A Note on Intellectual Labor

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Pier Paolo Frassinelli


For Gramsci, all social subjects are intellectuals not in as much as they have certain intellectual or spiritual "instincts," which as a radical historicist he posits as "a primitive and elementary historical acquisition" (199), but because of the intellectual investment involved in the activities that they perform in society; investment whose different degree of specificity and specialization is a historical product of the polarization between "manual" and "intellectual" activities within that social division of labor which Marx and Engels had seen as lying at the root of the development of class society.

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