15+ quotes from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments by Theodor W. Adorno

Quotes from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments

Theodor W. Adorno ·  304 pages

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“As naturally as the ruled always took the morality imposed upon them more seriously than did the rulers themselves, the deceived masses are today captivated by the myth of success even more than the successful are. Immovably, they insist on the very ideology which enslaves them. The misplaced love of the common people for the wrong which is done to them is a greater force than the cunning of the authorities.”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


“Pleasure always means not to think about anything, to forget suffering even where it is shown. Basically it is helplessness. It is flight; not, as is asserted, flight from a wretched reality, but from the last remaining thought of resistance.”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


“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.”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


“The culture industry perpetually cheats its consumers of what it perpetually promises. The promissory note which, with its plots and staging, it draws on pleasure is endlessly prolonged; the promise, which is actually all the spectacle consists of, is illusory: all it actually confirms is that the real point will never be reached, that the diner must be satisfied with the menu.”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


“The work of art still has something in common with enchantment: it posits its own, self-enclosed area, which is withdrawn from the context of profane existence, and in which special laws apply. Just as in the ceremony the magician first of all marked out the limits of the area where the sacred powers were to come into play, so every work of art describes its own circumference which closes it off from actuality.”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


“The paradise offered by the culture industry is the same old drudgery. Both escape and elopement are pre-designed to lead back to the starting point. Pleasure promotes the resignation which it ought to help to forget.”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


“Even the aesthetic activities of political opposites are one in their enthusiastic obedience to the rhythm of the iron system.”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


“Intellect's true concern is a negation of reification.”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


“But there is another conclusion: to laugh at logic if it runs counter to the interests of men.”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


“Today the order of life allows no room for the ego to draw spiritual or intellectual conclusions. The thought which leads to knowledge is neutralized and used as a mere qualification on specific labor markets and to heighten to commodity value of the personality.”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


“The self, entirely encompassed by civilization, is dissolved in an element composed of the very inhumanity which civilization has sought from the first to escape.”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


“On the way from mythology to logistics thought has lost the element of self-reflection and today machinery disables men even as it nurtures them.”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


“Es justamente el espíritu dominador de la naturaleza el que continuamente reivindica la superioridad de la naturaleza en la competencia”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


“Ruthlessly, in despite of itself, the Enlightenment has extinguished any trace of its own self-consciousness. The only kind of thinking that is sufficiently hard to shatter myths is ultimately self-destructive.”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


“La Ilustración se relaciona con las cosas como el dictador con los hombres. Éste los concede en la medida en en que puede manipularlos.”
― Theodor W. Adorno, quote from Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments


About the author

Theodor W. Adorno
Born place: in Frankfurt, Germany
Born date September 11, 1903
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