The no-problem-society V – is there really no right life in the wrong one?

[the no-problem-society (I, II, III, IV)]


Adorno coined the phrase
Though without referring to him, we had been chatting about this topic, Yi wondering why “you in the West have this strange attitude: not living, working and then condensing life in a brief period called holidays …”
A few days after our chat this came back to me, 8:30, taking a morning-train to the German capital: eleven man, not too young, entering the passenger compartment, loud enough to entertain a train station, occasionally quietened by reading the famous boulevard journal … . After a short while I saw one of them sitting there with a bottle of sparkled wine, only minutes later he got a little box of Kuemmerling, the herb liqueur – don’t get misled by the name, it is not going back to any worries (the German term “Kummer” can be translated as worry).
Obviously they went for a weekend to live, forgetting existing during unbalanced work, caught in alienation.
I pointed it out to my companion: people, clearly showing the meaning of what Marx stated 1844 in the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts:
What, then, constitutes the alienation of labor? First, in the fact that labor is external to the worker, that is, that it does not belong to his essential being; that in his work, therefore, he does not affirm himself but denies himself, does not feel well but unhappy, does not freely develop his physical and mental energy but mortifies his body and ruins his mind. The worker, therefore, feels himself only outside his work, and feels beside himself in his work. He is at home when he is not working, and when he is working he is not at home. His work therefore is not voluntary, but coerced; it is forced labor. It is therefore not the satisfaction of a need, but only a means for satisfying needs external to it. Its alien character emerges clearly in the fact that labor is shunned like the plague as soon as there is no physical or other compulsion.
It has nothing to do with what is called intelligence, it is nothing that can easily be overcome, by nobody and nowhere – again Marx, again the first volume of Capital:
If money, according to Augier, “comes into the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek,” capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.
And more or less the same kind of blood-stain:
to the development of productivity and the more economic use of the conditions of production. It imposes on the worker an increased expenditure of labour within a time which remains constant, a heightened tension of labour-power, and a closer filling-up of the pores of the working day, i.e. a condensation of labour … the denser hour of the 10-hour working day contains more labour.
And as commodity consumption becomes “production”, the act of buying itself becomes a means of satisfaction, it is the emergence of the real life becoming itself a wrong life.
Yes, Yi, we know and still we do not fully grasp it, we remain caught with the two souls you talked about. Still … as much as we now … a stone know as well a lot, is there on the ground, condensed, the impressions of hundreds of years ingrained – but it is unable thinking to think even a nanosecond, as unable as it is to feel …, to love, to acknowledge and eve enjoy the madness of everyday’s life. No way for it to escape, to start thinking, no way to make it thinking …
The answer is prompt:
Poor stone –
And turning towards me:
If you are angry against the stone; I feel sympathetic with him.
Looking into the eyes, the face, I would like to have a stone in front of me, touching it, comforting it, softening it …
No, I am not angry with him, I feel sorry for him … There is a chapter in one of the books I wrote for children, it is about a person wo had been like a stone …. But actually he had been cured one day.
Followed by her question:
Cured by a Mr. Hammer?
Of course:
No, a hammer can only make things worse; after using it you only have more stones … wait, just a sec …
While searching the file of “Phanresias Geschichten von der Freundschaft” and the chapters dealing with Mr. Messerscharf, the train attendant walks through the train offering a cookie.
Well, it seems that there can be some realm right life in the wrong one – but looking into her face, the frozen smile of the person offering the DB-present …that thought meaning to stay for a long time with us …
Isn’t it also linked to the point mentioned earlier, the West and the East: yes, there is on the one side this egoism, hedonism, egocentrism … – living for oneself – it means for a social being: not living at all. Freedom is not only the freedom of those who think differently (Luxemburg), not only the insight in necessities. It is also the lived “ubuntu” – the knowledge of and acceptance and appreciation of living ho one lives in dependency of the other. On the other hand it is also the trap in which we easily may end – with every lament concerning the “you in the West” I hear and see also the ambiguity of the other side: ubuntu as “I do not live my own life”, at times expressed as satisfaction, at times expressed as melancholy and even sadness, the feeling of loss, though never denying the devotion … – freedom brings us back to the dilemma of the right life in a wrong one, in a wring society — the price to be paid is surely high …
… Those days I listend to an interview, or better to say a TV-discussion: Rudi Dutschke, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Matthias Walden and Kurt Sontheimer (recording: 13. Juni 1978) – I do not remember exactly, was it Daniel or Rudi, talking about bottomless hatred? – The flint-stone comes to mind …, the brother of Mr. Messerscharf. And the question of directing explosions. And that would be the real end of comedians on the political stage, not only in Italy under the five “guiding stars” …

