Property and Power in Social Theory: A Study in Intellectual Rivalry

By Dick Pels | Go to book overview

7

INTELLECTUAL CLOSURE AND THE NEW CLASS

Knowledge is the most solid form of wealth.

Karl Marx

Les Intellectuels ne sont pas, comme on le dit souvent, les hommes qui pensent: ce sont les gens qui font profession de penser et qui prélèvent un salaire aristocratique en raison de la noblesse de cette profession.

Georges Sorel


BUREAUCRATIC INTELLIGENCE

In previous chapters, I have argued that the problem of ‘knowledgeable organization’ was historically posed and elaborated within the limiting conditions of a tenacious rivalry, conducted between two traditions issuing from Aristotelian political theory and Smithian political economy. In the theoretical systems deriving from the latter, the problem could only be introduced in ambiguous fashion, because the productive status of mental or immaterial labour vis-à-vis material labour was never adequately clarified. It was apparent from the works of Smith through those of the Ricardian socialists up to Marx that, in so far as mental labour was studied at all, emphasis was normally laid upon the organizational or managerial element (the so-called ‘labour of inspection and direction’); only with Gramsci did the generic term ‘intellectual labour’ begin to be used—and sparingly at that—in order to circumscribe the broader category of managers, bureaucrats, professionals, and intellectuals. 1 In the Aristotelian tradition of political theory, which was never constrained by the materialist prejudices of its rival, the problem of knowledgeable organization could be more squarely faced, but here as well there was a tendency to conflate it with the problem of management in the broad connotation of Aristotelian ‘politics’. Sociology, which inherited the intellectual perspective of this latter tradition, began its career as a new science of politics or of the orderly, science-based reorganization of society, which was

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Property and Power in Social Theory: A Study in Intellectual Rivalry
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Liberal Dichotomy and Its Dissolution 18
  • 2 - Inside the Diamond 47
  • 3 - Marxism Vs. Anarchism 74
  • 4 - Fascism and the Primacy of the Political 101
  • 5 - Social Science as Power Theory 126
  • 6 - Power, Property, and Managerialism 164
  • 7 - Intellectual Closure and the New Class 192
  • 8 - Towards a Theory of Intellectual Rivalry 225
  • Notes 260
  • Bibliography 287
  • Index 311
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