- Gustavo Rol: La vita, luomo, il mistero (Uomini storia e misteri) (Italian Edition).
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- Monnett family genealogy : an emphasis of a noble Huguenot heritage, somewhat of the first immigrants Isaac and Pierre Monnet.
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Beneath the modest veil of the Olympian chronique scan- daleuse the doctrine of the commingling and colliding of elements had evolved; establishing itself at once as science, it turned the myths into fig- ments of fantasy. With the clean separation between science and poetry The Concept of Enlightenment 13 the division of labor which science had helped to estabUsh was extended to language. For science the word is first of all a sign; it is then distributed among the various arts as sound, image, or word proper, but its unity can never be restored by the addition of these arts, by synaesthesia or total art.
As image it must resign itself to being a likeness and, to be entirely nature, must renounce the claim to know it. With advancing enlightenment, only authentic works of art have been able to avoid the mere imitation of what already is. The pre- vailing antithesis between art and science, which rends the two apart as areas of culture in order to make them jointly manageable as areas of cul- ture, finally causes them, through their internal tendencies as exact oppo- sites, to converge. Science, in its neopositivist interpretation, becomes aes- theticism, a system of isolated signs devoid of any intention transcending the system; it becomes the game which mathematicians have long since proudly declared their activity to be.
Meanwhile, art as integral replication has pledged itself to positivist science, even in its specific techniques. It becomes, indeed, the world over again, an ideological doubling, a compli- ant reproduction. The separation of sign and image is inescapable. But if with heedless complacency, it is hypostatized over again, then each of the isolated principles tends toward the destruction of truth. Philosophy has perceived the chasm opened by this separation as the relationship between intuition and concept and repeatedly but vainly has attempted to close it; indeed, philosophy is defined by that attempt.
Usually, however, it has sided with the tendency to which it owes its name. Plato banished poetry with the same severity with which positivism dis- missed the doctrine of Forms. Homer, Plato argued, had procured neither public nor private reforms through his much- vaunted art, had neither won a war nor made an invention. We did not know, he said, of any numerous followers who had honored or loved him.
Art had to demonstrate its use- fulness. Both reason and religion outlaw the principle of magic. Even in its resigned detachment from existence, as art, it remains dishonorable; those who practice it become vagrants, latter-day nomads, who find no domicile among the settled. Nature is no longer to be influenced by likeness but mastered through work. Art has in common with magic the postulation of a special, self-contained sphere removed from the context of profane exis- 14 The Concept of Enlightenment tence.
Within it special laws prevail. Just as the sorcerer begins the cere- mony by marking out from all its surroundings the place in which the sacred forces are to come into play, each work of art is closed off from real- ity by its own circumference. The very renunciation of external effects by which art is distinguished from magical sympathy binds art only more deeply to the heritage of magic. This renunciation places the pure image in opposition to corporeal existence, the elements of which the image sub- lates within itself It is in the nature of the work of art, of aesthetic illu- sion, to be what was experienced as a new and terrible event in the magic of primitives: the appearance of the whole in the particular.
The work of art constantly reenacts the duplication by which the thing appeared as something spiritual, a manifestation of mana. That constitutes its aura. As an expression of totality art claims the dignity of the absolute. This has occasionally led philosophy to rank it higher than conceptual knowledge. According to Schelling, art begins where knowledge leaves humans in the lurch. For him art is "the model of science, and wherever art is, there sci- ence must go.
Where it restricted knowledge, it generally did so to make room for faith, not art. It was through faith that the militant religiosity of the modern age, of Tor- quemada, Luther, and Mohammed, sought to reconcile spirit and exis- tence. But faith is a privative concept: it is abolished as faith if it does not continuously assert either its opposition to knowledge or its agreement with it. In being dependent on the limits set to knowledge, it is itself lim- ited. The attempt made by faith under Protestantism to locate the princi- ple of truth, which transcends faith and without which faith cannot exist, directly in the word itself, as in primeval times, and to restore the symbolic power of the word, was paid for by obedience to the word, but not in its sacred form.
Because faith is unavoidably tied to knowledge as its friend or its foe, faith perpetuates the split in the struggle to overcome knowl- edge: its fanaticism is the mark of its untruth, the objective admission that anyone who only believes for that reason no longer believes. Bad con- science is second nature to it. The secret awareness of this necessary, inher- ent flaw, the immanent contradiction that lies in making a profession of reconciliation, is the reason why honesty in believers has always been a sensitive and dangerous affair. The horrors of fire and sword, of counter- The Concept of Enlightenment 15 Reformation and Reformation, were perpetrated not as an exaggeration but as a realization of the principle of faith.
