Theodor Adorno Quotes
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Every work of art is an uncommitted crime.
People have so manipulated the concept of freedom that it finally boils down to the right of the stronger and richer to take from the weaker and poorer whatever they still have.
Once the last trace of emotion has been eradicated, nothing remains of thought but absolute tautology.
Love is the power to see similarity in the dissimilar.
There is no love that is not an echo.
Knowledge, which is power, knows no limits, either in its enslavement of creation or in its deference to worldly masters.
The power of the culture industry's ideology is such that conformity has replaced consciousness
For a man who no longer has a homeland, writing becomes a place to live.
True thoughts are those alone which do not understand themselves.
Freedom would be not to choose between black and white but to abjure such prescribed choices.
Art respects the masses, by standing up to them for what they could be, rather than conforming to them in their degraded state.
The task of art today is to bring chaos into order.
Intolerance of ambiguity is the mark of an authoritarian personality.
In the end, glorification of splendid underdogs is nothing other than glorification of the splendid system that makes them so.
The forms of art reflect the history of man more truthfully than do documents themselves.
Estrangement shows itself precisely in the elimination of distance between people.
The positive element of kitsch lies in the fact that it sets free for a moment the glimmering realization that you have wasted your life.
The triumph of advertising in the culture industry is that consumers feel compelled to buy and use its products even though they see through them.
If time is money, it seems moral to save time, above all one's own, and such parsimony is excused by consideration for others. One is straight-forward.
There's not much need for prophets who are in synch with their society.
The bourgeois ... is tolerant. His love for people as they are stems from his hatred of what they might be.
He who stands aloof runs the risk of believing himself better than others and misusing his critique of society as an ideology for his private interest.
Fear and destructiveness are the major emotional sources of fascism, eros belongs mainly to democracy.
Writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.
Everything about art has become problematic; its inner life, its relation to society, even its right to exist.
Art is permitted to survive only if it renounces the right to be different, and integrates itself into the omnipotent realm of the profane.
Technology is making gestures precise and brutal, and with them men.
To say 'we' and mean 'I' is one of the most recondite insults.
Everything that has ever been called folk art has always reflected domination.
Fascism is itself less 'ideological', in so far as it openly proclaims the principle of domination that is elsewhere concealed.
A pencil and rubber are of more use to thought than a battalion of assistants. To happiness the same applies as to truth: one does not have it, but is in it.
On their way toward modern science human beings have discarded meaning. The concept is replaced by the formula, the cause by rules and probability.
The almost insoluble task is to let neither the power of others, nor our own powerlessness, stupefy us.
Wrong life cannot be lived rightly.
Today self-consciousness no longer means anything but reflection on the ego as embarrassment, as realization of impotence: knowing that one is nothing.
Quality is decided by the depth at which the work incorporates the alternatives within itself, and so masters them.
In sharp contrasts to traditional art, modern art does not hide the fact that it is something made and produced: on the contrary, it underscores the fact.
When all actions are mathematically calculated, they also take on a stupid quality.
Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.
It is barbaric to write poetry after Auschwitz.
He who has laughter on his side has no need of proof.
The basest person is capable of perceiving the weaknesses of the greatest, the most stupid, the errors in the thought of the most intelligent.
An emancipated society, on the other hand, would not be a unitary state, but the realization of universality in the reconciliation of differences.
People know what they want because they know what other people want.
The human is indissolubly linked with imitation: a human being only becomes human at all by imitating other human beings.
The Enlightenment has always aimed at liberating men from fear and establishing their sovereignty. Yet the fully enlightened earth radiates disaster triumphant.
Advancing bourgeois society liquidates memory, time, recollection as irrational leftovers of the past.
Culture is only true when implicitly critical, and the mind which forgets this revenges itself in the critics it breeds. Criticism is an indispensable element of culture.
Horror is beyond the reach of psychology.
The hardest hit, as everywhere, are those who have no choice.