There is a fundamental ambivalence toward radicalism in the position of a certain type of middle-class left intellectual which at once reflects his social situation and points to a central problem in Marxism. He expresses a reasoned hostility to the “bourgeois society” within which he nevertheless actively enjoys a secure if moderate income, a civilized lifestyle, and a chance to be creative. He is in principle committed to the cause of a “proletariat” with which he nevertheless has no contact, about which he knows nothing at first hand, and which, as “the masses,” he privately despises. Alert as he is to the unfreedom, injustice, and suffering in the world, he reconciles himself to his comfortable situation by setting his own existence in the context of a world-historical movement designed (so he imagines) to produce a world full of people like himself: cultured, sensitive, creative, and above all unvulgar (for he disdains the vulgar rich as much as he despises the vulgar poor). His own purely theoretical praxis he sees as somehow advancing that movement, but he scarcely concerns himself with the hard question—so central to Marxism—of the relation between theory and social and political practice. Criticism becomes an end in itself. The revolutionary transformation of society remains a distant prospect for him, in part because he fears the violence and oppression with which it may be attended. If, therefore, some of his disciples conclude that his radical critique of bourgeois society must be applied in radical practice, he is as likely as any solid citizen to respond to their practical initiative by calling the police.