The Dialectical Animal

The Dialectical Animal
Nature and Philosophy of History in Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse
1. The Frankfurt School and the Animal Question

With the publication of the Dialectic of Enlightenment in 1944, and subsequent to years of intensive discussion and on-going dialogue with the other members of the Institut für Sozialforschung, Adorno and Horkheimer laid down the theoretical ground of what was later to become the ‘Frankfurt School’. The book proposed a devastating critique of ‘instrumental reason’ and of man’s ‘mastery of nature’, a critique that – in Adorno’s and Horkheimer’s intention – was directed against the industrial and scientific praxis of manipulation of nature that was progressing on both sides of the ‘iron curtain’. Although not interested in a metaphysical critique of Technik, Adorno and Horkheimer shared Heidegger’s and Anders’ opinion about the political ‘neutrality’ of instrumental reason. In their view, USA and USSR were both growing on a wrong premise; that nature is at our complete and arbitrary disposal. Even Marcuse, whose political commitment with revolutionary Socialism is well known, assumed a position against the idea of an unlimited exploitation of nature, and instead endorsed what was later to become the German Green Movement in the late 70s. 




With PeTa’s campaign ‘Holocaust on your plate’, even Adorno has gained some acknowledgment in the Animal Rights Movement, contributing some beloved ‘quotes’ along with an endless list of ‘famous personalities’ who are either vegetarians or say something ‘smart’ in favour of animals. Unfortunately, most Animal Rights Activists prefer to read his carefully manufactured quotes on Slaughterhouse, than to engage in any serious reading of his difficult prose.[1] This is a shame, because – as I will try to show here – there’s much more that Adorno (along with Horkheimer and Marcuse) could contribute toward a better understanding of our relationship with nature and to Animal Studies in general.
Herein I shall underscore that thanks to their ‘dialectical’ and dynamic understanding of nature Adorno, Horkheimer, and Marcuse (the Frankfurt School) have enabled us to escape the alternative between animal ‘reductionism’ and human ‘exceptionalism’. These critical theorists neither establish an absolute difference between humans and non-humans (something that would severe us from the Animal Kingdom), nor do they preach some sort of absolute identity between them. The first option is typical of those who look for ‘intrinsic qualities’ (such as reason, language, morality, soul etc.) that could be described as ‘specifically’ human, and can thereby justify the assumption of our ‘uniqueness’ in nature. According to those who follow the second option, there would be nothing in human beings that could distinguish them from other animals; in short: we could (and should) therefore study humans according to the same ethological principles we apply to other animals.
It is clear that what is at stake in the most noble attempts to ‘save’ our uniqueness from ethological reduction, is a battle for freedom. From the other side, those who campaign against such attempts are guided by the moving intent to defend the armless; seeing in ‘human exceptionalism’ a way to justify our alleged right to postpone the interests of other species to ours, many animal rights activists are often tempted to welcome scientific ‘findings’ that explain human behaviour in terms of biologically programmed mechanisms. Singer’s commitment with socio-biology is a telling example of this kind of approach.[2] Is there a way out of this double bind that presents itself in the guise of a ritual sacrifice? Must we choose, like Descartes[3], between human freedom and animal lives? I think the Frankfurt School teaches us that such an alternative is apparent. 
Critical Theory’s vision of the animal could be defined anthropopoietic: according to such view, the animal is essential to the making of man, and ‘man’ is a product of a certain relationship to the ‘animal’. This is not to be intended in merely Darwinian terms: we were indeed – as Rachels remembers – ‘created from animals’[4], although such undisputable evidence does not explain the specific role that our differences from the other animals plays in the making of the nature/culture opposition. At the same time, this role should neither be understood in merely symbolic terms (as happens in Marchesini’s ‘zooanthropology’[5]). Adorno’s and Horkehimer’s conception, as we could derive it from their critique of the Enlightenment [Aufklärung[6]], understands such relationships in a very specific and concrete composition, where both the evolutionist and the symbolic sides of the man/animal difference cooperate in a dialectical theory of animality. Here, ‘man’ is understood as a negation of the animal. In the relationship between human and non-human, this ‘non’ is conceived as a generative otherness; a process of making of both the ‘human’ and the ‘meaning’ of his human-like experience as human. It is the man/animal relationship that produces the Self of man through the constant negation of its animal ‘Other’. As I shall henceforth propose, the pretext for such symbolic and real negation of the animal is ultimately the domination of nature.




2. The structure of domination

The Dialectic of Enlightenment is an amazing attempt to understand the entire history of civilization as a history of domination [Herrschaft]. With the end of nomadism and the birth of sedentary societies, human history seems to move in a circle: far from being a sequel of unpredictable events, history is nothing but the perpetual repetition – under different phenomenic forms – of those domination-relationships upon which the entire structure of human society is built.
I think it’s plausible to distinguish in Adorno and Horkheimer, three main declinations of domination: 
1. Domination upon nature, articulated in
(a) domination of ‘external’ nature (i.e. of non-human nature);
(b) domination of ‘internal’ nature (i.e. of human sensibility).

2. Domination upon ‘man’ itself in terms of class dominion.
3. The hierarchical distinction between spiritual/intellectual labour and manual/physical labour. [7]

