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

By Max Horkheimer

This quantity comprises decisions from Horkheimer works, Dämmerung, Notizen in Deutschland (here translated as Dawn, Notes 1926-1931) which used to be initially released in 1934 lower than the pseudonym Heinrich Regius, and hasn't ever been republished given that, 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 during times of leisure from a difficult piece of labor, and the writer didn't take some time to shine them. this can be additionally the explanation they don't represent and orderly series. They comprise repetitions or even a few contradictions. but the subjects explored offer a type of harmony. They significantly learn and re-evaluate the that means ideas similar to metaphysics, personality, morality, character and the price of the person 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 turn into anachronistic on account that. . . . but the concepts of the writer who lived his lifestyles as an individualist will not be fully with out value at a later time.”

The moment a part of this quantity may well recommend an extra reason behind Horkheimer’s use of the time period “outdated” for his past e-book. 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 old 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.’ right here, the severe pessimism by no means fully absent from his philosophy definitively supplants the hopes of Marxism.”

Each reader must make a decision for himself even if the pervasive pessimism of the later paintings is overall depression or a extra advanced, extra hugely differentiated overview 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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They sail under false colors. He did not claim that his catapults would benefit friend and enemy alike. But modem meta­ physics believes that its cause is that of mankind. Change of Thought: Among Marxist thinkers, the avowal of moral motives, particularly compassion which is the secret mainspring of their thought and action, is looked down upon, not only because they are ashamed of it but also because it has been their experience that Max Horkheimer 35 such a confession usually becomes a substitute for practice.

When the term justice is used in the real world, very precise, specifiable changes are demanded. Absolute justice is as unthinkable as absolute truth. The revolution need not bother with it. Nietzsche and the Proletariat: Nietzsche derides Christianity be­ cause its ideals derived from impotence. By calling them virtues, the weak deliberately misinterpret love of mankind, justice, mildness because they cannot avenge themselves or, more precisely, because they were too cowardly to do so. He despises the mass, yet wants t�reserve it as such.

Bourgeois morality and religion are nowhere as tolerant as when they judge the life of the rich, and nowhere as strict as toward those that want to eliminate poverty. Revolutionary Theater or "Art Reconciles": As long as for a variety of reasons, the German bourgeoisie still permits oppositional theater after the war, it cannot have a revolutionary effect. It is true, of course, that it reflects the struggles in the real world, and it is not impossible that it may one day help create the atmosphere of action.

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