Saturday, August 24, 2013

"After all, I have to look out for the interests of the Institute —our old Institute, Herbert— and these interests would be directly endangered by such a circus, believe me: the prevailing tendency to block any subsidies coming to us would grow acutely. 
...You object to Jürgen’s expression ‘left fascism’, calling it a contradictio in adjecto. But you are a dialectician, aren’t you? As if such contradictions did not exist—might not a movement, by the force of its immanent antinomies, transform itself into its opposite? I do not doubt for a moment that the student movement in its current form is heading towards that technocratization of the university that it claims it wants to prevent, indeed quite directly." 
"Your letter does not give the slightest indication of the reasons for the students’ hostility towards the Institute. You wrote of the ‘interests of the Institute’, adding the emphatic reminder: ‘our old Institute, Herbert’. No Teddy, it is not our old Institute, into which the students have infiltrated. You know as well as I how essential the difference is between the work of the Institute in the thirties and its work in present-day Germany. The qualitative difference is not one that stems from the development of theory itself: the ‘subsidies’ that you mention so incidentally—are they really so incidental? You know that we are united in the rejection of any unmediated politicization of theory." 
"I no longer regard the total complex of what has confronted me permanently over the past two months as an agglomeration of a few incidents. To re-use a word that made us both smile in days gone by, the whole forms a syndrome. Dialectics means, amongst other things, that ends are not indifferent to means; what is going on here drastically demonstrates, right down to the smallest details, such as the bureaucratic clinging to agendas, ‘binding decisions’, countless committees and suchlike, the features of just such a technocratization that they claim they want to oppose, and which we actually oppose."

Institute a society or organization having a particular object or common factor, esp. a scientific, educational, or social one: the Institute for Advanced Studies | a research institute.
Institutionsociety or organization founded for a religious, educational, social, or similar purpose: acertificate from a professional institution.• an organization providing residential care for people with special needs: an institution for thementally ill.• an established official organization having an important role in the life of a country, such as a bank, church, or legislature: the institutions of democratic government.• a large company or other organization involved in financial trading: the interest rate financial institutions charge one another.
Adorno was right about the students, but all of them were wrong about themselves.
His bureaucratic irrationalism was as symptomatic as the institute that fostered it.

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