Faith repeatedly shows itself of the same stamp as the world history it would like to command; indeed, in the modern period it has become that history's preferred means, its spe- cial ruse.
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Not only is the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century inex- orable, as Hegel confirmed; so, too, as none knew better than he, is the movement of thought itself The lowest insight, like the highest, contains the knowledge of its distance from the truth, which makes the apologist a liar. When language first entered history its masters were already priests and sorcerers. Anyone who affronted the symbols fell prey in the name of the unearthly powers to the earthly ones, represented by these appointed organs of society. What preceded that stage is shrouded in darkness. Wherever it is found in ethnology, the terror from which mana was born was already sanctioned, at least by the tribal elders.
Unidentical, fluid mana was solidified, violently materialized by men. Soon the sorcerers had populated every place with its emanations and coordinated the multiplic- ity of sacred realms with that of sacred rites. With the spirit-world and its peculiarities they extended their esoteric knowledge and their power. The sacred essence was transferred to the sorcerers who managed it. In the first stages of nomadism the members of the tribe still played an independent part in influencing the course of nature.
The men tracked prey while the women performed tasks which did not require rigid commands. How much violence preceded the habituation to even so simple an order can- not be known. In that order the world was already divided into zones of power and of the profane. The course of natural events as an emanation of mana had already been elevated to a norm demanding submission. But if the nomadic savage, despite his subjection, could still participate in the magic which defined the limits of that world, and could disguise himself as his quarry in order to stalk it, in later periods the intercourse with spir- its and the subjection were assigned to different classes of humanity: power to one side, obedience to the other.
The recurring, never-changing natural processes were drummed into the subjects, either by other tribes or by their own cliques, as the rhythm of work, to the beat of the club and the rod, which reechoed in every barbaric drum, in each monotonous rit- i6 The Concept of Enlightenment ual. The symbols take on the expression of the fetish. The repetition of nature which they signify always manifests itself in later times as the per- manence of social compulsion, which the symbols represent. The dread objectified in the fixed image becomes a sign of the consolidated power of the privileged.
Even the deductive form of science mirrors hierarchy and compulsion. Just as the first categories rep- resented the organized tribe and its power over the individual, the entire logical order, with its chains of inference and dependence, the superordi- nation and coordination of concepts, is founded on the corresponding conditions in social reality, that is, on the division of labor.
Power confers increased cohesion and strength on the social whole in which it is established. The division of labor, through which power manifests itself socially, serves the self-preservation of the dominated whole. But this necessarily turns the whole, as a whole, and the operation of its immanent reason, into a means of enforcing the particu- lar interest.
Power confronts the individual as the universal, as the reason which informs reality. The power of all the members of society, to whom as individuals no other way is open, is constantly summated, through the division of labor imposed on them, in the realization of the whole, whose rationality is thereby multiplied over again. What is done to all by the few always takes the form of the subduing of individuals by the many: the oppression of society always bears the features of oppression by a collec- tive.
It is this unity of collectivity and power, and not the immediate social universal, solidarity, which is precipitated in intellectual forms. Through their claim to universal validity, the philosophical concepts with which Plato and Aristotle represented the world elevated the conditions which those concepts justified to the status of true reality. Language itself endowed what it expressed, the conditions of domination, with the universality it had acquired as the means of intercourse in civil society.
The metaphysical emphasis, the sanction by ideas and norms, was no more than a hyposta- tization of the rigidity and exclusivity which concepts have necessarily The Concept of Enlightenment 17 taken on wherever language has consoUdated the community of the rulers for the enforcement of commands.
As a means of reinforcing the social power of language, ideas became more superfluous the more that power increased, and the language of science put an end to them altogether. Conscious justification lacked the suggestive power which springs from dread of the fetish. The unity of collectivity and power now revealed itself in the generality which faulty content necessarily takes on in language, whether metaphysical or scientific. The metaphysical apologia at least betrayed the injustice of the established order through the incongruence of concept and reality.
The impartiality of scientific language deprived what was powerless of the strength to make itself heard and merely provided the existing order with a neutral sign for itself Such neutrality is more meta- physical than metaphysics. Enlightenment finally devoured not only sym- bols but also their successors, universal concepts, and left nothing of meta- physics behind except the abstract fear of the collective from which it had sprung.
