Transcript of the video: Political Correctness: The Frankfurt School Story.
Recently, there has been much discussion in traditionalist circles regarding the Frankfurt School. This was a very influential group of theorists who inspired a particularly successful movement of applied Marxism.
Even in his own lifetime, Karl Marx attempted to apply his theories in revolutionary action. When Marx published the Communist Manifesto in 1848, he was a leader of the Communist League. However, these early communists failed in their revolutionary attempt. Marx fled into exile and wrote Capital (1867) and other works.
The first school of applied Marxism was Revisionist Marxism, founded by Eduard Bernstein. Revisionists advocated revolution through parliamentary gradualism. Their tradition endures in the Social Democratic parties of Western Europe. Marx himself rejected the Social Democrats.
Most famous are the Soviet Marxists, Marxists who as Bolsheviks seized control of Russia in 1917. They are Marxist- Leninists.
The Frankfurt School through its Institut fuer Sozialforschung, founded in 1923 at Germany's University of Frankfurt, developed a type of applied Marxism quite different from Revisionist Marxism and Soviet Marxism. The Frankfurt School developed Freudo-Marxism, a theory which synthesized the theories of Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx into one corrosive, subversive force directed against Western Civilization.
Marxism after Marx, who died in 1883, developed in response to the failures of Marx's prophecies. Revisionist Marxism arose when the working class failed to become poorer and more militant, as Marx had predicted. Marx had also predicted that the workers would develop a sense of international solidarity, would come to see that they had no fatherlands. However, when world war erupted in 1914, the workers first saw themselves as Germans, Frenchmen, Englishmen, etc.
One great triumph for Marxism came out of the first world war: the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917. The Bolsheviks or Leninists said that the revolution had failed in Western Europe because the capitalists in those nations had bribed their workers with loot stolen from their colonies. If revolution did not arise everywhere, according to Lenin it could only be because of colonialism and imperialism. (In the late 1930's, the term "racism" was added.)
Bolshevism briefly seized power in Hungary and Bavaria in 1919, but soon lost it. In Italy, Marxism suffered an even more stunning defeat: A former revisionist Marxist, Mussolini, became a renegade and developed his own variety of nationalistic socialism, which he called fascism (after the fasces, symbol of state power in ancient Rome). The fascists totally suppressed Marxism.
The founders of the Institut observing fascism in 1923 were quite alarmed. How could the working class go so wrong? Why did so many workers behave in an irrational manner? They concluded that the mass psychology of the workers had to be considered. They believed that the new theory of psychoanalysis, Freudianism, with its emphasis on irrational impulses and drives, would help explain why the workers had accepted fascism.
Although the Frankfurt School had some tenuous links with Soviet Marxism, most notably through Georg Lukacs (born Loewinger), a Stalinist, they largely followed their own line of development. Thus, they were enabled to penetrate into the center of consciousness of the United States through the mass media and certain areas of higher education.
Until 1933, however, the Frankfurt School was active only in Germany. The rise to power of Hitler, another national socialist, whose movement was even more ethnocentric than that of Mussolini, forced the Frankfurt School into exile. They moved en masse to the United States and established the Institute for Social Research at Columbia University.
The members of the Frankfurt School included Nathan Ackerman, Theodor Adorno (born Wiesengrund), Walter Benjamin, Bruno Bettelheim, Ernst Bloch, Erich Fromm, Carl Gruenberg, Julian Gumperz, Max Horkheimer, Otto Kirchheimer, Leo Lowenthal, Kurt Mandelbaum, Herbert Marcuse, Franz Neumann, Friedrich Pollock, Ernst Schachtel, Adries Sternheim, and Karl Wittfogel.
Wittfogel, the son of a Lutheran pastor, broke with Marxism after coming to America and testified against the communists before the U. S. Senate. Wittfogel is best known for his brilliant analysis of communism, Oriental Despotism.
Herbert Marcuse probably had the greatest influence. He was the primary theoretician of the New Left. Bruno Bettelheim attained fame as a child psychiatrist. Leo Lowenthal become prominent in mass media studies.
