see also 2012 – 025 The Frankfurt School
Political Correctness, the Frankfurt School, Cultural Marxism and the Fabians: The insidious thinking thats destroying English Society.
What was the Frankfurt School? Well, in the days following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, it was believed that workers’ revolution would sweep into Europe and, eventually, into the United States. But it did not do so. Towards the end of 1922 the Communist International (Comintern) began to consider what were the reasons. On Lenin’s initiative a meeting was organised at the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow.
The aim of the meeting was to clarify the concept of, and give concrete effect to, a Marxist cultural revolution. Amongst those present were Georg Lukacs (a Hungarian aristocrat, son of a banker, who had become a Communist during World War I ; a good Marxist theoretician he developed the idea of ‘Revolution and Eros’ – sexual instinct used as an instrument of destruction) and Willi Munzenberg (whose proposed solution was to ‘organise the intellectuals’) … Only then, after they have corrupted all its values and made life impossible, can we impose the dictatorship of the proletariat’) ‘It was’, said Ralph de Toledano (1916-2007) the conservative author and co-founder of the ‘National Review’, a meeting ‘perhaps more harmful to Western civilization than the Bolshevik Revolution itself.’
Lenin died in 1924. By this time, however, Stalin was beginning to look on Munzenberg, Lukacs and like-thinkers as ‘revisionists’. In June 1940, Münzenberg fled to the south of France where, on Stalin’s orders, a NKVD assassination squad caught up with him and hanged him from a tree.
In the summer of 1924, after being attacked for his writings by the 5th Comintern Congress, Lukacs moved to Germany, where he chaired the first meeting of a group of Communist-oriented sociologists, a gathering that was to lead to the foundation of the Frankfurt School.
This ‘School’ (designed to put flesh on their revolutionary programme) was started at the University of Frankfurt in the Institut für Sozialforschung. To begin with school and institute were indistinguishable. In 1923 the Institute was officially established, and funded by Felix Weil (1898-1975) …
Carl Grünberg, the Institute’s director from 1923-1929, was an avowed Marxist, although the Institute did not have any official party affiliations. But in 1930 Max Horkheimer assumed control and he believed that Marx’s theory should be the basis of the Institute’s research.
Originally supporters of the Third Reich, they had a falling out with Hitler, left the University of Frankfurt, where they had been teaching, and headed for the most prestigious universities in the United States. Naturally, Americans — particularly academics — looked kindly upon these men and women as political refugees.
The School included among its members the 1960s guru of the New Left Herbert Marcuse (denounced by Pope Paul VI for his theory of liberation which ‘opens the way for licence cloaked as liberty’), Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, the popular writer Erich Fromm, Leo Lowenthal, and Jurgen Habermas – possibly the School’s most influential representative.
Like Antonio Gramsci, they intended to change long-established codes of behaviour for people in the Western world. In particular, they wanted to break down people’s ties to family and the Church — the two obstacles to widespread acceptance of Marxism. Gramsci envisaged a ‘long march through the institutions’ — home, church, school — which would take decades in order to succeed. The Frankfurt School had the same objective — the ‘quiet’ revolution — which also was a long-term project.
How many of the following are familiar to you today?
… the School recommended (among other things):
1. The creation of racism offences. 2. Continual change to create confusion 3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children 4. The undermining of schools’ and teachers’ authority 5. Huge immigration to destroy identity 6. The promotion of excessive drinking 7. Emptying of churches 8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime 9. Dependency on the state or state benefits 10. Control and dumbing down of media 11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family
One of the main ideas of the Frankfurt School was to exploit Freud’s idea of ‘pansexualism’ – the search for pleasure, the exploitation of the differences between the sexes, the overthrowing of traditional relationships between men and women. To further their aims they would:
• attack the authority of the father, deny the specific roles of father and mother, and wrest away from families their rights as primary educators of their children. • abolish differences in the education of boys and girls • abolish all forms of male dominance – hence the presence of women in the armed forces • declare women to be an ‘oppressed class’ and men as ‘oppressors’
Munzenberg summed up the Frankfurt School’s long-term operation thus: ‘We will make the West so corrupt that it stinks.’
The School believed there were two types of revolution: (a) political and (b) cultural. Cultural revolution demolishes from within. ‘Modern forms of subjection are marked by mildness’. They saw it as a long-term project and kept their sights clearly focused on the family, education, media, sex and popular culture.