20th century Anthropology and archaeology have shown that Adorno’s and Horkheimer’s insights about the structure of Power were correct, supporting them with wider empirical evidence about the first steps of human history.
Our domination of nature began with the domestication of animals and agriculture: thanks to these, nomadic hunter-gatherer societies – economically characterized by simple reproduction – ‘evolved’ into sedentary societies, starting to exert a growing control over natural resources. Domination is not a mere act of violence directed against another being: it implies submission and a loss of independence from the part of the ‘weak’ member of the relationship. One could describe in terms of domination every kind of regulation of the biological cycles of other species on behalf of our exclusive interest.
Yet, such sort of dominion of external nature is inseparable from an analogous control exerted on human nature; what we above designated as ‘internal’ nature. Although these two processes are somewhat independent from one another, it is clear that the labour discipline imposed on those humans that moved from hunt-gather economies to agriculture based systems, is only possible when a psychological mechanism of control and repression of the instinctual drives is at work.
Parallel to the ‘economic’ transformation of human society, a ‘political’ change takes place: with the birth of a political and religious elite (i.e. of social strata not directly committed with material production) social relationships begin to be defined in hierarchical terms.
This is what Horkheimer likely contemplated when he wrote: “Domination of nature involves domination of man. Each subject not only has to take part in the subjugation of external nature, human and nonhuman, but in order to do so must subjugate nature in himself. Domination becomes 'internalized' for domination's sake.” [8] The structure of dominion is essentially circular and spiral-like: it is true that our domination of nature made possible the accumulation of ‘social surplus’ necessary to the birth of political hierarchy and slavery. Alternately, it was the social division of labour (between spiritual/intellectual activities and manual/physical labour) that made possible the elaboration of the knowledge necessary to cement the exploitation of nature.
Alienation [Entausserung] from nature, and dominion upon nature are thus two sides of one and the same process (“Human beings purchase the increase in their power with estrangement from that over which it is exerted”[9]): the cognitive structure of objectivity arises as the logical and conceptual counterpart of class relations. “The distance of subject from object, the presupposition of abstraction, is founded on the distance from things which the ruler attains by means of the ruled.” [10]
It is clear that, according to Adorno’s and Horkheimer’s explicative model, human history knows no “Fall” from grace: instrumental reason, labour constriction, spiritualization and alienation from nature are intertwined phenomena and one could hardly put his/her finger on the moment when “everything went wrong”. Yet, one can’t deny that such history knows a qualitative leap with the decline of the hunter-gatherer economy – enclosed in a magic and mimetic world, where humans still feel their unity with nature and the numinous power (mana) that embrace them – and the dawn of sedentary societies and centralized, patriarchal religions, where the ‘divine’ eventually loses its nocturne and maternal shape, and the domination of man and nature is justified as the work of an autonomous and superior ‘spirit’ [Geist].
According to Adorno, a real, ‘emphatic’ concept of society should properly be applied to those societal forms in which individual life is fully determined by such process of ‘socialization’ [Vergesellschaftung]. [11]

In the first stages of nomadism the members of the tribe still played an independent part in influencing the course of nature. The men tracked prey while the women performed tasks which did not require rigid commands. How much violence preceded the habituation to even so simple an order cannot be known. In that order the world was already divided into zones of power and of the profane. The course of natural events as an emanation of mana had already been elevated to a norm demanding submission. But if the nomadic savage, despite his subjection, could still participate in the magic which defined the limits of that world, and could disguise himself as his quarry in order to stalk it, in later periods the intercourse with spirits and the subjection were assigned to different classes of humanity: power to one side, obedience to the other. The recurring, never-changing natural processes were drummed into the subjects, either by other tribes or by their own cliques, as the rhythm of work, to the beat of the club and the rod, which reechoed in every barbaric drum, in each monotonous ritual. [12]

It could be said that the magic and nomadic world is characterized by horizontal relations both within and without society: its economic and political egalitarianism has no room for ‘class’ rule and its organic exchange with outer nature prevents the overturn of other species’ biological cycles to unilateral satisfaction of human needs. All this is clearly expressed on a symbolic level: the ‘spiritual’ element is still fused and transfused in an animated and living nature, where edges are blurred and every transformation of a substance into another is possible. Human symbiosis with the animal is total and real, the hunter experiences a sort of ‘mystical identification’ (Lévy-Bruhl) with it. Humanity cannot dominate the-other-than-itself if such symbolic ‘otherness’ can’t be conceived.
It is precisely the symbolic genesis of such ‘other’ that is constitutive of the Neolithic culture, which inaugurates permanent mechanisms of control over nature, paving the way to class society. Here we find, at every level, relationships that can be defined, as opposed to what has been observed so far, vertical and hierarchical. Primitive class societies elaborate thus early mythologies and institutional religions, which symbolically reflect a force operating in natural and social relationships, bringing forth an ontological and hierarchical divide. The split between ‘man’ and ‘animal’, alongside their mutual contradiction, ideologically reflects the division and polarization that has its basis in the real dominion upon natural processes, and the progressive hierarchization of social relations.
3. The Dialectical Animal
3.1. “The triumph of culture and its failure”

The domination of nature and man is thus imposed as the natural law of society and individuals are forced to align to it, under the threat of exclusion from human community. The image of the dominating man becomes the idol to which everything is sacrificed: relationship with nature, with others and with oneself. The ‘taming’ of a human being according to societal rules is the conditio sine qua non of his/her ‘social’ being, premise and consequent of that dominion that human society as a whole exercises on its natural ‘other’.

Not only is domination paid for with the estrangement of human beings from the dominated objects, but the relationships of human beings, including the relationship of individuals to themselves, have themselves been bewitched by the objectification of mind. Individuals shrink to the nodal points of conventional reactions and the modes of operation objectively expected of them. […] For civilization, purely natural existence, both animal and vegetative, was the absolute danger. Mimetic, mythical, and metaphysical forms of behavior were successively regarded as stages of world history which had been left behind, and the idea of reverting to them held the terror that the self would be changed back into the mere nature from which it had extricated itself with unspeakable exertions and which for that reason filled it with unspeakable dread. Over the millennia the living memory of prehistory. of its nomadic period and even more of the truly prepatriarchal srages, has been expunged from human consciousness with the most terrible punishments.[…] 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. [13]

Reification [Ver-dinglichung], i.e. the reduction of living relations to ‘things’, to objects at disposal, to matter for manipulation, includes our relation to the animals that we are. The reification of the Self is a process that underlines the entire history of civilization, propelling and fastening its destructive potential towards Nature. According to Adorno and Horkheimer, the cornerstone of Self-Reification is the violence exerted on the animal. In particular, the underpinnings are constituted of a form of implicit violence against the human animal. Adorno dramatized the function of such violence in a vibrant passage of his Negative Dialectics: “A child, fond of an innkeeper named Adam, watched him club the rats pouring out of holes in the courtyard; it was in his image that the child made its own image of the first man. That this has been forgotten, that we no longer know what we used to feel before the dogcatcher’s van, is both the triumph of culture and its failure. ”[14]
It is important to stress the dialectical, antinomical nature of a process that can therefore only be expressed in contradictory terms: the affirmation of the Self is determined by the negation of the other-than-itself and such ontogenetic and philogenetic process should be read as the triumph and failure of culture. Whereas civilized humanity accomplishes a complete extirpation of its natural origin, we celebrate our victory over nature. At the same time, repressing and forgetting the memory of what we nevertheless are, we fatally miss our goal: the realization of a ‘humane’, i.e. not ‘bestial’, society. Our destructive attitude towards (human and non-human) animality becomes the shibboleth that eventually denounces our illusions, unmasking the ‘bestiality’ of our society in the face of our ideological celebration of the ‘superior’ and ‘eternal’ values of civilization as opposed to the blind violence and greed of Nature.

