By Espen Hammer
Curiosity in Theodor W. Adorno keeps to develop within the English-speaking global because the value of his contribution to philosophy, social and cultural idea, in addition to aesthetics is more and more famous. Espen Hammer’s lucid booklet is the 1st to correctly study the political implications of his paintings, paying cautious awareness to Adorno’s paintings on key thinkers resembling Kant, Hegel and Benjamin.
Examining Adorno’s political reviews and assessing his engagement with Marxist in addition to liberal idea, Hammer appears on the improvement of Adorno’s proposal as he confronts Fascism and glossy mass tradition. He then analyzes the political measurement of his philosophical and aesthetic theorizing. via addressing Jürgen Habermas’s influential criticisms, he defends Adorno as a theorist of autonomy, accountability and democratic plurality. He additionally discusses Adorno’s relevance to feminist and ecological considering. rather than those that see Adorno as an individual who relinquished the political, Hammer’s account exhibits his reflections to be, at the so much basic point, politically prompted and deeply engaged.
This invigorating exploration of a massive political philosopher is an invaluable creation to his proposal as an entire, and should be of curiosity to students and scholars within the fields of philosophy, sociology, politics and aesthetics.
“Hammer is to be congratulated for providing a lucid and constant case for the importance of Adorno’s political concept, doing justice to its complexity whereas situating it inside of its particular old context.” —Howard Caygill, collage of London
“Clearly written, well-structured ... it's a amazing fulfillment to have attained this point of readability a few subject that's this tough and obscure.” —Raymond Geuss, college of Cambridge
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Additional info for Adorno and the Political
The fact that some live without material labor … indicates that this possibility exists for everyone” (1998b: 267). This optimistic yet rather naive remark is substantiated by appeal to the technical forces of production. Although in conflict with some of his negative remarks about the dehumanizing effects of technology and mass production in the Dialectic of Enlightenment, Adorno generally subscribes to the view that the rational use of technology within a well-organized society could make material labor redundant.
The reference, in this rather icy, ironical display, to fascism alluded to Adorno’s gradual support for Habermas’ view that political resistance in the form of direct and possibly violent provocation against the state power would reflect a “voluntarist ideology” that could collapse into a “left fascism” (Kraushaar 1998: I, 258). By coining the provocative formula “left fascism,” Habermas and Adorno had wanted to warn against the danger that violent and authoritarian dispositions, which they believed prevailed in the FRG, would 22 PERMANENT EXILE return under the cloak of calls for greater democratization: the left should not think itself automatically innocent of those dispositions.
34 ADORNO’S MARXISM Remarkably uninterested in emphasizing Marx’s distinction between abstract and concrete labor, Adorno finally refuses to follow Lukács in initiating the discussion of reification on the basis of the way men’s productive activity becomes alien and objective to them under capitalism. On the contrary, rather than deriving a theory of value from the alienation of labor, the analysis of commodification becomes restricted to the level of exchange itself, thus ignoring how the commodity form emerges in production.