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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A COMMENT ON FREEMAM'S NY RB PIECEE The Headquarters of Neo-Marxism ​


RE: The Headquarters of Neo-Marxism by Samuel Freema

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/03/23/frankfurt-school-headquarters-neo-marxism/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NYR%20The%20Crown%20Nicholson%20Baker%20Frankfurt%20School&utm_content=NYR%20The%20Crown%20Nicholson%20Baker%20Frankfurt%20School+CID_00d75a837ba9c2bd37a684ee22002688&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_term=The%20Neo-Marxist%20Headquarters



As someone who worked in the publishing, but not the contentiousness, trenches of the Frankfurt School, at Farrar Straus (an Adorno Reader I spent a year developing and for which Susan Sontag was going to write the introdution, killed by a twerp after I left the firm in 1969), Continuum and Urizen Books (many works but most proudly Adorno’s Introduction to the Sociology of Music & Arato/ Gebhardt’s Frankfurt School Reader) I dont find myself overlu disgruntled by Samuel Freeman’s necessarily reductionist superficial description of these matters until Freeman writes:

“We may sometimes lament capitalist excesses and be bothered by the emptiness of consumerism, but few of us condemn capitalism as a moral corruption of the self that prevents us from realizing true human values or from knowing the truth about ourselves and our social relationsm” at which point when my vagus nerve encounters this pedestrian shallow the nerve revolts and I vomit - so much for the difference between Mr. Freeman’s and Walter Benjamin - and because I am mindful of the huge cost to the people, world wide, of the generational “hiccup”, more or less severe, of a militaristic capitalism and its imperialisms, and therefore I am not in the least surprised that Freeman’s “normalized" sensibilities remain untroubled by “what we now consider ordinary—shopping and consumer society, popular music and culture, radio and TV, advertising—that makes the Frankfurt School seem most.   distant from modern liberal sensibilities.”   - The Center will not hold? No, everything tends toward the center of the garbage pile and ends up with a near majority voting for the  the garbage king, Donald Trump, and do so for accountable reasons. The unaccountable riches of the Frankfurt School  seem not to have enriched Mr. Freeman.


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