Others mistake your introversion for snobbery

Theodor W. Adorno

Minimum moralia

Reflections from the damaged life

For max

as a thank you and promise


The sad science, from which I offer my friend something, relates to an area that for time immemorial was considered the real philosophy of philosophy, but since its transformation into method has fallen into intellectual disregard, sententious arbitrariness and, in the end, into oblivion: the Real life teaching. What was once called life to the philosophers has become the sphere of the private and then merely of consumption, which is dragged along as an appendix to the material production process, without autonomy and without substance of its own. Whoever wants to learn the truth about immediate life must investigate its alienated form, the objective powers that determine individual existence down to the most secret. If one speaks directly of the immediate, one hardly behaves any differently than those novelists who hang their puppets with the imitations of the passion of yesteryear as if with cheap jewelry, and who let people who are nothing more than parts of the machinery act as if they were could still act as subjects at all, and as if something depended on their actions. The view of life has passed into ideology, which betrays the fact that there is no longer any.

But the relationship between life and production, which reduces the real to the ephemeral appearance of the latter, is utterly absurd. Means and ends are reversed. The idea of ​​the ludicrous quid pro quo has not yet been completely eradicated from life. The reduced and degraded being resists its enchantment in the facade tenaciously. The change in the relations of production depends largely on what happens in the "sphere of consumption," the mere form of reflection in production and the caricature of true life: in the consciousness and unconsciousness of the individual. Only by virtue of the opposition to production, which is not fully grasped by the order, can people bring about a more humane one. Once the semblance of life, which the sphere of consumption itself defends with such bad reasons, is completely erased, the malevolence of absolute production will triumph.

In spite of this, there remains so much wrong in observations that proceed from the subject as to how life became illusory. For because in the present phase of the historical movement its overwhelming objectivity consists only in the dissolution of the subject, without a new one having already arisen from it, individual experience necessarily rests on the old subject, the one that has been historically condemned, that of itself still is, but no longer in itself. It thinks it is still certain of its autonomy, but the nullity that the concentration camp demonstrated to the subjects already overtakes the form of subjectivity itself. The subjective consideration, even if it is sharpened critically against itself, is attached to a sentimental and anachronistic: something of the complaint about the course of the world, which should not be rejected for the sake of its goodness, but because the complaining subject threatens to harden itself in its being and thus in turn to fulfill the law of the course of the world. Faithfulness to one's own state of consciousness and experience is always tempted to fail to be unfaithful by denying the insight that reaches beyond the individual and calls the substance itself by name.

Hegel, on whose method the Minima Moralia was trained, argued against the mere being-for-itself of subjectivity at all its levels. Dialectical theory, averse to anything isolated, cannot accept aphorisms as such. In the friendliest case, according to the usage of the preface to the phenomenology of the mind, they should be tolerated as "conversation". But their time is up. At the same time, the book does not both forget the totality claim of the system, which does not want to tolerate jumping out of it, as well as revolting against it. Hegel does not adhere to the demand that he otherwise passionately puts forward towards the subject: that of being in the thing and not "always beyond it" instead of "going into the immanent content of the thing." If the subject disappears today, the aphorisms find it difficult to say that "what disappears is itself to be regarded as essential". They insist in opposition to Hegel's method and at the same time, as a consequence of his thought, on negativity: “The life of the spirit only gains its truth when it finds itself in the absolute disruption. He is not that power as the positive, which looks away from the negative, as when we say of something, this is nothing or wrong, and now, done with it, move away from it to something else; but he is this power only when he looks the negative in the face, lingers with it. "

The gesture with which Hegel repeatedly treats the individual in contradiction to his own insight stems, paradoxically enough, from his necessary bias in liberalist thinking. The idea of ​​a totality harmonious through its antagonisms compels him to give individuation, however he may determine it as the driving factor of the process, only inferior rank in the construction of the whole. The fact that in prehistory the objective tendency prevailed over the heads of people, even through the annihilation of the individual, without the reconciliation of the general and the particular constructed in the term being historically accomplished until today, is distorted with him: with superior coldness he opts again for the liquidation of the particular. The primacy of the whole is nowhere in question. The more questionable the transition from reflective isolation to glorified totality remains, as in history and in Hegelian logic, the more zealously philosophy depends on the triumphal chariot of the objective tendency as a justification for the existing. The unfolding of the social principle of individuation to the victory of fatality gives it reason enough to do so. In hypostatizing bourgeois society as well as its basic category, the individual, Hegel did not truly carry out the dialectic between the two. With classical economics he does well notice that the totality itself produces and reproduces itself from the context of the antagonistic interests of its members. But the individual as such is largely, naively, for him for the irreducible fact that he is decomposing in epistemology. In the individualistic society, however, not only the general is realized through the interaction of the individual, but society is essentially the substance of the individual.

That is why social analysis is able to infer incomparably much more from individual experience than Hegel admitted, while conversely the great historical categories are no longer safe from suspicion of fraud after everything that has since been instigated with them. In the one hundred and fifty years that have passed since Hegel's conception, much of the violence of protest has returned to the individual. Compared with the old-fashioned austerity that characterizes its treatment in Hegel, it has gained just as much in abundance, sophistication, and strength as it has on the other hand been weakened and eroded by the socialization of society. In the age of its disintegration, the individual's experience of himself and what happens to him once again contributes to a knowledge that was merely concealed by him as long as it was interpreted positively as the dominant category. In view of the totalitarian unity, which immediately proclaims the eradication of difference as meaning, some of the liberating social force may even have temporarily contracted into the sphere of the individual. Critical theory lingers in it not only with a guilty conscience.

None of this is intended to deny that the attempt can be challenged. I wrote most of the book during the war, under conditions of contemplation. The violence that drove me out also prevented me from fully realizing it. I have not yet admitted the complicity that falls under the spell of anyone who speaks of the individual in the face of the unspeakable that happened collectively.

In each of the three parts, the starting point is the closest private sphere, that of the intellectual in emigration. This is followed by considerations of a wider social and anthropological scope; they concern psychology, aesthetics, science in their relationship to the subject. The final aphorisms of each part also thematically lead to the philosophy, without ever asserting themselves as complete and definitive: everyone wants to mark places of application or provide models for the future effort of the term.

The fiftieth birthday of Max Horkheimer on February 14, 1945 provided the immediate reason for writing. The execution fell into a phase in which, taking external circumstances into account, we had to interrupt our work together. The book wants to show thanks and loyalty by not acknowledging the interruption. It is testimony to a dialogue intérieur: there is no motif in it that did not belong to Horkheimer as much as to the one who found the time to formulate it.

The specific approach of the Minima Moralia, precisely the attempt to represent moments of the common philosophy based on subjective experience, means that the pieces do not exist before the philosophy, of which they are themselves a piece. This wants to express the loose and non-binding of the form, the renunciation of explicit theoretical connections. At the same time, such asceticism would like to redress something of the injustice that one person continued to work on what can only be accomplished by both, and from which we do not abandon.

