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Theodor Adorno Quotes


A German sociologist, philosopher, musicologist and composer.
(1903 - 1969)

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A German is someone who cannot tell a lie without believing it himself.
 

A pencil and rubber are of more use to thought than a battalion of assistants. To happiness the same applies as to truth: one does not have it, but is in it.
 

Advice to intellectuals: let no-one represent you.
 

All morality has been modeled on immorality and to this day has reinstated it at every level. The slave morality is indeed bad: it is still the master morality.
 

All satire is blind to the forces liberated by decay. Which is why total decay has absorbed the forces of satire.
 

An emancipated society, on the other hand, would not be a unitary state, but the realization of universality in the reconciliation of differences.
 

And how comfortless is the thought that the sickness of the normal does not necessarily imply as its opposite the health of the sick, but that the latter usually only present, in a different way, the same disastrous pattern.
 

Antisemitism is the rumor about the Jews.
 

Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.
[Art]
 

Art is permitted to survive only if it renounces the right to be different, and integrates itself into the omnipotent realm of the profane.
 

Because thought has by now been perverted into the solving of assigned problems, even what is not assigned is processed like a problem.
 

But he who dies in despair has lived his whole life in vain.
 

Dialectic thought is an attempt to break through the coercion of logic by its own means.
[Attempt]
 

Domination delegates the physical violence on which it rests to the dominated.
 

Estrangement shows itself precisely in the elimination of distance between people.
 

Every undistorted relationship, perhaps indeed the conciliation that is part of organic life itself, is a gift. He who through consequential logic becomes incapable of it, makes himself a thing and freezes.
 

Every work of art is an uncommitted crime.
 

Everybody must have projects all the time. The maximum must be extracted from leisure ... The whole of life must look like a job, and by this resemblance conceal what is not yet directly devoted to pecuniary gain.
 

Everything that has ever been called folk art has always reflected domination.
 

Everywhere bourgeois society insists on the exertion of will; only love is supposed to be involuntary, pure immediacy of feeling. In its longing for this, which means a dispensation from work, the bourgeois idea of love transcends bourgeois society. But in erecting truth directly amid the general untruth, it perverts the former into the latter.
 


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