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The Four Horsemen of the Frankfort School

By Charles A. Morse
web posted January 14, 2002

In his new book "The Death of the West" Patrick J. Buchanan examines the origin of what he contends is the modern decline of America. He asserts that while Soviet style Marxism is largely dead, our society remains enthralled by Cultural Marxism, which is strangling our freedom, and threatening our future. This threat to our culture and way of life accelerated to a deadly speed with the establishment, in 1933 at Columbia University, of the Institute for Social Research, originally called "The Institute for Marxism." This institution became known as the Frankfort School.

The destructive nature of the Frankfort School, founded in New York after it's theoreticians fled there from Frankfort, Germany when Hitler came to power, is obvious from even a cursory examination of its primary texts. The four horsemen of the school were music critic Theodor Adorno, psychologist Erich Fromm, sociologist Wilhelm Reich and professor Herbert Marcuse. Their ideas, echoing through the halls of academia and from the ink stained hands of writers and journalists, would lead to, as Buchanan calls it, the establishment of today's politically correct catechism.

The original strategy to destroy America, employed by the Frankfort School, came from Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci who realized that in order to achieve a Socialist victory, cultural institutions would have to be infiltrated and subverted. Gramsci realized that America, steeped in traditions of freedom and liberty, would never to succumb to a frontal assault and its workers were too busy accumulating capital to allow themselves to be used as cannon fodder for a bloody revolution.

Theodor Adorno
Theodor Adorno

The Frankfort School would patent the familiar "Critical Theory" which was accurately defined by a student as the "essentially destructive criticism of all the main elements of Western culture, including Christianity, capitalism, authority, the family, patriarchy, hierarchy, morality, tradition, sexual restraint, loyalty, patriotism, nationalism, heredity, ethnocentrism, convention, and conservatism." Under Critical Theory, anything emanating from the west is to be libeled and attacked over and over again while at the same time, anything emerging from a "progressive" country or group is to be applauded including the murder of over 100 million people. All blame for societal and economic ills are to be shifted to the west.

The saturating drumbeat of Critical Theory would lead to "Cultural Pessimism" which is when a person grows to loathe the society, which nurtured him and provided him unprecedented levels of success. This describes the attitude of so many leftists living in comfort and safety yet viewing America, the society that made their lifestyle possible, with hatred and contempt. I am amazed by the degree in which both Critical Theory and Cultural Pessimism has been internalized by all of us.

Erich Fromm
Erich Fromm

Erich Fromm's "Escape from Freedom" and Wilhelm Reich's "The Mass Psychology of Fascism" and "The Sexual Revolution" are central texts of Critical Theory according to Buchanan, who also calls "The Authoritarian Personality" by Theodor Adorno the "altarpiece of the Frankfurt School." Adorno's thesis is that anyone imbued with middle class, conservative, or Christian values is a racist and a fascist. Charles Sykes, senior fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research Center, says Adorno's book is "an uncompromising indictment of bourgeois civilization, with the twist that what was considered merely old-fashioned by previous critics was now declared both fascistic and psychologically warped." This libelous indictment of the American people is comparable to Hitler's equally libelous indictment of the Jews of Europe.

Wilhelm Reich
Wilhelm Reich

The Frankfurt School introduced the idea of psychological conditioning as a means of changing the culture to fit their image. This would largely replace the traditional American approach to learning which was rational philosophical argument. Buchanan calls this the root of the "therapeutic state" where "sin is redefined as sickness, crime becomes anti-social behavior, and the psychiatrist replaces the priest." To Adorno and his comrades, all Americans who refused to conform to the new morality were viewed as mentally ill and in need of treatment. The Soviet Union offers a clear example of this philosophy in action with it's millions sent to gulags for "mental" maladies such as "anti-social" attitudes.

Herbert Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse

The forth horseman, Brandeis professor Herbert Marcuse, was the pied piper of the sixties as he fostered the development of, as Buchanan points out, "radical youth, feminists, black militants, homosexuals, the alienated, the asocial, Third World revolutionaries, all the angry voices of the persecuted 'victims' of the West." In "Eros and Civilization" Marcuse encouraged sex and drugs and introduced "polymorphous perversity" where all moral and cultural order is rejected. Marcuse coined the slogan "Make love not war" and was a cult figure on College campuses. His book "i" advocates educational dictatorship. He calls for "Repressive Tolerance" which means "intolerance against movements from the right, and toleration of movements from the left." When the left speaks of tolerance, this is what they mean.

The Frankfurt School would mainstream the dicktat of the Moscow Central Committee laid down in 1943. This declaration, right from the horse's mouth, illustrates exactly what were up against:

"Members and front organizations must continually embarrass, discredit and degrade our critics. When obstructionists become too irritating, label them as fascist, or Nazi or anti-Semitic...The association will, after enough repetition, become 'fact' in the public mind."

Chuck Morse is the author of "Why I'm a Right-Wing Extremist" which is available at http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/7510.

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