3.2. The false alternatives of civilization

It is on such interpretation of the history of civilization that one can fully appreciate Adorno’s and Horkheimer’s words on the man-animal relation:

Throughout European history the idea of the human being has been expressed in contradistinction to the animal. The latter's lack of reason is the proof of human dignity. So insistently and unanimously has this antithesis been recited by all the earliest precursors of bourgeois thought, the ancient Jews, the Stoics, and the Early Fathers, and then through the Middle Ages to modern rimes. that few other ideas are so fundamental to Western anthropology. The antithesis is acknowledged even today. The behaviorists only appear to have forgotten it. That they apply to human beings the same formulae and results, which they wring without restraint from defenseless animals in their abominable physiological laboratories, proclaims the difference in an especially subtle way. The conclusion they draw from the mutilated animal bodies applies not to animals in freedom, but to human beings today.- By mistreating animals they announce that they, and only they in the whole of creation, function voluntarily in the same mechanical, blind, automatic way as the twitching movements of the bound victims made use of by the expert. The professor at the dissection table defines such movements scientifically as reflexes; the soothsayer at the altar would have proclaimed them a sign from his gods. [15]

It is possible to understand the whole history of civilization according to such conceptual polarization because it is not only an exterior ‘scheme’, but it derives from historical and objective structures of domination, originated through the evolutionary process and that still determine the political, economical and cultural forms of human society. According to Adorno and Horkheimer, it is in fact the present level of violence that we exert against nature that allows us to read the entire past history as a history of domination.
What Adorno and Horkheimer write about the analogy between vivisection and ritual sacrifice is thus not to be intended as a ‘metaphor’: both are an expression of our desire to put all living reality under control. The aseptic truth of science, along with the rigid distinction between subject and object in any experiment, is just another way to express the alienation between human and non-human nature, the ideological quintessence of their hierarchical polarization. The core of such control does change even if it is no longer exercised by the priest on behalf of a transcendent deity, but it is now totally in the hands of the man-scientist who considers himself – to add insult to injury - a fully natural being, driven by a materialistic world view, emancipated from theological beliefs etc. Yet, such ‘immanentization’ of dominion upon nature not only repeats the violence of all time, it strengthens it: the false consciousness of a "neutral" and "selfless" knowledge casts all scruples away and makes it harder to reveal the continuity between traditional-irrational and modern-rational forms of oppression.
Magic implies specific representation. What is done to the spear, the hair, the name of the enemy, is also to befall his person; the sacrificial animal is slain in place of the god. The substitution which takes place in sacrifice marks a step toward discursive logic. Even though the hind which was offered up for the daughter, the lamb for the firstborn, necessarily still had qualities of its own, it already represented the genus. It manifested the arbitrariness of the specimen. But the sanctity of the hic et nunc, the uniqueness of the chosen victim which coincides with its representative status, distinguishes it radically, makes it non-exchangeable even in the exchange. Science puts an end to this. In it there is no specific representation: something which is a sacrificial animal cannot be a god. Representation gives way to universal fungibility. An atom is smashed not as a representative bur as a specimen of matter, and the rabbit suffering the torment of the laboratory is seen not as a representative but, mistakenly, as a mere exemplar. [16]
The mind [Geist]], and all that is good in its origins and existence is hopelessly implicated in this horror. [17]
One point should be clear: the defeat of magical enchantment by conceptual distinction, the affirmation of the Self etc. are certainly forms of progress which Adorno and Horkheimer do not intend to give up, nor did they ever abstractly equate magic and science, thus rebutting the very idea of progress in the field of natural knowledge. Yet, if stressing the difference between magic and science is necessary, this does not imply one has to blind oneself to the destructive potential hidden in their common origin. What the Dialectics of Enlightenment put into question is the philosophy of history[18] implicit in the ideology of progress; namely the idea that the hierarchical relations among humans and between humans and the other animals are philosophically justified in the name of a metaphysics by which historical time is linearly oriented ‘for the better’. Adorno and Horkheimer do not deny such linearity actually exists. They write of the ‘circularity of history’ [Kreisähnlichkeit der Geschichte] [19] which is, in fact, the effect of the spiral mechanism we have already examined: all societies grounded on the domination of human and non-human nature tend to expand and broaden their power. The point is precisely to scrutinize such process in its premise and consequences to see if civilization effectively moves inexorably toward ‘the best’. It is the very notion of the hidden mechanism at work in the process of civilization that allows them to rebut its official ideology of ‘civilization’: “No universal history leads from savagery to humanitarianism, but there is one leading from the slingshot to the megaton bomb.” [20]
Adorno and Horkheimer are often criticized for their ‘unilateral’ and pessimistic view of History. Further, their efforts to denounce instrumental reason, is attacked as contradictory.[21] The problem is that much of such criticism works with a static concept and likewise unilateral concept of reason, whereas the Frankfurt School articulates the relationship between reason and nature, trying to disclose their historical entanglement. The contradiction here is objective, not subjective: it is a historical mechanism, not a logical shortcoming, thus it cannot be attributed to those who seek to master it conceptually. The charge of ‘irrationalism’ aimed at the Frankfurt School is itself part of the social and ideological mechanism that both Adorno and Horkheimer try to deconstruct. Being a historical product, rationality is a fully objective process, although such objectivity does not at all mean it cannot be put into question. The intrinsic logic of such unstoppable historical force (in the face of whom individuals are utterly powerless) is, in fact, entirely binary: yes / no, reason / madness, progress / reaction, science / magic. Those who hesitate in front of these alternatives, those who try to question the genesis of such options are automatically excommunicated and expelled from the circle of reasonable people.
From the other side, Adorno’s and Horkheimer’s ‘dialectical reason’ is destined to evoke the scepticism of those ‘primitivists’ who see in civilization nothing but a ‘Fall’ from the golden age of hunter-gatherer societies, rather than an ongoing process that expresses, even through its lacerations and its horror, a potential for hope. Such a primitivist vision is one of false alternatives (culture or nature). It therefore embodies the same logic of civilization, which it claims to criticize. This logic of abstract negation – in Hegelian terms – represents a unilateral refusal that fails to understand the intrinsic law of development of civilization itself. Since the 40s, Adorno and Horkheimer had clearly in mind that such ‘inevitable’ alternatives were actually part of the problem they were facing: “the fronts are clearly drawn; anyone who opposes Hearst and Göring is on the side of Pavlov and vivisection; anyone who hesitates between the two is fair game for both.” [22]
4. Materialistic solidarity 
The Dialectic of Enlightenment was intended as a ‘materialist’ theory of culture, an attempt to bring the false alternatives and ideological oppositions of civilization to their real base, i.e. the exploitation of the human and non-human life. The scientific ideology of ‘progress’ is thus denounced as the other side of traditional metaphysical thinking as it shares with it the idea of independence of thought from its social and natural substrate.
“The establishment of total rationality as the supreme objective principle of mankind”, writes Adorno, “spell the continuation of that blind domination of nature whose most obvious and tangible expression was to be found in the exploitation and maltreatment of animals”. [23] The animal here is the Shibboleth of supremacist spiritualism: “animals play for the idealistic system virtually the same role as the Jews for fascism.” [24] As a consequence, a characteristic feature of Adorno’s, Horkheimer’s and Marcuse’s materialism is their declared intention to make room for other animals in the project of human liberation. Such approach distinguishes Critical Theory both from positivist naturalism (which recognizes the animality of man, but without expanding the circle of ethical consideration to non-human animals) and spiritualism (which, even if it shows ‘compassion’ towards other animals, it denies the animal nature of man himself). It is only by recognizing their mediating role in the relationship between man and nature that animals help us to put the dialectic of civilization in the right context. If this doesn’t happen, our look on civilization will be out of focus, and our answers to the problems raised by our control over nature will be mislead by bad conscience and self-justification. It is no coincidence, then, that Critical Theory has been so often misunderstood and rejected, simultaneously accused from opposite sides of irrationalism and rationalism, materialism and idealism.
Even among Marxists there were misunderstandings. Although Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse still considered Marx the only possible ground for a critical analysis of capitalist economy, their critique of Western civilization went far beyond Marx. For the Frankfurt School, it was only via a different relationship with the animal – based on compassion and solidarity with the ‘damaged life’ – that it was possible to see and denounce the hidden ‘idealistic’ sides of Marxist materialism. Surely Marx could not imagine the alienating and destructive development that the domination of man over nature would have brought in 20th century. Yet, Marx’ and Engels’ unshakable belief in the goodness and rationality of such dominion reveals an inability to conceive a limit in our appropriation of nature, a limit that would have forced them to accord nature the status of the subject.
Marx and Engels could not accept this, since they believed that man could free himself only by breaking the mystical connection, the ‘umbilical cord’[25] with nature, something that ‘primitive’ cultures symbolically and ideologically express through a series of anthropomorphic projections. As shown in Dialectic of Enlightenment, although being an important phase in the historical process of human emancipation, the disqualification of the animal and its reduction to an object turns against humans, since such de-anthropomorphisation of the world ends up in a state of absolute inhumanity: the Nazi barbarism, totalitarianism and the ‘administered world’. Along with the idea of an endless domination over nature, Marx and Engels have passively accepted the above mentioned circularity of progress that characterizes the history of civilization. In so doing, they betrayed the materialistic inspiration of their thinking. As Marcuse writes in Counterrevolution and Revolt:
Marx’s notion of a human appropriation of nature retains something of the hubris of domination. ‘Appropriation,’ no matter how human, remains appropriation of a (living) object by a subject. It offends that which is essentially other than the appropriating subject, and which exists precisely as object in its own right – that is, as subject! The latter may well be hostile to man, in which case the relation would be one of struggle; but the struggle may also subside and make room for peace, tranquillity, fulfillment. In this case, not appropriation but rather its negation would be the non-exploitative relation: surrender, ‘letting-be,’ acceptance. But such surrender meets with the impenetrable resistance of matter; nature is not a manifestation of ‘spirit,’ but rather its essential limit.[26]
 