The Institute of Social Research at Columbia was closed in 1950 when Max Horkheimer returned to Germany to play an important role in the denazification program. The re-established Institut largely ended with Horkheimer's death in 1975.
The Frankfurt School developed a theory to explain the workers' acceptance of fascism: The capitalist system developed and sustained a type of family structure, a patriarchal family structure, which produced children with a particular character structure, the authoritarian personality. People who had authoritarian personalities accepted, sustained, even promoted fascism. Fascism was defined to include any manifestation of nationalism, ethnocentrism, racism developed to a point of conscious political expression.
From a Freudo-Marxist standpoint, people with authoritarian personalities were mentally unhealthy. They needed therapy. Since at least ten percent of Americans had authoritarian personalities, it was obvious that mass therapy was needed. This went beyond the Freudian couch and talking cure. The mass therapy was to be carried out through the public education system and the mass media.
The Institute for Social Research was most famous for its Studies in Prejudice. The Authoritarian Personality and Dynamics of Prejudice were the most influential among these. The late Christopher Lasch, who was by no means a rightist, concluded that "The purpose and design of Studies in Prejudice dictated the conclusion that prejudice, a psychological disorder rooted in the `authoritarian' personality structure, could be eradicated only by subjecting the American people to what amounted to collective psychotherapy -- by treating them as inmates of an insane asylum."
Obviously, the Frankfurt School had an impact only because its theorists found thousands of followers in strategic areas of the mass media as well as in higher education. What was involved was too big to be a conspiracy, but so deliberate that it was not simply an outcome of self-generating social forces.
One of Hollywood's favorite themes is the man-made monster or golem. The mass media created the "hippie" as a direct antagonist to the authoritarian personality. The "hippie" is a golem who has served his creators well and who has not slipped out of control. (The "urban militant" has been a less tractable creation.)
It is no accident that now one television program or motion picture after another hammers at the same themes: the stupidity of fathers, the children who know better than their parents, the liberated female who rejects motherhood, above all the responsibility of the white male for all that is wrong with the world.
It is this never-ending psychological warfare waged against the white male which is the enduring legacy of the Frankfurt School. While America's patriots were fixated on the threat posed by the Kremlin, a group of cultural subversives seized control of the nation's opinion-forming apparatus without firing a shot. They deceived many by giving attention to Freudianism. Their successors have moved on to theories of "deconstruction." The theories may change, but the actors remain the same. Their goal remains the same: the gradual but total obliteration of our nation and our people.
Narrator: This program, a television documentary that exposes a band of Marxist Revolutionaries which caused great damage to America. This is the story of the Frankfurt School. Marxism is a vast criminal enterprise which has caused the deaths of over 100 million people around the world. Since Karl Marx proclaimed that criticism was a weapon of destruction, the Frankfort School's Critical Theory has become the doomsday machine of the Marx's war against Christian Civilization. Critical Theory is essentially a tool of hate, which has stirred discontent and violence among groups that consider themselves victims of a hateful system. In truth, such terms as Racism, Sexism, and Chauvinism are powerful weapons in the Marxist Psychological Warfare against Traditional American Values. Political Correctness, the product of Critical Theory, is really treason against the U S Constitution and against America.
Marxist Theory had predicted that if war came to Europe that the working class in every European country would rise in revolt , but that theory proved wrong. When the First World War began in 1914, the workers loyalty to their country proved stronger than so called, "Class Consciousness." They willingly put on their uniforms French, or German, Austrian or Russian or British and marched off by the millions to fight each other. In 1917, a Marxist Revolution did occur in Russia but it failed to spread to Western Europe. Again, contradicting Orthodox Marxist Theory.
William Lind: At the wars end, Marxist Theorists had to confront the question what had gone wrong. Antonio Gramsci of Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary believed they had the answer. Gramsci and Lukacs argued that Western Culture had blinded the Working Class to its' true Marxist Class interest. Before a Marxist Revolution could take place, Western Culture had to be destroyed.
