Tuesday, 19 January 2010

There are no more ideologies...only advertisements for the world.

"The isolation of the mind from human production heightens its esteem but also makes it a scapegoat in the general consciousness for that which is perpetrated in practice." p.24

"Whenever cultural criticism complains of 'materialism' it furthers the belief that the sin lies in man's desire for consumer goods, and not in the organisation of the whole which withholds those goods from man: for the cultural critic, the sin is satiety, not hunger." 24-25

"Cultural criticism is, however, only able to reproach culture so penetratingly for prostituting itself, for violating in its decline the pure autonomy of the mind, because culture originates in the radical separation of mental and physical work." 26

"The objectivity of truth, without which the dialectic is inconceivable, is tacitly replaced by vulgar positivism and pragmatism - ultimately, that is, by bourgeois subjectivism. During the bourgeois era, the prevailing theory was the ideology and the opposing praxis was in direct contradiction. Today, theory hardly exists and the ideology drones, as it were, from the gears of an irresistible praxis. No notion dares to be conceived any more which does not cheerfully include, in all camps, explicit instructions as to who its beneficiaries are - exactly what the polemics once sought to expose." 29

"There are no more ideologies...only advertisements for the world. ... Hence the question of the causal dependence of culture, a question which seems to embody the voice of that on which culture is thought only to depend, takes on a backwoods ring.

The materialistic transparency of culture has not made it more honest, only more vulgar. ... To call it to account before a responsibility which it denies is only to confirm cultural pomposity.

Even the most extreme consciousness of doom threatens to degenerate into idle chatter. Cultural criticism finds itself faced with the final stage of the dialectic of culture and barbarism. To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric. And this corrodes even the knowledge of why it has become impossible to write poetry today." 34

Adorno, Cultural Criticism and Society, in Prisms

Cheerful fellow, isn't he?

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