An Unmastered Past: The Autobiographical Reflections of Leo by Leo Lowenthal

By Leo Lowenthal

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What interests me is what a methodology and a research technique would look like, and perhaps also what the literary form would be of a scientific work that attempts to formulate, on the basis of a "concrete totality," a theory of the historical process. Lowenthal: Now listen. In reality, Horkheimer never wrote such a book. This is not an accident. You may, if you wish, collect essays, as has already been done, choose a title for publication purposes, and call it Critical Theory . And yet, this will not provide a systematic theory.

It wasn't especially exciting—mainly routine. My job after 1944 in the Bureau of Overseas Intelligence was more interesting. There each of us had to evaluate radio programs and press materials in our respective languages. My job was to analyze Translated by Ted R. Weeks. ― 82 ― the radio programs of the German armed forces and German press material, both of which were supposed to yield information on what was going on in Germany, particularly concerning morale. I worked with interesting people there.

In this small conversational scene, two classes were personally represented: upper middle and lower middle. They dealt with each other without a trace of psychological class barriers. Here in the United States there's an ideological egalitarianism that permeates every facet of social life. That really is different in Europe. Even in those societies where the integration of the proletariat into bourgeois society has taken place smoothly, as in the case of the Federal Republic, there are still remnants of a once-intact class consciousness.

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