For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

References for Theme: Horkheimer citations

  • Horkheimer, Max
    • Authority and Family (2002)
      (p.97) "If the goods men need in order to live no longer originate in an economy of seemingly free producers, of whom some because of poverty must hire themselves out to others, while the latter manufacture goods not according to human needs but according to what their own solvency requires, and if, instead, such goods originate in the rationally guided efforts of mankind, then the freedom of the abstract individual, who proves really to be in chains, will become the collaborative work of concrete men whose genuine freedom will be limited only by nature and its necessities. In disciplined work men...
    • Traditional and Critical Theory (2002)
      (p.203) The internal difficulties in the supreme concepts of Kantian philosophy, especially the ego of transcendental subjectivity, pure or original apperception, and consciousness-in-itself, show the depth and honesty of his thinking. The two-sidedness of these Kantian concepts, that is, their supreme unity and purposefulness, on the one hand, and their obscurity, unknownness, and impenetrability, on the other, reflects exactly the  contradiction filled form of human activity in the modern period. The collaboration of men in society is the mode of existence which reason urges upon them, and so they do apply their powers and thus confirm their own rationality. But at...
    • Eclipse of Reason (2004)
      (p.35) Subjective reason loses all spontaneity, productivity, power to discover and assert new kinds of content—it loses its very subjectivity. Like a too frequently sharpened razor blade, this 'instrument' becomes too thin and in the end is even inadequate for mastering the purely formalistic tasks to which it is limited. This parallels the general social tendency to destruction of productive forces, precisely in a period of tremendous growth of these forces.
    • Eclipse of Reason (2004)
      (p.65) Just as all life today tends increasingly to be subjected to rationalization and planning, so the life of each individual, including his most hidden impulses, which formerly constituted his private domain, must now take the demands of rationalization and planning into account: the individual's self-preservation presupposes his adjustment to the requirements for the preservation of the system. He no longer has room to evade the system.(…) Adjustment becomes the standard for every conceivable type of subjective behavior. The triumph of subjective, formalized reason is also the triumph of a reality that confronts the subject as absolute, overpowering.
  • Horkheimer, Max; Adorno, Theodor; Noeri, Gunzelin
    • Dialectic of Enlightenment (2002)
      (p.26) Humanity had to inflict terrible injuries on itself before the self—the identical, purpose-directed, masculine character of human beings—was created, and something of this process is repeated in every childhood. The effort to hold itself together attends the ego at all its stages, and the temptation to be rid of the ego has always gone hand in hand with the blind determination to preserve it. Narcotic intoxication, in which the euphoric suspension of the self is expiated by deathlike sleep, is one of the oldest social transactions mediating between self-preservation and self-annihilation, an attempt by the self to survive itself. The...
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