Everybody's Got One
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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Neither knowledged nor workers  

David Foster of Photon Courier (from a comment thread at Roger Simon):
[One] increasingly important [Democratic] consituency is comprised of those I refer to as the "intellectual lumpenproletariat." These are people who got advanced degrees but didn't acquire any marketable skills (and, in many cases, didn't really learn much about anything at all.) Many of these people are now working in the lower levels of the retail industry, and are furious at the world. It's these people, I suspect, who contribute much of the rage to current Democratic politics.
Excellent point. Not happy with the terminology, though. Marx wrote in an industrial/agricultural economy; he couldn't imagine the information economy and the development of a differentiated class of knowledge workers (among other things). This group could well be called the lumpenprofessoriat: knowledge workers without specialized (useful) knowledge or ingrained work habits or, consequently, meaningful employment. The lumpenprofessoriat's rage - in part - comes from expecting to rise easily toward the top of the class structure, where theory and self-esteem-based education and a lifetime of GPA rankings indicate they belong. Instead they're reduced to serving the proles who should be following their informed leadership.

Someone needs to pay for what has happened to their bright, shiny, full-of-potential lives.

posted by Kelly | 10:22 PM link
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