“Schiller’s dictum that ‘Life’s good, in spite of all’, papier-mache from the start, has become idiocy now that it is blown into the same trumpet as omnipotent advertising, with psycho-analysis, despite its better possibilities, adding its fuel to the flames. … The admonitions to be happy, voiced in concert by the scientifically epicurean sanatorium-director and the highly-strung propaganda chiefs of the entertainment-industry, have about them the fury of the father berating his children for not rushing joyously downstairs when he comes home irritable from his office. It is part of the mechanism of domination to forbid recognition of the suffering it produces, and there is a straight line of development between the gospel of happiness and the construction of camps of extermination so far off in Poland that each of our own countrymen can convince himself that he cannot hear the screams of pain. That is the model of an unhampered capacity for happiness. He who calls it by its name will be told gloatingly by psycho-analysis that it is just his Oedipus-complex.”

Adorno, Theodor. 1974. Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life. NLB: London. [Excerpt from Aphorism 38: Invitation to dance. Italics Adorno’s, ellipsis mine. Full book with different translation here. Adorno pictured below.]

Adornomeme

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