Friday, May 30, 2008
(5:24 PM) | Brad:
Adorno Devotional (+ The Rebirth of Friday Night Jazz!)Adam has given up his Minima Moralia devotions, to the detriment of his eternal soul, but we all knew he was lacking in that regard anyway, his ego having arrived long before his soul and barring the way for anything resembling a rival. But that doesn't mean we have to!
(And for an ironic tweak of Adorno's nose, a throwback to a nearly forgotten Weblog tradition, Friday Night Jazz. Let's ring in its rebirth with my first love, Mingus: Freedom and Haitian Fight Song.)
Abstract utopia is all too compatible with the most insidious tendencies of society. That all men are alike is exactly what society would like to hear. It considers actual or imagined differences as stigmas indicating that not enough has yet been done; that something has still been left outside its machinery, not quite determined by its totality. The technique of the concentration camp is to make the prisoners like their guards, the murdered, murderers. The racial difference is raised to an absolute so that it can be abolished absolutely, if only in the sense that nothing that is different survives. An emancipated society, on the other hand, would not be a unitary state, but the realization of universality in the reconciliation of differences. Politics that are still seriously considered with such a society ought not, therefore, propound the abstract equality of men even as an idea. Instead, they should point to the bad equality today, the identify of those with interests in films and in weapons, and conceive the better state as one in which people could be different without fear. To assure the black that he is exactly like the white man, while he obviously is not, is secretly to wrong him still further. He is benevolently humiliated by the application of a standard by which, under the pressure of the system, he must necessarily be found wanting, and to satisfy which would in any case be a doubtful achievement. The spokesmen of unitary tolerance are, accordingly, always ready to turn intolerantly on any group that remains refractory: intransigent enthusiasm for blacks does not exclude outrage at Jewish uncouthness. The melting-pot was introduced by unbridled industrial capitalism. The thought of being cast into it conjures up martyrdom, not democracy. (from §66)