Sunday, June 6, 2010

Working-class Intellectuals

by Gus Hall

Many working people, especially in the capitalist world, go through life in the belief that the world of ideas, of theory and science, is beyond their ability to understand. They believe theory and science have very little to do with their everyday lives or activities. They accept the idea that the world of ideas, the realm of thought, is for intellectuals and professionals.

That, of course, is how the ruling class of all past and present exploitative societies have wanted it. They know that a class that thinks will not long accept exploitation or slavery. In all pat exploitative societies book and schools were for the ruling-class elite. These elites were "ordained" to do the thinking for the working people. Such concepts, of course, reflect reality in societies where there is a sharp division between physical and mental labor.

U.S. capitalism has always promoted the concept that thinking should be limited to the chosen few. The capitalist class fought against the establishment of the public education system. They lost the battle but never gave up. They have continued their attempts to limit the number of students and as much as possible to limit the scope of education only to satisfying industry's technological requirements.

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