To Readers Of My Writing Over, Under, Within And From Theodor Adorno’s Minima Moralia: Reflections From Damaged Life (the Coming Clean letter)

There is an almost foolproof means for determining whether a human being means you well: how they pass on unfriendly or hostile comments about you. Such reports are mostly superfluous, nothing but pretexts for expressing ill-wishes without responsibility, even in the name of what is good.  Within the digital surveillance paradigm this process has accelerated beyond all control.  Just as all acquaintances feel the inclination to occasionally say something bad about someone, so is everyone simultaneously sensitive to the views of everyone else, secretly wishing they were loved, even when they don’t love themselves.
The alienation between human beings is no less indiscriminate and universal than the longing to break through it.  I know this of myself while also knowing better.  Perhaps you do too.  Certainly these not sent letters have been a means to investigate (interrogate?) the dilemma.
 
The news-hawker blossoms in this climate, for there is never any lack of material or drama, and they can always count on the fact that those who wish to be liked by all are agog to hear news of the opposite. Our perpetual present has been collapsing time and space toward this end for over five decades now at least (while the free market oligarchs rape the living world without interference). One should relay derogatory remarks only when they immediately and transparently influence common decisions and judgments of the human beings you must rely on in some way or other. The more disinterested the report, the murkier the interest, the suppressed pleasure, in inflicting pain. Often story-tellers set two parties against each other in order to put their own desired qualities in the spotlight. More often they represent themselves as the unelected arbiters of public opinion and thereby impress (precisely through their simulation of affectless objectivity) the violence of anonymity upon their chosen victim. The neoliberal workplace has been an ideal garden for the exponential growth of this behaviour.  The lie becomes visible in the unnecessary concern for the honor of the targeted victim, who is momentarily unaware of their victimization. By virtue of moral fervor, those who are well-meaning are turned into destroyers, and destroyers are masked (publicly lauded) as virtuous.
One must abandon affirmation to be free and do right by others, no matter the initially perceived costs.  Our humanity awaits.
jeremy