In 1919, Lukacs, who was considered the most brilliant Marxist Theorist since Marx himself, ask who will save us from Western Civilization. That same year, 1919, Lukacs became Deputy Commissar for Culture in the Bolshevik Bela Kun government in Hungary. Where he launched programculture terrorism. As part that program, Lukacs introduced a radical sex education program into the Hungarian Schools. Political Correctness as we know it was already beginning to take form.
Laszlo Pasztor, Nat. Fed. of American Hungarians: He tried to actually undermine the Unity of the family and that was one of the reasons that he tried to introduce sex education.
Narrator: Laszlo Pasztor, a leader in the Hungarian resistance against the Communist takeover of Hungary after World War II, explains why children were targeted.
Laszlo Pasztor: It's, always, much tougher to convert an adult, you know, to do something he was taught not to do.
Narrator: The Program left great residual effects on Hungary.
Laszlo Pasztor: The only thing that we were permitted to accept was Bela Kun concepts what they were teaching that was it. Free thinking was a very big sin.
Narrator: The Bela Kun government lasted only a few months, in part, because the Hungarian Working Class was outraged at Georg Lukacs assault on traditional Western culture.
But meanwhile in Germany, a new attempt to create a Marxist critique of Western Culture was taking shape. There, the wealthy young son of a millionaire grain trader, Felix Weill wanted to establish a public policy Institute. A think tank to serve as a home for advanced Marxist thought. Modeled on the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow. Weill's think tank was originally to be named The Institute for Marxism.
Martin Jay, Chairman of the History Department at Berkeley and author of a history of the Frankfort School, explains why the name was changed to the Institut für Sozialforschung--the Instituted for Social Research.
Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley: I think, they were very interested in trying to avoid being overly labeled so it is a fairly bland name The Institute for Social Research.
Narrator: The Institute was affiliated with Frankfurt University in Frankfurt, Germany and in time, became know simply as the Frankfurt School.
The Frankfurt School formally open its' doors on June 22, 1924, but it had already held its' first seminar on theory in Spring of 1923. There almost 2 dozen Marxist Scholars gather for what Weill, the sponsor, called a Marxist Study week. One of the participates was Richard Sorge, later a famous Soviet Spy. Another, Georg Lukacs, Lukacs's writings on culture was the basics for much of the program. Almost, half of the participates in this Marxist Study Week would later be affiliated with the Frankfurt School.
William Lind: Following Lukacs's lead the Frankfort School would be the vehicle that translated Marxism from Economic into Cultural terms. Giving us what we now know as Political Correctness.
Narrator: The Frankfurt School's first director was an Austrian Marxist economist Karl Greenberg. Greenberg principle effect was to firmly establish the institutes Marxist nature. In his inaugural address which open the institutes new building in Frankfurt Greenberg said:
"It has been our intention here from the outset to maintain uniformity in the way, we look at problems and go about solving them. I, too, am one of the opponents of the economic,
social and legal order which has been handed down to us from history and I to am one of the supporters of Marxism. In the new research institute, Marxism will from now on have a home."
Narrator: Under Karl Greenberg, the Frankfurt School worked mostly on economic questions and the labor movement, conventional Marxist subjects. But in 1930, Greenberg was replaced as director by a young Marxist Intellectual with very different ideasMax Horkheimer.
Horkheimer, quickly, began to use the institute to develop a new Marxism, very different from the Marxism of the Soviet Union.
William Lind: First recognizing, the economic success of Capitalism, Horkheimer announced that revolution was unlikely to come from the working class. The Frankfort School would have to find a substitute.
Martin Jay: Well, this was the great question. The great question is there a surrogate for the working class.
Narrator: The Frankfurt School would not find an answer to this question until the 1960's, but meanwhile, Horkheimer moved to revive Lukacs's work by making the culture not the economy the central Focus of the Frankfurt School's work.
As Martin Jay writes in his, history of the Frankfurt School, The Dialectical Imagination, if it can be said that in the early years of its' history the institute concerned it primarily with an analyzes of the Bourgeois Society Social Economical Substructure. In the years after 1930, its' primary interest lay in it's Cultural Superstructure. Indeed, the traditional Marxist formula regarding the relationship between the two was called into question.
