March 5, 13
- What is Critical Theory
- Draws on Marx and Freud – By understanding, transform modern
- Called the Frankfurt School (that’s where it was established).
- One of the key features of the difference
- Traditional Theory – Just stresses describing the world.
- Critical Theory – Transform – liberating humans from forces which
oppress people in the world (economics, social, political, etc.)
- What’s wrong with the current social theory. Also to identify the
agents capable of changing the world.
- Empirical practical roles.
- The idea that there is something wrong with modern society and
culture. – contradictions where our lives are out of joint.
- Relieving people of their suffering.
- Dialectics of Enlightenment:
- Wrote by Germans exiled during WW2 b/c they were Jews.
- Move towards a rationally constructed society – the rational
- Our own rationality is irrational
- Dialectic – A historical process – refers to the human effort – tend
to produce their opposite (making emancipation – deception and
domination ex. the French Enlightenment – reign of terror comes to
the for-front – new type of domination comes out of the effort of
emancipation. Ex. Technology – Our ability to control the forces of
nature to make human life better – until it goes too far –
technological manipulation/experimentation. The goal and reasons
– for the sake of bettering their lives – the result – all types of
manipulations (food industry, radiation, etc.) – not make life better
- Nazism and the Holocaust – byproduct of inner logic – civilization
itself through its own process reverts to barbarism
- Rational account of A-S -
- They don't want to be unaware of their own motives – if they
relieve us of our fears - …
- Limits of Enlightenment:
- Why at all does E have limits?
- Why should A-S be E’s limits?
- 1) Liberalism is a weak idea in most cases – half heartily endorsed
by most of their followers.
- 2) They don't have the means to control capital. Democratic sharing
power with society is a rouse.
- Obscure – A-S – is a release valve for what the A-Semites feel. - The fear of living in a world you don't understand – and the
frustration of not understanding yourself. – Leads to a frustration
which needs to be released.
- 3) Project power onto Jews and then go against it – If they were
this powerful then you wouldn't be able to do anything against
- Accuse the Jews of being materialists. – Popular masses – Jews are
powerful and we are powerless because Jews are powerful.
- A-S usually occurs after radical social change.
- 4) Christian faith doesn't want to be faith, it wants to be certainty.
– To do this – empirical, observable event happen in the world
which confirms the basis of faith. – Explains why the Jews are
accused by Christians of being such gross materialists – b/c they
are not material in their faith – but they lived through an event
which could not be confirmed – the Jews don't need this – they are
therefor the worst materialists – Those who don't require it your
own materialism. i.e. Projection
- 5) Idiosyncrasy – Reminds us that the world has not been mastered
– not to a level where we can deal with it and understand.
- Nature itself is seen as being that which we can use and manipulate.
- ^Technological perspective.
- i.e. Niagara Falls – being used for energy/electricity.
- Seems unnatural.
- Serves as an unwanted reminder that community lacks originality –
how un-free we are.
- Jewish nose, smell – seen as lower in base – by A-S who have to
sniff out the bad smelling Jews. The prohibition against smelling
things out becomes something you get to do.
- Connection with their big noses.
- Jewish itself becomes a marker of anti-social – anything peculiar or
individual is a mark of non-conformity and labeled Jewish
- These lead to greater frustration which leads to ever greater
violence in a way to subdue what does not need to be subdued.
- 6) A-S’s false projection – Always some element we bring to reality.
– They aren’t aware of their projection on reality. the problem
- No self-awareness – the only thing to relieve them of this is an
awareness of their own situation.
- Why the A-S are susceptible to paranoid delusions – What you get
when you no longer can distinguish between things that are out
there in the world to what is actually there. They just see their
delusions as the character of the world.
- They blame the Jews for their own violent tendencies – the violence
they perpetrate is against their will – what the Jews make them do. - 7) There are no longer A-Semites “” – Now talking about ticket
thinking. What ever the Republic is for then you are against it –
Lack of personal responsibility and thinking at all. View that has a
relatively negative sens of difference – judging for the group rather
than yourself – Enlightenment political discourse – tries to liberate
– but becomes conformity.
March 12, 13
- A-S should not be seen as an isolated phenomenon
- Human social trend
- A-S of the Nazi – Not some deviation from the trajectory but a
byproduct of what modernity is. – The pursuit of the enlightened