“The relation of knowledge to power is one not only of servility but of truth. Much knowledge, if out of proportion to the disposition of forces, is invalid, however formally correct it may be. If an emigre doctor says: ‘For me, Adolf Hitler is a pathological case’, his pronouncement may ultimately be confirmed by clinical findings, but its incongruity with the objective calamity visited on the world in the name of that paranoiac renders the diagnosis ridiculous, mere professional preening. Perhaps Hitler is ‘in-himself’ a pathological case, but certainly not ‘for-him’. The vanity and poverty of many of the declarations against Fascism by emigres is connected with this. People thinking in the forms of free, detached, disinterested appraisal were unable to accommodate within those forms the experience of violence which in reality annuls such thinking. The almost insoluble task is to let neither the power of others, nor our own powerlessness, stupefy us.”

Theodor Adorno. 1974. Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life. Translation by E.F.N. Jephcott. NLB: London. From aphorism 34, Johnny-Head-in-Air, pp. 56-57.  [Different translation by Dennis Redmond here.]

adorno
Adorno pictured here, see reification or my other post on Lukacs
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