Now for two notes about the Fabians. One from this article concerns Bertrand Russell, who collaborated with members of the Frankfurt School. In 1951, he wrote in his book The Impact of Science on Society about the importance of mass psychology, which
has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called ‘education’. The social psychologists of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black. Various results will soon be arrived at. First, that the influence of home is obstructive. Second, that not much can be done unless indoctrination begins before the age of ten. Third, that verses set to music and repeatedly intoned are very effective. Fourth, that the opinion that snow is white must be held to show a morbid taste for eccentricity. But I anticipate. It is for future scientists to make these maxims precise and discover exactly how much it costs per head to make children believe that snow is black, and how much less it would cost to make them believe it is dark gray. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for a generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen.
The other note — similar in prediction — concerns another Fabian, Aldous Huxley, whose brother Julian helped found the United Nations. Gospel Nous Ministries’ ‘A Crisis in American Leadership: Exploiting our Moral Vagrancy (Part Four)’ cites part of his speech at Berkeley in 1962:
If you are going to control any population for any length of time, you must have some measure of consent. It’s exceedingly difficult to see how pure terrorism can function indefinitely.
It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy, who have always existed and presumably will always exist, to get people to (actually) love their servitude.
Pass the soma! I know my regular readers are aware of the danger here, but for any drive-bys: please wake up!
Anyone thinking that a) airport security pat-downs keep passengers safe, b) police targeting ‘low-hanging fruit’ offences instead of property crime gives us a more orderly society and c) that the many diversity laws in place bring equality really needs to read more about what these actions really mean.
This is what is really happening — it’s only a partial list of a long litany:
– Confusion between civil and human rights. Last week in the Telegraph, journalist Charles Moore discussed Parliament’s rejecting voting rights for prisoners. No problem there, except that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), closely associated with the European Union, said that voting is a basic human right. Most people believe that it is a civil right. When you violate the law and are incarcerated, you have broken your contract with society and are thereby deprived of certain civil rights — e.g. voting and freedom of movement — as part of your punishment. However, John Hirst, who has campaigned for prisoners’ ‘human right’ to vote, said in the comments (February 12, 2011):
The ECHR has ruled that the UK is guilty of human rights violation by denying human beings their human right to vote. What part of that simple position do you not understand? The UK must toe the line of get out of Europe. Europe demands that Member States abide by Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law. Three basic objectives which the UK says it will meet. But it has been shown to have failed to meet them.
– Overemphasis on ‘humanistic psychology’ and ‘values clarification’. The aforementioned Catholic Insight article notes that what used to be civics and citizenship classes focussing on constitutions and government are now comprised of coursework with regard to ‘choices’ in life. They explain that secular humanism springs from the designs of the Fabian Society, the Frankfurt School and their many present-day apologists. Abraham (‘hierarchy of needs’) Maslow, whom many of us studied at university, was part of the Frankfurt School and helped develop this concept. It is about more than his affirming ‘self-actualisation’ one studies in Psych 101. Therefore, he was surprised at the overwhelmingly positive reception Catholic nuns gave him after a speech:
On April 17th, 1962, Maslow gave a lecture to a group of nuns at Sacred Heart, a Catholic women’s college in Massachusetts. He noted in a diary entry how the talk had been very ‘successful,’ but he found that very fact troubling. ‘They shouldn’t applaud me,’ he wrote, ‘they should attack. If they were fully aware of what I was doing, they would [attack]’ (Journals, p. 157).
– Increased clout of special-interest groups. Allow me to preface this by saying that what consenting adults do in their private life is no business of mine. However, when special-interest groups expect the taxpayer to fork out for their advancement and entertainment, we have a disconnect. The Christian Institute’s site reported in 2009 that the gay activist group Pride wanted money from Canterbury (Kent) City Council to help open … a gay bar:
The council refused, arguing that it has already provided £4,000 in grants for the group to promote its causes.
According to the council’s website, it has endorsed at least two Pride in Canterbury events in the last two years.
But Mr [Theo] Grzegorczyk thinks this is not enough. He said: “For all those who have questioned whether or not the Equality Duty is practical or necessary: here is your answer.
“This is a council who have been able to wiggle their way out of engaging with members of their own community, simply because the law doesn’t require it.
“Fortunately, Canterbury City Council won’t be able to use that defence much longer.”
