell their
labour to perform mental work such as
university academics, teachers, lawyers
and doctors and those who sell their labour
to do manual work like factory workers,
cleaners and street sweepers is very marked
at a social level.

I have never found a satisfactory explanation
why the wages of the first group is so much
higher than the second. Marx's theory that
I've found of how the value of labour power
is formed seems circular to me....
it might explain the level of basic wages
but not why one group is paid more than
another.

It seems to me that there is an assumption
amongst alot of working class people that
the middle classes are essentially bought
off but because the middle classes
monopolise intellectual activity
these views are never strongly aired.
I've never heard leftwing intellectuals
discuss in an honest way their alienation
from the working class, although looking at
them this alienation often seems to me
to be profound.

If these concerns are only the result
of a peculiar local situation I
trust they will be ignored.

Will Brown   Bristol England


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