Adorno on the Commodification of Theory

No theory today escapes the marketplace. Each one is offered as a possibility among competing opinions; all are put up for a choice; all are swallowed. There are no blinders for thought to don against this, and the self-righteous conviction that my own theory is spared that fate will surely deteriorate into self-advertising. But neither need dialectics be muted by such rebuke, or by the concomitant charge of its superfluity, of being a method slapped on outwardly, at random. The name of dialectics says no more, to begin with, than that objects do not go into concepts without leaving a remainder, that they come to contradict the traditional norm of adequacy.

SOURCE: Adorno, Theodor W. Negative Dialectics, translated by E.B. Ashton (New York: The Seabury Press, 1973), pp. 4-5. From the Introduction, section "Dialectics Not a Standpoint."

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