Trump’s 2016 Presidential Campaign and Adorno’s Psychological Technique: Content Analyses of Authoritarian Populism

Using Adorno’s understudied textual analysis of the radio addresses of Martin Luther Thomas and Trump’s 2016 US presidential campaign, this study extracted three rhetorical devices that Adorno uses to characterise Thomas and his authoritarian populism and transposed them to Trump. The first device was the lone wolf device amounting to anti-statism or pseudo-conservatism, most clearly exemplified... Continue Reading →

Aspects of Sociology – Ideology

“Political liberalism in its late period with its concept of freedom of opinion, which in any case possesses a certain affinity to relativism, insofar as everyone is to be allowed to think what he wishes, because they are only thinking what is most favorable to their interest and self assertion, regardless of its truth–this liberalism... Continue Reading →

Adorno on Critique

“Essentially an anti-critical schema from philosophy has sunk into blather: the appeal to the positive. One continually finds the word critique, if it is tolerated at all, accompanied by the word constructive. The insinuation is that only someone can practice critique who can propose something better than what is being criticized. By making the positive... Continue Reading →

Final Serenity

“After so long a life one quite loses the capacity to distinguish who has done what harm to whom. In the abstract conception of universal wrong, all concrete responsibility vanishes. The blackguard presents himself as victim of injustice; if only you knew, young man, what life is like. But those conspicuous midway through life by... Continue Reading →

Countryside

“The shortcoming of the American landscape is not so much, as romantic illusion would have it, the absence of historical memories, as that it bears no traces of the human hand. This applies not only to the lack of arable land, the uncultivated woods often no higher than scrub, but above all to the roads.... Continue Reading →

For Marcel Proust

“The son of well-to-do parents who, whether from talent or weakness, engages in a so-called intellectual profession, as an artist or a scholar, will have a particularly difficult time with those bearing the distasteful title of colleagues. It is not merely that his independence is envied, the seriousness of his intentions mistrusted, and that he... Continue Reading →

“Lone wolf” device

“There is first of all the “lone wolf” trick. It is taken from the arsenal of Hitler, who always used to boast … about the fact that others controlled the press, the radio - everything; and that he had nothing. [He] slightly modifies this by specifically insisting he has no politician’s money behind him. .... This... Continue Reading →

Art, Immanence, and Critique

[Dr. Halley was kind enough to let me take a look at this manuscript and do some editing. I'm always a fan of Adorno, so the pleasure was surely mine.] "The relationship of art to bourgeois society, was, at first, emancipatory for art. In the decline of religious domination, and prior to the industrial revolution... Continue Reading →

“Emotional release” device

“The speaker … is consciously and emphatically emotional as part of his technique. He reiterates on many occasions that he “almost cried” when he got a contribution of fifty cents from that poor old widow. Whereas his whole personal build-up is that of the leader, the conspicuously refrains from any attitude of “dignity.” Just this... Continue Reading →

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