"Adorno is bad; he hated jazz. Marcuse is good; solidarity with the students and so on."

... that Adorno and Horkheimer's formal logic was correct. The whole project in The Dialectic of Enlightenment is "let's paint the ultimate outcome of the administered world as unavoidable, as catastrophe, for this is the only way to effectively counteract it." Adorno and Horkheimer had the right insight; I agree with their formal procedure, but as for the positive content, I think it's a little bit too light. Although all is not as bad as it might appear. Let me give you an interesting anecdote, which may amuse you. Officially, for the youth generation the standard position is "Adorno is bad; he hated jazz. Marcuse is good; solidarity with the students and so on." I know people in Germany who knew Adorno and I know people, such as Fred[ric] Jameson, who knew Marcuse. Marcuse was much nastier. ...Marcuse was a conscious manipulator. Marcuse wanted to be popular with students, so he superficially flirted with them. Privately, he despised them. Jameson was Marcuse's student in San Diego, and he told me how he brought Marcuse a Rolling Stones album. Marcuse's reaction: Total aggressive dismissal; he despised it. With Adorno, interestingly enough, you always have this margin of curiosity. He was tempted, but how does something become a hit? Is it really true that the hitmaking process is totally manipulated. For example, if you look in the Introduction to Music Sociology, in the chapter on popular music, Adorno argues that a hit cannot be totally planned. There are some magic explosions of quality here and there.

"Liberation Hurts: An Interview with Slavoj Žižek." in: Electronic Book Review. September 29, 2003

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