Middle-class intellectuals – leaving something behind


Who were the leaders of successful communist revolutions? Who were the leaders of the Russian Revolution? Is it true or is it not true that the leaders were middle-class intellectuals who envied the industrialists and other members of the ruling class their political and economic power, and who saw the potential of carrying out a revolution, not in the name of and for the sake of middle-class intellectuals, but in the name of the working masses?

Did the Bolsheviks really intend to hand over control of the state to politically unsophisticated and in some cases illiterate factory workers and peasants? It was their intention to train the workers and peasants as political masters of their own state … but it would have been in the distant future. For the foreseeable future, it was (once again) the time of the middle-class intellectual …

[As I understand it, the plan was certainly not to hand over the reins of the state to workers whose hands were still stained with oil and grime from a hard day’s labour in the factory. But they did actively attempt to educate the workers in political and economic matters. There were also leaders later on, not only in the Soviet Union but also in Eastern Europe who had legitimate working-class credentials. It is also true that the Bolsheviks brutally suppressed efforts from workers, soldiers and sailors to bring to power a more democratic government, in opposition to the Bolsheviks.]


It is like being in a shopping centre and not knowing where you are for a moment. You can describe your immediate environment, but you do not know where you are on the map of the wider area in which you find yourself. Then you see a board with the welcome indication: “You are here.”

So it is with some of my notes. I can describe my current life, but some notes are more than description: they are like a board with a map of my life, with a bold red dot and an arrow that says, “This is where you are on Wednesday, 28 September 2005.”


Ten hope that they will leave something of value behind of their lives on Earth. Six realise after X number of years as an adult that the only way they can leave something behind of their lives while playing a satisfactory role is to have children. Three eventually come to believe that they have no chance of leaving behind anything or playing any kind of significant role, or they have no motivation for the actions that will be required of them to leave something of value behind or to play a more or less valuable role.

* * *

The above is an oversimplified representation. In fact, many probably start with the process of leaving something behind, things go wrong, and their lives end stripped of all dignity and self-respect.

Other people have children in a desperate attempt to appear better to themselves and to family and friends, and then, ten years later, as a result of a confluence of circumstances they play a very prominent role or make a positive contribution, in addition to raising their children, that will leave an indelible and very constructive result of their existence.

And then there are others who reckon hedonism is their happy fate and personal religion, who sometimes end up as martyrs for a good cause for which they as hedonists, years earlier, never would have pinched off a minute of their time.


The pursuit of any goal comes down to X number of physical actions.