William Lind: The key to the Frankfurt School work on culture was the crossing of Marx with Freud Just as Classical Economical Marxism argued under Capitalism that the working class was oppressed, so the Frankfurt School used Freud to argued that under Western Culture everyone lived in a constant state of psychological repression.
Martin Jay: So that there were radical Freudian during this period in hopes of using Psychoanalyst to end what Reich called sexual alienation, which they saw as significant as economic alienation.
Narrator: The solution according to the Frankfurt School was not just a political revolution, to overthrow capitalism but a social and cultural revolution as well. To further the Institutes work on Cultural issues, Horkheimer brought in some new blood. The new members included a sometimes music critic Theodor Adorno. Martin Jay sees this addition as critical.
Martin Jay: Well, Adorno was perhaps the most efficient and I think, perhaps the, brilliant of the members of all the Frankfurt School.
Narrator: Another new member was Erich Fromm. Fromm a practicing psychoanalysts was noted for his radical Marxist Social Psychology. He Pioneered the concept of sexual liberation and gender politics.
According to Martin Jay, in Fromm's view masculinity and femininity were not reflections of essential sexual differences, they were derived instead from differences in life functions which were in part socially determined.
William Lind: Another piece of Political Correctness was falling into place.
Narrator: In 1932, Herbert Marcuse became a member of the Institute for Social Research. Marcuse would ultimately become the most important member of the Frankfurt School for the development of Political Correctness. In the 1950's and 60's, Marcuse would complete the translation of Marxism into cultural terms and inject it into the new left. Martin Jay sums it up.
Martin Jay: In which, Marcuse in the United States, represented the most radical inclination of the school. In the sense continuing, the work they had done in the 1920's and into the 30's. A work that was inspired by Marx's egalitarian Philosophy. Very interested, in the crisis of both Capitalism and liberal Democracy trying to find alternatives to the working class.
William Lind: As we have seen, the Frankfurt School, Marxist School in origin, wanted to create a cultural revolution against Western Society. In the 1930's, they took their important first step.
Narrator: In the 1930's, the work of Horkheimer , Adorno, Fromm and Marcuse issued in its' first tangible product Critical Theory.
William Lind: The term Critical Theory is something of a play on words. One is tempted to ask what is the theory. The answer is the theory is too criticizes. Through, unremitting destructive criticism of every institution of Western Society, they hoped to bring that society down. Critical Theory is the bases for Gay Studies, black studies, women studies and various other studies departments found on American University Campuses today. These departments are the home base of Political Correctness.
Narrator: David Horowitz was present at the birth of Campus Political Correctness.
David Horowitz, Pres. Cetr for the Study of Popular Culture: Well, I was a Radical in the 60's. I was a Marxist and you know, my buddies were people like Tom Hayden. I edited the largest magazine of the Left, at the timeThe Ramparts.. But the Frankfurt School was important in Marxism, because, they no longer believed really in the future. They believed only in destroying. Destroying Capitalism, destroying, you know, "Bourgeois Democracy" is what we would have called it, and if you look at today's campuses that type of nihilism is really the dominate theme. That is attack America.
Narrator: The Frankfurt School was careful never to define what Critical Theory was for, only what it was against.
Again, Martin Jay the Frankfort School's Semiofficial Historian.
Martin Jay: The Critical Theory itself always felt reluctant about being put into the straight jacket of systemization and define it reduction to a simple definition.
William Lind: Critical Theory, actually, attempted to politicizes logic itself. Horkheimer wrote "Logic is not independent of content" that means an argument is logical if it helps destroy Western Culture. Illogical if it supports it. Such twisted thought lies at the heart of Political Correctness. Now, inoculated into American University Students.
Josh Sterling, Senior Cornell University: When there is 1% of the campus is Conservative and the other 9% and the other 9% of the people who care are incredibly liberal, you are going to get something approaching a Socialist State.
