Conditioning Adorno: “After Auschwitz” Now

  • Gene Ray
Part of the Studies in European Culture and History book series (SECH)


Already when Espen Hammer opened this conference two days ago, we agreed in advance about the fittingness of our meeting this morning on Adorno’s hundredth birthday.1 But if a shared concern for a certain “truth” and a certain “promise” has led us, over whatever paths, to become readers and students of the Frankfurt critical theorist, that same concern enjoins us to remember that September 11 also marks the destruction of democracy and the plunge into terror in Chile, in 1973. The rightwing coup d’état that murdered Salvador Allende and obliterated his elected government was, let’s remember, covertly supported and probably triggered by the U.S. government and U.S. corporations, namely ITT. And of course this day, September 11, marks that more recent traumatic hit two years ago, which provided the pretext for a perpetual preemptive so-called war on terror—a war that has already rained bombs on the people of two countries and blasted away at international law and human rights. We’ll see if this war recoils, before it’s over, on the dominant neoliberal world order. I begin in this way in order to underscore how premature pronouncements of the end of history, so comforting to the right wing a decade ago, have turned out to be. Indeed as we are convened here, people who evidently have not heard that history is over are engaged in disrupting the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization in Cancun.


World Trade Organization Traumatic History Jewish Identity Autonomous Subjectivity Elected Government 
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© Gene Ray 2005

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  • Gene Ray

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