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21

Part One

1944

2
terms
7
notes

W. Adorno, T. (2005). Part One. In W. Adorno, T. Minima Moralia: Reflections from a Damaged Life. Verso, pp. 21-84

28

[...] In the end, glorification of splendid underdogs is nothing other than glorification of the splendid system that makes them so. [...]

the thing about this book is that there are some gems that are incredibly relevant to me, but they're buried in between lots of other statements that just miss the mark (maybe relevant to others, idk)

—p.28 by Theodor W. Adorno 1 year, 10 months ago

[...] In the end, glorification of splendid underdogs is nothing other than glorification of the splendid system that makes them so. [...]

the thing about this book is that there are some gems that are incredibly relevant to me, but they're buried in between lots of other statements that just miss the mark (maybe relevant to others, idk)

—p.28 by Theodor W. Adorno 1 year, 10 months ago
40

Technology is making gestures precise and brutal, and with them men [...] which driver is not tempted, merely by the power of his engine, to wipe out the vermin of the street, pedestrians, children and cyclists? The movements machines demand of their users already have the violent, hard-hitting, unresting jerkiness of Fascist maltreatment. [...]

this feels so Adorno

—p.40 by Theodor W. Adorno 1 year, 10 months ago

Technology is making gestures precise and brutal, and with them men [...] which driver is not tempted, merely by the power of his engine, to wipe out the vermin of the street, pedestrians, children and cyclists? The movements machines demand of their users already have the violent, hard-hitting, unresting jerkiness of Fascist maltreatment. [...]

this feels so Adorno

—p.40 by Theodor W. Adorno 1 year, 10 months ago
46

[...] I the end the tough guys are the truly effeminate ones, who need the weaklings as their victims in order not to admit that they are like them. Totalitarianism and homosexuality belong together. I its downfall the subject negates everything which is not of its own kind. [...]

he's like almost onto something here but his decision to sexualise it really does not appeal to me here

—p.46 by Theodor W. Adorno 1 year, 10 months ago

[...] I the end the tough guys are the truly effeminate ones, who need the weaklings as their victims in order not to admit that they are like them. Totalitarianism and homosexuality belong together. I its downfall the subject negates everything which is not of its own kind. [...]

he's like almost onto something here but his decision to sexualise it really does not appeal to me here

—p.46 by Theodor W. Adorno 1 year, 10 months ago

a brief moral saying taken from ancient or popular or other sources, often quoted without context; as an adjective, means either given to aphoristic expression, or just referring to an aphoristic expression

53

the sentnious language of the worker who wants, as a Socialist, to 'learn something'

—p.53 by Theodor W. Adorno
notable
1 year, 10 months ago

the sentnious language of the worker who wants, as a Socialist, to 'learn something'

—p.53 by Theodor W. Adorno
notable
1 year, 10 months ago
63

[...] It is part of the mechanism of domination to forbid recognition of the suffering it produces, and there is a straight line of development between the gospel of happiness ad the construction of camps of extermination so far off in Poland that each of our own countrymen can convince himself that he cannot hear the screams of pain. [...]

in a section called Invitation to the dance, on psychoanalysis and the capacity for pleasure (about which he is, as you would expect, quite scathing)

—p.63 by Theodor W. Adorno 1 year, 10 months ago

[...] It is part of the mechanism of domination to forbid recognition of the suffering it produces, and there is a straight line of development between the gospel of happiness ad the construction of camps of extermination so far off in Poland that each of our own countrymen can convince himself that he cannot hear the screams of pain. [...]

in a section called Invitation to the dance, on psychoanalysis and the capacity for pleasure (about which he is, as you would expect, quite scathing)

—p.63 by Theodor W. Adorno 1 year, 10 months ago
65

[...] Ready-made enlightenment turns not only spontaneous reflection but also analytical insights - whose power equals the energy and suffering that it cost to gain them - into mass-produced articles, and the painful secrets of the individual history, which the orthodox method is already inclined to reduce to formulae, into commonplace conventions. Dispelling rationalizations becomes itself rationalization. Instead of working to gain self-awareness, the initiates become adept at subsuming all instinctual conflicts under such concepts [...] Terror before the abyss of the self is removed by the consciousness of being concerned with nothing so very different from arthritis or sinus trouble. Thus conflicts lose their menace. [...]

—p.65 by Theodor W. Adorno 1 year, 10 months ago

[...] Ready-made enlightenment turns not only spontaneous reflection but also analytical insights - whose power equals the energy and suffering that it cost to gain them - into mass-produced articles, and the painful secrets of the individual history, which the orthodox method is already inclined to reduce to formulae, into commonplace conventions. Dispelling rationalizations becomes itself rationalization. Instead of working to gain self-awareness, the initiates become adept at subsuming all instinctual conflicts under such concepts [...] Terror before the abyss of the self is removed by the consciousness of being concerned with nothing so very different from arthritis or sinus trouble. Thus conflicts lose their menace. [...]