Narrator: But how did the work of a small group of German Marx's intellectuals come to America.
(Hitler speaking German)
Narrator: In 1933, when the Nazis came to power in Germany, the Institute for Social Research fled. It fled to New York City where it was reestablished that same year with help from the President of Columbia University. Once in America, the Frankfurt School, gradually, shifted the focus of its' work from destroying German Society and culture. to attacking the society and culture of its' new place of refuge. Not only did they apply Critical Theory to American Society, they added some new elements. One was the institutes so called Studies in Prejudice which cumulated in 1950 in Theodor Adorno 's immensely influential book The Authoritarian Personality. In it, Adorno argued that the American people posses many Fascist traits and that anyone who supported traditional American Culture was Psychologically unbalanced. It is no accident that today, the politically correct are quick to label their opponents Fascist and suggest that they the need psychological treatment in the form of Sensitivity Training.
(Crowd Shouting Political Slogans)
Narrator: The Frankfurt School even integrated Political Correctness, most fashionable cause, Environmentalism, into their Cultural Marxism. By way of Horkheimer and Adorno's book Dialectic of Enlightenment.
Martin Jay: Well, they were very interested in what was called the domination of nature. Dialectic of Enlightenment,. in particular, moved the emphasis away from economic domination to species domination of the natural world. Including the once again internal nature through Psychoanalytical understanding of repression, so they were very ken on recognizing that we need to have a more nature and a more, let's say, balanced relationship between human kind and the natural world.
Narrator: After World War II, Horkheimer and Adorno return to Germany where the Institute was reestablished at Frankfurt University but not all the old members of the Institute returned. Faithfully, Herbert Marcuse remained in America, eventually, becoming a professor at Brandeis, the University of California at San Diego. Marcuse labored to finish the intellectual work began by Horkheimer, Adorno, and Fromm in the 1930's.
Martin Jay: Marcuse, on the other hand, remained in the United States and during the 50's and 60's developed some of their earlier ideasMerging Freud and Marx. An interest in ascetics, an interest in culturally, lets say, tendency toward what we would call "negation" which were usable in a campaign to call in question what Tratsky would have called the gemini of Capitalist Bourgeois Culture and Marcuse became the, of course, the so-called "Guru" of the New Left.
Narrator: It was Marcuse who, finally, answered the question proposed by Horkheimer in the early 30's who could substitute for the working class as an agent of revolution.
David Horowitz: So you had to find some new constancy weather it was students or blacks or women or Gays or whatever it was, and Marcuse had a fluid Marxism that fit into this.
Narrator: Martin Jay confirms the roll of the Frankfurt School in creating the victims groups that constitutes the Political Correct Coalition.
Martin Jay: But the Working Class wouldn't the hedge monger role that traditional Marxism had expected from it, so that student, blacks other minority groups, women so forth were, they hoped, at least, able to come together.
Narrator: Of Critical Importance for the injection of the Frankfurt School work into the student rebellion of the 1960's was Marcuse's revival of Fromm's notation of Sexual Liberation.
Martin Jay: Marcuse, however, was the main conduit of new ideas. Marcuse had written one important work in the 1950's called Eros and Civilization a work which attempts to rub Freud against the gain and came up with a radical new Utopian reading of Psychoanalyses and that combined with Norman O'Brown's Life against Death had a great impact on the Counter Culture and emphasizing the Libertine Element.
Narrator: Marcuse's Eros and Civilization condemned all restriction of sexual behavior. Call instead for polymorphic perversity.
Martin Jay: Instead it argued that at certain early development level of the human psyche, there was a potential for sexual expression, sexual pleasure, which had not yet been organized into the resistive notions of heterosexual sexual sexuality and these had some sort of capacity to be reinvigorate.
Narrator: Polymorphic perversity helped open the door to aspects of political correctness such as Gay liberation.
Roger Kimball, Managing Editor, The New Criterion: This was his idea what human society, good human society should be based on, was a certain kind of polymorphic perversity and narcissism which by liberating non-procreative "Eros" was his term. We would find great enlightenment and great happiness. This was suppose to be the key to utopia.
