Baptizing Adorno's Odysseus

The European Legacy 15 (5):599-617 (2011)
Abstract
The question Adorno and Horkheimer leave the reader of the Dialectic of Enlightenment with is: How, finally, are we to supplement the project of the Enlightenment, so that it may attain its libratory potential? As I find Adorno's answers to the question of the proletariat's political failure troubling, in leaving little possibility of reform or hope in concrete terms for continuing successfully in the project of liberation, I intend to provide an alternative narrative of human liberation based on a critical rereading of Adorno and Horkheimer in light of Ren Girard. Specifically, I argue that Girard can provide a model of human liberation that enables the transcendence of the Odyssean disposition to self-sacrifice that Adorno and Horkheimer see as a key to the failures of the proletariat. In Girard's terms, I argue that the strategy of Penelope rather than Odysseus can provide a model for a psychology and praxis of liberation
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