– for me it is Horkheimer much more than Adorno who is the actual culprit –

“What shocks me above all about Horkheimer – for me it is Horkheimer much more than Adorno who is the actual culprit – is the glaring inconsistency of two attitudes: on the one hand, he represents the typically pessimistic perception of the dialectic of Enlightenment: all of Western history culminates in the ADMINISTERED WORLD, the world of the completely regulated one-dimensional man, in the technological society that leaves no space for critique and so forth. Everything is manipulated – a version of catastrophe that he unfolded in his last big publication, Critique of Instrumental Reason. However, whenever the same Horkheimer was confronted with a concrete political decision, he decided for the defence of this society of the ultimate catastrophe and spoke against any alternatives. In this case he was completely open. For example, he didn’t want to participate in any anti-Vietnam war demonstrations and said instead: ‘wherever American soldiers intervene, they bring freedom. I support that.’ Adorno, here a typical opportunist, wanted just as little to take part in Vietnam war demos; it was only that he found it difficult to say this: he took refuge instead in excuses: he said once to the demonstrators that he would gladly come, but was too old and fat, and anyway the people would merely laugh if he were to come – classic Adorno.”

― Slavoj Žižek, Philosophy in the Present, with ALAIN BADIOU

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