The limit that humans meet in their transformative praxis is not constitutive of nature qua object, but of nature qua subject. It is therefore a limit that can only be traced once humans re-discover the nature that they are. It is not a question of finding such limit as an external force compelling us (as happens in Malthus and in most contemporary ecological discourse), it rather means to empathically trace it as our own limit. Only by seeing ourselves as ‘nature’ we see in nature a limit to our desire to dominate. Since we did – or began to – emancipate ourselves from nature and yet we are still and completely nature, we can learn to listen to a ‘will’ which is not our own, although it surely speaks through us. Experiencing empathy toward nature, we hear nature asking us to lay down our weapons. This happen, however, only through the animal. It is important to stress, that such reconciliation ideal is not to be understood here – as happens in Ernst Bloch – in the sense of an ‘”absolute Subject which mediates itself with itself” [27]’ that is mediated with itself, but rather in the sense of an encounter between individuals. This is possible only by giving back animals their repressed subjectivity, recognizing them as alter egos of the human subject. Critical Theory is not an updated version of romantic Naturphilosophie: Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse do not start from a self-generating ‘principle of being’[28] but from a Darwinian understanding of nature. Here, through random clashes and competitive encounters, human subjectivity discovers itself alienated in non-human nature.
No matter how paradoxical this may sound, Critical Theory believes that Marx’ refusal to acknowledge the subjectivity of nature as a limit to human expansionism produced a flaw in his materialist vision. In an attempt to correct the idealistic consequences of such premises, Marcuse wrote,: “no free society is imaginable which does not, under its ‘regulative idea of reason,’ make the concerted effort to reduce consistently the suffering which man imposes on the animal world.”[29] Such an act of solidarity would supersede the idealism implicit in our global praxis and, by closing the circle of materialism, would open up new relationships with non-human nature.
Apparently, Marx and Engels wrote something very similar: “The identity of nature and man appears in such a way that the restricted relation of men to nature determines their restricted relation to one another, and their restricted relation to one another determines men’s restricted relation to nature.” All this “just because nature is as yet hardly modified historically”. [30] Still, the decisive move is missing: the route back from man to nature that would help to overcome our narrow and egoistic look and break the circularity of domination. By seeing nature as a mere substrate of domination, refusing to see it as a subject (i.e. something active, vital, with whom we can engage in a relationship of mutual understanding), Marx and Engels betrayed their materialist dialectic, forgetting[31], among other things, Hegel’s key-lesson on the master-servant relation. Commenting on this famous passage in Hegel’s Phenomenology, Georges Bataille came very close to some insights expressed by Adorno and Horkheimer in the Dialectic of Enlightenment: “To subordinate is not only to alter the subordinated element but to be altered oneself. […] Nature becomes man’s property but it ceases to be immanent to him. It is his on condition that it is closed to him.” [32]
The Italian Marxist Sebastiano Timpanaro wrote in his famous essay On Materialism: “materialism is much more than a gnoseological theory. Materialism entails also the recognition of man's animality (superseded only in part by his species-specific sociality); it is also the radical negation of anthropocentrism and providentialism of any kind, and it is absolute atheism. Thus it represents a prise de position with regard to man's place in the world, with regard to the present and future 'balance of power' between man and nature, and with regard to man's needs and his drive for happiness.”[33] Curiously, Timpanaro does not draw any practical consequence from the observation of our ‘animality’ and doesn’t question the fact that the relationship between species is always declining according to our needs and our happiness. The Frankfurt School has, in turn, underscored how a materialistic ethic should ground itself in the solidarity between beings who share suffering, pain and death. As Horkheimer wrote in Materialism and Morality:
Human beings may […] struggle in concert against their own pains and maladies what medicine will achieve, once it is freed from its present social fetters, is not to be foreseen although suffering and death will continue to hold sway in nature. The solidarity of human beings, however, is a part of the solidarity of life in general. Progress in the realization of the former will also strengthen our sense of the latter. Animals need human beings. [34]

