The concept of dynamics

4 Jul, 2020 at 08:59 | Posted in Economics, Politics & Society | 7 Comments

adornThe concept of dynamics, which complements bourgeois “ahistoricity,” is raised to something absolute, while it nevertheless, as the anthropological reflex of the laws of production, must be critically confronted in the emancipated society with need. The idea of unfettered doing, of uninterrupted creating, of chubby-cheeked insatiability, of freedom as intense activity, feeds on the bourgeois concept of nature, which from time immemorial has served to proclaim social violence as irrevocable, as a piece of healthy eternity. It was due to this and not any presumed equalization that the positive designs of socialism, against which Marx bristled, remained in barbarism. What is to be feared is not the slackening of humanity in a life of luxury, but rather the dessicated expansion of what, in the guise of the all-natural, is social – the collectivity as the blind rage of making. The naively mandated unambiguity of the tendency of development towards the raising of production is itself a piece of that bourgeois nature [Bürgerlichkeit], which permits development only in one direction, because, integrated into the totality, ruled by quantification, it is hostile to the qualitative difference. If one thinks of the emancipated society as one emancipated precisely from such a totality, then alignments become visible, which have little in common with the raising of production and its human mirror-images.

T. W. Adorno

7 Comments

  1. Wonderful quote.

  2. We inferior mortals, grovelling here on Earth in the slime of humanity, suffer grievously from low intelligence, deficient spirituality. moral turpitude and lack of education in Teutonic philosophy.
    So it would be wonderfully noble and kind if Prof. Syll and Nanikore would explain in simple language the meaning, utility and beauty of the scriptures of L.W. Adorno.

  3. Kingsley,
    .
    I, like you, had no idea what Adorno is on about. So I thought I would try some rearranging and elimination and then interpretation.
    .
    .
    The concept of dynamics is raised to something absolute => dynamics is critically important
    .
    The concept of dynamics is the anthropological reflex of the laws of production => dynamics arises from the bourgeois motivated production
    .
    It must be critically confronted in the emancipated society with need => in emancipated society unfetted production must be mitigated by what is actually needed and not so much wanted
    .
    It also complements bourgeois “ahistoricity => bourgeois dynamics is free of the notions of dialectical materialist progress (given the seemingly Marxist context)
    .
    The idea of unfettered doing, feeds on the bourgeois concept of nature, as a piece of healthy eternity. => bourgeois dynamics assumes an horizon unbounded in productivity and in time, there are no constraints
    .
    the bourgeois concept of nature from time immemorial has served to proclaim social violence as irrevocable => the bourgeois have no qualms in doing harm to others
    .
    It was due to the idea of unfettered doing that the positive designs of socialism remained in barbarism. => laissez faire killed socialism
    .
    What is to be feared is the dessicated expansion of what, is social – the collectivity as the blind rage of making => the bourgeois avoid the collective means of production
    .
    The tendency of development towards the raising of production is itself a piece of that bourgeois nature [Bürgerlichkeit], which permits development only in one direction, because, integrated into the totality, ruled by quantification, it is hostile to the qualitative difference. => Bourgeois society is driven by the quantity of production and has no interest in whether it has other qualitative values, positive or negative.
    .
    If one thinks of the emancipated society as one emancipated precisely from such a totality, then alignments become visible, which have little in common with the raising of production and its human mirror-images. => non Bourgeois society, i.e. emancipated society, has no interest in production for its own sake.
    .
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    In what begins by sounding it might be a discussion about dynamics as an economic concept, Adorno is really delving into the Marxist interpretation of bourgeois production as opposed to production in “emancipated” society and making value judgements about one over the other. (I think?)
    .
    I don’t know if this is what he is saying and I certainly don’t care for his unnecessarily turgid language. Perhaps something is lost in the translation from the German? No way would I waste my bourgeois money on such a publication.

    • Henry, Thanks.

  4. Henry, many thanks for your heroic translations & interpretation.

    • Kingsley,
      .
      Have no idea how close they are, but thanks.
      .
      Appears Minima Moralia is Lars’ idea of relaxed summer holiday reading!

  5. I take from this that GDP should be abandoned as a consideration when making public policy. GDP measures bourgeois production (and even then should have error bars that would be so wide as to make it useless for public policy).


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