Adorno on the State and Capital

Expanding and revising my talk on the domination of nature I posted sometime back for publication in late summer. Well, I’d hoped it would be just that. Really, its turned into a proper re-structuring and a re-write. One of the elements I’m adding is Adorno’s account of the state in negative totality.

As with plenty of Adornian concepts he mentions it in passing in a number of different contexts, which has led people like Braunstein to argue that Adorno does not properly deal with the state. I think this is true by and large, but that doesn’t mean that flashes of insight aren’t buried in those dense and winding passages including one I just found that not only points to Adorno’s influence on Agnoli, but which I also should have stuck in my Viewpoint article. The Fucker.

“Economic interventionism is not, as the older liberal school thought, something cobbled together from outside the system, but is rather system-immanent, the embodiment of self-defense; nothing could illuminate the category of dialectics with greater clarity. This is analogous to what became of the erstwhile Hegelian philosophy of law, wherein bourgeois ideology and the dialectic of bourgeois society are so deeply interwoven, in that the state, presumably intervening from beyond the reach of society’s power-struggles, had to be conjured up out of the immanent dialectic of society in order to damper and police the antagonisms of such, lest society, following Hegel’s insight, disintegrate.” Late Capitalism or Industrial Society.

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About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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