In 1933, he suggested the well-known metaphor of the ‘skyscraper’ to describe the structure of the capitalist society:

A cross section of today's social structure would have to show the following: At the top, the feuding tycoons of the various capitalist power constellations. Below them, the lesser magnates, the large landowners and the entire staff of important co-workers. Below that, and in various layers, the large numbers of professionals, smaller employees, political stooges, the military and the professors, the engineers and heads of office down to the typists; even further down what is left of the independent, small existences, craftsmen, grocers, farmers e tutti quanti, then the proletarian, from the most highly paid, skilled workers down to the unskilled and the permanently unemployed, the poor, the aged and the sick. It is only below these that we encounter the actual foundation of misery on which this structure rises, for up to now we have been talking only of the highly developed capitalist countries whose entire existence is based on the horrible exploitation apparatus at work in the partly or wholly colonial territories, ie, in the far larger part of the world. […] Below the spaces where the coolies of the earth perish by the millions, the indescribable, unimaginable suffering of the animals, the animal hell in human society, would have to be depicted, the sweat, blood, despair of the animals. […] The basement of that house is a slaughterhouse, its roof a cathedral, but from the windows of the upper floors, it affords a really beautiful view of the starry heavens. [35]
One could say that, even when they acknowledge our animality, Timpanaro and all those Marxists who do not see the inherently idealist/spiritualist structure of dominion, remain comfortably seated in the cathedral. They never plan to descend into the depths of the animal horror. Hence the narrowness and contradiction of their ‘materialistic’ point of view: a unilateral vision that doesn’t investigate the genesis of the alterity between human and non-humans, but limits itself to assert is as an undisputed ‘fact.’
5. A new ‘dialectic of nature’

Critical theorists pushed their dialectics of nature far beyond Engels, who acknowledged humans as part and parcel of a wider natural order, but could only conceive of our action in terms of desire for power and control over non-humans.

All the planned action of all animals has never succeeded in impressing the stamp of their will upon the earth. That was left for man. In short, the animal merely uses its environment, and brings about changes in it simply by its presence; man by his changes makes it serve his ends, masters it. This is the final, essential distinction between man and other animals, and once again it is labour that brings about this distinction. Let us not, however, flatter ourselves overmuch on account of our human victories over nature. For each such victory nature takes its revenge on us. Each victory, it is true, in the first place brings about the results we expected, but in the second and third places it has quite different, unforeseen effects which only too often cancel the first. The people who, in Mesopotamia, Greece, Asia Minor and elsewhere, destroyed the forests to obtain cultivable land, never dreamed that by removing along with the forests the collecting centres and reservoirs of moisture they were laying the basis for the present forlorn state of those countries. When the Italians of the Alps used up the pine forests on the southern slopes, so carefully cherished on the northern slopes, they had no inkling that by doing so they were cutting at the roots of the dairy industry in their region; they had still less inkling that they were thereby depriving their mountain springs of water for the greater part of the year, and making it possible for them to pour still more furious torrents on the plains during the rainy seasons. Those who spread the potato in Europe were not aware that with these farinaceous tubers they were at the same time spreading scrofula. Thus at every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conqueror over a foreign people, like someone standing outside nature – but that we, with flesh, blood and brain, belong to nature, and exist in its midst, and that all our mastery of it consists in the fact that we have the advantage over all other creatures of being able to learn its laws and apply them correctly. And, in fact, with every day that passes we are acquiring a better understanding of these laws and getting to perceive both the more immediate and the more remote consequences of our interference with the traditional course of nature. In particular, after the mighty advances made by the natural sciences in the present century, we are more than ever in a position to realise, and hence to control, also the more remote natural consequences of at least our day-to-day production activities. But the more this progresses the more will men not only feel but also know their oneness with nature, and the more impossible will become the senseless and unnatural idea of a contrast between mind and matter, man and nature, soul and body, such as arose after the decline of classical antiquity in Europe and obtained its highest elaboration in Christianity. [36]

Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse more radically argue that it is by opening up the possibility of a different relationship with nature that humanity will reveal nature as intrinsically dialectical. Engels and Marx believed – long before reading Darwin – that a true materialist interpretation of the universe should see nature as ‘becoming’, ‘history’. This is the reason why they constantly attacked the restricted view they labeled ‘vulgar’ materialism. It was the landmark of such reductionist materialism to conceive nature as a static and unchanging (i.e. non-dialectical) order. Yet, when it comes to our relationship with non-human nature, Engels assumes that natural history is destined to endlessly repeat itself. According to such a perspective, a liberated society cannot but be “a vast joint-stock company for the exploitation of nature.”[37] The Frankfurt School, on the contrary, makes it clear that a different relationship with the environment and the animals is possible. Recognizing itself as part of natural history, human culture would in fact produce a radical turn that could deny the necessity of violence and interrupt the eternal return of the same
5.1. Nature as remembrance 
The return of the identical in the history of civilization, the repetition that makes progress move in a circle, is nature itself. Conceiving the history of civilization as a continuation of natural history, in fact, human culture is unmasked as doubly false, as it claims to be ‘other’ than a purely natural mechanism of violence. As a matter of fact, it is this very blind violence that human culture inherits from nature.
The whole ingenious machinery of modern industrial society is no, more than nature dismembering itself […]. Nature in itself is neither good, as was believed by the old Romanticism, nor noble, as is asserted by the new [i.e. Fascism, M.M.]. As a model and goal it signifies anti-intellectualism, lies, bestiality; only when apprehended as knowledge does it become the urge of the living toward peace, the consciousness which, from the beginning, has inspired the unerring resistance to Führer and collective. What threatens the prevailing praxis and its inescapable alternatives is not nature, with which that praxis coincides, but the remembrance of nature.[38]
Contrary to the Nazi myth of origin, the function of such memory is not regressive: “recollection […] is not remembrance of a Golden Past (which never existed), of childhood innocence, primitive man, et cetera. Recollection as epistemological faculty rather is synthesis, reassembling the bits and fragments which can be found in the distorted humanity and distorted nature.” [39] The memory of nature is the memory of the ‘brutality’ hidden in the mechanism of civilization. Only through the remembrance of its natural origin, could the human spirit solve its intrinsic antagonisms and recede from its ontological battle against the rest of the living world. “In mind's self-recognition as nature divided from itself, nature […] is calling to itself.” [40] This is because “the world of nature is a world of oppression, cruelty and pain, as is the human world; like the latter, it awaits its liberation.”[41]
5.2. The liberation of nature

The liberation of nature is at the heart of the dialectic of nature taught by the Frankfurt School. It should however be understood in both senses of the genitive (subjective and objective) and thus seen as (1) emancipation of man from nature and (2) emancipation of nature itself.

5.2.1. The emancipation from nature

In the first sense, one could speak of the emancipation of humans from nature, i.e. from natural relations understood as blind necessity, as the realization of what human civilization has always promised through the ‘spirit’ (justice, unity, harmony, etc.) and never really achieved. In the first instance, the redemption of nature would be the liberation of human culture from the yoke of natural selfishness. All the binary schemes, all the false alternatives of civilization that we mentioned before are symbolical reworkings of that very mechanism of violence that the human animal learns from the natural the struggle for existence.

The world controlled by mana, and even the worlds of Indian and Greek myth, arc issueless and eternally the same. All birth is paid for with death, all fortune with misfortune. […] For both mythical and enlightened justice, guilt and atonement, happiness and misfortune, are seen as the two sides of an equation. Justice gives way to law. The shaman wards off a danger with its likeness. Equivalence is his instrument; and equivalence regulates punishment and reward within civilization. The imagery of myths, too, can be traced back without exception to natural conditions. Just as the constellation Gemini, like all the other symbols of duality, refers to the inescapable cycle of nature […]. The step from chaos to civilization, in which natural conditions exert their power no longer, directly but through the consciousness of human beings, changed nothing in the principle of equivalence. […] The blindfold over the eyes of Justitia means not only that justice brooks no interference but that it does not originate in freedom. [42]
The horror of death is not only the sublimation of the flight instinct, but also the awareness of an evil that is inherent in things: cruelty, suffering, disease. The redemption of humanity would be in the first instance its redemption from nature: the metamorphosis of a natural being that could empathize with the universal suffering in a way that other animals do not know. This does not mean that there are no instances of ‘ethical’ behaviour or ‘respect for others’ in the animal kingdom, but they do not take the form of universality, which is characteristic of the concept.
‘Justice,’ ‘spirit,’ ‘freedom’ and all concepts belonging to the spiritualist tradition, indicate therefore an otherness from nature that still has to be realized. This leads to a redefinition of both Reason and Nature. If Reason would help rather than oppress nature, through this very act it would break the circle of crude necessity and thus be born as Reason, thereby performing a qualitative leap (which, as we will see, is a transformation in/of nature itself). In this regard, in his One-dimensional Man Marcuse wrote that “the ill-treatment of animals [is] the work of a human society whose rationality is still the irrational.”[43] It is only in dialectical relationship with nature that Reason (the form that the principle of self-conservation assumes in human culture) can be determined as ‘rational’ or ‘irrational.’
A free human-animal relationship becomes here the Shibboleth of Reason, i.e. of a rational attitude that has emancipated itself from violence and oppression, since it is only the radical impotence of non-human animals that could move Reason to make a step back. Such empathic withdrawn would in fact realize the distance from the Other, the separation necessary to make such Other appear and manifest itself in its otherness. It is thus from this possible relationship with the Other that the essence of humanity is both realized and superseded: it is only from a changed relationship with the animal that our otherness from the context of natural violence would finally be real and the jump from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom would be accomplished. Such act of solidarity would show the falsity of the spiritualist illusion while meeting its broken promises: the history of solidarity with nature would belie the history of the domination of nature, realizing that Alterity that there never was. This critical awareness organically changes the whole constellation Reason/Nature and sets the dialectical overturn that allows us to speak of redemption of nature as a work of nature itself.
5.2.2. The emancipation of nature

In the second sense of the expression ‘liberation of nature’, in fact, one can speak of emancipation of nature itself from animal selfhood (which in the human animal ends up absurdly with the dream of a totalitarian control over the rest of the living world). In the very moment in which a free human order would make room to such long repressed and annihilated alterity, its ‘qualitative leap’ would not be something that happens to nature, but in nature. Such human change would lead to a path of cooperation and solidarity between species far beyond what the selective mechanisms may have produced in the course of evolution. Nature itself would thus inaugurate, through the work of humans, a concept of ‘universal peace’.
The image of nature as ‘stepmother’ is in fact the ideological image of an alien reality, that opposes humans threatening them. Yet, as Adorno emphasizes that such image is nothing but the grim face of humanity itself, as it counteracts other living beings in the struggle for life; once the war mask is abandoned, nature too would appear to us as an order in which justice is finally possible. If, as we have seen, Reason, even Humanity, have never been, since they remain unrealized potentials (historical suffering is, so to speak, the only negative track and hope for such possibility), then Nature itself awaits for its realization and calls humanity for relationships with the Other made of care, listening and respect.
Human history is, therefore, a bow between the animal terror – the fear of a return to the undifferentiated – and the state of conciliation between different beings. It is in such an order – the result of a millenary process, made of violence and domination but also of untapped possibilities – that the relationship between identity and difference could find its own equilibrium and reconciliation.
5.3 The reconciliation of nature

