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The Masses and Pro-fascist Propaganda

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Chapter Summary

This chapter compares Adorno's efforts at addressing profacist agitation in the U.S. and studies by others with whom he was associated. The general approach is to demonstrate that his disparaging attitude toward the masses framed his outlook as it did with his studies of radio, jazz and popular music, closing off possible alternative orientations that would offer a more complex account of these phenomena. The major expectation seemed to be to accumulate as much evidence as possible of attitudes for later categorization and discussion of its implications for combatting anti-semitism. Irrationalism was expressed, in part, as a disappointment in the masses' capacity to understand the gradualism of democracy; namely, their response to insufficiently realized expectations of the equalization of opportunity and participation in the democratic process. It is the consciousness of the subject that is shaped by its own mediation or by an intervening other that sharpens a new direction.

Keywords: Adorno; anti-semitism; irrationalism; masses; pro-fascist propaganda



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