The Responsibility of Revolutionary Intellectuals in Building Socialism

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The Responsibility of Revolutionary Intellectuals in Building Socialism

Michael A. Lebowitz

When we talk about intellectuals, we have to recognize, of course, that there are many varieties of intellectual. So, let me be specific. I’m not talking about traditional intellectuals nor about academics. I am talking about intellectuals who are committed to building socialism. Further, my comments are not directed specifically about Venezuelan intellectuals – that would be inappropriate for me as a visitor. So, my comments are general rather than specific to Venezuela.

What I want to focus upon are revolutionary intellectuals – people who are committed to building socialism for the 21st century. And I have in mind... here something quite specific – a particular combination of elements. So, when I speak of socialism for the 21st century, I have in mind a combination of social ownership of the means of production, social production organized by workers and communities, and a society based upon solidarity which is oriented toward producing for communal needs and communal purposes.

These revolutionary intellectuals are people, in short, who are committed to a revolutionary project – to a revolutionary labor process in which the goal (socialism for the 21st century) is clear, and where what is called for is discipline to achieve that goal. In other words, a revolutionary intellectual must be disciplined in order to carry out the revolutionary project. Let me take this a further step. The revolutionary intellectual must be subject to discipline by the revolutionary party, a party dedicated to building socialism for the 21st century. The revolutionary intellectual must take guidance from that revolutionary party.

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