Jim heartfield jim at
Wed Aug 11 00:40:20 PDT 1999

In message <Pine.NEB.4.10.9908102209550.3601-100000 at>, Michael Pollak <mpollak at> writes

> Adorno's cultural theory is nothing more the
>reasseration of Deep Kultur versus Shallow Zivilization. There is nothing
>progressive about such elitism; it is diametically opposed to your own
>views on art or culture as you've expressed them in lbo-talk; and it's got
>nothing to do with the Left. Or, to be generous, it's not distinctive to
>the Left. One can hold the same snobby views -- that great art is the
>only thing worth living for, and the masses are incapable of understanding
>it -- on the right, and with fewer contortions.

But great art is better than shallow 'Zivilisation' - Lenin and Trotsky shared that insight with Adorno, and pretty much anyone else of any education at that time.

The difference between the elitist and the democratic attitude is not that the latter embraces philistinism and the former rejects it; the difference is that elitists think that the masses are incapable of understanding mass culture, whereas democrats demand the very best of culture for the masses (which implies of course an end to the intellectually crippling conditions that make it closed to them). -- Jim heartfield

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