Theodor W. Adorno. Culture Industry. Selected essays on mass culture (1981)

Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969)

Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969)

The commercial character of culture causes the difference between culture and practical life to disappear. Aesthetic semblance (Schein) turns into the sheen which commercial advertising lends to the commodities which absorb it in turn. But that moment of independence which philosophy specifically grasped under the idea of aesthetic semblance is lost in the process. On all sides the borderline between culture and empirical reality becomes more and more indistinct. Thorough efforts in this direction have long been underway. Since the beginning of the industrial era an art has been in vogue which is adept at promoting the right attitudes and which has entered into alliance with reification insofar as it proffers precisely for a disenchanted world, for the realm of the prosaic and even the banausic, a poetry of its own nourished upon the work ethic.

Culture Industry (PDF)


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