Where Georg Lukács’s partisan work explores the implications of Leninist thought or Marxist theory, this chapter suggests that Karl Mannheim is at greater pains to extend this thought into a theory of consciousness in general. Varieties of ideological thought—Utopias or ideology proper—are possible, but the approach to the truth of affairs is made possible only on the basis of a free-floating declassed intelligentsia. Contemporary fulminations against ideology paradoxically see the intellectuals of a society as the source of this evil influence rather than a ground for its demystification. At all events, whatever one’s response to ideology or the possibility of its transcendence, in addition to the classes that in the Marxist schema underlie and explain ideology, the stratum of intellectuals—or more generally the intelligentsia—emerges as a significant locus of ideology or its demystification.
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