[OPE-L:2792] Re: "Books are Weapons"

glevy@pratt.ed (glevy@pratt.edu)
Mon, 5 Aug 1996 17:22:22 -0700 (PDT)

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Mike W: thanks for answering my question. I suspected that there was an
interesting story behind "Books are Weapons" and I was right.

> Nothing slips past you does it!

I should hope not! :-)

> I first saw the slogan on a button ('pin', 'badge') in the 1970s, along
> with a graphic of a boxing glove springing out of
> an opened book (like a 'jack-in-the-box'). I think the (British) SWP
> produced them.

It sounds like a good, clear graphic. The slogan, in this context, reminds
me a little of some of the graphic art and slogans of the student movement
in Paris in May-June, 1968 put out by an art collective.

> It does kind of capture my
> views on the political seriousness of intellectual activity from research to
> scholarship and teaching. What do you think?

I like it. I think that the basis point is that made in the XIth Theses On
Feuerbach -- in other words.

> It also alludes to the view that
> the dichotomy between 'idealism' and 'materialism' is unhelpful, given
> reflexivity and the priority of conception over perception (plus a bit of
> intellectual trickle-down ... ).

I think you are saying that power comes from the ability of social beings
and classes to understand their condition and act upon it. In that sense
power requires the active action of subjects and subjectivity. I'm not
exactly sure what you mean by the expression "given reflexivity and the
priority of conception over perception", though. Could you explain it

In OPE-L Solidarity,