The Frankfurt School – LewRockwell

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Franklin Einspruch, A commentator in The Federalist, describes me as a “circumspect conservative” scholar who has written responsibly about Cultural Marxism.  I’m also deemed to be a conservative who agrees with other conservative critics of the Frankfurt School on the harmful effects of this group’s radical ideas. But I must part ways with Mr. Einspruch when he tells us:  “It’s plain fact that political correctness and multiculturalism derive from notions hailing from the Frankfurt School, which in turn took most of its cues from Karl Marx.” Although I can discern a connection between feminist attacks on inherited gender roles and Frankfurt School views on sexual liberation, I’d have to question whether the present war against Christian, bourgeois institutions can be traced back in any meaningful way to traditional Marxism.

Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer (my teacher), Herbert Marcuse and other members of the Frankfurt School in interwar Germany worked to fuse Marx’s theory of class struggle and the contradictions of capitalism with a Freudian-based vision of erotic pleasure. In this remarkable fusion, it is hard, at least for me, to recognize Marx’s socioeconomic critique. Marx was concerned about man’s alienation from his own work as a result of productive forces over which he had no control. The father of “scientific socialism” never focused on abetting sexual revolt or fighting the emotional repression created by sharp gender distinctions or the failure to give proper social recognition to homosexuals. Orthodox Marxists and Marxist Leninists from the 1920s on vigorously denounced the Frankfurt School and its exponents as social decadents posing as Marxist revolutionaries. Communist regimes would later…

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