First part


Life doesn't live

Ferdinand Kürnberger


For Marcel Proust. - The son of wealthy parents who, regardless of whether out of talent or weakness, takes up a so-called intellectual profession, as an artist or a scholar, has a particularly difficult time among those who bear the disgraceful name of his colleague. Not only that he is envied for independence, that one mistrusts the seriousness of his intention and that he is supposed to be a secret envoy from the established powers. Such mistrust is a sign of resentment, but it would usually find confirmation. However, the real resistance lies elsewhere. The preoccupation with intellectual things has meanwhile itself become »practical«, a business with a strict division of labor, with branches and numerus clausus. The materially independent who chooses them out of dislike for the shame of making money will not be inclined to acknowledge it. He is punished for this. He is not a "professional", ranks in the hierarchy of competitors as a dilettante, no matter how much he understands objectively, and if he wants to make a career he may have to outdo the most stubborn specialist in determined narrow-mindedness. The suspension of the division of labor to which he is driven, and which, within certain limits, enables him to realize his economic position, is particularly disreputable: it betrays the reluctance to sanction the business recommended by society, and the trumpeting competence leaves such idiosyncrasies not to. The departmentalization of the spirit is a means of abolishing it where it is not carried out ex officio on behalf of. It does its work all the more reliably as the person who terminates the division of labor - if only because his work gives him pleasure - who, according to his own measure, reveals weaknesses that are inseparable from the moments of his superiority. This ensures order: some have to participate because otherwise they cannot live, and those who could otherwise live are kept outside because they do not want to participate. It is as if the class from which the independent intellectuals deserted is taking revenge by forcibly enforcing their demands where the deserter seeks refuge.


Lawn bench. - The relationship with the parents begins to sadly turn shadowy. Because of their economic impotence, they have lost their horrors. Once we rebelled against their insistence on the reality principle, the sobriety that was always ready to turn into anger against the non-renouncer. Today, however, we find ourselves confronted with an allegedly young generation, each of which is unbearably more grown up than its parents ever were; who renounced even before the conflict even broke out, and draws her power from it, doggedly authoritarian and unshakable. Perhaps at all times one has experienced the generation of parents as harmless and disempowered when their physical strength diminished while one's own appeared to be threatened by the youth: in antagonistic society the generation relationship is also one of competition, behind which sheer violence stands. Today, however, it begins to regress to a state that does not have an Oedipus complex, but parricide. It is one of the symbolic misdeeds of the Nazis to kill ancient people. In such a climate, a late and knowing agreement is established with the parents, that of the condemned among themselves, disturbed only by the fear that we might, once fainted ourselves, not be able to take care of them as well as they took care of us, when they owned something. The violence that is done to them makes one forget the violence that they practiced. Even their rationalizations, the formerly hated lies with which they tried to justify their particular interest as general, indicate the premonition of the truth, the urge to reconcile the conflict, which the positive descendants happily deny. Even the faded, inconsistent and self-distrusting spirit of the elderly is more responsive than the shrewd stupidity of Junior. The neurotic peculiarities and deformities of the old adults still represent character, what is humanly successful compared with pathic health, infantilism raised to the norm. One has to realize with horror that often earlier, if one opposed one's parents because they represented the world, one was secretly the mouthpiece of the worse world against the bad. Non-political attempts to break out of the bourgeois family lead into their entanglement all the more deeply, and sometimes it seems as if the unfortunate nucleus of society, the family, is at the same time the nucleus of the uncompromising will to others. With the family, while the system persisted, not only did the most effective agency of the bourgeoisie disappear, but the resistance that suppressed the individual, but also strengthened, if not created, the individual. The end of the family paralyzes the opposing forces. The emerging collectivist order is the mockery of the classless: in the bourgeoisie it also liquidates the utopia that once fed on the love of the mother.


Fish in the water. - Since the extensive apparatus of distribution of highly concentrated industry replaced the sphere of circulation, this one strange post-existence began. While the economic basis disappears from the intermediary professions, the private life of countless people becomes that of agents and intermediaries, yes, the private sphere as a whole is engulfed by a mysterious busyness that has all the traits of the commercial without there actually being anything to do with it. The frightened, from the unemployed to the celebrity, who in the next moment may incur the wrath of those whose investment it represents, believe only through empathy, diligence, being available, through tricks and cunning, to recommend themselves to the executive, which is presented as omnipresent, through the qualities of a dealer, and soon there is no longer any relationship that is not aimed at relationships, no impulse that is not subject to prior censorship, whether one does not deviate from what is acceptable. The concept of relationships, a category of mediation and circulation, never thrived best in the actual sphere of circulation, on the market, but in closed, monopoly-like hierarchies. Now that society as a whole is becoming hierarchical, the dreary relationships also get stuck wherever there was still the semblance of freedom. The irrationality of the system is hardly less expressed than in the economic fate of the individual in its parasitic psychology. In the past, when there was still something like the disreputable bourgeois separation of work and private life, which one almost wanted to mourn, anyone who pursued private ends was viewed with suspicion as an immoral intruder. Today he appears to be arrogant, strange and not belonging who gets involved in private matters without being able to identify any purpose. Anyone who "doesn't want" anything is almost suspicious: you don't trust him to be able to help you by snapping at the bite without legitimizing himself by counterclaims. Countless people turn a situation that follows from the liquidation of the profession into their profession.These are the nice people, the popular, who are good friends with everyone, the righteous, who humanely excuse every meanness and incorruptibly ostracize every non-standardized emotion as sentimental. They are indispensable through their knowledge of all the channels and drainage holes of power, they guess their most secret verdicts and live from their swift communication. They can be found in all political camps, even where the rejection of the system is taken for granted and has thus developed a lax and cunning conformism of its own. Often they impress with a certain benevolence, with a compassionate part in the life of others: selflessness on speculation. They are clever, funny, sensitive and reactive: they have polished up the old trading spirit with the achievements of the penultimate psychology. They are capable of anything, even love, but always faithless. They do not cheat out of instinct, but out of principle: they still value themselves as profit that they do not grant anyone else. It binds elective affinities and hatred to the spirit: they are a temptation for pensive people, but also their worst enemies. Because it is they who subtly seize and disguise the last hiding places of the resistance, the hours that are left free from the demands of the machinery. Their belated individualism poisons what is left of the individual.


Final clarity. - The newspaper obituary for a businessman once said: "The breadth of his conscience vied with the goodness of his heart." , sends the funeral procession on the shortest route to the land of truth. If a man of advanced age is praised for being particularly serene, it is to be assumed that his life is the result of atrocities. He's gotten used to excitement. The broad conscience installs itself as a generosity that forgives everything because it understands it too thoroughly. Between one's own guilt and that of others there is a quid pro quo that is dissolved in favor of whoever got the better part. After such a long life, you can no longer tell who did what to whom. Any concrete responsibility is drowned out in the abstract idea of ​​universal injustice. The villain turns it around as if it had just happened to him: if you only knew, young man, what life is like. But those who are already characterized by special kindness in the middle of that life are mostly those who draw an advance payment on such serenity. Those who are not angry do not live serene, but hardened and intolerant in a special, shameful way. For lack of suitable objects, he hardly knows how to express his love in any other way than in hatred of the unsuitable, through which he admittedly in turn assimilates himself to the hated. But the citizen is tolerant. His love for people as they are arises from hatred of the right person.


Doctor, that's nice of you. - There is nothing harmless any more. The little joys, the utterances of life, which seem exempt from the responsibility of thought, not only have a moment of defiant silliness, of hard-hearted blindness, but also come directly into the service of their utter antithesis. Even the tree that is in bloom lies at the moment when one perceives its blossoming without the shadow of horror; Even the innocent how beautiful becomes an excuse for the shame of existence that is different, and it is no longer beauty and consolation except in the gaze that goes on horror, withstands it and in the unmitigated consciousness of negativity holds on to the possibility of better . Mistrust is advised against everything impartial, casual, against everything letting go, which includes indulgence against the overwhelming power of the existing. The mean sense of comfort, which was once limited to the toast of cosiness, has long since taken hold of friendlier impulses. The chance conversation with the man on the train, to whom you agree to a few sentences that you know will ultimately lead to murder, in order to avoid an argument, is a bit of treason; no thought is immune to its communication, and it is already enough to say it in the wrong place and with the wrong consent to undermine its truth. Every time I go to the cinema, despite all my vigilance, I come out more stupid and worse. Accessibility itself is participation in injustice, in that it simulates the cold world as one in which one can still talk to one another, and the loose, sociable word helps to perpetuate the silence by again degrading the person speaking through the concessions made to the person being addressed becomes. The evil principle, which has always been part of affability, unfolds to all its bestiality in the egalitarian spirit. Condescension and not feeling better are the same thing. By adapting to the weakness of the oppressed, one confirms the presupposition of domination in such weakness and develops the degree of rudeness, dullness and violence which one needs to exercise domination. If, in the most recent phase, the gesture of condescension disappears and assimilation becomes visible, it is precisely in such a complete dimming of power that the denied class relationship asserts itself all the more irreconcilably. For the intellectual, unbreakable loneliness is the only form in which he can still prove solidarity. All participation, all humanity of interaction and participation is a mere mask for the tacit acceptance of the inhuman. One should agree with the suffering of people: the smallest step towards their joys is one to harden the suffering.