Narrator: David Horowitz ties Eros and Civilization directly into the 60's rebellion he was part of.
David Horowitz: Marxism is a bankrupt creed and was bankrupt by the 50's or earlier. People understood that it didn't work. There was no working class that was going to make a revolution. Capitalism. People were happy with capitalism, basically, because it made sense. It spread more money to more people than any other system in history. So they tried to find other sources of revolutionary energy. One was the idea of sexual repression of 60's. It was a way you can always think of complicated theories to do what they want to do. People wanted to...(beep)...a lot in the 60's, so Herbert Marcuse gave them the intellectual justification to have a lot of sex with a lot of people, a lot of the time. That's what Eros and Civilization, that is the title of his famous book, is about.
Narrator: Marcuse is, also, the source of one of political correctness's most notable characterized. It's told intolerance for any viewpoint but it's own. Marcuse argued that our free American society was actually a deception. That's it's true tolerance is somehow repressive. While he argued for something called "liberating tolerance."
Roger Kimball: And what he meant by that was liberating toleration or liberating tolerance meant intolerance for ideas and movements from the right and tolerance for any idea from the left. It is a recipe, you know, for repression.
Narrator: Even Martin Jay, a great admirer of the Frankfurt School admits to the totalitarian aspect of Marcuse.
Martin Jay: Perhaps his most significant essay in terms of impact. One we haven't even mentioned an essay on "repressive tolerance." Written in the late 60's which argued that because the tolerance of different believes produced no action at all because every believe seemed to be equal to all others. Racist and neo-fascism and militarism were given equal weight to those that were pacifist and emancipatory. This lead, ultimately, to the problems of political correctness and incorrectness in the 1980's. That's if you had a strong notion of who is Politically Correct, you could than be intolerant to those who weren't and sometimes this could be used as a license, by people on the left, to deny free speech to those people they disagreed with.
Narrator: Through these works Marcuse became the main agent of transmission for the Frankfurt School's ideas.
David Horowitz: Marcuse was a tremendously important influence on the thinking of young people in those days. He was one of the spiritual fathers of the movement.
Narrator: And through Marcuse the new left found the rest of the Frankfurt School.
Martin Jay: And then in the 1960's they were rediscovered by students who looked back at the works they had done and rediscovered a source of a nontraditional noncommunist Marxism which they found as an inspiration for the student movement in the 1960's.
Narrator: Jay pays Marcuse the ultimate compliment as a revolutionary.
Martin Jay: He became a kind of celebrity. In Paris, there were banners that said "Marx, Mao and Marcuse" so he was lambent of the liberation with a couple of pretty heavy hitters.
Narrator: And the consequences of the Frankfurt School's work now engulf us all. Martin Jay pays them due credit.
Martin Jay: Well, it's fascinating if you compare them with other figures from the so-called "Western Marxist" tradition, they are perhaps more alive then virtually anybody else.
Narrator: Roger Kimball, although, coming from the opposite Political perspective from Martin Jay agrees.
Roger Kimball: The institution of the ideas of Radical Multiculturalism in the Academy and what you might called it's enforcement wing, namely, the ideology of Political Correctness, testified to the vitality of some of those ideas, some of the ideas of the Frankfurt School.
Narrator: We ask former New Left Leader David Horowitz what the members of the Frankfurt School Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse might think if they could come back and visit one of America's Politically Correct Campuses today.
David Horowitz: While, I am sure thrilled because they would be, you know, gods.
Narrator: Thank you for watching this special program on the Frankfurt School. You have now been awakened to the true Marxist-Frankfurt School conspiracy which has poisoned the minds of millions of Americans and has gradually pushed our once great republic to the brink of totalitarianism.
By exploiting the legal system and the Federal Courts, Frankfurt School operatives have successfully oppressed the White Middle Class and substituted genuine liberties with enforced equality. Federal laws directed against discrimination have penalized White Americans for expressing opinions and beliefs which reflect the intentions of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers who forged a once great Republic.
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