– The hypocritical destabilisation of children. In September 2010, Daily Mail columnist Peter Hitchens (Christopher’s brother) analysed gay activist Peter Tatchell’s opposition to the papal visit. He describes:
what I believe is the hypocrisy of his attempt – and that of the Left in general – to wage war on the Pope by employing the charge of condoning or failing to act against paedophilia …
For on June 26, 1997, Mr Tatchell wrote a startling letter to the Guardian newspaper.
In it, he defended an academic book about ‘Boy-Love’ against what he saw as calls for it to be censored …
Personally, I think he went a bit further than that. He wrote that the book’s arguments were not shocking, but ‘courageous’.
He said the book documented ‘examples of societies where consenting inter-generational sex is considered normal’ …
And he concluded: ‘The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy.
‘While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful’ …
What he said in 1997 remains deeply shocking to almost all of us. But shock fades into numb acceptance, as it has over and over again. Much of what is normal now would have been deeply shocking to British people 50 years ago. We got used to it. How will we know where to stop? Or will we just carry on for ever?
As the condom-wavers and value-free sex-educators advance into our primary schools, and the pornography seeps like slurry from millions of teenage bedroom computers, it seems clear to me that shock, by itself, is no defence against this endless, sordid dismantling of moral barriers till there is nothing left at all.
Yet when one of the few men on the planet who argues, with force, consistency and reason, for an absolute standard of goodness comes to this country, he is reviled by fashionable opinion.
– Parents’ taxes fund state power over their own children. We have no choice but to pay taxes. Many go towards necessary services, but when it comes to schools, parents may be on a losing wicket when it comes to withdrawing their children from sex education courses. Gay Labour MP — and former Anglican priest — Chris Bryant has proposed a Sex and Relationships Education Bill which, if passed, would make it difficult to opt out of sex ed classes in schools. The Revd Peter Ould, a married Anglican priest who describes himself as ‘post-gay’, is rightly concerned:
This is a serious issue. At present, parents can remove their children from … sex education … and they can do this at any age. The amendments to the 1996 Act proposed by Bryant mean that a child can only be withdrawn on their own volition (not the parents’) and that that can only happen if they are of “sufficient maturity” … (I cannot see a definition of “sufficiently mature” that will cover children under the age of 12) …
Chris Bryant’s proposals make the State the institution with the legal right and final authority to provide a moral framework for children. The inability of parents to remove their child from a class on sex and relationships education mean that in this area the School can educate children in a manner directly contradictory to the parents’ wishes and [there] is no legal recourse. The non-definition of the term “sufficient maturity” can easily allow a Secretary of State, if s/he was so minded, to raise the bar so high for a child’s absence from these classes that all children are de facto mandated to attend.
– Sanctimonious politicians whose minds are in the gutter. In my 2010 post on the Fabians and Labour politicians, I wrote that they presented themselves very well on television and radio interviews. Between 1997 and 2010, they articulately pointed out the shortcomings of British taxpayers who smoked, drank and ate too much. If we were not guilty of any of those, then we consumed too much electricity and gas. We drove too much. We didn’t get enough exercise. We didn’t read to our children enough. The list was endless. But did you know that one of these MPs, Harriet Harman, in an earlier incarnation as legal officer in 1978 for the organisation now called Liberty, wanted to lower the age of consent to 14 and to decriminalise incest? British readers should also note that at that same time Patricia Hewitt — later a Secretary for Health (!) under Tony Blair — was the general secretary for what was then the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL):
It also defended self-confessed paedophiles in the press and allowed them to attend its meetings …
In NCCL’s official response to the Government’s plans to reform sex laws, dubbed a “Lolita’s Charter”, it suggested reducing the age of consent and argued that “childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in, with an adult result in no identifiable damage”. It claimed that children can suffer more from having to retell their experiences in court or the press.
– The near-inability to disagree without being vilified. Fellow blogger Dick Puddlecote sent me the link to a Michael White article in the Guardian. White, a leading left-wing journalist, has the temerity to argue the case for traditional marriage:
There’s no way around the biological fact that no amount of high-tech chicken basting can eliminate the need for a female egg and a male sperm to make a baby. On that fact rest all successful societies since the year dot …
… of course, an ever larger number of straight couples are busily persuading each other that they don’t need to marry, or stay married, in order to lead happy and enduring family lives.