Antithesis. - For those who do not participate, there is the danger that they consider themselves better than the others and misuse their criticism of society as an ideology for their private interests. While he gropes for turning his own existence into the frail picture of a real one, he should keep this frailty in mind and know how little the picture replaces the real life. But the gravity of the bourgeois in himself opposes this kind of remembrance. The distanced one remains as entangled as the busy man; over this he has nothing more than the insight into his entanglement and the happiness of the tiny freedom that lies in cognition as such. The own distance from the company is a luxury that only the company throws off. That is why every movement of withdrawal bears traits of the negated. The cold that it must develop is indistinguishable from that of the bourgeoisie. Even where it protests, the ruling general is hidden in the monadological principle. Proust's observation that the photographs of the grandfathers of a duke and a middle-class Jew look so similar to one another that no one thinks of the social hierarchy any more, meets a far more comprehensive issue: objectively, behind the unity of the epoch, all those differences that make this Happiness, yes, make up the moral substance of individual existence. We notice the decline of education, and yet our prose, measured against that of Jacob Grimm or Bachofen, is similar to the culture industry in terms of which we have no inkling. In addition, we have long since ceased to speak Latin and Greek like Wolf or Kirchhoff. We point to the transition of civilization into illiteracy and unlearn how to write letters or read a text by Jean Paul, as it must have been read in his day. We dread the brutalization of life, but the absence of any objectively binding custom forces us at every turn to behave, talk and calculate that are barbaric according to the measure of humanity and tactless even after the dubious of good society. With the dissolution of liberalism, the really bourgeois principle, that of competition, has not been overcome, but has passed from the objectivity of the social process into the nature of the pushing and pushing atoms, as it were into anthropology. The subjection of life to the process of production humiliatingly imposes on everyone some of the isolation and loneliness that we are tempted to hold as the cause of our superior choices. It is such an old part of bourgeois ideology that each individual, in his particular interests, thinks himself better than all the others, as that he values ​​others as the community of all customers as higher than himself. Since the old bourgeois class abdicated, both have led their afterlife in the spirit of the intellectuals, who are the last enemies of the bourgeoisie and at the same time the last bourgeoisie. By allowing themselves to think at all in relation to the bare reproduction of existence, they behave as privileged; by leaving it to thinking, they declare the nullity of their privilege. The private existence, which longs to look similar to the human one, betrays this at the same time, in that the similarity is withdrawn from the general realization, which needs independent reflection more than ever before. There is no way out of this entanglement. The only thing that can be justified is to deny oneself the ideological abuse of one's own existence and otherwise to behave so modestly, inconspicuously and unpretentiously in private, as is no longer dictated by good upbringing, but by shame about the fact that there is still air to breathe in hell.


They, the people. - The fact that intellectuals mostly deal with intellectuals should not lead them to think of their own kind as even meaner than the rest of humanity. Because they experience each other consistently in the most shameful and unworthy situation of all, that of competing supplicants, and thus almost inevitably turn the most hideous sides to each other. Other people, especially the simple ones, whose advantages the intellectual is so inclined to emphasize, meet him mostly in the role of someone who wants to sell something to you without fear that the customer will ever get in his way. It is easy for the auto mechanic, the girl in the liquor store, to remain free from insolence: for friendliness it is stopped from above anyway. Conversely, when illiterate people come to intellectuals to have them write letters, they too may have reasonably good experiences. But as soon as the common people have to fight for their share of the national product, they surpass everything in envy and spite that can be observed among writers or musicians. The glorification of the glorious underdogs boils down to that of the glorious system that makes them so. Legitimate feelings of guilt of those who are exempt from physical labor should not be used as an excuse for the "idiocy of rural life." The intellectuals, who are the only ones who write about the intellectuals and give them their bad name in that of authenticity, reinforce the lie. A large part of the prevailing anti-intellectualism and irrationalism, right up to Huxley, is set in motion by the writers accusing the mechanism of competition without seeing through it and thus falling into it. In their own branch they have blocked their consciousness of tat twam asi. That's why they then run into the Indian temples.


When the bad guys lure you. - There is an amor intellectualis to the kitchen staff, the temptation for those working theoretically or artistically to loosen the intellectual demands on themselves, to go below the level, to follow all possible habits in terms and expression that one has rejected as an awake cognizer. Since no category, indeed even education, is no longer given to the intellectual and a thousand demands of activity endanger concentration, the effort to produce something that holds true becomes so great that hardly any one remains capable of it. Furthermore, the pressure of conformity that weighs on every producer lowers the demands they place on themselves. The center of spiritual self-discipline as such is in the process of decomposition. The taboos that make up a person's spiritual rank, often sedimented experiences and inarticulate knowledge, are always directed against his own impulses, which he has learned to condemn, but which are so strong that only an unquestioned and unquestioned authority can put a stop to them. What is true of instinctual life is no less true of intellectual life: the painter and composer who forbids himself this and that color combination or chordal combination as kitschy, the writer, who is annoyed by linguistic configurations as banal or pedantic, reacts so violently against them because there are layers in it which it lures there. Rejection of the ruling nuisance of culture presupposes that one participates enough in it to feel it twitch in one's fingers, but at the same time draw strength from this participation to terminate it. These forces, which appear as such of individual resistance, are therefore by no means themselves of a merely individual nature. The intellectual conscience in which they are summarized has a social element as well as the moral superego. It is formed from an idea of ​​the right society and its citizens. Once this idea subsides - and who could still trust it blindly - then the intellectual urge to go down loses its inhibition, and all the rubbish that barbaric culture has left behind in the individual, half-education, letting go, crude familiarity, unpolishedness, comes out. Mostly it is also rationalized as humanity, as the will to make yourself understandable to other people, as responsibility that is experienced in the world. But the sacrifice of intellectual self-discipline is far too easy for those who take it upon themselves to be believed that it is one. The observation of intellectuals whose material situation has changed becomes drastic: as soon as they can convince themselves to some extent that they have to earn money with writing and nothing else, they let exactly the same trash go out into the world, down to the nuance, that they do once most violently ostracized as well-established. Just like emigrants who were once rich and who are often as stingy to their hearts' content abroad as they would have always liked to be at home, so the impoverished march enthusiastically into hell, which is their kingdom of heaven.


One thing above all, my child. - The immorality of lying does not consist in violating sacrosanct truth. In the end, a society has the right to appeal to it, which compels its compulsory members to come out with the language in order to be able to overtake them all the more reliably. It is not up to universal untruth to insist on particular truth, which it immediately turns into its opposite. Nevertheless, there is something repulsive about the lie, the consciousness of which has been beaten by the old whip, but at the same time says something about the jailer. The fault lies in being too sincerely. Anyone who lies is ashamed, because in every lie he has to experience the unworthy of the world arrangement, which forces him to lie if he wants to live, and at the same time sings to him "Always practice faithfulness and honesty". Such shame drains the lies of the more subtly organized. You do it badly, and that's when the lie really becomes immorality in the other person. She considers him stupid and serves to express disregard. Among the cunning practitioners of today, lies have long since lost their honest function of deceiving about real things. Nobody believes anyone, everyone knows. Lies are only lied to give the other person to understand that one does not care about him, that one does not need him, that one is indifferent to what he thinks of you. The lie, once a liberal means of communication, has now become one of the techniques of insolence with which each individual spreads the cold around him, in whose protection he can thrive.


