history and class struggle

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at SPAMoregon.uoregon.edu
Sun Feb 18 15:08:47 MST 2001


On Sun, 18 Feb 2001, Gorojovsky wrote:

> What defines Horkheimer and Adorno as reactionary in the core (as
> opposed to Benjamin, Korsch -his "hope as a principle" is the exact
> opposite of Adorno's pessimism-, or Goldmann) is that they did not
> subject the overarching determination by the rationality of capitalist
> production to a criticism.  Of all the followers of Lukacs, I prefer

Ueberhaupt nicht, Kamerad.

1. Horkheimer was the manager of the Frankfurt School: paid the bills, got
the members of the School out of Nazi Germany and into the US, and also
pulled strings to get them back into postwar W. Germany. His intellectual
production is very much secondary to Adorno's.

2. Adorno's pessimism is that of the intellect, i.e. a spur to the
positive things he did (radio addresses, an exhausting teaching schedule,
sociological work, defending the Second Viennese School and Beckett
against the arch-reactionaries, etc.).

3. He wrote in the 1960s about how the total system really was total, and
how East and West were converging into a single monster. He insisted that
just because one-party states *said* they were proletarian, doesn't mean
they necessarily are. And he emphasized identity politics and culture as
key zones of class struggle that previous radical movements had passed
over. These are the essential insights of the 21st century Left.

-- Dennis







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