Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they’re only animals.— Theodor Adorno
The most reckoning Theodor Adorno quotes that are new and everybody is talking about
Every work of art is an uncommitted crime.
Love is the power to see similarity in the dissimilar.
There is no love that is not an echo.
Knowledge, which is power, knows no limits, either in its enslavement of creation or in its deference to worldly masters.
For a man who no longer has a homeland, writing becomes a place to live.
Freedom would be not to choose between black and white but to abjure such prescribed choices.
The task of art today is to bring chaos into order.
Intolerance of ambiguity is the mark of an authoritarian personality.
In the end, glorification of splendid underdogs is nothing other than glorification of the splendid system that makes them so.
Estrangement shows itself precisely in the elimination of distance between people.
If time is money, it seems moral to save time, above all one's own, and such parsimony is excused by consideration for others. One is straight-forward.
There is something embarrassing in... the way in which, ... turning suffering into images, harsh and uncompromising though they are, ... wounds the shame we feel in the presence of the victims. For these victims are used to create something, works of art, that are thrown to the consumption of a world which destroyed them.
He who stands aloof runs the risk of believing himself better than others and misusing his critique of society as an ideology for his private interest.
Fear and destructiveness are the major emotional sources of fascism, eros belongs mainly to democracy.
The bourgeois ... is tolerant. His love for people as they are stems from his hatred of what they might be.
Writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.
A pencil and rubber are of more use to thought than a battalion of assistants.
To happiness the same applies as to truth: one does not have it, but is in it.
Everything that has ever been called folk art has always reflected domination.
Technology is making gestures precise and brutal, and with them men.
To say 'we' and mean 'I' is one of the most recondite insults.
The almost insoluble task is to let neither the power of others, nor our own powerlessness, stupefy us.
Today self-consciousness no longer means anything but reflection on the ego as embarrassment, as realization of impotence: knowing that one is nothing.
Quality is decided by the depth at which the work incorporates the alternatives within itself, and so masters them.
All the world's not a stage.
Fascism is itself less 'ideological', in so far as it openly proclaims the principle of domination that is elsewhere concealed.
On their way toward modern science human beings have discarded meaning.
The concept is replaced by the formula, the cause by rules and probability.
In sharp contrasts to traditional art, modern art does not hide the fact that it is something made and produced: on the contrary, it underscores the fact.
Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.
Very evil people cannot really be imagined dying.
It is barbaric to write poetry after Auschwitz.
An emancipated society, on the other hand, would not be a unitary state, but the realization of universality in the reconciliation of differences.
Wrong life cannot be lived rightly.
The human is indissolubly linked with imitation: a human being only becomes human at all by imitating other human beings.
Culture is only true when implicitly critical, and the mind which forgets this revenges itself in the critics it breeds. Criticism is an indispensable element of culture.
Advancing bourgeois society liquidates memory, time, recollection as irrational leftovers of the past.
All satire is blind to the forces liberated by decay.
Which is why total decay has absorbed the forces of satire.
In the age of the individual's liquidation, the question of individuality must be raised anew.
The capacity for fear and for happiness are the same, the unrestricted openness to experience amounting to self-abandonment in which the vanquished rediscovers himself.
Horror is beyond the reach of psychology.
The individual mirrors in his individuation the preordained social laws of exploitation, however mediated.
The first and only principle of sexual ethics: the accuser is always in the wrong.
Work while you work, play while you play - this is a basic rule of repressive self-discipline.
Tact is the discrimination of differences. It consists in conscious deviations.
The creed of evil has been, since the beginnings of highly industrialized society, not only a precursor of barbarism but a mask of good. The worth of the latter was transferred to the evil that drew to itself all the hatred and resentment of an order which drummed good into its adherents so that it could with impunity be evil.
The culture industry not so much adapts to the reactions of its customers as it counterfeits them.
Truth is inseperable from the illusory belief that from the figures of the unreal one day, in spite of all, real deliverance will come.
Kitsch parodies catharsis...It is in vain to try to draw the boundaries abstractly between aesthetic fiction and kitsch's emotional plunder. It is a poison admixed to all art; excising it is today one of art's despairing efforts.
The specific is not exclusive: it lacks the aspiration to totality.
In so far as the culture industry arouses a feeling of well-being that the world is precisely in that order suggested by the culture industry, the substitute gratification which it prepares for human beings cheats them out of the same happiness which it deceitfully projects.