Separated-united. - Marriage, the shameful parody of which lives on in a time that has undermined the human right of marriage, today mostly serves the trick of self-preservation: that one of the two conspirators is responsible to the other for everything wrong that he commits pushes, while in truth they exist together cloudy and swampy. A decent marriage would only be one in which both have their own independent life for themselves, without the merger that stems from the economically enforced community of interests, but instead, out of freedom, would take on mutual responsibility for one another. Marriage as a community of interests inevitably means the humiliation of those interested, and it is the perfidiousness of the world institution that no one, if he also knew about it, can escape such humiliation.Sometimes, therefore, one might get the idea that only those who are relieved of the pursuit of interests, that is, the rich, are allowed to marry without shame. But this possibility is quite formal, because it is precisely those privileged who have become second nature to pursue their interests - otherwise they would not claim the privilege.


Table and bed. - As soon as people, including benign, friendly and educated people, divorce, a cloud of dust tends to rise, which covers and discolors everything with which it comes into contact. It is as if the sphere of intimacy, the inattentive trust of living together has turned into a nasty toxin when the relationships in which it was based are broken. The intimate between people is forbearance, tolerance, refuge for idiosyncrasies. If it is dragged out, the moment of weakness in it appears of its own accord, and in the case of a divorce such an outward turn is inevitable. It seizes the inventory of familiarity. Things that were once a sign of loving care, images of reconciliation, suddenly become independent as values ​​and show their evil, cold and perishable side. After the separation, professors break into their wife's apartment to steal items from their desks, and well-paid women denounce their husbands for tax evasion. If marriage grants one of the last possibilities to form human cells in the inhumane general, then the general avenges itself in its disintegration by seizing the apparently exceptional, subordinating it to the alienated order of law and property and mocking those who are safe from it imagined. It is precisely what is protected that becomes the cruel prop of being exposed. The "more generous" the married couple originally behaved towards one another, the less they thought about ownership and obligation, the more hideous the degradation becomes. Because it is precisely the area of ​​the legally undefined in which arguments, defamation and the endless conflict of interests flourish. All the darkness on the basis of which the institution of marriage rises, the man’s barbaric disposition over the woman’s property and work, the no less barbaric sexual oppression that tends to force the man to take responsibility for the rest of his life who once made him want to sleep - all of this creeps out of the basements and foundations into the open when the house is demolished. Those who once experienced the good general in their restrictive affiliation with one another are now compelled by society to regard themselves as villains and to learn that they resemble the general of the unlimited vulgarity outside. In divorce, the general turns out to be the disgrace of the particular, because the particular, marriage, cannot realize the true universal in this society.


Inter pares. - In the realm of erotic qualities, a revaluation seems to be taking place. Under liberalism, up to our day, married men from good company, to whom their well-educated and correct wife could not offer enough, used to take harm from artists, bohemians, sweet girls and cocottes. With the rationalization of society, this possibility of unregulated happiness has disappeared. The cocottes are extinct, the sweet girls did not exist in Anglo-Saxon and other countries of technical civilization anyway, but the artists and the bohemians who are parasitic around mass culture are so completely permeated by their reason that whoever goes to their anarchy is free to dispose of them about her own exchange value, wanting to flee, would be in danger of waking up with the obligation to have to recommend her, if not to work as an assistant, at least to someone he knew to be a powerful film maker or scribe. The only ones who can still afford something like unreasonable love are the very women whom the spouses once walked away from and to Maxim. While they are as boring to their own husbands as their mothers are because of their fault, they are at least able to grant others what is otherwise withheld from all of them. The long-frigid libertine represents business, the correct, well-behaved longingly and unromantically sexuality. So in the end the ladies of society come to honor their dishonor at the moment when there is no longer any society and no lady.


Protection, help and advice. - Every intellectual in emigration, without exception, is damaged and would do well to recognize it for himself if he does not want to be cruelly instructed about it behind the tightly closed doors of his self-respect. He lives in an environment that must remain incomprehensible to him, no matter how well he knows about trade union organizations or car traffic; he is always astray. There is an irreconcilable break between the reproduction of one's own life under the monopoly of mass culture and objective, responsible work. His language is expropriated and the historical dimension from which his knowledge drew its strength has been eroded. The isolation becomes all the worse, the more fixed and politically controlled groups form, suspicious of those belonging to them, hostile to the branded others. The share of the national product that falls on foreigners is not enough and drives them to a second hopeless competition with one another in the midst of the general one. All of this leaves marks in each individual. Whoever is relieved of the disgrace of direct conformity, bears precisely this emancipation as his special mark, an existence that seems to be and is unreal in the life process of society. The relationships between the outcasts are even more poisoned than those between the indigenous people. All weights are wrong, the optics are disturbed. The private pushes ahead in an improper, hectic, vampy-like manner, precisely because it actually no longer exists and desperately wants to prove its life. The public becomes a matter of the unspoken oath of loyalty on the platform. The gaze adopts the manic and at the same time coldness of grasping, devouring, confiscating. Nothing helps but the steadfast diagnosis of oneself and others, the attempt to escape through consciousness, if not from calamity, then at least to withdraw its fatal power, that of blindness. Extreme caution is advised, especially in the choice of private dealings, as far as you are left with it. Above all, one should be careful not to look for powerful people from whom one "has to expect something". Looking at possible advantages is the mortal enemy of the formation of decent relationships in general; Solidarity and standing for one another can result from such, but they can never arise from thoughts of practical purposes. Hardly any less dangerous are the reflections of power, lackeys, flatterers and scroungers, who please those who are better off in an archaistic way that can only flourish under the economically extraterritorial conditions of emigration. While they bring the Protector small advantages, they pull him down as soon as he accepts them, which in turn his own awkwardness in a foreign country seduces him incessantly. If in Europe the esoteric gesture was often only a pretext for blind self-interest, the dismantled and not very watertight concept of austérité still seems to be the most acceptable lifeboat in emigration. Admittedly, it is only available to very few in a dignified version. Most who climb it faces starvation or madness.


Le bourgeois revenant. - Absurdly, in the fascist regimes of the first half of the twentieth century, the obsolete form of economy stabilized and multiplied the horror that it needs in order to maintain itself, now its futility is evident. But private life is also marked by it. With the power of disposal, the stifling order of the private, the particularism of interests, the long outdated form of the family, the property right and its reflection in character have established themselves once again. But with a guilty conscience, the scarcely concealed awareness of untruth. Whatever was once good and decent about the bourgeoisie, independence, perseverance, thinking ahead, prudence, is corrupted to the core. Because while the bourgeois forms of existence are doggedly preserved, their economic prerequisite is no longer applicable. The private has completely passed into the private, which it secretly always was, and the stubborn clinging to one's own interest has been mixed with anger that one is actually no longer able to perceive it after all, that it would be different and better possible. The citizens have lost their naivety and have become completely obstinate and angry about it. The guarding hand that still tends and tends its garden as if it hadn't long since become a lot, but fearfully keeps the unknown intruder away, is already the one that refuses the political refugee asylum. As objectively threatened, the rulers and their followers are subjectively completely inhuman. In this way the class comes to itself and makes the destructive will of the world course its own. The citizens live on like ominous ghosts.


