„There is nothing more unbearable than the intellectual who believes himself to be free and human, while in every action, gesture, word and thought he shows that he has never stepped beyond bourgeois consciousness.“

—  Henri Lefebvre, Context: It is through knowledge that the proletarian liberates himself and begins actively superseding his condition. Moreover in this effort to attain knowledge and awareness, he is forced to assimilate complex theories (economic, social, political...), i. e. to integrate the loftiest findings of science and culture into his own consciousness. On the other hand the petty bourgeois and bourgeois, as such, are barred access to the human. For them to become humanized, they must break with themselves, reject themselves, an endeavor which on an individual level is frequently real and pathetic … We should understand men in a human way, even if they are incomplete; conditions are not confined within precise, geometrically defined boundaries, but are the result of a multitude of obstinate and ever-repeated (everyday) causes. Attempts to escape from the bourgeois condition are not particularly rare; on the other hand, the failure of such attempts are virtually inevitable, precisely because it is not so much a question of suppression but of a complete break. (Among intellectuals, this notion of super session is frequently false and harmful; when they supersede themselves as petty-bourgeois or bourgeois intellectuals, they are often merely continuing in the same direction and following their own inclinations in the belief that they are 'superseding themselves'. So far from gaining a new consciousness, they are merely making the old one worse. There is nothing more unbearable than the intellectual who believes himself to be free and human, while in every action, gesture, word and thought he shows that he has never stepped beyond bourgeois consciousness.)
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Henri Lefebvre4
sociologo, urbanista e filosofo francese 1901 - 1991
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