On Academe and the list was Re: NACLA and Colombia

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at SPAMarnet.com.ar
Sat Dec 16 06:07:20 MST 2000

En relación a Re: On Academe and the list was Re: NACLA and Col,
el 16 Dec 00, a las 3:04, Yoshie Furuhashi dijo:

> There is no _intellectual class_ under capitalism.  Intellectuals may
> be paid or unpaid; and if remunerated, may be wage laborers (who are
> paid barely subsistence wages, like yours truly, or paid decently,
> like Michael Perelman), petty producers (like Doug Henwood), or
> capitalists (like Bill Gates).  To put it differently, intellectuals
> cannot be all put into the same class, by virtue of being
> intellectuals; nor do they together constitute a class separate from
> capital & labor.

True enough. An excellent rejoinder to Weberianism, which was enjoyable reading
for me. But, at the same time, there _does exist_ the intellectual function, so
to say, under capitalism, a function that cannot be spared. As we all know, the
roads to Hell are paved with good intentions, and the problem with
intellectuals (not a class, just a particular social group) is that due to
their peculiar insertion in social life they tend to substitute ideas for
material interests, thus getting confused (and -ouch- more often than not,
unconsciously co-opted) by the ruling classes, by dead work, by capital in a
word. So that it is true that the

> opposition between manual & mental labor is primarily a
> contradiction _within_ the working class created & exploited by
> capital

it is also true that the active side of the contradiction must be fully poised
on the side of "bringing mental laborers TOWARDS manual ones", rarely the other
way round. What were Lenin's permanent "appeals to the Party against the
leadership" if not a ceaseless effort to superate the contradiction by bringing
the mental laborers UP TO the positions of the manual ones?

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar

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