"Democratic Intellectuals, Idealist Notions, and the Need for Materialism" - "The hierarchical nature of this society... the deeper roots and larger implications" - further discussion of Bob Avakian's talk "Birds Cannot give Birth to Crocodiles, But Humanity CAN Soar Beyond the Horizon" - February 1, Tuesday, 7 pm at Revolution Books

So this brings us back, once again, to the democratic intellectual and the shopkeeper (our old acquaintances to whom, in an important way, we were introduced by Marx). The ideas of "absolute equality" and ultrademocracy, of which certain democratic intellectuals are so fond, correspond to the objective social position of both the democratic intellectual and the shopkeeper, even with their "heaven and earth" differences, as Marx characterized them. The desire of the democratic intellectuals (or at least some among them) to have no "hierarchies," no inequalities of authority and power, and especially no institutionalized ones, corresponds to the outlook of the "shopkeepers" (or, more broadly, small property owners and proprietors), enmeshed in capitalist commodity production and exchange, who want that commodity production and exchange to be on an (ideally) equal basis without any force having a monopoly or built-in advantage (or at least no force which is other than, and in competition with, them!); who want (at least so long as they are not in the advantageous position) no barriers to the "pure operation" of the dynamics of commodity production and exchange—when in reality these very dynamics lead, and can only lead, precisely to conditions of inequality, polarization, and in fact monopoly by a few. (Read entire section here)