Intellectuals and Struggles
The term ‘intellectual’ is culturally-specific. The Chinese term zhishi fenzi (one who knows things) is defined much more broadly than in the West (it includes teachers, technicians and sometimes all people with a secondary school education) and this causes much difficulty when Chinese Marxists try to translate the Stalinist usage of the concept as a ‘stratum’ distinct from specific classes. Indeed, a decade ago, Deng Xiaoping revised the Stalinist legacy by defining intellectuals as part of the ‘working class’. Deng’s reasons for doing this were clearly political rather than analytical; he wished to cancel the bad image of intellectuals fostered during the Cultural Revolution. One should note, however, in response to the question posed in our Introduction, that, despite the efforts of Marxist theorists such as Gramsci, the connections and lines of demarcation between intellectuals and class are hard to draw.
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