Critique of Rationality in Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Adorno: Aesthetics and Models of Resistance
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The main way to change the world, in Marx's perspective, is through a revolution of the structure of society, that is, of its economical system of material production. This revolution cannot take place through the traditional institutions embodied in any given form of government, since these institutions are there to defend the economic system that created them. A new society must be constructed on the abolition of capitalism and its institutions. Only a society that is structured on a system of production devoid of private property, where the means of production are not owned by an individual or a social class, can be free.
might just as well conclude that this life is simply not worth living, that either we give up on the will, and therefore condemn ourselves to an unhappy existence, characterized by a useless chase of impossible satisfactions or, if we get somehow enlightened by an intuitive perception of our body that there is a metaphysical will beyond our miserable existence, we start renouncing desires and, with them, to life in general. Schopenhauer must have been fully aware of the lack of good reasons for
difference can be summarized through Gillian Rose's observation that Adorno "is perhaps the only neo-Marxist to make Nietzsche's criticism of logic (identity) into social criticism."40 While for Nietzsche society is ultimately responsible for the "identity thinking"41 of Socratic rationality, on the contrary, for Adorno identity thinking is responsible for our unjust social organization. So in Adorno the critique of a rationality based on identifications (which involves the possibility of
knowledge that, just because it is not abstract, cannot be communicated, but must dawn on each of us. It therefore finds its real and adequate expression not in words, but simply and solely in deeds, in conduct, in the course of a man's life.24 While justice and goodness aim at the dissolution of the principium individuationis and therefore at the construction of a complete empathy with any living being, the highest degree of ethics is represented by asceticism, in its forms of chastity,
p. 370. 149 conditions Kant would have called 'heteronomy' and that are customarily called 'external determination' in the modern jargon; even Schopenhauer's arrogant remark that people are the factory wares of nature expresses in its cynicism something of what people are actually made into by the totality of the commodity character.25 Domination, according to Schopenhauer's doctrine, is determined by the desperate attempt of the subject to appropriate and destroy the object. It is desperate
would fall back into ideology. The target of Adorno's criticism here is not just commoditized art, but also Marxist aesthetics. Adorno's criticism of Marxist aesthetics starts from his critique of Hegel's analysis of the role of art. Adorno is opposed to Hegel's reduction of aesthetics to a surpassed moment in the rational self-realization of Spirit. His critique is then extended to the "realist" function attributed to art by Marxism. Instead of drawing dialectics into aesthetic process, Hegel