It is clear that the Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse think of Nature not in terms of ‘substance’, but of ‘relation’. The relational essence of nature is evident in the phenomenon of empathy and it’s based on mimesis. This is why our relationship with the other animals needs to be articulated at the level of expression and not of that of intentionality (i.e. as intersubjectivity, not as object- relation). Adorno outlined a cosmic-historical vision in which the dialectic of nature includes the emancipation of nature itself in his analysis of ‘natural beauty’. In his last, unfinished work, the Aesthetic Theory, Adorno writes not only that Man, but that nature itself does not yet exist.
The image of what is oldest in nature reverses dialectically into the cipher of the not-yet-existing, the possible […] The boundary established against fetishism of nature – the pantheistic subterfuge that would amount to nothing but an affirmative mask appended to an endlessly repetitive fate – is drawn by the fact that nature, as it stirs mortally and tenderly in its beauty, does not yet exist. […] Vis-à-vis a ruling principle, vis-à-vis a merely diffuse juxtaposition, the beauty of nature is an other; what is reconciled would resemble it. [44]

This means that nature, as we know it, embodies potentialities still waiting to be unleashed. Human liberation and liberation of nature are thus moments of the same process, a process, however, not to be intended – à la Rousseau – as a liberation of some pristine nature oppressed by civilization, since – as mentioned above – civilization is nothing more than "nature dismembering itself, nature that is tearing apart itself. ". Nature appears to us as ‘memory’, a ‘lost dream’ because it evokes in us the image of what we could achieve by listening to his suffering voice. In the first case we have a ‘pantheistic runaway’, i.e. the negation of the natural history of man as a mere ‘mistake’; in the second, we read such history as an attempt – a terrible, hallucinatory attempt – to heal the pain of the world.
Only in a reconciled, pacified order, i.e. in an order that has dialectically overcome the antithesis between nature and culture, the human/nonhuman relation can be articulated beyond the false choice between mere identity (biological reductionism) and absolute difference (spiritualism). “Peace”, writes Adorno, “is the state of differentiation without domination, with the differentiated participating in each other”.[45] The ‘differentiated’ is what eludes both the ‘principle that dominates’ (the same) and the ‘widespread fragmentation’ (the difference): it manifests itself only when identity and difference open up and leave room to otherness in the form of mutual communication and understanding. Such a state presupposes the entire history of civilization but at the same time it denies it by realizing its promise of happiness.
If the relationship between human and nonhuman, between reason and nature cannot be defined in abstract, static, biological and ontological terms but only in practice, as the relationship between subjectivities, the whole bioethical question of ‘reductionism’ appears to us in a different light. The man-animal relationship is in fact destined to remain a mere speculative question and we are forced to choose between false alternatives if it is treated on a purely ‘scientific’ level. The Frankfurt School teaches us to think such a relationship as real, avoiding the simple answers of both flat naturalism and metaphysical transcendence. Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse teach us that it is only by an act of solidarity that humans can decide what happens to them and their Other. In other words, it is only in praxis that the question of what the human being ‘is’ can be decided.