—p.65 by Theodor W. Adorno 1 year, 10 months ago
67

[...] It is precisely the critical element that is wanting in ostensibly independent thought. Insistence on the cosmic secret hidden beneath the outer shell, in reverently omitting to establish the relation between the two, often enough confirms by just this omission that the shell has its goods reasons that must be accepted without asking questions. Between delight in emptiness and the lie of fullness, the prevailing intellectual situation allows no third way.

Yet a gaze averted from the beaten track, a hatred of brutality, a search for fresh concepts not yet encompassed by the general pattern, is the last hope for thought. In an intellectual hierarchy which constantly makes everyone answerable, unanswerability alone can call the hierarchy directly by its name. The circulation sphere, whose stigmata are borne by intellectual outsiders, opens a last refuge to the mind that it barters away, at the very moment when refuge really no longer exists. He who offers for sale something unique that no-one wants to buy, represents, even against his will, freedom from exchange.

not sure how valid this reading is, but it reminds me a bit of China Mieville's apophatic Marxism

—p.67 by Theodor W. Adorno 1 year, 10 months ago

[...] It is precisely the critical element that is wanting in ostensibly independent thought. Insistence on the cosmic secret hidden beneath the outer shell, in reverently omitting to establish the relation between the two, often enough confirms by just this omission that the shell has its goods reasons that must be accepted without asking questions. Between delight in emptiness and the lie of fullness, the prevailing intellectual situation allows no third way.

Yet a gaze averted from the beaten track, a hatred of brutality, a search for fresh concepts not yet encompassed by the general pattern, is the last hope for thought. In an intellectual hierarchy which constantly makes everyone answerable, unanswerability alone can call the hierarchy directly by its name. The circulation sphere, whose stigmata are borne by intellectual outsiders, opens a last refuge to the mind that it barters away, at the very moment when refuge really no longer exists. He who offers for sale something unique that no-one wants to buy, represents, even against his will, freedom from exchange.

not sure how valid this reading is, but it reminds me a bit of China Mieville's apophatic Marxism

—p.67 by Theodor W. Adorno 1 year, 10 months ago
80

The injunction to practise intellectual honesty usually amounts to sabotage of thought. The writer is urged to show explicitly all the steps that have led him to his conclusion, so enabling every reader to follow the process through and, where possible — in the academic industry — to duplicate it. This demand not only invokes the liberal fiction of the universal communicability of each and every thought and so inhibits their objectively appropriate expression, but is also wrong in itself as a principle of representation. For the value of a thought is measured by its distance from the continuity of the familiar. It is objectively devalued as this distance is reduced; the more it approximates to the pre-existing standard, the further its antithetical function is diminished, and only in this, in its manifest relation to its opposite, not in its isolated existence, are the claims of thought founded. Texts which anxiously undertake to record every step without omission inevitably succumb to banality, and to a monotony related not only to the tension induced in the reader, but to their own substance. [...] Every thought which is not idle, however, bears branded on it the impossibility of its full legitimation, as we know in dreams that there are mathematics lessons, missed for the sake of a blissful morning in bed, which can never be made up. Thought waits to be woken one day by the memory of what has been missed, and to be transformed into teaching.

a potential counterpoint to my from-first-principles approach

also the last bit is just weirdly beautiful

—p.80 by Theodor W. Adorno 1 year, 10 months ago

The injunction to practise intellectual honesty usually amounts to sabotage of thought. The writer is urged to show explicitly all the steps that have led him to his conclusion, so enabling every reader to follow the process through and, where possible — in the academic industry — to duplicate it. This demand not only invokes the liberal fiction of the universal communicability of each and every thought and so inhibits their objectively appropriate expression, but is also wrong in itself as a principle of representation. For the value of a thought is measured by its distance from the continuity of the familiar. It is objectively devalued as this distance is reduced; the more it approximates to the pre-existing standard, the further its antithetical function is diminished, and only in this, in its manifest relation to its opposite, not in its isolated existence, are the claims of thought founded. Texts which anxiously undertake to record every step without omission inevitably succumb to banality, and to a monotony related not only to the tension induced in the reader, but to their own substance. [...] Every thought which is not idle, however, bears branded on it the impossibility of its full legitimation, as we know in dreams that there are mathematics lessons, missed for the sake of a blissful morning in bed, which can never be made up. Thought waits to be woken one day by the memory of what has been missed, and to be transformed into teaching.

a potential counterpoint to my from-first-principles approach

also the last bit is just weirdly beautiful

—p.80 by Theodor W. Adorno 1 year, 10 months ago

(verb) to make faulty or defective; impair / (verb) to debase in moral or aesthetic status / (verb) to make ineffective

80

Simmel's writings, for example, are all vitiated by the incompatibility of their out-of-the-ordinary subject matter with its painfully lucid treatment

—p.80 by Theodor W. Adorno
notable
1 year, 10 months ago

Simmel's writings, for example, are all vitiated by the incompatibility of their out-of-the-ordinary subject matter with its painfully lucid treatment

—p.80 by Theodor W. Adorno
notable
1 year, 10 months ago