1
Messages in a Bottle

Theodor W. Adorno


I

Key people -- The self-important type who thinks himself something only when confirmed by the role he plays in collectives which are none, existing merely for the sake of collectivity; the delegate with the armband; the rapt speechmaker spicing his address with wholesome wit and prefacing his concluding remark with a wistful 'Would that it were'; the charity vulture and the professor hastening from one congress to the next -- they all once called forth the laughter befitting the naive, provincial and petty-bourgeois. Now the resemblance to the nineteenth-century satire has been discarded; the principle has spread doggedly from the caricatures to the whole bourgeois class. Not only have its members been subjected to unflagging social control by competition and co-option in their professional life, their private life too has been absorbed by the reified formations to which interpersonal relations have congealed. The reasons, to start with, are crudely material: only by proclaiming assent through laudable service to the community as it is, by admission to a recognized group, be it merely a freemasonry degenerated to a skittles club, do you earn the trust that pays off in a catch of customers and clients and the award of sinecures. The substantial citizen does not qualify merely by bank credit or even by dues to his organizations; he must donate his life-blood and the free time left over from the larceny business, as chairman or treasurer of committees he was half drawn to as he half succumbed. No hope is left to him but the obligatory tribute in the club circular when his heart attack catches him up. Not to be a member of anything is to arouse suspicion: when seeking naturalization, you are expressly asked to list your memberships. This,

-34-

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Mapping Ideology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction: The Spectre of Ideology 1
  • Notes 30
  • 1: Messages in a Bottle 34
  • 2: Adorno, Post-Structuralism and the Critique of Identity 46
  • Notes 64
  • 3: The Critique of Instrumental Reason 66
  • Notes 88
  • 4: The Mirror-phase as Formative of the Function of the I 93
  • Notes 99
  • 5: Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation) 100
  • Notes 138
  • 6: The Mechanism of Ideological (Mis)recognition 141
  • Notes 150
  • 7: Determinacy and Indeterminacy in the Theory of Ideology 152
  • Notes 165
  • 8: The New Questions of Subjectivity 167
  • Notes 178
  • 9: Ideology and its Vicissitudes in Western Marxism 179
  • Notes 224
  • 10: Feminism, Ideology, and Deconstruction: A Pragmatist View 227
  • Notes 233
  • 11: Ideology, Politics, Hegemony 235
  • Notes 262
  • 12: Doxa and Common Life: An Interview 265
  • Note 277
  • 13: Postmodernism and the Market 278
  • Notes 295
  • 14: How Did Marx Invent the Symptom? 296
  • Notes 331
  • List of Sources 332
  • Index 333
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