Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais, 20 (59), 2005: 133-148.
Trabalho apresentado ao "John Kenneth Galbraith International Symposium", promovido pelo Laboratório de Reorganização Industrial da Université du Littoral, Paris, 23-25 set. 2004. Revisado em março 2005.
Abstract. Galbraiths 1967 prediction that knowledge was replacing capital as the strategic factor of production proved true. The strategic role that technical, organizational and communicative knowledge play today, coupled with the rise of organizations as the basic units of production, gave rise to a new social class – the professional middle class – characterized by the collective ownership of organizations. Yet, the emergence of the professionals class did not imply the rise of a new social system, nor involve the concentration of political power in the hands of the new class. The economy remained controlled by the market, and oriented to profits, thus, capitalist. Instead of classical capitalism, what we have is professionals capitalism, a system where capitalists and professionals share income and power while fighting for them. Yet, as democracy became also the dominant political regime in the twentieth century, both classes lost power to citizens, and to politicians that represent them. In the long run, in the conflict for power with capitalists, professionals standing will depend on a capacity that sometimes they already prove to have of allying themselves with common people.