Le nouvel avare. - There are two types of avarice. One is the archaic, the passion that does not indulge itself or others, whose physiognomic trait Molière perpetuated and Freud declared to be an anal character. It is completed in the miser, the beggar who secretly has millions, like the puritan mask of the unrecognized caliph from the fairy tale. He is related to the collector, the manic, and ultimately the great lover, like Gobseck the Esther. You can just find him as a curiosity in the local columns of the daily newspapers. The miser is contemporary, for whom nothing is too expensive for himself and everything for others. He thinks in terms of equivalents, and his whole private life is governed by the law of giving less than you get back, but always enough to get something back. Every friendliness they show should be noted as follows: "Is that also necessary?", "Do you have to do that?" Its most reliable characteristic is the haste to "return the favor" for the attentions received, so as not to allow any gaps to arise in the chain of exchange acts, in which one gets one's money's worth. Because with them everything is rational, with the right things, they, unlike Harpagon and Scrooge, cannot be convicted and cannot be converted. Your kindness is a measure of your relentlessness. If it is true, they irrefutably right and right wrong, while the madness of the shabby curmudgeons had the forgiving thing that the tendency was that the gold in the box already attracted the thief, yes, that only in sacrifice and loss did their passion Like the erotic desire to possess, it was stilled in self-surrender. The new stingies, however, no longer practice asceticism as debauchery, but rather with caution. You are insured.


On the dialectic of the clock. - Goethe, who was clearly aware of the impossibility of all human relationships in the emerging industrial society, tried in the novellas of the wandering years to present the rhythm as the saving information between the alienated people. This information seemed to him to be one with renunciation, with renunciation of undiminished closeness, passion and unbroken happiness. For him, what was humane consisted of a self-limitation that conjuredly made the inevitable course of history its own cause, the inhumanity of progress, the atrophy of the subject. But what has happened since then makes Goethean renunciation itself appear to be fulfillment. Tact and humanity - the same thing for him - have meanwhile just gone the way from which they should protect according to his belief. But tact has its exact historical hour. It is the one in which the bourgeois individual was freed from absolutist compulsion. Free and lonely it stands up for itself, while the forms of hierarchical respect and consideration developed by absolutism, their economic reason and their threatening violence, are barely present enough to make coexistence within preferred groups bearable. Such, as it were, paradoxical debut of absolutism and liberality can be perceived, as in Wilhelm Meister, in Beethoven's position on the traditional schemes of composition, even in logic, in Kant's subjective reconstruction of the objectively binding ideas. Beethoven's regular reprises after the dynamic developments, Kant's deduction of the scholastic categories from the unity of consciousness are "tactful" in an eminent sense. The precondition for the beat is the broken and yet still present convention. This has now decayed irretrievably and lives on only in the parody of the forms, an arbitrarily devised or remembered etiquette for ignoramuses, as uninvited advisers preach them in newspapers, while the agreement that those conventions might carry at their humane hour with the blind Conformity of the car owners and radio listeners has passed. The withering away of the ceremonial moment initially seems to benefit the beat. He is emancipated from everything heteronomous, badly by heart, and tactful behavior would be none other than one that is based solely on the specific nature of any human relationship. Such emancipated tact, however, runs into difficulties like nominalism everywhere. Tact did not simply mean submission to the ceremonial convention: all modern humanists have just ceaselessly put this under irony. Rather, the performance of the clock was as paradoxical as its historical location. It demanded the actually impossible reconciliation between the unconfirmed claim of the Convention and the unruly claim of the individual. In contrast to that convention, tact could not be measured at all. It represented, however diluted, the general that constitutes the substance of the individual claim itself. Clock is a difference determination. It consists in knowing deviations. However, by confronting the individual as an absolute as emancipated, without any general from which he could differ, he misses the individual and finally does him an injustice. The question of well-being, no longer required and expected by education, becomes an inquiry or an injury; the silence about sensitive objects to empty indifference as soon as there are no more rules stating what to talk about and what not to talk about. Individuals begin, not without reason, to react in a hostile manner to tact: a certain kind of politeness, for example, does not make them feel addressed as human beings as well as awakening in them an inkling of the inhuman state in which they find themselves. and the polite runs the risk of being taken for the rude because he still makes use of politeness as an outdated privilege. Ultimately, the emancipated, purely individual tact becomes a mere lie. What is actually hit by him in the individual today is what he intentionally withholds, the actual and even more the potential power that everyone embodies. Under the requirement to face the individual as such, without all preambles, in an absolutely appropriate manner, lies the zealous control over the fact that every word tacitly gives itself an account of what the person addressed represents in the hardening hierarchy that includes all, and what are his chances. The nominalism of the beat helps the most general, the bare power of disposition, to triumph even in the most intimate constellations. The writing off of the conventions as outdated, useless and outward ornament only confirms the most outward aspect, a life of direct control. That the disappearance of even this caricature of tact in the comradery of jostling, as a mockery of freedom, makes existence even more unbearable is just a further indication of how impossible human coexistence has become under the present circumstances.


Retention of title. - The signature of the age is that no person, without all exception, can determine his life himself in a more transparent sense, as it was given earlier in the assessment of market conditions. In principle, all are still the most powerful objects. Even the profession of general no longer offers adequate protection. No agreements are binding enough in the fascist era to protect headquarters from air raids, and commanders who handle it with traditional caution are hanged by Hitler and beheaded by Chiang Kai-Shek. From this it follows immediately that everyone who tries to get through - and there is something absurd about life itself like the dreams in which one witnesses the end of the world and crawls out of a basement hole after its end - should at the same time live in such a way that he is capable at every moment to wipe out his life. This emerged as a dreary truth from Zarathustra's exuberant doctrine of free death.Freedom has contracted into pure negativity, and what at the time of Art Nouveau meant dying in beauty has been reduced to the wish to shorten the infinite humiliation of existence and the infinite agony of dying in a world in which there has long been fear of worse gives than death. - The objective end of humanity is just another expression for the same. It says that the individual as an individual, as he represents the human species, has lost the autonomy through which he could realize the species.


Asylum for the homeless. - How things are with private life today is indicated by his location. Actually, you can no longer live at all. The traditional apartments in which we grew up have assumed something unbearable: every trace of comfort in them is paid for with betrayal of knowledge, every trace of security with the musty community of interests of the family. The newobjectives who have made tabula rasa are cases made by experts for peasants, or factories that have lost their way into the sphere of consumption, without any relationship to the resident: nor the longing for an independent existence that no longer exists, they beat in the face. Modern man wishes to sleep close to the ground like an animal, has decreed a German magazine to Hitler with prophetic masochism and abolished the threshold between waking and dreaming with the bed. The overnight stays are always available and ready for anything without resistance, alert and unconscious at the same time. Those who take refuge in real, but bought-together stylish apartments, embalm themselves alive. If you want to evade the responsibility for living by moving into a hotel or a furnished apartment, you turn the imposed conditions of emigration into the life-wise norm, as it were. Like everywhere else, those who do not have to vote are worst off. If not in slums, they live in bungalows that tomorrow may be arbor huts, trailers, cars or camps, staying in the open air. The house has passed. The destruction of the European cities as well as the labor and concentration camps continue only as executors what the immanent development of technology has long since decided on the houses. These are only good for being thrown away like old tins. The possibility of living is being destroyed by that of the socialist society, which, if neglected, turns into creeping disaster in the bourgeoisie. No one can do anything about it. Even when he deals with furniture designs and interior decoration, he comes close to the arts and crafts subtleties of the bibliophile, no matter how determined he may be against arts and crafts in the narrower sense. From a distance, the difference between the Wiener Werkstätte and the Bauhaus is no longer so significant. In the meantime, the curves of the purely functional form have taken on a life of their own against their function and merge into ornament just like the basic cubist forms. The best behavior towards all of this still seems to be non-binding, suspended: to lead private life: as long as the social order and one's own needs do not tolerate it otherwise, but do not burden it as if it were still socially substantial and individually appropriate. "It is part of my luck not to be a homeowner," wrote Nietzsche in the Happy Science. One should add to this today: it is part of morality not to be at home with oneself. This shows something of the difficult relationship in which the individual is to his property, as long as he still has something at all. The art would consist in keeping in evidence and expressing that private property no longer belongs to one, in the sense that the abundance of consumer goods has potentially become so great that no individual has any longer the right to adhere to the principle of their restriction cling; that one must nevertheless have property if one does not want to get into the dependency and hardship that benefits the blind continuation of the property relationship. But the thesis of this paradox leads to destruction, a loveless disregard for things, which necessarily turns against people too, and the antithesis is an ideology for those with a guilty conscience already at the moment in which it is uttered Want to keep yours. There is no right life in the wrong one.


