Capitalist subjectivity can be thought of as being structured by mass-society and ideologies. This seems especially apparent in times of crisis. To a certain extend we can grasp these ideologies as illusions of the collective mind. However, I’m concerned that this perspective is too general to describe the specific character of modern-type ideologies such as nationalism, anti-Semitism and racism. The critical theorists Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer developed a differentiated concept which can help us to understand the specifics of the above ideologies.
In this essay I will point to an as of yet unresolved contradiction within their concept. My aim is to resolve this contradiction by reconstruction, using Detlev Claussen’s notion of religions of everyday life (Alltagsreligionen) in the process. After this I will make a case for renewing the concept of ideology as an analytic tool and I will end by sketching some preliminary thoughts on its use in this fashion.