In International Manifesto Group


This panel discussion will analyze the apparent severing of the relationship between intellectuals and the working class today, and the historical importance of an alliance between working people and intellectuals for socialist politics.

This webinar panel took place on 9 December 2022 at 10AM US Central / 11AM US Eastern / 4 PM London time.

This panel discussion is co-hosted by the International Manifesto GroupCritical Theory Workshop and the Midwestern Marx Institute.


About this event

The advance of socialist forces has, historically, featured an alliance between small but critical groups of intellectuals and the masses of workers. Marx and Lenin spoke of it. Gramsci spoke of the alliance between those who suffer because they think and those who think because they suffer. The Fabians spoke of the alliance of ‘brains and numbers’. The alliance of the thinkers with the left was such as to lead John Stuart Mill to call the Conservative Party of his country ‘the Stupid party’.

Today, however, even as the class of intellectuals, or the educated, has expanded to become a veritable ‘Professional Managerial Class’, that alliance appears to have broken. The vast majority of the educated classes express their own class interests and that of the corporate capitalist class and are split, if at all, only among parties that represent corporate capitalist interests.

Why is this? What is the resulting set of political alliances of the educated? What are the consequences? Should and can we rectify this? This is the subject of this webinar.


Gabriel Rockhill is a philosopher, cultural critic and activist. He is the Founding Director of the Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique and Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University. He has published nine books, as well as numerous scholarly and journalistic articles, including most recently Contre-histoire du temps present (2017; available in English as Counter-History of the Present), Interventions in Contemporary Thought (2016), and Radical History & the Politics of Art (2014). For more information:

Glenn Diesen is a Professor at the University of South-Eastern Norway and an editor at the Russia in Global Affairs journal. Follow him on Twitter @glenndiesen.

Noah Khrachvik is a co-founder and theorist of the Midwestern Marx Institute.

Carlos L. Garrido is a Cuban American PhD student and instructor in philosophy at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (with an MA in philosophy from the same institution). He is an editor at the Midwestern Marx Institute and the Journal of American Socialist Studies. Carlos is the author of The Purity Fetish and the Crisis of Western Marxism (2023) and edited and introduced Marxism and the Dialectical Materialist Worldview: An Anthology of Classical Marxist Texts on Dialectical Materialism (2022). His popular and scholarly writings are usually on topics relating to Marxist theory, U.S. socialist history, and global struggles against imperialism.

Radhika Desai is Professor at the Department of Political Studies. She is the Director, Geopolitical Economy Research Group at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. She is the convenor of the International Manifesto Group. Her books include Capitalism, Coronavirus and War: A Geopolitical Economy (2023), Geopolitical Economy: After US Hegemony, Globalization and Empire (2013), Slouching Towards Ayodhya: From Congress to Hindutva in Indian Politics (2nd rev ed, 2004) and Intellectuals and Socialism: ‘Social Democrats’ and the Labour Party (1994), a New Statesman and Society Book of the Month.

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