Class Politics in the Information Age

Class Politics in the Information Age

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In this stimulating analysis of the rise of the professional class in America, Donald Clark Hodges reveals that under cover of mature capitalism, the United States has taken on the characteristics of two of its avowed political nemeses: socialism and fascism. "Class Politics in the Information Age" uncovers the origins, development, aims, means, and moral and political hypocrisy of the new class of professionals. In line with a broad consensus that expertise has replaced capital as the decisive asset in the informational economy, Hodges asserts that professionals have replaced capitalists as the premier exploiting class. The dictatorship of the proletariat predicted by Marx is, in America, a dictatorship of experts. Hodges argues that the newly won preeminence of the professional class - which includes scientists, engineers, managers, and bureaucrats - constitutes a revolution, not a further stage, evolution, or metamorphosis of capitalism. Where capitalism is a system in which the lion's share of the economic surplus goes to the owners of capital, socialism is a system in which it goes to the owners of expertise. Hodges systematically demonstrates that defining the U.S. economy on the basis of private ownership of capital goods is now obsolete, since profits are no longer the principal source of surplus income. Rather, that surplus is concealed in the burgeoning wages of the professional class. "Class Politics in the Information Age" redefines class struggle, demonstrating how the professional class is remaking the social structure in the service of its own interests. In this changed world, capitalists are no longer labor's fundamental enemy, socialism no longer means the abolition of exploitation, the United States is fascist (though a fascism without fascists), and democracy no longer serves the cause of political liberation.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 159 x 234.4 x 24.6mm | 572.3g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252025830
  • 9780252025839

Review quote

ADVANCE PRAISE "Hodges argues that the rich have inherited the earth and that those who toil not, neither do they spin, are increasingly raking it in. Accepting the idea of class struggle as the locomotive of history--but with the proviso that power within capitalism has by now shifted to the managerial class -- Class Politics in the Information Age throws down the gauntlet in a spirited and well-argued way." -- Paul Thomas, author of Alien Politics: Marxist State Theory Retrieved "A lucid, energetic polemic on a point of great sensitivity with professionals and intellectuals, namely, their own power." -- James K. Galbraith, author of Created Unequal: The Crisis in American Payshow more