Famous Quotes By Theodor Adorno


  1. 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.
  2. An emancipated society, on the other hand, would not be a unitary state, but the realization of universality in the reconciliation of differences.
  3. Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.
  4. Art is permitted to survive only if it renounces the right to be different, and integrates itself into the omnipotent realm of the profane.
  5. Every work of art is an uncommitted crime.
  6. Everything that has ever been called folk art has always reflected domination.
  7. Exuberant health is always, as such, sickness also.
  8. Freedom would be not to choose between black and white but to abjure such prescribed choices.
  9. Happiness is obsolete: uneconomic.
  10. 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.
  11. History does not merely touch on language, but takes place in it.
  12. 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.
  13. In the age of the individual's liquidation, the question of individuality must be raised anew.
  14. Intelligence is a moral category.
  15. Love is the power to see similarity in the dissimilar.
  16. Love you will find only where you may show yourself weak without provoking strength.
  17. No emancipation without that of society.
  18. No harm comes to man from outside alone: dumbness is the objective spirit.
  19. None of the abstract concepts comes closer to fulfilled utopia than that of eternal peace.
  20. Normality is death.
  21. Not only is the self entwined in society it owes society its existence in the most literal sense.
  22. Only a humanity to whom death has become as indifferent as its members, that has itself died, can inflict it administratively on innumerable people.
  23. Technology is making gestures precise and brutal, and with them men.
  24. The almost insoluble task is to let neither the power of others, nor our own powerlessness, stupefy us.
  25. The good man is he who rules himself as he does his own property: his autonomous being is modelled on material power.
  26. The splinter in your eye is the best magnifying-glass.
  27. The task of art today is to bring chaos into order.
  28. True thoughts are those alone which do not understand themselves.
  29. Truth is inseperable from the illusory belief that from the figures of the unreal one day, in spite of all, real deliverance will come.
  30. Work while you work, play while you play - this is a basic rule of repressive self-discipline.
  31. Wrong life cannot be lived rightly.


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