Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Frankfurt School - A Quick Recap, Just to freak you out!

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 and use them to make Western civilisation stink.

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). Weil was born in Argentina and at the age of nine was sent to attend school in Germany. He attended the universities in Tübingen and Frankfurt, where he graduated with a doctoral degree in political science. While at these universities he became increasingly interested in socialism and Marxism. According to the intellectual historian Martin Jay, the topic of his dissertation was ‘the practical problems of implementing socialism.'

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.

When Hitler came to power, the Institut was closed and its members, by various routes, fled to the United States and migrated to major US universities—Columbia, Princeton, Brandeis, and California at Berkeley.

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.

To further the advance of their ‘quiet’ cultural revolution - but giving us no ideas about their plans for the future - the School recommended (among other things):


1. The creation of racism offences. (incredibly familiar?)
2. Continual change to create confusion (sound familiar?)
3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children (sound very familiar?)
4. The undermining of schools’ and teachers’ authority (sound familiar?)
5. Huge immigration to destroy identity.(blindingly familiar?)
6. The promotion of excessive drinking (not quite)
7. Emptying of churches (sound familiar?)
8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime (sound horribly familiar?)
9. Dependency on the state or state benefits (resoundingly familiar?)
10. Control and dumbing down of media (great job they made of this one!)
11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family (sound familiar?)

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. (Hmmm not liking this one)


abolish differences in the education of boys and girls


abolish all forms of male dominance - hence the presence of women in the armed forces (Oh dear, this sounds very familiar, positive discrimination ALWAYS put the white man at the bottom of the pile).


declare women to be an ‘oppressed class’ and men as ‘oppressors’ (Harpies Unite?)

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.

Interested enough to read more or just google "Frankfurt School".. there's lots on the net.