10 Oct, 2020 at 17:13 | Posted in Politics & Society | 3 Comments

Adorno knew Trump was coming …


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  1. As Chomsky also pointed out, the consent for Fascism is manufactured by obtaining the consent of the people. An American PR guy, Edward L. Bernays, called the Father of Spin by Larry Tye consulted to Goebbels in the 30s and called it “Engineering Consent. And The Trilateralists in the USA under the chair of David Rockefeller met in 1973 received a report in 1975 that there was an excess of democracy (P. 113) and people were too well educated. They then established institutions to do that taking over the media as part of it.

    To get a good handle on it read Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean. For background on the Trilateralists Commission Read The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the governability of democracies to the Trilateral Commission by Michel j. Crozier, Samuel p. Huntington and Jojo Watanuki, New York University Press, 1975. The list of members of the Trilateralists includes a number of economists and members of Wall Street firms of course.

  2. I think Adorno was wrong to place either the origin or the solution to totalitarian politics into the psychology of the lowly, dependent individual. He was not wrong to see the manipulation of masses of people, placed into precarious dependency in a hierarchical political economy, as a potential social pathology. But, he’s wrong to think the individual could be vaccinated against the pathogen and that would solve a problem that originates not at the bottom of society but at the top, with the pathologies of unconstrained power and status competition.
    In important ways, what has come to pass in the U.S. of late, is the exact opposite of the totalitarianism that enveloped Germany, Japan and Russia in the second quarter of the 20th century. It is an “inverted totalitarianism” as Sheldon Wolin termed it and every bit as dangerous a political pathology. But, it furthers and exploits social atomization, rather than the dislocated solidarity and communitarian longing that fascism fed on — a critically important difference.

  3. A writer as early as George Orwell lamented that “fascism” had become so blurred a word that it could mean anything one disliked. And that was in the 40s, when a regime that called itself Fascist was in everyone’s memory!

    I would prefer the expression “authoritarian politics” or something like that. Then we would know what we had.

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