(Image: Mitchell Squire/Private Media)
(Image: Mitchell Squire/Private Media)

Welcome to Guy Rundle’s mid-winter short course on the knowledge class. Click the following for parts one and two.


Why does the knowledge class have such power and cultural unity, even across the capital/labour divide? The answer is that the power of people belonging to the knowledge class comes from their growing control of cultural and moral life, and an implicit sense that the work they and people like them do is part of the next system -- one in which production is coordinated by networked systems faster, more fluid and more responsive than capitalist markets, while also being steered by purpose rather than profit. This system is forming within capitalism, as capitalism did within feudalism. The merchants became the bourgeoisie; the knowledge class will become the managers.

When this group was smaller, a subclass or less, it attached itself to the working class as they shared aims. Many intellectuals who became organisers and activists in this great movement knew that, for days, years or decades at a time, they had to suppress their own opinions of and predispositions towards equality -- of the sexes, of strangers, of the "different" -- to speak to social groups whose life was still more traditional.