Dawn & Decline: Notes 1926-1931 and 1950-1969 by Max Horkheimer

By Max Horkheimer

This quantity comprises choices from Horkheimer works, Dämmerung, Notizen in Deutschland (here translated as Dawn, Notes 1926-1931) which was once initially released in 1934 lower than the pseudonym Heinrich Regius, and hasn't ever been republished considering, and Notizen, 1950-1969 (here translated as Decline, Notes 1950-1969).

Concerning the sooner paintings, Horkheimer wrote: “This ebook is outmoded. The reflections contained in it are occasional notes formulated in periods of leisure from a hard piece of labor, and the writer didn't make an effort to shine them. this can be additionally the explanation they don't represent and orderly series. They include repetitions or even a few contradictions. but the subjects explored offer a type of team spirit. They seriously study and reconsider the that means options reminiscent of metaphysics, personality, morality, character and the price of the man or woman had in the course of that part of capitalism. for the reason that they predate the ultimate victory of nationwide Socialism, they take care of an international that has develop into anachronistic considering that. . . . but the concepts of the writer who lived his lifestyles as an individualist will not be utterly with out value at a later time.”

The moment a part of this quantity may perhaps recommend an extra cause of Horkheimer’s use of the time period “outdated” for his prior booklet. This part not just marks the top of the liberal bourgeoisie for Horkheimer yet can also outline the beginnings of a rethinking of the sanguine Marxism built within the overdue twenties. Commenting on Horkheimer’s improvement, his German editor, Werner Brede, writes: “He was once no theoretician of decline; yet he did realize that the ancient and philosophical weather had changed.” Or back: “In the Notizen, 1950-1969, Horkheimer’s unorthodox sociological point of view outlined the contours of a ‘society in transition.’ the following, the severe pessimism by no means completely absent from his philosophy definitively supplants the hopes of Marxism.”

Each reader should come to a decision for himself even if the pervasive pessimism of the later paintings is overall melancholy or a extra complicated, extra hugely differentiated evaluate of a later part within the improvement of guy and society; if it is mere “expression,” or philosophical perception with a declare to truth.

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But that exposes them to the same sort of danger as their observa­ tion that what the real world is all about is material things. ��er and power, they point to sober reality where everything turns on the s�tisfacti�� of the most primitive needs. In so doing, they tend to transform the bitterness in that comment into an apology. Under such circumstances, the assertion that in today's reality the ideal merely serves as ideological camouflage for a bad materialistic prac­ tice easily turns into the realism of certain journalists and reporters: "Don't bother us with culture.

They are the result of an enormous amount of experience. But who is going to believe that this applies to the prediction that socialism will come? Socialism is a better, more effective form of society whose elements are present in capitalism in a certain sense. In capitalism, there are "tendencies" that make for change in the system. But the empirical knowledge which would support our belief that these tendencies will really prevail is quite limited. If a bridge spanning an abyss had been constructed according to principles deriving from data no more pre­ cise than those that lead us to expect the advent of socialism, people using it would court extreme danger.

The big belly has become the mark of small folk who have no chance to take up sports or massage. Usually, they are condemned to a sedentary life and pay for their small mea­ sure of well-being not only with the fear of a stroke but the justified contempt of the proletariat. Rockefeller is ninety years old, and plays golf. Rule of the Church: The reader of a historical work on the late Middle Ages or the Counter Reformation who skips ahead and picks up the word "tongue" and the name of a person further down the page without having grasped the connection, will involuntarily supply the missing words and conclude that the Holy Inquisition cut off the 50 DAWN & DECLINE man's tongue.

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