The world wants to be deceived

8 September, 2017 at 16:38 | Posted in Politics & Society | 1 Comment

trumpclownThe phrase, the world wants to be deceived, has become truer than had ever been intended. People are not only, as the saying goes, falling for the swindle; if it guarantees them even the most fleeting gratification they desire a deception which is nonetheless transparent to them. They force their eyes shut and voice approval, in a kind of self-loathing, for what is meted out to them, knowing fully the purpose for which it is manufactured. Without admitting it they sense that their lives would be completely intolerable as soon as they no longer clung to satisfactions which are none at all.

Theodor W. Adorno


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  1. I was thinking about Adorno and jazz and the conspiracy theory that rock music was contrived to make people accept neoliberalism.

    I think if I look at things from what I imagine Adorno’s point of view, I can kind of see his point. Jazz does give me a “fleeting gratification”, and from Adorno’s point of view maybe I should not be pursuing that gratification but rather focusing on class struggle and political struggle.

    But for me, jazz sends me to a place where materialism loses importance. It may be fleeting but I want to find a way to make it permanent. Jazz is an escape from any political or economic system. Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life. Economics is the dust that I want liberation from; I think Adorno would rather I still be thinking of economics as I listen or play, because my guess is for him, sound is less important than money.

    When I listen to Louis Armstrong (“Swing that music”, lately), I hear a story that Louis and his band are telling in musical terms that is so uplifting and filled with so many infinite possibilities that economics pales in comparison. Truly Adorno would seem to be defending “the dismal science” by trying to force me back to the crass cold story that economists tell.

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