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Rackets
Rackets
Gerhard Scheit Lars Fischer

The term racket first turned up in the context of Critical Theory toward the end of the 1930s and instantly attained considerable conceptual significance. In his notes and drafts for Dialectic of Enlightenment, Horkheimer identified the racket as the ‘elementary form of domination’.1 The term originated in the language of American legal scholars and criminologists. As Otto Kirchheimer noted, it commonly referred to ‘monopolistic practices which are carried through by physical force, violence in trade disputes, or similar objectionable means’.2 More recently, it was principally Wolfgang Pohrt who drew attention to the relevant texts and the significance of the concept for Critical Theory. He also pointed to the term’s variegated connotations that evidently ...

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