The Need For ‘Intellectuals’

It is often asserted by the geniuses of the Fabian Society and other middle-class misleaders of the working class, that the workers to-day, and in the future, require the assistance and guidance of educated, intelligent, middle-class men, both to direct their agitation and energies now, and to manipulate municipal and national affairs in the future. The workers, therefore, should not endeavour to obtain control of the political machinery themselves, but should place the “intellectual experts” in that position and obey their behests.

This, of course, is merely the old conservative idea of “Divine Right and a Class to Rule” presented in new terms. Those who carry on all the complicated and interdependent processes of wealth production from top to bottom; who delve the ore, smelt the metal, lay the railways, cut, the canals, manipulate and direct enormous engines and instruments in industry ; who erect structures greater than the Pyramids and more wonderful than the Gardens of Babylon: these workers, according to the agents of the ruling class, are incapable, too ignorant, not sufficiently equipped with organising power, to manage these forces on their own behalf and for their own well-being. Hence the need for “experts” to do it for them.

But with all their care and caution, the capitalists’ henchmen sometimes forget to speak by the book. Thus Mr. Chiozza Money, in the Daily News, Feb. 16th, comments upon the reception given to the deputation on Old Age Pensions that waited upon the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and were told that these intellectual giants knew not where to obtain the money for these pensions. “As I have so often pointed out,” says Mr. Money, “it is not a case that there is any doubt as to where the money is to come from, and I am sorry that the members of the deputation were not prepared to address themselves effectually to the question of ways and means.” And he hopes any further deputation will deal exhaustively with the financial side of the matter.

Mr. Money is somewhat new in the political field. Apparently he is somewhat of a novice in the business of misleading the workers for the benefit of his paymasters, though he has learnt some of the tricks of deliberate falsification of history, as Blatchford showed in a controversy between them on the Liberals and Trade Unions. The old hand would not have “let the cat out of the bag” so completely as Mr. Money has done in pointing out how it is desirable, nay, the duty of the workers, not only to produce and distribute wealth, but also to instruct their superiors how to carry on the business of swindle and sweat.

We may thank Mr. Money for adding his quota to the mass of evidence we already possess, showing the incapability to control, and the want of power to direct, the giant forces of production that have outgrown the power of the modern ruling class to control, and that need a reorganisation of Society to bring them into harmony.

For if the workers are, in addition to producing all the wealth, to instruct their masters in all the details of administration, then it at once follows that they may just as well do the whole business for their own benefit. Why trouble to elect “experts,” either financial or economic, if these geniuses have to be shown what to do by those whose superiors they are supposed to be? Forty years ago Karl Marx completely exploded the “Captains of Industry” nonsense in his masterly way; and Engels and Lafargue, among others, have pointed out the facts around us, illustrating the intellectual bankruptcy of the ruling class. Mr. Money, by his advice quoted above, shows first how he recognises these truths, and secondly how much of a novice he still is at the game of Bunkum.

Jack Fitzgerald

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