Adorno on Morals; Violence

Two elements seem especially relevant in today’s political culture: the willingness of some voices in the political sphere to engage in the emotional hyperbole and hatred that were the stock-in-trade of these German critics; and the extremist language surrounding the rejection of “liberalism” that is to be found in the airwaves today.  Today too we are confronted with a virulent rejection of many aspects of a “liberal” world, and an apparent yearning for an earlier (mythical) time when there was one defining moral-religious framework to which all of society subscribed.

via Understanding Society

This is why Adorno’s Problems of Moral Philosophy is very important:

nothing is is more degenerate than the kind of ethics or morality that survives in the shape of collective ideas eve after the World Spirit has ceased to inhabit them—to use the Hegelian expression as a kind of shorthand. Once the state of human consciousness and the state of social forces of production have abandoned these collective ideas, these ideas require repressive and violent qualities (PMP, 17).

That is once our society has moves beyond past ideals, those ideals become repressive once those adhere to them attempt to force those ideals onto society. In particular, I am thinking of organizations such as National Organization for Marriage or Family Research Council.


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