If logical positivism still allowed some latitude for probability, ethnological posi- tivism already equates probability with essence. Enlightenment as a nominalist tendency stops short before the nomen, the non-extensive, restricted concept, the proper name. The substantial ego repudiated by Hume and Mach is not the same thing as the name.
In the Jewish religion, in which the idea of the patriarchy is heightened to the point of annihilating myth, the link between name and essence is still acknowledged in the prohibition on uttering the name of God. The disenchanted world of Judaism propitiates magic by negating it in the idea of God. The Jewish religion brooks no word which might bring solace to the despair of all mortality. It places all hope in the prohibition on invoking falsity as God, the finite as the infi- nite, the lie as truth. The pledge of salvation lies in the rejection of any faith which claims to depict it, knowledge in the denunciation of illusion.
Negation, however, is not abstract. The indiscriminate denial of anything positive, the stereotyped formula of nothingness as used by Buddhism, i8 The Concept of Enlightenment ignores the ban on calling the absolute by its name no less than its oppo- site, pantheism, or the latter's caricature, bourgeois skepticism. Explana- tions of the world as nothingness or as the entire cosmos are mythologies, and the guaranteed paths to redemption sublimated magical practices.
The self-satisfaction of knowing in advance, and the transfiguration of negativity as redemption, are untrue forms of the resistance to deception. The right of the image is rescued in the faithful observance of its prohibi- tion. Unlike rig- orism, determinate negation does not simply reject imperfect representa- tions of the absolute, idols, by confronting them with the idea they are unable to match. Rather, dialectic discloses each image as script.
It teach- es us to read from its features the admission of falseness which cancels its power and hands it over to truth. Language thereby becomes more than a mere system of signs. With the concept of determinate negation Hegel gave prominence to an element which distinguishes enlightenment from the positivist decay to which he consigned it. However, by finally postu- lating the known result of the whole process of negation, totality in the system and in history, as the absolute, he violated the prohibition and himself succumbed to mythology.
That fate befell not only his philosophy, as the apotheosis of advanc- ing thought, but enlightenment itself, in the form of the sober matter-of- factness by which it purported to distinguish itself from Hegel and from metaphysics in general. For enlightenment is totalitarian as only a system can be. Its untruth does not lie in the analytical method, the reduction to elements, the decomposition through reflection, as its Romantic enemies had maintained from the first, but in its assumption that the trial is pre- judged.
Nature, before and after quantum theory, is what can be registered mathematically; even what cannot be assimilated, the insoluble and irrational, is fenced in by mathematical theorems. In the preemptive identification of the thoroughly mathematized world with truth, enlightenment believes itself safe from the return of the mythical. It equates thought with mathematics. The latter is thereby cut loose, as it were, turned into an absolute authority. In Galileo's mathematization of nature, nature itself is idealized on the model of the new mathematics.
In modern terms, it becomes a mathematical manifold. Mathematical proce- dure became a kind of ritual of thought. Despite its axiomatic self-limita- tion, it installed itself as necessary and objective: mathematics made thought into a thing — a tool, to use its own term. Through this mimesis, however, in which thought makes the world resemble itself, the actual has become so much the only concern that even the denial of God falls under the same judgment as metaphysics.
For positivism, which has assumed the judicial office of enlightened reason, to speculate about intelligible worlds is no longer merely forbidden but senseless prattle. Positivism — fortu- nately for it — does not need to be atheistic, since objectified thought can- not even pose the question of the existence of God. The positivist sensor turns a blind eye to official worship, as a special, knowledge-free zone of social activity, just as willingly as to art — but never to denial, even when it has a claim to be knowledge.
For the scientific temper, any deviation of thought from the business of manipulating the actual, any stepping out- side the jurisdiction of existence, is no less senseless and self-destructive than it would be for the magician to step outside the magic circle drawn for his incantation; and in both cases violation of the taboo carries a heavy price for the offender.
The mastery of nature draws the circle in which the critique of pure reason holds thought spellbound. Kant combined the doctrine of thought's restlessly toilsome progress toward infinity with insistence on its insufficiency and eternal limitation. The wisdom he imparted is oracular: There is no being in the world that knowledge can- not penetrate, but what can be penetrated by knowledge is not being.
Philosophical judgment, according to Kant, aims at the new yet recognizes nothing new, since it always merely repeats what reason has placed into 20 The Concept of Enlightenment objects beforehand. Both subject and object are nullified. The abstract self which alone confers the legal right to record and systematize, is confronted by nothing but abstract material, which has no other prop- erty than to be the substrate of that right.