[1] See PeTA’s campaign Holocaust on your Plate that used, for purely agitatory ends, a sentence falsely attributed to Adorno (Ch. Patterson, Eternal Treblinka: our treatment of animals and the Holocaust, Lantern Books, New York 2002, p. 51). For an antispeciesist critique of this misuse of Adorno see Susann Witt-Stahl, Auschwitz liegt nicht am Strand von Malibu und auch nicht auf unseren Tellern - Kritische Anmerkungen zum "KZ-Vergleich", http://www.tierrechts-aktion-nord.de.
[2] Cf. P. Singer, A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation, Yale University Press, New Haven 1999.
[3] See, for example, Descartes: “if they [the non-human animals] thought as we do, they would have an immortal soul as we do”. R. Descartes, Letter to the Marquis of Newcastle, in Id., Philosophical essays and correspondence, Hackett Publishing Company, p. 277.
[4] J. Rachels, Created from Animals James Rachels. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
[5] See R. Marchesini (ed.), Zooantropologia. Animali e umani: analisi di un rapporto, Red edizioni, Como 1999 and C. Tugnoli (ed.), Zooantropologia. Storia, etica e pedagogia dell’interazione uomo/animale, Franco Angeli, Milano 2003.
[6] The German word Aufklärung does not simply cover the Enlightenment (Lumière, Illuminismo), since it describes the process of ‘rationalisation’ intrinsic to the history of civilization.
[7] A more accurate understanding of the structure of dominion would imply taking into account the oppression of the individual by the collective (the so called process of ‘socialization’) and the gender oppression. For the sake of brevity we will not discuss them here.
[8] M. Horkheimer, Eclipse of Reason, Continuum, London – New York 2004, p. 64.
[9] Th. W. Adorno – M. Horkheimer, Dialektik der Aufklärung, in Theodor. W. Adorno, Gesammelte Schriften, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a.M. 1970 e sgg., vol. 3, p. 25 [Dialectic of Enlightenment, Translated by Edmund Jephcott, Stanford University Press, Stanford California 2002, p. 6].
[10] Ibid. [p. 9].
[11] Th. W. Adorno, Einleitung in die Soziologie, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a.M. 2003, pp. 54ff [Introduction to Sociology, Stanford University Press, 2000, pp. 29ff.]
[12] Th. W. Adorno – M. Horkheimer, Dialektik der Aufklärung, cit., pp. 37-38 [pp. 15-16]
[13] Ibid., pp. 45-50 [pp. 21-26].
[14] Th. W. Adorno, Negative Dialektik, in Id., Gesammelte Schriften, cit., vol. 6, p. 359 [Negative Dialectics, Translated by E. B. Ashton, Routledge, London 1990, p. 366].
[15] Th. W. Adorno – M. Horkheimer, Dialektik der Aufklärung, cit., p. 283 [pp. 203-204].
[16] Ibid., p. 26 [pp. 6-7].
[17] Ibid., p. 254 [p. 185]
[18] See the note entitled “On the Critique of the Philosophy of History”, ibid., pp. 253-256 [pp. 184-187].
[19] Ibid., p. 52 [p. 27].
[20] Th. W. Adorno, Negative Dialektik, cit., p. 324 [p. 320].
[21] Cf. J. Habermas, The Philosophical Discourse Of Modernity: Twelve Lectures, Translated by Frederick Lawrence. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1987.
[22] Th. W. Adorno – M. Horkheimer, Dialektik der Aufklärung, cit., pp. 291-292 [p. 211]. “In this world liberated from appearance-in which human beings - having forfeited reflection, have become once more the cleverest animals, which subjugate the rest of the universe when they happen not to be tearing themselves apart - to show concern for animals is considered no longer merely sentimental but a betrayal of progress. In the best reactionary tradition Göring linked animal protection to racial hatred, the Lutheran-Germanic joys of the happy murderer with the genteel fair play of the aristocratic hunter.” Ibid.
[23] Th. W. Adorno, Probleme der Moralphilosophie, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a.M. 1996, p. 215 [Problems of Moral Philosophy, Translated by Rodney Livingstone, Stanford University Press, Stanford, California 2001, p. 145].
[24] Th. W. Adorno, Beethoven. Philosophie der Musik, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a.M. 1993, p. 123 [Beethoven: The Philosophy of Music: Fragments and Texts, Translated by Edmund Jephcott, Stanford University Press, Stanford, California 1998, p. 80]. “Perhaps the social schematization of perception in anti-Semites is such that they do not see Jews as human beings at all. The constantly encountered assertion that savages, blacks, Japanese are like animals, monkeys for example, is the key to the pogrom. The possibility of pogroms is decided in the moment when the gaze of a fatally-wounded animal falls on a human being. The defiance with which he repels this gaze -'after all, it's only an animal' - reappears irresistibly in cruelties done to human beings, the perpetrators having again and again to reassure themselves that it is 'only an animal', because they could never fully believe this even of animals.” Th. W. Adorno, Minima moralia, in Id., Gesammelte Schriften, cit., vol. 4, p. 116 [Minima moralia, tranlsated by E. F. N. Jephcott, Verso, London – New York 2005, p. 105].
[25] F. Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, International Publishers Co., Inc., 1972, 2001 reprint, p. 161.
[26] H. Marcuse, Counterrevolution and Revolt, Boston, Mass.: Beacon Press, 1972, pp. 68-69.
[27] A. Schmidt, The Concept of Nature in Marx, trans. Ben Fowkes, New Left Books, London 1971, p. 159.
[28] H. Marcuse, Counterrevolution and Revolt, cit., p. 68. Cf. B. Noske, Humans and Other Animals, Pluto Press 1989, p. 191n.
[29] H. Marcuse, Counterrevolution and Revolt, cit., p. 68. Schmidt hopes we “will learn to a far greater degree to practise solidarity with the oppressed animal world, and that in the true society the protection of animals will no longer be regarded as a kind of private fad”. A. Schmidt, The Concept of Nature in Marx, cit., p. 113. Adorno, too, spoke of a ‘cranky idea’ when dealing with Schopenhauer’s defence of animals, but added: “my own view is that a tremendous amount can be learnt from such crankiness”. Cfr. Th. W. Adorno, Probleme der Moralphilosophie, cit., p. 215 [p. 145]. The important treatment of moral philosophy in the Negative Dialectic ends up with a critique of Kant’s indifference towards animality. “the individual is left with no more than the morality for which Kantian ethics—which accords affection, not respect, to animals —can muster only disdain: to try to live so that one may believe himself to have been a good animal.” Th. W. Adorno, Negative Dialektik, cit.,p. 294 [p. 299]. See also the aphorism “Sur l'eau”in Th. W. Adorno, Minima moralia, cit., pp. 176-177 [pp. 155-157].
[30] K. Marx – F. Engels, The German Ideology, International Publishers Co., Inc., 1970, 2004 reprint, p. 51.
[31] It is no chance that, according to Hegel, “the absolute right of appropriation which human beings have over all ‘things’” is the factual proof of Idealism and the practical confutation of both realism and Kantianism: “The so-called ‘philosophy’ which attributes reality in the sense of self-subsistence and genuine being-for-and-within-itself [Für- und Insichsein] to unmediated single things, to the non-personal, is directly contradicted by the free will’s attitude to these things. The same is true of the other philosophy which assures us that the mind cannot apprehend the truth or know the nature of the thing-initself. While so-called ‘external’ things have a semblance [Schein] of self-subsistence for consciousness, intuition, and representational thinking, the free will idealizes such actuality and so is its truth.” G. W. F. Hegel, Outlines of the Philosophy of Right, translated by T. M. Knox, Oxford University Press, 2008, p. 60.
[32] G. Bataille, Theory of Religion, Zone Books, New York 1989, p. 41.
[33] S. Timpanaro, On Materialism, Translated by Lawrence Garner, NLB, Londra 1975, p. 249.
[34] M. Horkheimer, Kritische Theorie, [M. Horkheimer, Between Philosophy and Social Science. Selected Early Writings, translated by G. Frederick Hunter, Matthew S. Kramer, and John Torpey, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1993, p. 36]
[35] M. Horkheimer, Dämmerung. Notizen in Deutschland, in Id., Gesammelte Schriften, Fischer, Frankfurt a.M. 1985ff, Bd. 2, pp. 379-380 [Dawn & decline: notes 1926-1931 and 1950-1969, translated by Michael Shaw, Seabury Press, New York 1978, pp. 66ff].
[36] F. Engels, “The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man”, in Id., The Origin of the Family, cit., pp. 260-261.
[37] Th. W. Adorno, Probleme der Moralphilosophie, cit., p. 216 [p. 145].
[38] Th. W. Adorno – M. Horkheimer, Dialektik der Aufklärung, cit., p. 292 [pp. 210-212].
[39] H. Marcuse, Counterrevolution and revolt, cit., p. 70.
[40] Th. W. Adorno – M. Horkheimer, Dialektik der Aufklärung, cit., p. 57 [p. 47].
[41] H. Marcuse, Eros and civilization, Beacon Press, Boston: Massachussets 1994, p. 156.
[42] Th. W. Adorno – M. Horkheimer, Dialektik der Aufklärung, cit., pp. 32-33 [pp. 11-12]
[43] H. Marcuse, One-dimensional Man : studies in the ideology of advanced industrial society, Routledge, London 2002, p. 242.
[44] Th. W. Adorno, Ästhetische Theorie, p. 115 [Aesthetic theory, trans. R. Hullot-Kentor, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997, p. 73]
[45] Th. W. Adorno, Stichworte, p. 746 [Critical models: interventions and catchwords Parole chiave, Henry W. Pickford ,Columbia University Press, 2005, p. 247]

(2008)

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