As another friend, Rick Atkinison, writes in his background to the work:
The over-arching point of Mr. Clark’s critique was that the petty bourgeois intelligentsia, whether advocating for imperialism or socialism and regardless of the social structure within which they live, could only continue to exist as part of a parasitical strata. It is “parasitical” because in order to be “free” to pursue interesting ideas, conduct “principled” debate, research, write, etc. the intelligentsia must be supplied with the means of subsistence without “having to actually work for a living” (Ibid.). The essence of petty bourgeois ideological work, whether capitalist or socialist, then, is simply to define and proselytize “how the privileged status of their kind is to be secured.”
Tom writes in Chapter Three presented below:
In an article written in the later part of 1905, Lenin described the general relationship between workers and intellectuals as being that “...the intelligentsia is good at solving problems ‘in principle’, good at drawing up plans, good at reasoning about the need for action—while the workers act, and transform drab theory into living reality...” (LCW Vol. 10, p. 38). The intellectuals draw up the theoretical plans; the workers implement them. Or, more to the point, the petty bourgeoisie leads, the workers follow....
... In “Left-wing” Communism, Lenin writes that small commodity producers, in particular the peasantry, “...surround the proletariat on every side with a petty bourgeois atmosphere, which permeates and corrupts the proletariat, and constantly causes among the proletariat relapses into petty bourgeois spinelessness, disunity, individualism, and alternating moods of exaltation and dejection...” (LCW Vol. 31, p. 24). True, the middle class surrounds the working class and corrupts it with its own narrow striving. But the most dangerous source of middle class influence lies not with the ‘innocent’ small commodity producer, who, after all, is neither especially articulate nor influential, but with the socialist intelligentsia, which not only surrounds the workers, but aggressively seeks to lead them.
- Petty Bourgeois Democracy or Socialism