The Credo of Activism

The slogan which summarizes the demands of activism is ‘logocracy’, that is, the power of the intellect. Power to the intellect. The expression could well be translated as the power of the intellectuals. This conception of intellectuals has, in fact, become standard among left-wing intellectuals and it dominates their political manifestoes from Heinrich Mann to Doblin. [7] It is not difficult to see that this conception completely ignores the position of intellectuals in the process of production. Hiller himself, the theoretician of activism, does not want to consider intellectuals as ‘belonging to certain professions’, but as ‘representatives of a certain character type’. [8] Naturally this character type as such occupies a position between classes. It includes a certain number of private existences, without offering the slightest opportunity of organizing them. When Hiller formulates his refusal (to join the Party – trs) for Party leaders, he at least concedes them something: they may ‘be more knowledgeable about essential matters . . . speak the language of the people better . . . struggle more firmly’ than he, but one thing is clear to him: that they ‘have more intellectual deficiencies’. Very probably. But where does this get him, since in politics it is not individual thoughts, but, as Brecht once expressed it, the art of thinking what is in the heads of other people, that is decisive? [9] Activism tried to replace materialist dialectics by a generality which is not definable in class terms: common sense. At best, its intellectuals represent a social stratum. In other words, in itself, the principle of this formation of a collective is a reactionary principle: no wonder the effect of such a collective can never be revolutionary.


Folksonomies: intellectualism revolution production academic

/law, govt and politics/politics (0.975916)

Intellectual (0.975298): dbpedia_resource
Knowledge (0.870145): dbpedia_resource
Politics (0.864021): dbpedia_resource
Social stratification (0.805984): dbpedia_resource
Bertolt Brecht (0.782465): dbpedia_resource
Profession (0.777059): dbpedia_resource
Reactionary (0.677290): dbpedia_resource
Truth (0.653886): dbpedia_resource

 The Author as Producer
Periodicals>Journal Article:  Benjamin, Walter (1970), The Author as Producer, New Left Review 1/62, July-August 1970;, Retrieved on 2024-05-07
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: critical theory production