What Is Critical Theory?

Editor’s Note: The mainstream Right is going to have to choose sides in the inevitable conflict that is coming after the demise of liberalism. It is either going to be us or them.

Bill Rolen’s Introduction

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 Institute 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 became 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 Institute 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.

This program, a television documentary, 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 Frankfurt 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.

Note: BTW, I have boxes full of hundreds of these old DVDs. The Council of Conservative Citizens tried to raise the alarm about this 30 years ago.

About Hunter Wallace 9514 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

11 Comments

  1. Critical Theory, the Therapeutic State and Cultural Pessimism are the 3 most important concepts of Cultural Marxism. Critical theory asks the obvious question “What is your theory for success?” The answer- criticism-relentless, unyielding criticism of your opponents-a never-ending torrent of negativity. Never concede that they ever accomplished anything positive, that they ever made a good point or observation in a debate, or are even a legitimate source of opposition.-instead, they are “Fascists”, Racists etc-flawed vessels that can never be right about anything Therefore, neutral observers will think you have all the righteousness on your side, and your opponents don’t have a leg to stand on. This is how they engage us on the Right, and is also why debating them is a waste of time-or even counterproductive.

  2. Look at the names of the “scholars” of the “school of social research”. No coincidence that almost all of them were jews. Our misfortune continues to this day.

    • Also notice that all this began well before “the Holocaust”, so the excuse of them attempting to prevent “a repeat” doesn’t hold water. They have been enemies of European civilization, and every other one they came into contact with, from the start.

  3. Everything about Christ and Christianity is bad, but Moshiach is great. But not a one of them can tell any us what is so terrible and so wrong about the teachings of Christ. So they have to hide, their true purpose and their true reasons, under a ton of crap.

    • I see it as their pathological attempt to run from their guilt for having rejected and murdered the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Everything comes back to their rejection of Logos.

  4. This is a very good overview of the American far left and its formation. Another thing to remember though is that the new left (Frankfurt school) and trotskyism were promoted by the US government itself as a controlled opposition leftist movement that was anti-soviet. They pushed the new left in Europe and in the USA because the new left tended to criticize Soviets as “fascist,” so it was a tool of the cold war intended to prevent American and European leftists from allying with the Soviets.

    This was done in conjunction with astroturfed libertine cultural revolutions (sex, drugs, and rock and roll) used to show that the capitalist west was “the free world,” which they contrasted with the “fascist” repressive Eastern Bloc where pornography and the like was banned.

  5. “What Is Critical Theory?”

    A technique employed by the Corporate-Globalist Alliance with The Left to further remove, marginalize, suppress, oppress, and disinherit Whites in this country, from the country that our forefathers built.

    All done under a veneer of obtaining the ultimate Secular-Humanitarian Justice.

    This is always how The Devil works – sells you something bad under the pretext of doing something good, something helpful – just like the snake propositioning Eve in the garden.

    They’ve already crushed the smalltown and rural areas, by shipping our nearly our entire manufacturing sector, now they want to remove all other claims we might have.

    Their goal is not to wipe us out, but, to put us in every conceivable chain, so that every single fruit of our talents and action to go to their interests and their ends.

  6. Good article. Shows the origin of many of America’s problems, did notice the vid called the Frankfurt School people “Germans”….

  7. Even Jews like Carly Simon helped with the cultural pessimism, Jewish rot, by writing songs like: That’s the Way I’ve always heard it should be. It’s an attack on normal married life, folks. Listen to the lyrics you’re singing along to for crying out loud. Even tv shows like Little House on The Prairie. Many of the story lines were about the awful, bigotry of those awful White people.

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