Theodor Adorno

Against Civilization - John Zerzan

The anthology 'Against Civilization', first published in 1999 by Uncivilized Books, is a well-regarded primer to anti-civ thought. For communists, it contains some valuable texts that are worth reflecting on.

Free time and the pressures of employability

Emmett from the Lego movie, in his leisure time

How does work structure our so-called “free-time”, even outside the office? And how can we break free of those bonds? In this extract from The Refusal of Work David Frayne talks about the philosophical basis behind anti-work politics

Grey is the golden tree of life, green is theory - Robert Kurz

In this 2007 essay, Robert Kurz examines the question of theory and practice from the perspective of the “categorical” “critique of value-dissociation”, with extensive discussions of Marx, Engels, Bloch, Adorno, Horkheimer, Gramsci, Althusser, Foucault, Debord, Negri, and Holloway, and concludes, in the face of the prevalent urge for immediate “action” and the equally widespread denigration of theory, that “critical theory must consciously maintain a distance from all existing praxis”.

The culture industry in the 21st century - Robert Kurz

In this revised and expanded version of a 2010 talk, Robert Kurz examines the continuing relevance, and the limitations, of the concept formulated by Adorno and Horkheimer in 1944—the “Culture Industry”—with discussions of “cultural pessimism”, the postmodern “cult of superficiality”, the role of technology in cultural change, the “abstract individual”, advertising, the Internet, “virtualization”, “interactive” media, exhibitionism and narcissistic self-promotion, the pseudo-“gift economy” of the Net, the impact of the current economic crisis on the culture industry, the “depletion of cultural reserves”, “estheticization”, and the impossibility of a separate “cultural revolution”.

Towards a New Manifesto: Conversations of Adorno & Horkheimer

adorno

Towards a New Manifesto:
Conversations between Adorno & Horkheimer
1956

The end of politics: theses on the crisis of the regulatory system of the commodity form - Robert Kurz

In this essay first published in 1994, Robert Kurz examines the history of “politics” as the “regulatory system” of “the modern commodity production system”, from the inception of capitalism to its high point immediately after WW2—when “the last residues … of the pre-modern constitution” were eliminated and when “politics” was finally totally absorbed by “economics”—and its current crisis, heralding “the historical collapse of the system”, manifested as “the environmental crisis, the crisis of the society of labor, the crisis of the nation-state and the crisis of gender relations” in an era when democracy “is nothing but the completed subjection to the subjectless logic of money”.

Robert Hullot-Kentor with Paul Chan

One early evening in February, on the occasion of his new book, Things Beyond Resemblance, the translator, critic and philosopher Robert Hullot-Kentor sat with the artist Paul Chan at the The Brooklyn Rail’s HQ in Greenpoint, where they exchanged reassessments of Adorno’s life and philosophy.

Robert Hullot-Kentor in Conversation with Fabio Akcelrud Durão

One recent afternoon, Fabio Akcelrud Durão, a Brazilian literary theorist, paid a visit to the home of Robert Hullot-Kentor in Manhattan. The following is the result of their discussion of Adorno’s theory of a “web of unknowing,” psychoanalysis and politics, apocalypse, what words not to use, the gratuitous plural, and what art is.

On Pop Music - Theodor Adorno

Theodor Adorno.

Theodor Adorno's critical analysis of popular music in capitalist society.