I merely note in passing that the ever more permissive society in the rich west is barely 40 years old, has always been contested and is piling up problems different from the more conformist societies it replaced – but problems none the less …
Naturally, the comments following the article ripped his editorial to shreds: ‘not what we expect from The Guardian‘. They also criticised another Guardian article, about torture victims whose religious faith gave them hope and kept them alive.
Our society is in such a sad state today. The inability to criticise will become socially ingrained unless we keep speaking out about where morality, responsibility and our society are going. Speak up, speak out — before it’s too late. Choose your medium: letters, phone calls, emails, blogs or social networks. But, please, say something and spread the word!
(Yes, this was a long post, but it was important to paint the portrait, past to present. If you got this far, my thanks!) Introducing the Frankfurt School
May 21, 2010 in Catholic, Protestant | Tags: Antonio Gramsci, Charles Porterfield Krauth, children, critical theory, cultural Marxism, Frankfurt School, Georg Lukacs, Germany, Hungary, John Gresham Machen, Modernism, Pius X, postmodern, United States | 6 comments
You might not be familiar with the name, but you will certainly know of the effect this group of professors has had on 20th century Western society. Before we look at just who they were, let’s look at ideas and quotes that helped develop their Marxist worldview:
– Karl Marx advocated a ‘community of women’ in his Communist Manifesto.
– Friedrich Engels promoted matriarchy in ‘The Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State’.
– Wilhelm Wundt, who largely devised the methodology used in behavioural psychology, proposed in the 1870s that man was nothing more than an animal and, as such, could not control his impulses. He believed that children could be trained only through a stimulus-response approach via the nervous system.
– A group of intellectual socialists founded the Fabian Society in London in 1884. Its goal was to gradually transform society through left-wing ideology; Fabians founded the London School of Economics in 1895 and Britain’s Labour Party in 1900.
– Georg Lukacs, as Deputy Commissar for Culture in the short-lived Bolshevik Bela Kun regime in Hungary in 1919, set about de-Christianising the nation and sexualising its children.
Needless to say, much thought and activity abounded between the mid-1800s, giving rise to Modernism and Communism, which would see its fruition in 1917 and the development of a Soviet state. Pope St Pius X and some Protestant theologians, such as the Lutheran Charles Porterfield Krauth and the Presbyterian John Gresham Machen, condemned Modernism. Pius X declared it a heresy in 1907 and advised Catholics to avoid joining labour organisations which went against Church teaching.
After the Soviet state took root, Marxists and Communists in the West were confused as to why other countries weren’t undergoing similar transformations. Antonio Gramsci was one of these. His contemporaries in Germany at the University of Frankfurt am Main (on the Main River) wondered similarly. Gramsci and this group of Marxist professors at the University’s Institute for Social Research would independently theorise how to advance Marxist praxis (practice) in Western society.
But, before we look at the Frankfurt School, let’s study another contemporary of the period, Georg Lukacs. Almost 20 years before the publication of Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks, which advocated a de-Christianised and totally transformed culture comprised of criminals, women and racial minorities, Lukacs had already implemented these in what was up to that time, a highly traditional Hungary. Linda Kimball explains in her essay on Cultural Marxism for American Thinker:
Reasoning that if Christian sexual ethics could be undermined among children, then both the hated patriarchal family and the Church would be dealt a crippling blow. Lukacs launched a radical sex education program in the schools. Sex lectures were organized and literature handed out which graphically instructed youth in free love (promiscuity) and sexual intercourse while simultaneously encouraging them to deride and reject Christian moral ethics, monogamy, and parental and church authority. All of this was accompanied by a reign of cultural terror perpetrated against parents, priests, and dissenters.
Hungary’s youth, having been fed a steady diet of values-neutral (atheism) and radical sex education while simultaneously encouraged to rebel against all authority, easily turned into delinquents ranging from bullies and petty thieves to sex predators, murderers, and sociopaths. Gramsci’s prescription and Lukacs’ plans were the precursor to what Cultural Marxism … later brought into American schools.