The equation of mind and world is finally resolved, but only in the sense that both sides cancel out. The reduction of thought to a mathematical apparatus condemns the world to be its own measure. What appears as the triumph of subjectivity, the sub- jection of all existing things to logical formalism, is bought with the obe- dient subordination of reason to what is immediately at hand. To grasp existing things as such, not merely to note their abstract spatial-temporal relationships, by which they can then be seized, but, on the contrary, to think of them as surface, as mediated conceptual moments which are only fulfilled by revealing their social, historical, and human meaning — this whole aspiration of knowledge is abandoned.
Knowledge does not consist in mere perception, classification, and calculation but precisely in the determining negation of whatever is directly at hand. Instead of such negation, mathematical formalism, whose medium, number, is the most abstract form of the immediate, arrests thought at mere immediacy. The actual is validated, knowledge confines itself to repeating it, thought makes itself mere tautology. The more completely the machinery of thought subjugates existence, the more blindly it is satisfied with repro- ducing it.
Enlightenment thereby regresses to the mythology it has never been able to escape. For mythology had reflected in its forms the essence of the existing order — cyclical motion, fate, domination of the world as truth — and had renounced hope. In the terseness of the mythical image, as in the clarity of the scientific formula, the eternity of the actual is con- firmed and mere existence is pronounced as the meaning it obstructs. The world as a gigantic analytical judgment, the only surviving dream of sci- ence, is of the same kind as the cosmic myth which linked the alternation of spring and autumn to the abduction of Persephone.
The uniqueness of the mythical event, which was intended to legitimize the factual one, is a deception. Originally, the rape of the goddess was directly equated with the dying of nature. It was repeated each autumn, and even the repetition The Concept of Enlightenment 21 was not a succession of separate events, but the same one each time.
With the consoUdation of temporal consciousness the process was frxed as a unique event in the past, and ritual assuagement of the terror of death in each new cycle of seasons was sought in the recourse to the distant past. But such separation is powerless. The postulation of the single past event endows the cycle with a quality of inevitability, and the terror radiating from the ancient event spreads over the whole process as its mere repeti- tion. The subsumption of the actual, whether under mythical prehistory or under mathematical formalism, the symbolic relating of the present to the mythical event in the rite or to the abstract category in science, makes the new appear as something predetermined which therefore is really the old.
It is not existence that is without hope, but knowledge which appro- priates and perpetuates existence as a schema in the pictorial or mathe- matical symbol.
Theodor Adorno and Film Theory: The Fingerprint of Spirit
In the enlightened world, mythology has permeated the sphere of the profane. Existence, thoroughly cleansed of demons and their concep- tual descendants, takes on, in its gleaming naturalness, the numinous character which former ages attributed to demons. Justified in the guise of brutal facts as something eternally immune to intervention, the social injustice from which those facts arise is as sacrosanct today as the medicine man once was under the protection of his gods.
Not only is domination paid for with the estrangement of human beings from the dominated objects, but the relationships of human beings, including the relationship of individuals to themselves, have themselves been bewitched by the objectification of mind. Individuals shrink to the nodal points of conven- tional reactions and the modes of operation objectively expected of them.
Animism had endowed things with souls; industrialism makes souls into things. Since, with the ending of free exchange, commodities have forfeited all economic qualities except their fetish character, this char- acter has spread like a cataract across the life of society in all its aspects. Individuals define themselves now only as things, statistical ele- ments, successes or failures.
Their criterion is self-preservation, successful or unsuccessful adaptation to the objectivity of their function and the 22 The Concept of Enlightenment schemata assigned to it. Everything which is different, from the idea to criminality, is exposed to the force of the collective, which keeps watch from the classroom to the trade union. Yet even the threatening collective is merely a part of the deceptive surface, beneath which are concealed the powers which manipulate the collective as an agent of violence.
The demon- ically distorted form which things and human beings have taken on in the clear light of unprejudiced knowledge points back to domination, to the principle which already imparted the qualities of mana to spirits and deities and trapped the human gaze in the fakery of sorcerers and medi- cine men. The fatalism by which incomprehensible death was sanctioned in primeval times has now passed over into utterly comprehensible life. The noonday panic fear in which nature suddenly appeared to humans as an all-encompassing power has found its counterpart in the panic which is ready to break out at any moment today: human beings expect the world, which is without issue, to be set ablaze by a universal power which they themselves are and over which they are powerless.
