Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Some Adorno quotes



Not wishing to add to the general alarm, but does any of this ring a bell?
The agitators spend a large part of their time in speaking either about themselves or about their audiences.They present themselves as lone wolves, as healthy, sound American citizens with robust instincts, as unselfish and indefatigable; and they incessantly divulge real or fictitious intimacies about their lives and those of their families. Moreover, they appear to take a warm human interest in the small daily worries of their listeners, whom they depict as poor but honest, common-sense but non-intellectual, native Christians....

They identify themselves with their listeners and lay particular emphasis upon being simultaneously both modest little men and leaders of great calibre....

Another favorite scheme of personalization is to dwell upon petty financial needs and to beg for small amounts of money....

All these demagogues substitute means for ends. They prate about “this great movement,” about their organization, about a general American revival they hope to bring about, but they very rarely say anything about what such a movement is supposed to lead to, what the organization is good for or what the mysterious revival is intended positively to achieve....

Scandal stories, mostly fictitious, particularly of sexual excesses and atrocities are constantly told; the indignation at filth and cruelty is but a very thin, purposely transparent rationalization of the pleasure these stories convey to the listener....

Conditions prevailing in our society tend to transform neurosis and even mild lunacy into a commodity which the afflicted can easily sell, once he has discovered that many others have an affinity for his own illness.The fascist agitator is usually a masterly salesman of his own psychological defects....
Hitler was liked, not in spite of his cheap antics, but just because of them, because of his false tones and his clowning. They are observed as such, and appreciated.
Adorno, Anti-Semitism and Fascist Propaganda