Don't knock. - The mechanization meanwhile makes the gestures precise and raw and thus the people. It drives out all hesitation, all deliberation, all morality from the gestures. She subordinates them to the irreconcilable demands of things, as it were without history. For example, people forget to close a door quietly, carefully and yet firmly. Cars and Frigidaires have to be thrown away, others have the tendency to snap into place on their own and thus encourage those entering into the inanity of not looking behind them, not preserving the inside of the house that is taking them in. One cannot do justice to the new type of human being without the awareness of what happens to him incessantly, down to the most secret innervations, of the things of the environment. What does it mean for the subject that there are no more casements that can be opened, but only windows that can be pushed open roughly, no gentle door handles but rotating knobs, no forecourt, no threshold against the street, no wall around the garden? And which chauffeur wouldn’t have been tempted by the power of his engine to drive the bugs of the street, pedestrians, children and cyclists to shame? In the movements that the machines demand of those who operate them, there is already the forceful, hitting, and intermittent incessant of fascist mistreatment. Ultimately, the dying of experience is not responsible for the fact that, under the law of their pure purposefulness, things take on a form that limits the use of them to mere manipulation without tolerating an excess, be it of freedom of behavior or of independence of the thing, which survives as a core of experience because it is not consumed by the moment of action.


Troubled Peter. - When Hume tried to defend epistemological contemplation against his world-friendly compatriots, the "pure philosophy" which had always been disreputable among gentlemen, he used the argument: "Precision always benefits beauty, and correct thinking benefits delicate feeling." That was itself pragmatic yet it implicitly and negatively contains the whole truth about the spirit of practice. The practical orders of life, which appear as if they would benefit people, let the human beings wither in the profit economy, and the more they expand, the more they cut off everything that is delicate. For tenderness between people is nothing more than the awareness of the possibility of purposeless relationships, which comfortingly touches those who are purpose-bound; Inheritance of old privileges, which promises the privilege-less status. The abolition of privilege by the bourgeois ratio ultimately abolishes this promise too. When time is money, it seems moral to save time, especially your own, and one excuses such frugality with consideration for others. One is downright. Every shell that slips between people in traffic is perceived as a disruption to the functioning of the apparatus into which they are not only objectively incorporated, but which they proudly regard themselves as being. That, instead of taking off their hats, they greet each other with the hello of familiar indifference, that instead of sending letters to each other without addressing and unsigned inter-office communications, are symptoms of any illness of contact. Alienation is evident in people precisely because the distances disappear. Because only as long as they do not always get close to each other with give and take, discussion and execution, disposition and function, there is enough space between them for the fine thread that connects them with one another and in whose exterior the interior crystallizes. Reactionaries like C. G. Jung's supporters noticed something of this. In an essay by G. R. Heyers on Eranos, “it belongs to the particular habit of those who are not yet fully formed by civilization that a topic must not be addressed directly, or even mentioned soon; the conversation must rather move on its own in spirals towards its actual subject. ”Instead, the straight line applies to the shortest connection between two people, as if they were points. Just as house walls are cast in one piece these days, the putty between people is replaced by the pressure that holds them together. What is different is no longer understood at all, but appears, if not as a Viennese specialty with a touch of head waiter-like, as childish trust or an unauthorized approach. In the form of the couple of sentences about the health and well-being of the wife, which precede the business talk at lunch, the contrast to the order of the ends has been taken up by the wife itself, added to her. The taboo against talking shop and the inability to talk to each other are, in truth, the same thing. Because everything is business, the name of the rope cannot be used in the house of the hanged man. Behind the pseudo-democratic dismantling of formulas, old-fashioned politeness, useless and not even unjustifiably suspicious conversation as gossip, behind the apparent clarity and transparency of human relationships that no longer allow anything undefined, the naked brutality announces itself. The direct word, which without further ado, without hesitation, without reflection, says the matter in the face of the other, already has the form and sound of the command that goes from mute to silent under fascism. The objectivity between people, which does away with the ideological adornment between them, has itself already become the ideology for treating people as things.


Exchange not permitted. - People forget about giving. There is something absurd and unbelievable about the violation of the exchange principle; here and there even children look suspiciously at the giver, as if the present were just a trick to sell them brushes or soap. In return, one practices charity, managed charity, which systematically tapes up visible sores in society. In their organized business there is no longer any room for human impulses, yes, the donation is necessarily connected with humiliation through division, fair weighing, in short through treating the recipient as an object. Even private giving has come down to a social function that is carried out with reluctant common sense, with careful consideration of the suspended budget, skeptical assessment of the other and with the least possible effort. Real gift giving was lucky in the imagination of the happiness of the recipient. It means choosing, spending time, going out of your way, thinking of the other as a subject: the opposite of forgetfulness. Hardly anyone is capable of doing just that. At best they give what they wanted for themselves, only a few nuances worse. The decline in giving is reflected in the embarrassing invention of gift items, which are already designed so that you don't know what to give because you really don't want to. These goods are unrelated like their buyers. They were slow-moving on the first day. Similar to the reservation of the exchange, which means to the recipient: Here you have your stuff, start with what you want, if you don't like it, I don't care, get something else for it. Compared to the embarrassment of the usual gifts, their pure fungibility also represents something more humane, because they at least allow the recipient to give something to themselves, which of course is at the same time the absolute contradiction to giving.

Compared to the greater abundance of goods that are even available to the poor, the decline in giving might seem indifferent, the consideration of it might seem sentimental. But even if it were superfluous in abundance - and that is a lie, privately as well as socially, because there is no one today for whom the imagination cannot find exactly what makes him happy through and through - those in need of giving would remain who don’t give anymore. They wither away those irreplaceable abilities that cannot thrive in the isolation cell of pure inwardness, but only in contact with the warmth of things. Cold takes hold of everything they do, the kind word that is unsaid, the consideration that remains untrained. Such cold finally hits back on those from whom it emanates. All relationships that have not been distorted, and perhaps what is reconciling in organic life itself, is a gift. Anyone who is incapable of doing this through the logic of consequence makes himself a thing and freezes to death.


