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Theodor Adorno Quotes


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In the abstract conception of universal wrong, all concrete responsibility vanishes.
 

In the age of the individual's liquidation, the question of individuality must be raised anew.
 

In the clock's over-loud ticking we hear the mockery of light-years for the span of our existence.
 

In the end the tough guys are the truly effeminate ones, who need the weaklings as their victims in order not to admit that they are like them.
 

In the end, glorification of splendid underdogs is nothing other than glorification of the splendid system that makes them so.
 

In the fanatical love of cars the feeling of physical homelessness plays a part. It is at the bottom of what the bourgeois were wont to call, mistakenly, the flight from oneself, from the inner void. Anyone who wants to move with the times is not allowed to be different. Psychological emptiness is itself only the result of the wrong kind of social absorption. The boredom that people are running away from merely mirrors the process of running away, that started long before.
 

In the nineteenth century the Germans painted their dream and the outcome was invariably vegetable. The French needed only to paint a vegetable and it was already a dream.
 

Insane sects grow with the same rhythm as big organizations. It is the rhythm of total destruction.
 

Intelligence is a moral category.
 

It is not man's lapse into luxurious indolence that is to be feared, but the savage spread of the social under the mask of universal nature, the collective as a blind fury of activity.
 

Jazz is the false liquidation of art - instead of utopia becoming reality it disappears from the picture.
 

Legitimate works of art are today without exception socially undesired.
 

Lies are told only to convey to someone that one has no need either of him or his good opinion.
 

Lies have long legs: they are ahead of their time. The conversion of all questions of truth into questions of power, a process that truth itself cannot escape if it is not to be annihilated by power, not only suppresses truth as in earlier despotic orders, but has attacked the very heart of the distinction between true and false, which the hirelings of logic were in any case diligently working to abolish. So Hitler, of whom no-one can say whether he died or escaped, survives.
 

Life has become the ideology of its own absence.
 

Life has changed into a timeless succession of shocks, inter spaced with empty, paralyzed intervals.
 

Love is the power to see similarity in the dissimilar.
 

Love you will find only where you may show yourself weak without provoking strength.
 

Metaphysical categories are not merely an ideology concealing the social system; at the same time they express its nature, the truth about, and in their changes are precipitated those in its most central experiences.
 

Mind arose out of existence, as an organ for keeping alive. In reflecting existence, however, it becomes at the same time something else. The existent negates itself as thought upon itself. Such negation is mind's element.
 


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