Wednesday, December 07, 2016
"American Life as a Kind of Reality Show"
"As Stuart Jeffries points out in his recent book, 'Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School,' the ongoing international crisis of capitalism and liberal democracy has prompted a resurgence of interest in the body of work known as critical theory. The combination of economic inequality and pop-cultural frivolity is precisely the scenario Adorno and others had in mind: mass distraction masking élite domination. Two years ago, in an essay on the persistence of the Frankfurt School, I wrote, 'If Adorno were to look upon the cultural landscape of the twenty-first century, he might take grim satisfaction in seeing his fondest fears realized.'
"I spoke too soon."
Alex Ross at The New Yorker writes that, following the election of Donald Trump, Theodor Adorno's "moment of vindication is arriving now."