Enlightenment's mythic terror springs from a horror of myth. It detects myth not only in semantically unclarified concepts and words, as linguistic criticism imagines, but in any human utterance which has no place in the functional context of self-preservation. The self which, after the methodical extirpation of all natural traces as mythologi- cal, was no longer supposed to be either a body or blood or a soul or even a natural ego but was sublimated into a transcendental or logical subject, formed the reference point of reason, the legislating authority of action.
In the judgment of enlightenment as of Protestantism, those who entrust themselves directly to life, without any rational reference to self-preserva- tion, revert to the realm of prehistory. Impulse as such, according to this view, is as mythical as superstition, and worship of any God not postulat- ed by the self as aberrant as drunkenness. For both — worship and self- immersion in immediate natural existence — progress holds the same fate in store.
It has anathematized the self-forgetfulness both of thought and of The Concept of Enlightenment 23 pleasure. In the bourgeois economy the social work of each individual is mediated by the principle of the self; for some this labor is supposed to yield increased capital, for others the strength for extra work. But the more heavily the process of self-preservation is based on the bourgeois division of labor, the more it enforces the self- alienation of individuals, who must mold themselves to the technical apparatus body and soul.
Enlightened thinking has an answer for this, too: finally, the transcendental subject of knowledge, as the last reminder of subjectivity, is itself seemingly abol- ished and replaced by the operations of the automatic mechanisms of order, which therefore run all the more smoothly.
Subjectivity has volatilized itself into the logic of supposedly optional rules, to gain more absolute control. Positivism, which finally did not shrink from laying hands on the idlest fancy of all, thought itself eliminated the last inter- vening agency between individual action and the social norm. The tech- nical process, to which the subject has been reified after the eradication of that process from consciousness, is as free from the ambiguous meanings of mythical thought as from meaning altogether, since reason itself has become merely an aid to the all-encompassing economic apparatus.
Reason's old ambition to be purely an instrument of pur- poses has finally been fulfilled. The exclusivity of logical laws stems from this obdurate adherence to function and ultimately from the compulsive character of self-preservation. The latter is constantly magnified into the choice between survival and doom, a choice which is reflected even in the principle that, of two contradictory propositions, only one can be true and the other false. The formalism of this principle and the entire logic estab- lished around it stem from the opacity and entanglement of interests in a society in which the maintenance of forms and the preservation of indi- viduals only fortuitously coincide.
The expulsion of thought from logic ratifies in the lecture hall the reification of human beings in factory and office. In this way the taboo encroaches on the power imposing it, enlight- enment on mind, which it itself is. But nature as true self-preservation is thereby unleashed, in the individual as in the collective fate of crisis and war, by the process which promised to extirpate it. The self entirely encompassed by civilization, is dissolved in an element composed of the very inhumanity which civilization has sought from the first to escape.
The oldest fear, that of losing one's own name, is being fulfilled. For civilization, purely natural existence, both animal and vegetative, was the absolute danger. Mimetic, mythical, and metaphysical forms of behavior were successively regarded as stages of world history which had been left behind, and the idea of reverting to them held the terror that the self would be changed back into the mere nature from which it had extricated itself with unspeakable exer- tions and which for that reason filled it with unspeakable dread. Over the millennia the living memory of prehistory, of its nomadic period and even more of the truly prepatriarchal stages, has been expunged from human consciousness with the most terrible punishments.
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The enlightened spirit replaced fire and the wheel by the stigma it attached to all irrationality, which led to perdition. Its hedonism was moderate, extremes being no less repugnant to enlightenment than to Aristotle. The bourgeois ideal of nat- uralness is based not on amorphous nature but on the virtue of the mid- dle way.
For this ideal, promiscuity and asceticism, superfluity and hunger, although opposites, are directly identical as powers of disintegration. By subordinating life in its entirety to the requirements of its preservation, the controlling minority guarantees, with its own security, the continuation of the whole. From Homer to modernity the ruling spirit has sought to steer between the Scylla of relapse into simple reproduction and the Charybdis of unfettered fulfillment; from the first it has mistrusted any guiding star other than the lesser evil.
The German neopagans and administrators of war fever want to reinstate pleasure. At the turning points of Western civilization, whenever new peoples and classes have more heavily repressed myth, from the beginnings of the Olympian religion to the Renaissance, the Reformation, and bourgeois atheism, the fear of unsubdued, threaten- ing nature — a fear resulting from nature's very materialization and objec- tification — has been belittled as animist superstition, and the control of internal and external nature has been made the absolute purpose of life. Now that self-preservation has been finally automated, reason is dismissed The Concept of Enlightenment 25 by those who, as controllers of production, have taken over its inheritance and fear it in the disinherited.