The Other Christmas Story

From Adorno’s Minima Moralia
English –
scroll further down for German – Reflexionen aus dem beschädigten Leben
Here is an audio recording of this section in German language
For the complete text in Italian – Meditazioni della vita offesa
Asylum for the homeless. – How things are going for private life today is made evident by its arena [Schauplatz]. Actually one can no longer dwell any longer. The traditional dwellings, in which we grew up, have taken on the aspect of something unbearable: every mark of comfort therein is paid for with the betrayal of cognition [Erkenntnis]; every trace of security, with the stuffy community of interest of the family. The newly functionalized ones, constructed as a tabula rasa [Latin: blank slate], are cases made by technical experts for philistines, or factory sites which have strayed into the sphere of consumption, without any relation to the dweller: they slap the longing for an independent existence, which anyway no longer exists, in the face. With prophetic masochism, a German magazine decreed before Hitler that modern human beings want to live close to the ground like animals, abolishing, along with the bed, the boundary between waking and dreaming. Those who stay overnight are available at all times and unresistingly ready for anything, simultaneously alert and unconscious. Whoever flees into genuine but purchased historical housing, embalms themselves alive. Those who try to evade the responsibility for the dwelling, by moving into a hotel or into a furnished apartment, make a canny norm, as it were, out of the compulsory conditions of emigration. Things are worst of all, as always, for those who have no choice at all. They live, if not exactly in slums, then in bungalows which tomorrow may already be thatched huts, trailers [in English in original], autos or camps, resting-places under the open sky. The house is gone. The destruction of the European cities, as much as the labor and concentration camps, are merely the executors of what the immanent development of technics long ago decided for houses. These are good only to be thrown away, like old tin cans. The possibility of dwelling is being annihilated by that of the socialistic society, which, having been missed, sets the bourgeois one in motion towards catastrophe. No individual person can do anything against it. Even those who occupy themselves with furniture designs and interior decoration, would already move in the circle of artsy subtlety in the manner of bibliophiles, however opposed one might be against artsiness in the narrow sense. From a distance, the differences between the Viennese workshops and the Bauhaus are no longer so considerable. In the meantime, the curves of the pure purposive form have become independent of their function and pass over into ornaments, just like the basic shapes of Cubism. The best conduct in regards to all this still appears to be a nonbinding, suspending one: to lead a private life, so long as the social order of society and one’s one needs will allow nothing else, but not to put weight on such, as if it were still socially substantial and individually appropriate. “It is one of my joys, not to be a house-owner,” wrote Nietzsche as early as The Gay Science. To this should be added: ethics today means not being at home in one’s house. This illustrates something of the difficult relationship which individual persons have vis-a-vis their property, so long as they still own anything at all. The trick consists of certifying and expressing the fact that private property no longer belongs to one person, in the sense that the abundance of consumer goods has become potentially so great, that no individual [Individuum] has the right to cling to the principle of their restriction; that nevertheless one must have property, if one does not wish to land in that dependence and privation, which perpetuates the blind continuation of the relations of ownership. But the thesis of this paradox leads to destruction, a loveless lack of attention for things, which necessarily turns against human beings too; and the antithesis is already, the moment one expresses it, an ideology for those who want to keep what is theirs with a bad conscience. There is no right life in the wrong one.
