[Source: wikipedia /] General intellect, according to Karl Marx in his Grundrisse, became a crucial force of production. It is a combination of technological expertise and social intellect, or generalsocial knowledge – increasing importance of machinery in social organization.

“Nature builds no machines, no locomotives, railways, electric telegraphs, self-acting mules etc. These are products of human industry; natural material transformed into organs of the human will over nature, or of human participation in nature. They are organs of the human brain, created by the human hand; the power of knowledge, objectified. The development of fixed capital indicates to what degree general social knowledge has become a direct force of production, and to what degree, hence, the conditions of the process of social life itself have come under the control of the general intellect and been transformed in accordance with it; to what degree the powers of social production have been produced, not only in the form of knowledge, but also as immediate organs of social practice, of the real life process.” —Karl Marx, The Grundrisse., 1858.

According to Marx, the development of the general intellect manifests in a capitalist society, in the control of the social life process. With the idea of the general intellect, Marx designates a radical change of the subsumption of labour to capital and indicates a third stage of the division of labour.

It is not necessary to agree with Marx to recognize that modern tools of production, after the ICT technologies, are increasingly relate not to physical production but with communication.  The change paradigm from the newspapers/television (with the exchange one-to-many) towards a social network model (many-to.many) is going to transform the ways of production, creating space for the emerging of new local intellectual forces, able to create a balance in rapport with the non-territorial sources of power.  We need for new intellectuals to create a general intellect focused not on power but on human needs.


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