"I became ruler through treaties; By my treaties I am now enslaved."
But if the 'German Socialists' were never socialists except in name, their allegorical transformation into the Wotan of the Ring signifies their reconciliation with the bourgeoisie: they have themselves become fathers, their anger rationalized as paternal punishment, just as their conciliatoriness is that of the father who wishes his oppressed child a good night and the world a good nothing. Their insurrection has vanished like a ghost, leaving nothing behind but its outward appearance. Wotan is the phantasmagoria of the buried revolution. He and his like roam around like spirits haunting the places where their deeds went awry, and their costume compulsively and guilty reminds us of that missed opportunity of bourgeois society for whose benefit they, as the curse of an abortive future, re-enact the dim and distant past.
[Adorno, In Search of Wagner]