Asyl für Obdachlose. – Wie es mit dem Privatleben heute bestellt ist, zeigt sein Schauplatz an. Eigentlich kann man überhaupt nicht mehr wohnen. Die traditionellen Wohnungen, in denen wir groß geworden sind, haben etwas Unerträgliches angenommen: jeder Zug des Behagens darin ist mit Verrat an der Erkenntnis, jede Spur der Geborgenheit mit der muffigen Interessengemeinschaft der Familie bezahlt. Die neusachlichen, die tabula rasa gemacht haben, sind von Sachverständigen für Banausen angefertigte Etuis, oder Fabrikstätten, die sich in die Konsumsphäre verirrt haben, ohne alle Beziehung zum Bewohner: noch der Sehnsucht nach unabhängiger Existenz, die es ohnehin nicht mehr gibt, schlagen sie ins Gesicht. Der moderne Mensch wünscht nahe am Boden zu schlafen wie ein Tier, hat mit prophetischem Masochismus ein deutsches Magazin vor Hitler dekretiert und mit dem Bett die Schwelle von Wachen und Traum abgeschafft. Die Übernächtigen sind allezeit verfügbar und widerstandslos zu allem bereit, alert und bewußtlos zugleich. Wer sich in echte, aber zusammengekaufte Stilwohnungen flüchtet, balsamiert sich bei lebendigem Leibe ein. Will man der Verantwortung fürs Wohnen ausweichen, indem man ins Hotel oder ins möblierte Appartement zieht, so macht man gleichsam aus den aufgezwungenen Bedingungen der Emigration die lebenskluge Norm. Am ärgsten ergeht es wie überall denen, die nicht zu wählen haben. Sie wohnen wenn nicht in Slums so in Bungalows, die morgen schon Laubenhütten, Trailers, Autos oder Camps, Bleiben unter freiem Himmel sein mögen. Das Haus ist vergangen. Die Zerstörungen der europäischen Städte ebenso wie die Arbeits- und Konzentrationslager setzen bloß als Exekutoren fort, was die immanente Entwicklung der Technik über die Häuser längst entschieden hat. Diese taugen nur noch dazu, wie alte Konservenbüchsen fortgeworfen zu werden. Die Möglichkeit des Wohnens wird vernichtet von der der sozialistischen Gesellschaft, die, als versäumte, der bürgerlichen zum schleichenden Unheil gerät. Kein Einzelner vermag etwas dagegen. Schon wenn er sich mit Möbelentwürfen und Innendekoration beschäftigt, gerät er in die Nähe des kunstgewerblichen Feinsinns vom Schlag der Bibliophilen, wie entschlossen er auch gegen das Kunstgewerbe im engeren Sinne angehen mag. Aus der Entfernung ist der Unterschied von Wiener Werkstätte und Bauhaus nicht mehr so erheblich. Mittlerweile haben die Kurven der reinen Zweckform gegen ihre Funktion sich verselbständigt und gehen ebenso ins Ornament über wie die kubistischen Grundgestalten. Das beste Verhalten all dem gegenüber scheint noch ein unverbindliches, suspendiertes: das Privatleben führen,: solange die Gesellschaftsordnung und die eigenen Bedürfnisse es nicht anders dulden, aber es nicht so belasten, als wäre es noch gesellschaftlich substantiell und individuell angemessen. »Es gehört selbst zu meinem Glücke, kein Hausbesitzer zu sein«, schrieb Nietzsche bereits in der Fröhlichen Wissenschaft. Dem müßte man heute hinzufügen: es gehört zur Moral, nicht bei sich selber zu Hause zu sein. Darin zeigt sich etwas an von dem schwierigen Verhältnis, in dem der Einzelne zu seinem Eigentum sich befindet, solange er überhaupt noch etwas besitzt. Die Kunst bestünde darin, in Evidenz zu halten und auszudrücken, daß das Privateigentum einem nicht mehr gehört, in dem Sinn, daß die Fülle der Konsumgüter potentiell so groß geworden ist, daß kein Individuum mehr das Recht hat, an das Prinzip ihrer Beschränkung sich zu klammern; daß man aber dennoch Eigentum haben muß, wenn man nicht in jene Abhängigkeit und Not geraten will, die dem blinden Fortbestand des Besitzverhältnisses zugute kommt. Aber die Thesis dieser Paradoxie führt zur Destruktion, einer lieblosen Nichtachtung für die Dinge, die notwendig auch gegen die Menschen sich kehrt, und die Antithesis ist schon in dem Augenblick, in dem man sie ausspricht, eine Ideologie für die, welche mit schlechtem Gewissen das Ihre behalten wollen. Es gibt kein richtiges Leben im falschen.