The essence of enUghtenment is the choice between alternatives, and the inescapabiUty of this choice is that of power. Human beings have always had to choose between their subjugation to nature and its subjugation to the self With the spread of the bourgeois commodity economy the dark horizon of myth is illuminated by the sun of calculating reason, beneath whose icy rays the seeds of the new bar- barism are germinating. Under the compulsion of power, human labor has always led away from myth and, under power, has always fallen back under its spell.
The intertwinement of myth, power, and labor is preserved in one of the tales of Homer. Their allurement is that of losing oneself in the past. But the hero exposed to it has come of age in suffering. In the multitude of mortal dangers which he has had to endure, the unity of his own life, the identity of the person, have been hardened. The realms of time have been separated for him like water, earth, and air. The tide of what has been has receded from the rock of the present, and the future lies veiled in cloud on the horizon. What Odysseus has left behind him has passed into the world of shades: so close is the self to the primeval myth from whose embrace it has wrested itself that its own lived past becomes a mythical prehistory.
It seeks to combat this by a fixed order of time. The tripartite division is intended to liberate the present moment from the power of the past by banishing the latter beyond the absolute boundary of the irrecoverable and placing it, as usable knowledge, in the service of the present.
The urge to rescue the past as something living, instead of using it as the material of progress, has been satisfied only in art, in which even history, as a repre- sentation of past life, is included. As long as art does not insist on being treated as knowledge, and thus exclude itself from praxis, it is tolerated by social praxis in the same way as pleasure. But the Sirens' song has not yet been deprived of power as art.
When only unfailing presence of mind wrests survival from nature, anyone who follows the Sirens' phantasmagoria is lost. If the Sirens know everything that has happened, they demand the future as its price, and their promise of a happy homecoming is the deception by which the past entraps a humanity filled with longing. Odysseus has been warned by Circe, the divinity of regression to animal form, whom he has withstood and who therefore gives him the strength to withstand other powers of dis- solution.
But the lure of the Sirens remains overpowering. No one who hears their song can escape. The effort to hold itself together attends the ego at all its stages, and the temptation to be rid of the ego has always gone hand- in-hand with the blind determination to preserve it. Narcotic intoxication, in which the euphoric suspension of the self is expiated by deathlike sleep, is one of the oldest social transactions mediating between self-preservation and self-annihilation, an attempt by the self to survive itself The fear of losing the self and suspending with it the boundary between oneself and other life, the aversion to death and destruction, is twinned with a promise of joy which has threatened civilization at every moment.
The way of civ- ilization has been that of obedience and work, over which fulfillment shines everlastingly as mere illusion, as beauty deprived of power. Odysseus's idea, equally inimical to his death and to his happiness, shows awareness of this. He knows only two possibilities of escape. One he pre- scribes to his comrades. He plugs their ears with wax and orders them to row with all their might. Anyone who wishes to survive must not listen to the temptation of the irrecoverable, and is unable to listen only if he is unable to hear.
Society has always made sure that this was the case. Work- ers must look ahead with alert concentration and ignore anything which lies to one side. The urge toward distraction must be grimly sublimated in redoubled exertions.
Theodor Adorno and Film Theory
Thus the workers are made practical. The other pos- sibility Odysseus chooses for himself, the landowner, who has others to work for him. He listens, but does so while bound helplessly to the mast, and the stronger the allurement grows the more tightly he has himself bound, just as later the bourgeois denied themselves happiness the closer it drew to them with the increase in their own power.
What he hears has no consequences for him; he can signal to his men to untie him only by The Concept of Enlightenment 27 movements of his head, but it is too late. His comrades, who themselves cannot hear, know only of the danger of the song, not of its beauty, and leave him tied to the mast to save both him and themselves.
They repro- duce the life of the oppressor as a part of their own, while he cannot step outside his social role. The bonds by which he has irrevocably fettered himself to praxis at the same time keep the Sirens at a distance from prax- is: their lure is neutralized as a mere object of contemplation, as art. The fettered man listens to a concert, as immobilized as audiences later, and his enthusiastic call for liberation goes unheard as applause. Forgot account? Not Now. Related Pages. Binghamton Film Initiative School. Two Eagles Short Film Movie.
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