So you’re saying human nature is not inherently evil or violent?
1) human nature is inherently evil or 'sinful', and
In our culture we are conditioned to be wary of being spontaneous. We are taught that it is a sign of emotions running rampant. This cultural attitude is based on the false premise that human nature is inherently evil and, if allowed free expression, would surely lead to destructive behavior. Sabian philosophy teaches otherwise. There is an assumption in this philosophy that human nature is fundamentally good and, when properly nurtured, can be trusted to act, even spontaneously, in conformity with right reason. There are, of course, examples of spontaneous behavior that appear to inherently destructive, as in the crimes and passions of much of our society. But this is the result of a society that has made self-interest its primary motivating factor. Such destructive behavior does not change the inherent goodness of human nature.
I hate that human nature is inherently evil, and selfish
Is there no alternative within the Marxist framework? In fact there is an excluded alternative occasionally evoked in the course of the dialogue. This alternative, referred to derisively is Marcuse, who hovers like Banquo’s ghost over the conversation. Adorno comes closest to articulating this position and is pulled back by Horkheimer each time. At one point he remarks, “I cannot imagine a world intensified to the point of insanity without objective oppositional forces being unleashed” (42). This will turn out to be the thesis Marcuse hints at in One-Dimensional Man and develops in An Essay on Liberation. But Horkheimer rejects this view as overly optimistic. A bit later Adorno refuses to accept that human nature is inherently evil. “People only become Khrushchevs because they keep getting hit over the head” (44). But again Horkheimer rejects the hope of a less repressive future and even ridicules Marcuse by claiming he expects a Russian Bonaparte to save the day and make everything right.