ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Intelligentsia as a Ruling Class

THIS has reference to the discussion piece of Ramaswamy R Iyer (March 11) on my article The Emergence of the Intelligentsia as a Ruling Class in India' (January 21). It is understandable that one should be somewhat confused abqut the identity of the class I have called the Intelligentsia, its lines of demarcation from other classes and the common properties shared by different members of the class, as I have myself taken different stands on this point in my notes and in the body of the article (and all the more so as by some clumsy handling there has been some mess created between notes 6 and 7). Classes are like elephants which are easy to identify but difficult to define. I, stand by my identification of the class in terms of the sections of the population covered by it, as well as the social characteristics described by me. However, at the time I wrote the paper I was dissatisfied myself about how to give a theoretical definition to the class. As such, my treatment of this most important question in the body of the text reads as if the demarcation depends on the distinction between manual and non- manual labour. I agree with everything Iyer writes about this being not at all satisfactory. On the other hand, I think I gave a perfectly satisfactory solution to the problem in note 6, where I define the class as follows: "Members of this class sell their services at a price higher than the value produced by them. It may be noticed that I am making use of Marx's distinction between value produced by a labourer and the value of the labour power of that labourer. Workers in the Marxian scheme sell their labour power at a price lower than the value of what they produce. Members of the intelligentsia do the opposite

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