Adorno on the philosophy of ‘alternative facts’

25 Feb, 2020 at 16:03 | Posted in Politics & Society | 1 Comment

Something repellent clings to the lie, and though the consciousness of this was indeed beaten into one with the old whip, this simultaneously said something about the master of the dungeon. The mistake lies in all too much honesty. trumpliesWhoever lies, is ashamed, because in every lie they must experience what is degrading in the existing state of the world … Such shame saps the energy of the lies of those who are more subtly organized. They do it badly, and only thereby does the lie come to be genuinely unmoral for others. It suggests the former think the latter are stupid, and serves to express disrespect. Among today’s cunning practitioners, the lie has long since lost its honest function, of concealing something real. No-one believes anyone, everyone is in the loop. Lies are told only when someone wants others to know they aren’t important, that the former does not need the latter, and does not care what they think. Today the lie, once a liberal means of communication, has become one of the techniques of brazenness, with whose help every single person spreads the iciness, in whose shelter they thrive.

Theodor W. Adorno

‘Alternative facts’ people like Trump, Erdogan, Orban and Putin sure make​ reading Minima Moralia a worthwhile effort …

1 Comment

  1. Why don’t add neoliberal economists to the list of alternative fact people?

    At least the story goes that when Malthus read about his friend Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantages, he objected that this didn’t fit with reality. To which Ricardo is said to have answered: That’s worst for reality.

    I also read, somewhere, that the same objection was directed at Friedman. Who then answered: Theory, my friend, is its own reality.

    Both stories are arguably apocryphic. But they may have been true.


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