Christianity – the Halloween-effect

So far we may consider us as lucky beings — as said: caught in a cage, but knowing by whom, clearly seeing the tamer, being able to find the addressee when considering resistance. Though extremely brutal at times, it is a somewhat simple mechanism, not to say: mechanics … . The cogwheels of the machines that are taking control of the body of the workers are working along the finely Taylored (yes, I know: some would like to see tailored … — I am speaking of Taylored though) lines, producing the car for the ‘Emporio Ford T’. And as much as this is a matter of production, it produces and reproduces itself in all fibres of life and living. As much as the wheels are turning the machines, they are also mechanisms that are securing what had been said before, quoting again Marx’s Introduction to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy:

For one thing, the object is not simply an object in general, but a particular object which must be consumed in a particular way, a way determined by production. Hunger is hunger; but the hunger that is satisfied by cooked meat eaten with knife and fork differs from hunger that devours raw meat with the help of hands, nails and teeth. Production thus produces not only the object of consumption but also the mode of consumption, not only objectively but also subjectively. Production therefore creates the consumer.

This is winding up the entire life then:

I wind up a clock, I wind up a chain at the chain of the web at the loom, I wind up the automatic toy: Everywhere it is about mechanical activities, dealing with things: unresisting and lifeless.[1]

This is a short passage from Victor Klemperer, written is his notebook of a philologist, dealing with the LTI, the Lingua Tertii Imperii — and he writes it with reference to the language of the “German Reich”. There the term Aufziehen, winding up had been frequently used to describe the way the fascists had been winding up people, human beings. — Frightening brutality, and still allowing naming the adversary.


words can be like tiny doses of arsenic: they are swallowed without that one is getting aware of it, seemingly they do not show any effect, but some time later the poisonous action is virulent.[2]

Is that the step that stands at the end of such a terror regime? Or is it just the foundation on which another regime is erected, seemingly a completely different one?

I watched a film — Yanis mentioned it once and I thought it could be worthwhile to learn about the Invasion of the body snatchers.

Frightening — especially as I switched directly after the end of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers to the other film, seeing (one may say) the opposite: The human bodies seemingly snatching the body of the machine, though actually being absorbed by it. This does not happen to the body snatchers: they are really “taking over” — a so-called thriller, but extremely weary when confronting it with the Chaplin film which I watched just after the Invasion

Right at the beginning of the Modern Times, at minute 1:13 ff., we see the shift from the sheep brought to the shambles to the workers now being tied into the e ‘Emporio Ford T‘  … .

As explained on the 12th of September 2015 in an article

Digital Taylorism. A modern version of “scientific management” threatens to dehumanise the workplace

in the Economist

Taylor’s appeal lay in his promise that management could be made into a science, and workers into cogs in an industrial machine. The best way to boost productivity, he argued, was to embrace three rules: break complex jobs down into simple ones; measure everything that workers do; and link pay to performance, giving bonuses to high-achievers and sacking sluggards.

Seen in this light, next the Emporio Armani comes to mind — and all the similar No Logo empires, tayloring in at least two new ways:

The one may be seen as simple form of “imagined inversion of body-snatching”: wearing the Armani skin, walking on the Nikely across the catwalk, following the time as it is set by Patek Philippe, looking at the Swarovski glamour through Gucci-eyes, the head, carried by the gym-athleticised body, the eyes produly peeping out of the makeup-made up face — who knows what is real what is fake, who can know it as we finally are all critical about GM-food and environmental protection and the logo-industries, now presented on the perfected catwalk that hides behind google-algorithms being against GM-food of course allow us to drive the GM-vehicle. The new show is about ourselves, the new “We”, digitally taylored and finally gaining its real form: the total fiction.

Indeed, the other form of tayloring goes beyond simple body snatching and is about Identity Theft. It can only be understood if we honestly consider our own readiness of giving identity away, in the extreme revealed by the Confessions of a Shopaholic (Just ignore the kitschy Happy End) — the extreme form that most of us can avoid, however, without avoiding the form itself: the fiction of the Pearly Gates replaced, taking the form of the shiny imagination of fictive money within the brute world of fictive capital.

It is reflected by Adorno, stating in his Minima Moralia

The trick consists of certifying and expressing the fact that private property no longer belongs to one person, in the sense that the abundance of consumer goods has become potentially so great, that no individual [Individuum] has the right to cling to the principle of their restriction; that nevertheless one must have property, if one does not wish to land in that dependence and privation, which perpetuates the blind continuation of the relations of ownership. But the thesis of this paradox leads to destruction, a loveless lack of attention for things, which necessarily turns against human beings too; and the antithesis is already, the moment one expresses it, an ideology for those who want to keep what is theirs with a bad conscience. There is no right life in the wrong one.