Child with the bath. - Among the motives of cultural criticism, that of the lie has been central from time immemorial: that culture pretends to be a humane society that does not exist; that it obscures the material conditions upon which everything human rises, and that it serves with consolation and appeasement to keep alive the poor economic determination of existence. It is the idea of ​​culture as ideology, as at first glance the bourgeois theory of violence and its counterpart, Nietzsche and Marx, have in common. But it is precisely this thought, like all betting on the lie, that has a suspicious tendency to become an ideology itself. That proves itself in the private sphere. The thought of money and all the conflict that it entails extends compulsively into the most delicate erotic, the most sublime spiritual relationships. With the logic of consistency and the pathos of truth, cultural criticism could therefore demand that the circumstances be reduced to their material origin and that they should be ruthlessly and undisguisedly shaped according to the interests of those involved. The meaning is not independent of the genesis, and in everything that lies above the material or mediates it can easily be found the trace of insincerity, sentimentality, indeed precisely the disguised and doubly poisonous interest. But if one wanted to act radically in accordance with it, one would also eradicate all truth with the untrue, everything that, as always, impotently seeks to extricate itself from the periphery of universal practice, all chimerical anticipation of the nobler state, and would go directly to barbarism, which one would call conveyed the accusations of culture. This envelope was always obvious to the bourgeois cultural critics after Nietzsche: Spengler signed it enthusiastically. But the Marxists are not immune from this. Once cured by the social democratic belief in cultural progress and confronted with increasing barbarism, they are constantly tempted to advocate for the sake of the "objective tendency" and, in an act of desperation, to expect salvation from the mortal enemy who, as the "antithesis," blind and mysterious the good ending should help prepare. The emphasis on the material element over the spirit as a lie develops a kind of dubious elective affinity with the political economy, the immanent criticism of which is practiced, comparable to the agreement between the police and the underworld. Since the utopia has been cleared up and the unity of theory and practice has been demanded, one has become all too practical. The fear of the impotence of the theory provides the pretext for devoting oneself to the almighty process of production and thus in the first place to admit the impotence of the theory. Malicious traits are not alien to the authentic Marxian language, and today a similarity between business spirit and soberly judging criticism, vulgar and other materialism is emerging, in which it is sometimes difficult to keep subject and object properly apart. - Identifying culture solely with lies is most fatal at the moment when it really merges completely into it and eagerly challenges such identification in order to compromise every resisting thought. If one calls material reality the world of exchange value, but culture, whatever its rule refuses to accept, then such refusal is indeed apparent as long as the existing exists. However, since free and just exchange is itself a lie, what denies it also stands for the truth at the same time: in relation to the lie of the world of commodities, the lie that denounces the world becomes a corrective. The fact that culture has failed to this day is no justification for promoting its failure by, like Katherlieschen, still sprinkling the supply of fine wheat flour over the spilled beer. People who belong together should neither keep silent about their material interests nor level them out, but reflect them in their relationship and thus go beyond them.


Plural tantum. - If, as a contemporary theory teaches, society is really one of rackets, then its most faithful model is precisely the opposite of the collective, namely the individual as a monad.The nature of the collectives in the wrong society can be studied most precisely in the pursuit of the absolutely particular interests of the individual, and there is little lacking in the organization of the instincts that point apart under the primacy of the realistic self from the beginning as an internalized band of robbers with a leader , Allegiance, ceremonial, oath of loyalty, breach of loyalty, conflicts of interest, intrigue and all other accessories. One only has to observe once impulses in which the individual is vigorously asserting himself against the environment, such as anger. The angry man always appears as the gang leader himself, who gives his unconscious the order to strike, and from whose eyes shines the satisfaction of speaking for the many that he himself is. The more one has put the cause of his aggression on himself, the more perfectly he represents the oppressive principle of society. In this sense, perhaps more than in any other, the principle applies that the most individual is the most general.


Tough baby. - A certain gesture of masculinity, be it one's own or that of others, is due to be distrusted. It expresses independence, security of command, the tacit conspiracy of all men with one another. It used to be called fearful admiring gentlemen's moods, today it is democratized and the film heroes show it to the last bank clerk. Archetypal for this is the good-looking man who comes alone in his tuxedo, late at night, into his bachelor apartment, turns on the indirect lighting and mixes a whiskey-soda: the carefully recorded hiss of the mineral water says what the arrogant mouth hides; that he despises anything that does not smell of smoke, leather and shaving cream, especially women, and that is why they fly to him. For him the ideal of human relationships is the club, the place of respect based on considerate ruthlessness. The joys of such men, or rather their models, to whom no living person is ever like, because people are still better than their culture, all have something of latent violence. Apparently she threatens the others, whose one, crouched in his armchair, no longer needs. In truth it is past violence against oneself. If all pleasure cancels out earlier displeasure, then here the displeasure, as pride in enduring it, is sudden, unchanged, stereotypically elevated to pleasure: unlike wine, the reluctance can still be felt in every glass of whiskey, every puff on the cigar It has cost the organism to respond to such powerful stimuli, and that alone is registered as pleasure. The He men would be masochists according to their own constitution, as what the film plot usually presents them as. The lie is in their sadism, and only as liars do they truly become sadists, agents of repression. But that lie is no other than that repressed homosexuality appears as the only approved figure of the heterosexual. At Oxford there are two types of students, the tough guys and the intellectuals; the latter are almost immediately to be equated with the effeminates because of the contrast. There is much to suggest that the ruling class is polarizing itself towards these two extremes on the way to dictatorship. Such disintegration is the secret of integration, of happiness, of unity in the absence of happiness. In the end, the tough guys are actually the effeminates who need the sissies as their victims in order not to admit that they look like them. Totality and homosexuality belong together. As the subject perishes, it negates everything that is not of its own kind. The opposites of the strong man and the obedient young man merge in an order that purely enforces the male principle of domination. By making everyone without exception, including the supposed subjects, into its objects, it turns into total passivity, virtually into the feminine.


You shouldn't be thought of. - The previous life of the emigrant is known to be annulled. In the past it was the profile, today it is the spiritual experience that is declared to be non-transferable and absolutely alien. What is not reified, can be counted and measured, falls out. Not enough with this, however, does reification itself extend to its own opposite, life, which cannot be immediately actualized; whatever lives on only as thoughts and memories. They have created their own section for this. It is called »background« and appears as an appendix to the questionnaire, according to gender, age and occupation. The violated life is also dragged along on the triumph car of the united statisticians, and even the past is no longer safe from the present, which it once again dedicates to oblivion by remembering it.


English spoken. - In my childhood I often received books as gifts from old English ladies with whom my parents were related: richly illustrated youth books, also a small green Bible in Saffian. All were in the language of the donors: none of them thought about whether I was capable of them. The peculiar closeness of the books, which attacked me with pictures, large titles and vignettes, without my being able to decipher the text, filled me with the belief that in general these books were never about such books, but about advertisements, perhaps for machines the way my uncle made them in his London factory. Since I have lived in Anglo-Saxon countries and understood English, this awareness has not disappeared, but increased. There is a »girl's song« by Brahms, based on a poem by Heyse, in it are the lines: »O Herzeleid, you eternity! / Selbander only is bliss. "In the most widespread American edition it is put like this:" O misery, eternity! / But two in one were ecstasy. «The old-fashioned passionate nouns of the original have become passwords for hits that praise them. The advertising character of culture shines in its turned on light.


On parle français. - Whoever reads pornography in a foreign language learns how intimately sex and language are intertwined. You don't need a dictionary to read Sade's original. Even the most remote expressions for the indecent, knowledge of which no school, no parental home, no literary experience convey, one understands, walking through the night, how in childhood the most remote expressions and observations of sexuality come together to form the right idea. It is as if the captive passions, called by those words by name, burst like the wall of one's own oppression so that of blind words and strike violently, irresistibly into the innermost cell of the mind that resembles them.


Paysage. The lack of the American landscape is not as much, as the romantic illusion would like, the absence of historical memories, than the fact that the hand has left no trace in it. This does not just refer to the lack of fields, the unearthed and often scrub-like low forests, but above all to the roads. These are always suddenly blasted into the landscape, and the smoother and wider they are, the more unrelated and violent is their shimmering path against the all too wildly overgrown surroundings. They have no expression. Just as they know no walking or wheel tracks, no soft footpaths along their edge as a transition to the vegetation, no side paths down into the valley, so they dispense with the mild, soothing, uneven of things on which hands or their immediate tools have done their part . It is as if no one had run over the landscape. She is unconsoled and desolate. This corresponds to the way they perceive them. Because what the hurrying eye has only seen in the car it cannot keep, and it sinks as without a trace as it leaves its own tracks.


