Left and Right

Ideology Is Not a Thing

A discussion of the views of Michael Enoch, Greg Johnson, and myself on “Cultural Marxism.”

By Duns Scotus

Alternative Right

Recently there has been some discussion about this thing called “Cultural Marxism,” and whether–or how–it exists or not. The discussion began with an article by Jason Wilson in Britain’s premier left-wing broadsheet the Guardian, titled “Cultural Marxism: a uniting theory for right wingers who love to play the victim,” to which Michael Enoch at The Right Stuff responded with “I Acknowledge That Cultural Marxism Exists,” with which alt-right stalwarts Keith Preston and Greg Johnson then seemingly concurred.

First, here is Wilson setting out his stall:

“The conspiracy theorists claim that these ‘cultural Marxists’ began to use insidious forms of psychological manipulation to upend the west. Then, when Nazism forced the (mostly Jewish) members of the Frankfurt School to move to America, they had, the story goes, a chance to undermine the culture and values that had sustained the world’s most powerful capitalist nation.”

Enoch, perhaps taking inspiration from his recent reading of Kevin MacDonald’s Culture of Critique, states that Cultural Marxism doesn’t need to be an actual conscious conspiracy. Here is the summing up of his argument:

“In the end the argument is just a semantic shell game used by leftists to avoid any discussion or criticism of actual ideas and policies and keep the debate focused on word games and obfuscation. Cultural Marxism is a useful and coherent label for a body of easily recognizable leftist theories and ideas concerning identity politics and oppression. We could just as easily call it Flying Spaghetti Marxism for all it matters though. What is important is the substance, which people like Wilson never actually want to discuss.”

Preston’s view, expressed in an article commenting on Enoch’s article, stresses the abandonment of Economic Marxism implicit in the term Cultural Marxism and explicit in the various causes that Cultural Marxism promotes:

“Lastly, PC and capitalism are not necessarily in conflict. Capitalism wants workers, consumers, investors, and new markets. This means operating among an ever greater number of demographics. It is therefore perfectly logical that capitalism would embrace anti-racism, feminism, gay rights, etc. They want to sell products to minorities, women, and gays, and hire them as workers and managers, not discriminate against them. (See Noam Chomsky’s comments on how big business supports anti-racism). I suspect the serious thinkers among the cultural Left realize this, which is part of the reason why they have softened their anti-capitalism in their old age. This also explains why the corporate class has mostly rolled over in the face of PC. Remember that Singapore (which the Left considers to be fascist, and which free market conservatives often hold up as a model) also has strict “hate speech” laws.”

Johnson, in a comment on Enoch’s article, follows a similar tack:

“Cultural Marxism (another term for it is the New Left) is completely consistent with capitalism. Cultural Marxism does not champion the working class against capital. National Socialism taught the Jewish Left that the working class could turn against them. Stalinism taught the Jewish Left that the totalitarian state can turn against them. Thus the Jewish Left began to abandon the Old Left and replace it with the New Left, which champions “inclusion” and upward mobility within the capitalist system of previously excluded groups. Most of these groups are mere proxies and avatars for the group that pushes this agenda and benefits from it most, namely Jews. Cultural Marxism has expanded and cemented Jewish hegemony in the West. The result is, as Jonathan Bowden pointed out, something previously thought to be impossible: a hyper-oligarchical form of capitalism with a reigning Left-wing value system. (It is Left wing, at least, until the Left conflicts with Jewish interests.)”

From his other writings and podcasts, Enoch could be fairly described as a race realist, gender traditionalist, American nationalist, cultural Christian, and believer in the market, in other words, not too distant from an old school Republican. Cultural Marxism, with its race denying, gender confounding, universalist, atheist, and socialist tendencies, is therefore an extremely convenient label for all the ideas and tendencies he is diametrically opposed to. Cultural Marxism is a greater convenience for Enoch as a catch-all bugbear than it would be for almost anyone else.

Those who can do, do; those who can’t, teach;
those who can’t teach, teach Cultural Marxism.

Preston and Johnson’s views, however, emphasize the sinister synergies between Capitalism and the Left, with Johnson giving this his usual Jewish spin – and not without reason in the light of the news that the Ferguson protests had largely been kept going by the generosity of George Soros. Rather than agreeing with Enoch, the views of Preston and Johnson significantly differ.

Both Preston and Johnson have ideas and attitudes that would be more comfortably placed on the Left. Johnson is much more socially liberal and has a keen interest in various economic theories like social credit that are truly anti-capitalist. Preston, of course, is well-known as an anti-state anarchist. I suspect that Enoch, in his troll-channeling humorous style, would describe some of Preston and Johnson’s positions as “dildo” or even “autistic right,” two phrases often employed on Enoch’s excellent if irreverent Daily Shoah radio show. But cheap jibes aside, there is a real problem with ideological explanations of ideology and believing in “Cultural Marxism” just because it is personally convenient.