And indeed, the damaged life about which Adorno wrote was located in the damaged world of the after WWII, the world the post-fascist period — still exposing with Adenauer in Germany, McCarthy in the USNA, Kurt Waldheim in the UN, the world being nearly driven to war as the self-proclaimed world-gendarme felt threatened by the Sputnik, end even more so by the Cubans the womb from which it emerged —, this world was founded in the 80/20 rule, mentioned previously. But even this developed further, the 80/20 replaced, or should one say: refined by the 99/1 rule: the oligarchy of the 1 percent, ruling the 99 percent.

The paradox is that the ruling classes themselves obviously lost control – no sympathy, no pity; though perhaps hope? Wolfgang Streeck importantly asked the question

Has Capitalism Seen its Day?

He points out five aspects characterising a crisis of capitalism that mark the potential end: Core of his definition of capitalism is his reference to a “social order build on a promise of boundless collective progress xyz” And the following are the five aspects highlighted in the presentation.

  • The crisis of growth, giving way to stagnation
  • The increasing inequality of the distribution of the remaining growth
  • The reference of the money economy to a growing mountain of promises that are becoming less likely to become true
  • The at least three major crisis the capitalist centre has undergone since the 1970s, namely a matter of inflation, public finances and private debt
  • The inability of the regulatory system to provide satisfying answers.[3]

— Of course, the imaginary plastic world, the identity theft and body snatching can at least serve as metaphor of such “new world (order)”. Perhaps this is so scary real that we have to distract ourselves by going for something really scary these days.

Coming back to that “wrong life”, we see that it gets even further distracted by the fact that the bodies are snatched, now it is better to say: obsessed by the ideas of a certain omnipotence of the alienated existence: on the one hand it is about replacing real life, real experience, real learning by projection on a canvas. Well, you may learn to fly your DIY-aircraft with your DIY-pilot license and you face a heart-attack because after your DIY-economics course you miscalculated the energy consumption of the plane, now being afraid to crash … — don’t worry, you can solve the problem as you surely attended the course on advanced cardiac life support. It is the blackboard-leaning method par excellence.

Politically we are caught in the idea of globality, a state of immeasurableness — the problem is only that we are limited in our understanding of the actual meaning: “We” claim easily for us, and start screaming, shouting, erecting fences as soon as “they” claim the same right. We still lead the debate on ius sanguinis versus ius soli, mixed with a notion of ius culturae, having difficulties with accepting that the “we” has now a completely different meaning:

Et la voix prononce que l’Europe nous a pendant des siècles gavés de mensonges et gonflés de pestilences, car il n’est point vrai que l’œuvre de l’homme est finie que nous n’avons rien à faire au monde que nous parasitons le monde qu’il suffit que nous nous mettions au pas du monde mais l’œuvre de l’homme vient seulement de commencer et il reste à l’homme à conquérir toute interdiction immobilisée aux coins de sa ferveur et aucune race ne possède le monopole de la beauté, de l’intelligence, de la force et il est place pour tous au rendez-vous de la conquête et nous savons maintenant que le soleil tourne autour de notre terre éclairant la parcelle qu’à fixée notre volonté seule et que toute étoile chute de ciel en terre à notre commandement sans limite.

This so well said by Aime Cesaire in his book on the return to the country of birth. Indeed, such “we” has to have understood in a new way, as I ventilated in an interesting discussion with Nadia early this year after the Thinkshop of Laboratorio Expo “Perspectives on Agency and Participation“, which took place on the 15th and 16th of May at the Institute of Advanced Study (IUSS), in Pavia — as summary of the debates will soon be published under the title

You, me and the ‘WE’: Global Responsibility

on the Feltrinelli/EXPO-site.