Lukacs was a primary influence, along with Marx, Hegel, Freud, Kant and others on the Frankfurt School. These social theorists, some of whom were only loosely affiliated with each other, had in common a strong desire for social change. Many of their influences and much of their work was based on countering the positive aspects of Western society. Their approach was a fluid one to counter their opponents. If an argument supported Marxism, they called it logical. If an argument supported capitalism or maintaining the status quo, they termed it illogical. Opponents were termed mentally unstable. Eventually, ideas put forth by the Frankfurt School from the Institute for Social Research’s inception in 1923 eventuall evolved into today’s political correctness, but more on that later.
The tradition of thought associated with the Frankfurt School is known as critical theory, in an allusion to Kant’s critical philosophy. Cultural Marxism, also primarily associated with the Frankfurt School, is the application of critical theory to social matters — what we would see as social engineering.
By the early 1930s, the Frankfurt School members — principally, Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, Wilhelm Reich, Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, Wolfgang Fritz Haug and Jürgen Habermas – realised political change was afoot in Germany. Adolf Hitler rose to power in 1933 and the institute left for Geneva (Switzerland) that same year. In 1934, Columbia University in New York City offered the theorists an academic home. And so, instead of transforming German society, they set about putting their ideas in place to transform American society. They published a journal called Studies in Philosophy and Social Science. The articles explored American culture, especially its more populist aspects. American academe gave the professors a warm and welcome response.
Linda Kimball writes:
The school was a multidisciplinary effort which included sociologists, sexologists, and psychologists. The primary goal of the Frankfurt School was to translate Marxism from economic terms into cultural terms. It would provide the ideas on which to base a new political theory of revoltuion based on culture, harnessing new oppressed groups for the faithless proletariat. Smashing religion, morals, It would also build a constituency among academics, who could build careers studying and writing about the new oppression.
After the Second World War ended, many of the theorists returned to Europe, namely West and East Germany. Adorno and Horkheimer re-established the Institute in Frankfurt in 1953. Marcuse, however, stayed behind in America, where his ideas largely shaped the sexual revolution and student protests of the 1960s.
Kimball describes this period and its aftermath:
Toward this end, Marcuse-who favored polymorphous perversion-expanded the ranks of Gramsci’s new proletariat by including homosexuals, lesbians, and transsexuals. Into this was spliced Lukacs radical sex education and cultural terrorism tactics. Gramsci’s ‘long march’ was added to the mix, and then all of this was wedded to Freudian psychoanalysis and psychological conditioning techniques. The end product was Cultural Marxism, now known in the West as multiculturalism.
In short, anything that represented historical Western culture was viewed as ‘authoritarian’. Americans — and others — who upheld Western traditions and family values were labelled as intolerant or mentally disturbed:
In 1950, the Frankfurt School augmented Cultural Marxism with Theodor Adorno’s idea of the ‘authoritarian personality.’ This concept is premised on the notion that Christianity, capitalism, and the traditional family create a character prone to racism and fascism. Thus, anyone who upholds America’s traditional moral values and institutions is both racist and fascist. Children raised by traditional values parents, we are told to believe, will almost certainly become racists and fascists. By extension, if fascism and racism are endemic to America’s traditional culture, then everyone raised in the traditions of God, family, patriotism, gun ownership, or free markets is in need of psychological help.
And this is where political correctness comes in. Kimball goes on to say:
The strong suggestion here is that in order for one not to be thought of as racist or fascist, then one must not only be nonjudgmental but must also embrace the ‘new’ moral absolutes: diversity, choice, sensitivity, sexual orientation, and tolerance. Political correctness is a Machiavellian psychological ‘command and control’ device. Its purpose is the imposition of uniformity in thought, speech, and behavior.
In its nihilism critical theory, in turn, promotes political correctness (emphasis in the original): Critical Theory is an ongoing and brutal assault via vicious criticism relentlessly leveled against Christians, Christmas, the Boy Scouts, Ten Commandments, our military, and all other aspects of traditional American culture and society.
Both political correctness and Critical Theory are in essence, psychological bullying. They are the psycho-political battering rams by which Frankfurt School disciples such as the ACLU are forcing Americans to submit to and to obey the will and the way of the Left.
If political correctness relies on critical theory, then critical theory relies on what is known as cultural determinism. Cultural determinism is essentially identity politics. In a Godless world the Frankfurt School and its present-day adherents say we have nothing more to rely on than our physical characteristics and sexual preferences. Those determine who we are. Without a God, there is no morality, so we cannot change what or who we are. This opens the door to postmodernism and all the relativism associated with it, which we’ll look at in Monday’s post.