melting & burning

Adorno’s Minima Moralia:
April 21, 2012, 4:58 pm
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“They are the nice folk, the good mixers liked by all, the just, humanely excusing all meanness and scrupulously proscribing any non-standardized impulses as sentimental. Indispensable for their knowledge of all the channels and plug-holes of power, they divine its most secret judgements and live by adroitly propogating them. They are found in all political camps, even where the rejection of the system is taken for granted, and has thereby produced a slack and subtle conformism of its own. Often they win sympathy by a certain good-naturedness, a kindly involvement in other people’s lives; selflessness as speculation. They are clever, witty, full of sensitive reactions: they have refurbished the old tradesman’s mentality with the day before yesterday’s psychological discoveries. They are capable of everything, even love, yet always faithlessly. They deceive, not by instinct, but on principle, valuing even themselves as a profit begrudged to anyone else. To intellect they are bound both by affinity and hatred: they are a temptation for the thoughful, but also their worst enemies. For it is they who insidiously attack and despoil the last retreats of resistance, the hours still exempt from the demands of machinery. Their belated individualism poisons what little is left of the individual.” (Adorno 1951/2005: 24)