There I concluded the considerations, surely very much stimulated and enlightened by Nadia, saying

What I kind of propose is a positive notion at the end. I think it happened on the 15th of May about 400 years ago that the Treaty of Westphalia had been signed, I remember the date, but not the year — 1648 was it? It has basically always been seen as the point of beginning of nation building, of the establishment of constitutions and of the modern nation state. Let’s consider this: before, we did not have a nation state. So the optimist part of this is: we did manage for a long time without the nation state, perhaps it is the time now to say that we can do without the nation state again today. It does not mean falling back in time to before 1600, but it may be that we have to look more at the levels of power and redefine the power of global, international organisations: the European Union, the World Bank, the IMF, the United Nations and their regional bodies, the recently declared new Global Goals: there has already been quite some development in this respect and I think through these bodies, taking up what you just said, we need to make aware of the importance, of the content, of the challenge there is. As I said, we cannot do without it, but we have to better define what we want to do with it. And I think this is the point now on which we should focus when talking about urban, environmental or economic sustainability, and of social responsibility.

And talking then about any ius culturae can only be valid when we are ready to think about a new culture, leaving behind, overcoming the arrogance of the centre-right, i.e. the right of the centre to act as standard for the rest of the world. The right has to be one that is not based on centre and periphery, but the right of overcoming those categories. And we may even say the right to overcome categorical thinking. The right of living Multiple Identities as the maestro does …

Do we still not know what Confucius stated as simple principle of learning?

I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.

Actually, I think we do know and I saw it the other day in the eyes of 章熟艏. We talked about e-leaning, computer courses and …, then she asked me who would be teaching her next semester. I told her and I saw her joy when I said it would be a human being, not a computer.

It is still time to escape the body snatchers – if we manage to resist them.

I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death. (Leonardo da Vinci)



[1] A longer quote here from the German text


Ich ziehe eine Uhr auf, ich ziehe die Kette eines Gewebes am Webstuhl auf, ich ziehe ein automatisches Spielzeug auf: überall handelt es sich um mechanische Tätigkeit, die an einem widerstandslosen, leblosen Ding ausgeübt wird.

Vom automatischen Spielzeug, dem drehenden Brummkreisel, dem laufenden und nickenden Tier, führt der Weg zur metaphorischen Anwendung des Ausdrucks: ich ziehe einen Menschen auf. Das heißt: ich necke ihn, ich mache ihn zur komischen Person, zum Hampelmann; Bergsons Erklärung des Komischen, es bestehe in der Automatisierung des Lebendigen, findet sich hier durch den Sprachgebrauch bestätigt.

Gewiß ist „Aufziehen“ in diesem Sinn ein zwar harmloses, aber doch ein Pejorativ. (So nennt der Philologe jede „verschlechterte“ oder verringerte Wortbedeutung; der Kaisername Augustus, der Erhabene, ergibt als Pejorativ den dummen August, den Zirkusclown.) (Victor Klemperer, LTI – Notizbuch eines Philologen (1947) Oktober 2012 in Allgemein, eBooks, Exzerpte und Sprachen

[2]      Or in the original by Klemperer

Worte können sein wie winzige Arsendosen: sie werden unbemerkt verschluckt, sie scheinen keine Wirkung zu tun, und nach einiger Zeit ist die Giftwirkung doch da.

[3]            Sure, it still needs an agent — Streeck does not discuss this. And I will not discuss this shortcoming as it would end not least in a critical debate of social-democraticism.



Loss of character – Charakterverlust

Charakterverlust – Verlust der geprägten Eindeutigkeit des Ich in der Gegenwart zwischen Vergangenheit und des Hinübertragens in die Zukunft

Loss of character – Loss of the embossed clearness of the I (the personality) between past and carrying on into the future

Wenn eine heftige Liebe gefühlt wird, so geht man eben zum Analytiker und stirbt nicht dafür.

If one feels an intense love, one goes to the psychoanalyst instead of dying for it.
… weil dieses Ich gewissermaßen ein Ballast ist, der ihnen das Fortkommen innerhalb der gesellschaftlichen Riesenmaschine nur schwer machen könnte. Man könnte sogar soweit (.) sagen, dass in diesem Prozess die Menschen, die sich all dem anpassen nur um ihrer Selbsterhaltung willen eben in diesem Prozess der Anpassung genau dieses selbe ich, dieses Selbst verlieren, dass sie eigentlich erhalten wollen — darin liegt die satanische Dialektik …
… because the I (the personality) is in some way a burden, that could make progressing within this societal mammoth only difficult, one could even go further, saying that with this process the human beings, who adapt themselves just in order of self-preservation  loose within exactly this process of adaptation themselves, this personality which they actually want to preserve — with this we see the satanic dialectics