Stars Come Down to Earth and Other Essays on the Irrational in Culture

Stars Come Down to Earth and Other Essays on the Irrational in Culture

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The essays written here offer an analysis of the irrational dimensions of modern culture which is both timely and disturbing in the 1990s, although they were written by Adorno half a century ago. Adorno's ideas are relevant to the understanidng of phenomena as apparently diverse as astrology and "New Age" cults, the power of neo-fascist propaganda and the re-emergence of anti-Semitism, and the psychological basis of popular culture. The longest essay, "The Stars Come Down To Earth" offers a content analysis of the Astorlogy column in a 1950s Los Angeles newspaper. Adorno argues that the column promotes fascist dependency and social conformism in much the same way as fascist propaganda. He maintains that the same principles operate in the mainstream products of "the culture industry". The three shorter papers illuminate different aspects of Adorno's argument: the relation of occultism to orthodox modern thought, the pervasiveness of anti-Semitism, and the 'psycho-technic' rhetoric of fascist propaganda. Stephen Crook's introduction critically reviews Adorno's argument and offer an assessment of its contemporary relevance.
Taken together, these essays offer an astringent antidote to any facile optimism anout the "democratic" and "pluralist" charaxcter of postmodern popular culture. Adorno identifies an irrationlist dynamic which implicates the most "enlightened" and "emancipated" elements of contemporary culture.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 137.16 x 215.9 x 15.24mm | 272.15g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0415105684
  • 9780415105682

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Introduction: Adorno and Authoritarian Irrationalism 1. The Stars Come Down to Earth 2. Theses Against Occultism 3. Research Project on Anti-Semitism 4. Anti-Semitism and Fascist Propaganda Name Index Subject Index
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