In defense of truth

A Reading Note

Things have come to pass where lying sounds like truth, truth like lying. Each statement, each piece of news, each thought has been pre-formed by the centres of the culture industry.…The extreme case of Germany is instructive of the general mechanism. When the National Socialists began to torture, they not only terrorized people inside and outside Germany, but were they more secure from exposure the more wildly the horror increased. The implausibility of their actions made it easy to disbelieve what nobody, for the sake of precious peace, wanted to believe, while at the same time capitulating to it.

Adorno, Minima Moralia, page 108

And:

The conversion of all questions of truth into questions of power, a process that truth itself cannot escape if it is not to be annihilated by power, not only suppresses truth as in earlier despotic orders, but has attacked the very heart of the distinction between true and false, which the hirelings of logic were in any case diligently working to abolish. So Hitler, of whom no-one can say whether he died or escaped, survives.

Adorno, Minima Moralia, page 109

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about the timeliness of this post. I will say that it’s taking me an inordinate amount of time to get through Minima Moralia, not because it’s difficult (which it is) but because it’s so utterly damning. I keep pausing to survey the territory around me, somewhat surprised to find I’m still standing amid the ruins.

Related books