Dwarf fruit. It is Proust's courtesy to spare the reader the shame of considering himself more intelligent than the author.

In the nineteenth century the Germans painted their dream, and it always turned into vegetables. The French only needed to paint vegetables and it was a dream.

In Anglo-Saxon countries, prostitutes look as if they were punishing hell with their sin.

Beauty of the American landscape: that even the smallest of its segments is inscribed, as an expression, with the immeasurable size of the whole country.

In the memory of the emigration, every German roast venison tastes as if it had been shot by the Freischütz.

There is nothing true about psychoanalysis but its exaggerations.

Whether one is happy, he can hear the wind. He reminds the unfortunate of the fragility of his house and chases him out of light sleep and violent dreams. To the lucky one he sings the song of his security: his angry whistle announces that he no longer has any power over him.

The silent noise, which from our dream experience has always been present to us, resounds against the waking from the headlines of the newspapers.

The mythical bad news is renewed with the radio. Anyone who communicates something important in an authoritarian manner reports disaster. English means solemn solemn and threatening. The power of society behind the speaker turns itself against the addressed.

The recent past always presents itself as if it had been destroyed by catastrophes.

The expression of the historical in things is nothing other than the torment of the past.

For Hegel self-consciousness was the truth of the certainty of oneself, in the words of phenomenology the "native realm of truth". When they no longer understood this, the citizens were self-confident, at least proud of the fact that they had a fortune. Today, self-conscious only means reflecting on the ego as self-consciousness, as perceiving powerlessness: knowing that one is nothing.

For many people it is already outrageous when they say I.

The splinter in your eye is the best magnifying glass.

Even the poorest person is capable of recognizing the weaknesses of the most important, even the stupidest, the errors of thought of the cleverest.

First and only principle of sexual ethics: the accuser is always wrong.

The whole thing is untrue.


Pro domo nostra. - When the bramar-based mouths of symphony orchestras in many countries were stopped during the previous war, which, like everyone else, appears peaceful in relation to the following war, Stravinsky wrote the Histoire du Soldat for a sparse, shockingly damaged chamber line-up. It became his best score, the only valid surrealist manifesto, in whose convulsive, dreamlike compulsion of the music something of the negative truth emerged. The prerequisite for the play was poverty: it dismantled official culture so drastically because, along with its material goods, it was also barred from its anti-cultural ostentation. This is an indication of the intellectual production after this war, which left behind a degree of destruction in Europe, of which even the holes in that music could not have been dreamed of. Progress and barbarism are so matted today as a mass culture that only barbaric asceticism against it and the progress of the means can restore the barbaric. No work of art, no thought has a chance to survive, which is not inherent in the rejection of false wealth and first-class production, of color films and television, of millionaire magazines and Toscanini. The older media, which were not designed for mass production, are gaining new relevance: that of the unrecognized and improvisation. You alone could avoid the united front of trust and technology. In a world in which books no longer look like books, there are only books that are no longer. If the invention of the printing press was at the beginning of the bourgeois era, it would soon be necessary to revoke it through mimeography, the only appropriate, inconspicuous means of dissemination.


Cat out of the bag. - Even the most venerable behavior of socialism, solidarity, is sick. One day it wanted to realize the talk of brotherhood, to take it out of the general public, in which it was an ideology, and reserved for the particular, the party that was the only one to represent the general public in the antagonistic world. Groups of people who committed their lives together were in solidarity and for whom their own, in the face of tangible possibility, was not the most important thing, so that they were ready, without the abstract obsession with the idea, but also without individual hope, to sacrifice oneself for one another. Such abandonment of self-preservation had as a prerequisite knowledge and freedom of decision: if these are absent, the blind particular interest is immediately restored. In the meantime, however, solidarity has passed into the confidence that the party has a thousand eyes, based on the workers' battalions that have long since advanced to be in uniform as the actually stronger ones, swimming with the tide of world history. What security can be gained from time to time is paid for with permanent fear, with cuddling, lavishing and ventriloquism: the forces with which one could feel the weakness of the opponent are used to anticipate the impulses of one's own leaders, in front of them one trembles more deeply than before the old enemy, foreboding that in the end the leaders here and there will come to an understanding on the backs of those who have been integrated by them. The reflex of this can be felt between the individuals. Those who, according to the stereotypes according to which people today divide themselves in advance, are counted among the progressives without having signed that imaginary lapel that seems to connect orthodox believers, who are drawn to an imponderable of gestures and language, a kind of rough-hewn - Recognize obedient resignation as if by a password, you have the same experience over and over again. Orthodox believers, or even those deviations that are too similar to them, meet him and expect solidarity from him. They expressly and unequivocally appeal to progressive consent. At the moment, however, when he hopes from them the smallest evidence of the same solidarity, or even only sympathy for their own share in the national product of suffering, they show him the cold shoulder that is left of materialism and atheism in the age of the restored priests. The organized want the decent intellectual to expose himself for them, but as soon as they fear from afar that they have to expose themselves, he is to them the capitalist, and the same decency on which they speculated, ridiculous sentimentality and stupidity. Solidarity is polarized in the desperate loyalty of those for whom there is no turning back, and in the virtual blackmail of those who may not have anything to do with the bailiffs without surrendering to the gang.


The savages are no better people. - One can find in Negro students of political economy, Siamese at Oxford and in general in diligent art historians and musicologists of petty-bourgeois origin the inclination and willingness to associate an undue respect for the established, valid and recognized with the appropriation of what is new and what is to be learned. Implacable attitudes are the opposite of savagery, neophyte or "non-capitalist spaces". It presupposes experience, historical memory, nervousness of thought and, above all, a thorough measure of weariness. It has been observed again and again how those who were very young and unsuspecting in radical groups overflowed as soon as they became aware of the power of tradition. You have to have them in yourself to really hate them. That the snobs make more sense than the proletarians for avant-garde movements in art also sheds light on politics. Late comers and newcomers have a frightening affinity for positivism, from the Carnap admirers in India to the brave defenders of the German champions Matthias Grünewald and Heinrich Schütz. It would be bad psychology to assume that what one is excluded from only arouses hatred and resentment; it also arouses a humiliating, intolerant kind of love, and those whom the repressive culture does not allow themselves easily become its most narrow-minded protection force. This can still be heard in the booming High German of the worker who, as a socialist, wants to "learn something" and participate in the so-called inheritance, and the Bebels' banausia consists not both in their strangeness to culture and in the zeal with which they see it as a fact accept, identify with it and, of course, reverse its meaning. In general, socialism is no more secure from this transformation than it is from the theoretical slide into positivism. It can be easy enough for Marx to be substituted for Driesch and Rickert's vacant post in the Far East. Sometimes it is to be feared that the involvement of the non-occidental peoples in the conflict of industrial society, in itself long ago, will benefit less the liberated than the rational increase in production and transport and the modest increase in the standard of living.Instead of expecting miracles from the pre-capitalist peoples, the mature ones should be on their guard against their sobriety, their lazy sense for the tried and tested and for the successes of the West.


Far from the shot. - In the reports of air raids, the names of the companies that manufactured the aircraft are seldom missing: Focke-Wulff, Heinkel, Lancaster appear where there was once talk of cuirassiers, lancers and hussars. The mechanism of the reproduction of life, its domination, and its annihilation are immediately the same, and accordingly industry, state, and advertising are amalgamated. The old exaggeration of skeptical liberals that war is a business has been fulfilled: the state has given up even the appearance of independence from particular profit interests and, as always in real terms, is now also ideologically in its service. Every honorable mention of the main company in the city destruction helps it to gain a good name, for the sake of which it then receives the best jobs in the reconstruction.