Surrealpolitik: Minima Moralia

Author: Theodor Adorno

London: Verso (2005, first published in 1951)

Quick Summary

A collection of somewhat disjointed but excellent thoughts on reason and fascism.


There are 2 quotes currently associated with this book.

Promise me this, my child. -- The immorality of lying does not consist in the offence against sacrosanct truth. An appeal to truth is scarcely a prerogative of a society which dragoons its members to own up the better to hunt them down. It ill befits universal untruth to insist on particular truth, while immediately converting it into its opposite. Nevertheless, there is something repellent about a lie, and awareness of this, though inculcated by the traditional whip, yet throws light on the gaolers. Error lies in excessive honesty. A man who lies is ashamed, for each lie teaches him the degradation of a world which, forcing him to lie in order to live, promptly sings the praises of loyalty and truthfulness. This shame undermines the lying of more subtly organized natures. They do it badly, which alone really makes the lie a moral offence against the other. It implies his stupidity, and so serves to express contempt. Among today's adept practitioners, the lie has long since lost its honest function of misrepresenting reality. Nobody believes anybody, everyone is in the know. Lies are told only to convey to someone that one has no need either of him or his good opinion. The lie, once a liberal means or communication, has today become one of the techniques of insolence enabling each individual to spread around him the glacial atmosphere in whose shelter he can thrive. (page 30)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Simulacra/Illusion, Media, Disinformation, Gaslighting, Paranoia]
[E]very thought resembles play, with which Hegel no less than Nietzsche compared the work of the mind. The unbarbaric side of philosophy is its tacit awareness of the element of irresponsibility, of blitheness springing from the volatility of thought, which forever escapes what it judges. Such license is resented by the positivistic spirit and put down to mental disorder. (page 127)
Tags: [Activism, Carnival, Rationality, Fleeing]