Download Dawn & Decline: Notes 1926-1931 and 1950-1969 by Max Horkheimer PDF

By Max Horkheimer

This quantity comprises decisions from Horkheimer works, Dämmerung, Notizen in Deutschland (here translated as Dawn, Notes 1926-1931) which used to be initially released in 1934 below the pseudonym Heinrich Regius, and hasn't ever been republished for the reason that, and Notizen, 1950-1969 (here translated as Decline, Notes 1950-1969).

Concerning the sooner paintings, Horkheimer wrote: “This publication is outmoded. The reflections contained in it are occasional notes formulated in periods of leisure from a hard piece of labor, and the writer didn't take some time to shine them. this can be additionally the explanation they don't represent and orderly series. They comprise repetitions or even a few contradictions. but the topics explored supply one of those harmony. They significantly study and re-evaluate the that means ideas reminiscent of metaphysics, personality, morality, character and the worth of the man or woman had in the course of that section of capitalism. in view that they predate the ultimate victory of nationwide Socialism, they care for a global that has develop into anachronistic when you consider that. . . . but the strategies of the writer who lived his existence as an individualist will not be totally with no value at a later time.”

The moment a part of this quantity might recommend an extra reason behind Horkheimer’s use of the time period “outdated” for his previous ebook. This part not just marks the top of the liberal bourgeoisie for Horkheimer yet can also outline the beginnings of a rethinking of the sanguine Marxism constructed within the overdue twenties. Commenting on Horkheimer’s improvement, his German editor, Werner Brede, writes: “He was once no theoretician of decline; yet he did realize that the historic and philosophical weather had changed.” Or back: “In the Notizen, 1950-1969, Horkheimer’s unorthodox sociological viewpoint outlined the contours of a ‘society in transition.’ right here, the serious pessimism by no means completely absent from his philosophy definitively supplants the hopes of Marxism.”

Each reader should make a decision for himself even if the pervasive pessimism of the later paintings is overall melancholy or a extra advanced, extra hugely differentiated evaluate of a later part within the improvement of guy and society; if it is mere “expression,” or philosophical perception with a declare to truth.

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And that is generally true of poverty and wretchedness. Most people are born into a prison, which is precisely why the present fonn of society, so-called individualism, is actually a society of stand­ ardization and mass culture. , socialism;,on the other hand, is the development of individual talents and differences. ' NOTE: In society as presently constituted, the following law applies to individual development: the more elevated the social position, the more easily intelligence and every other kind of talent will grow.

In theaters or universities, the bourgeoisie is given the chance to consider itself a competent judge of the interests of the proletariat. When it can join the ex­ ploited in their indignation at their fate, it affirms its ideological superiority with every burst of applause. Every instance of individual or collective indignation which makes an object of that indignation in confrontation or concert with the authority that is being attacked is still a slavish indignation. The history of contemporary theater and of pseudo-revolutionary plays provide a grotesque confirmation of this state of affairs.

But it is also true that varying degrees of attention in treatment and care make a difference even where the disease is the same. But that is the least of it. Just one observation suffices to cast doubt on the whole ideology of the impartiality of death. Let it be published everywhere that the survivors of those who die of whatever cause within the next fourteen days will be decently clothed and fed for the rest of their life. If that were done, global suicide rates would Max Horkheimer 39 not only leap upward hut a respectable number of individuals, men and women, would commit these suicides with a calm that would honor any stoic.

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