Hutnyk, John. 2012. Proletarianization. New Formations, 77, pp. 127-149. ISSN 0950-2378 [Article]

Proletarianisation.pdf - Published Version

Download (177kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This essay takes up the work of Bernard Stiegler to evaluate and critique his use of Marx and Engels’ notion of proletarianization in the context of new media, television, education and activism. The impact of technology and the notion of the general intellect is measured against Stiegler’s worry about a ‘short circuit’ that threatens humanity and requires a ‘new critique’. Talk of an ‘attention economy’ might be better understood if we deploy a wider Marxist notion of proletarianization in relation to class consciousness and struggle. Rather than a forlorn complaint about the ‘conspiracy of imbeciles’ and the ‘ruin’ of public education, a more careful reading of Marx offers proletarianization as a resource in a struggle that is - also but not only - a ‘battle for intelligence’.

Keywords proletarianization, cretinization, technology, education, general intellect, critique

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Centre for Cultural Studies (1998-2017)


August 2012Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

06 Apr 2013 16:14

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:48

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)