history and class struggle

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at SPAMOREGON.UOREGON.EDU
Tue Feb 20 17:42:22 MST 2001

On Mon, 19 Feb 2001, Gorojovsky wrote:

> But was it _his_ [Adorno's] insight?

It was indeed. There's nothing comparable in the work of Sartre, Derrida,
the structuralists and post-structuralists; they don't have a concept of
the total system, though Sartre comes close, with his vision of total
ideologies. Of course, every theoretical insight is the crystallization of
collective struggles. Probably Adorno's distance from the existing
political movements of the 1960s gave him an unusually clear vantage-point
into the totality (that, plus being in West Germany, one of the
border-zones of the Cold War). More to the point, if we're going to excuse
Brecht and Lukacs for associating with regimes tainted by Stalin's
murderous rule -- and I think we would, because they resisted Stalinism as
best they could and fought for a socialism worthy of the next generation
-- then we surely can excuse Adorno's haute bourgeois peccadilloes, for
the sake of the concepts and tools he bequeathed to the global Left.

-- Dennis

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