Preston, in his article, points the way by digging up some ideological history, something he is well versed in. Here he is on the surprising beliefs of the twin fountainheads of Marxism:

“Marx and Engels were essentially Germanic or at least Nordic supremacists, viewed indigenous peoples as non-historical, and regarded Western imperialism as a historically progressive force (they had the same view of capitalism).”

Preston would also be able to tell you that Marx was a rather sincere anti-Semite despite his own Jewish origins (self-loathing has perhaps always been germane to Leftism). What Preston’s historical perspective reveals is that Marxism has greatly mutated and changed in its comparatively short history. Furthermore it has also developed remarkably diverse and contradictory regional variants.

This suggests that Marxism’s actual essence is weak, or that it is merely a protean entity, ever ready to bend with the times. But such shape-shifting is not just limited to Marxism. We have seen it with Christianity and various political parties, such as the US Democratic Party, once the citadel of Ku Klux Klan power.

Takes one to hate one.

A particularly striking example of “ideological ambidexterity” is the way in which the West and the East (the Soviet Union and now Russia) have ideologically switched places since the Cold War, with America now being all about “equality,” while Russia shelters behind a Christian-infused form of Conservatism.

Far from the “insidious forms of psychological manipulation” of supposedly omnipotent academics (an oxymoron, in case you’re wondering), what changed America was geopolitical expediency. In the 1950s with the threat posed by a particularly cunning and fascistic version of Communism, America was forced to reformulate its quintessential and, of course, ineradicable racism in such a way that it would not be a geopolitical drag on it in its struggle with the Soviet Union for the hearts, minds, oil, and markets of the non-aligned world.

Jim Crow might even have been around today if the balance of power had not tilted so dangerously against the West with the fall of China to Mao’s Communists in 1949. Later still the liberal, secular West found an alliance with militant Islam to be particularly useful, as it sought to stem the spread of Communism by stirring up the Afghans.

History is full of such ideological backtracking, going all the way back to the Romans and their adoption of Christianity as a system for imposing a totalitarian system on their weakening empire – a move alas that did not pay off. Ideology, as it exists in the world, is nothing more than a protean form of convenience for particular political alignments and group interests, which are sure to shift from time to time. All ideological formations are prone to this plasticizing effect, which, over time, turns each one into a mockery of itself. What exactly is the point of any ideology besides putting a gloss on underlying factors?

But the clincher when it comes to considering Cultural Marxism and the absurd notion that an ideology can be a causal factor, rather than just a weird form of PR, is the Frankfurt School. This group of German-Jewish academics and its corpus of writings is cited as the engine of the Cultural Marxist Revolution that has supposedly conquered the West with its legendary “march through the institutions.” But the Frankfurt School was essentially just a small group of ugly, uprooted academics with funny accents who couldn’t write to save themselves, or anybody else for that matter. Just try reading their works – I dare you!

After being unceremoniously kicked out of Europe, they were horrified at ending up in a country that had no need for their Marxist claptrap. That Cultural Marxism then supposedly became such a big success is only explicable by the fact that it didn’t.

Adorno: not fond of short, clear sentences.

How can anyone claim that Cultural Marxism is an effective ideological force when its key texts, the major works of the Frankfurt School have hardly been read by any of today’s Leftists – and even if they have, it’s a fair bet that they haven’t been understood at all well. For an ideology to have any validity it has to have a clear cut message that can be communicated, and which can then move people. The Frankfurt school lacks these attributes.

Peoples and societies may be changing in many puzzling and aberrant ways, but none of this would ever take place if it were not for the consent of certain powerful economic and cultural elites, and the forces and interests that they channel. Ideology is just the wrapping paper for that particular package, not its substance.

The value system of something as large, complex, and powerful as the West or any other empire will never come from musty books and cloistered academics, but instead from trade systems, consumption patterns, and geopolitical power balances. If sticking a label on aspects of this is temporarily expedient, then names like “Liberalism,” “Marxism,” “Cultural Marxism,” or even “Islam” may be appended, but, underneath, quite mechanisms do their work.

Islam is a good example of the protean aspects of ideology. It essentially got its start not as “the faith of the true believers,” but as a rather sleazy device for uniting the desert tribes to take full advantage of the massive mutual weakening that the Byzantine and Sassanid Empires had been inflicting on each other for decades beforehand. The faith or ideology of Islam would have had no traction otherwise, and in the face of two healthy empires able to repel them, the tribes would have cheerfully returned to slitting each other’s throats. It was plunder that built Islam, and when the plunder ran out, it went into a protracted period of abeyance. It’s recent revival since 1967 as a supposed “ideological force” has much to do with the expediences of asymmetrical warfare for which its tribal origins give it some utility and its convenience as a channeling device for second-generation immigrant ressentiment in Europe.

So, how about Cultural Marxism? If it is not the real world manifestation of the world-changing brains of Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse, and their modern-day followers, what exactly is it? One thing is for sure: it is not a coherent set of ideas that is shaping the world in its image. The power flows the other way. Cultural Marxism is simply the gloss that a post-Christian West, caught in the habit of seeking moral justification, places on the decadent proclivities made possible by its unprecedented affluence. To kill it, you have to kill the post-Christian reflex, or else kill the affluence. Nothing else will do. Talking about it won’t have the slightest effect.

26 replies »

  1. The ironic thing about the “cultural marxism” nonsense is Horkheimer, Adorno and Marcuse were in fact quite critical of the, politically correct cultural tendencies that people presently label as “cultural marxism”. Yet most of the people who blabber about cultural marxism online have never read these figures. These guys are tough reading and 21st century internet ideologues lack the attention span for that kind of thing.

    Tthe origins of the Frankfurt School conspiracy theory go back to a paper from the Larouche Institute in the early 90s. The Frankfurt School is not special in this regard–Larouchies tend to label any intellectual movement with alot of Jewish participation in it (libertarians, neocons, marxists, anarchists, etc) as part of a sinister British conspiracy.

    What I find particularly annoying when the “cultural Marxism” meme is peddled is that virtually all of the problems right-wingers attribute to “cultural marxism” are actually caused by centralized, consumerist, corporatist, capitalist culture. While it might have been popular back in the 60s-70s, Marxism has little or no relevance in the academy today. And contemporary PC culture has nothing to do with Marxism. Virtually none of the liberal, PC memes that people associate with “cultural Marxism” originate from Marxists (or leftists). And certainly not from Adorno or Marcuse.

    Marxism is a critique of capitalism–a critique that right-wingers might find enlightening if they took the time to understand it. However, conflating “cultural marxism” with “bureaucratic capitalism” or “totalitarian humanism” further confuses the fickle paranoid masses as to who their true enemy (monied elites using force and ideology to maintain their status…..not fucking Marxists) actually is.

    “Attack the System” will not be revolutionary if it continues to recycle right-wing paranoid memes that confuse, rather than enlighten us. The “system” is capitalism and its relentless accumulation at the expense of everything that is local and/or authentic. It primarily benefits monied elites associated with the finance sector, not some liberal bureaucratic elite. “Attacking” it will involve sweeping away the ideological cobwebs promoted by clowns like Alex Jones and arriving at a clear understanding of how the capitalist system reproduces itself.

    • “The ironic thing about the “cultural marxism” nonsense is Horkheimer, Adorno and Marcuse were in fact quite critical of the, politically correct cultural tendencies that people presently label as “cultural marxism”. Yet most of the people who blabber about cultural marxism online have never read these figures. These guys are tough reading and 21st century internet ideologues lack the attention span for that kind of thing.”

      I agree with much of that. For instance, Adorno would kick radical students out of his classrooms in Germany during the 1960s, and even call the cops on them for being disruptive. Still, Marcuse was a huge influence on the New Left, and there’s doubtlessly a relationship between his concept of “repressive tolerance” and today’s political correctness.

      http://attackthesystem.com/2013/10/20/herbert-marcuse-and-the-tolerance-of-repression/

      “What I find particularly annoying when the “cultural Marxism” meme is peddled is that virtually all of the problems right-wingers attribute to “cultural marxism” are actually caused by centralized, consumerist, corporatist, capitalist culture.”

      True, and what you’re saying here actually fits well with Horkheimer’s critique of the “culture industry” that is manufactured by capitalism to create a workers and consumer base.

      “While it might have been popular back in the 60s-70s, Marxism has little or no relevance in the academy today.”

      Orthodox Marxism and Marxism-Leninism, no. Neo-Marxism and post-Marxism are still very alive in the academy. Humanities fields are riddled with Marxist thinking.

      “Virtually none of the liberal, PC memes that people associate with “cultural Marxism” originate from Marxists (or leftists).”

      Not entirely so, but I’d argue that hard left branches of the New Left contributed significantly to the development of PC. Today’s social justice warriors sound a lot like the Weathermen.

      “Marxism is a critique of capitalism–a critique that right-wingers might find enlightening if they took the time to understand it. ”

      Agreed. I was interested in the Marxist critique of capitalism long before I ever started thinking about totalitarian humanism.

      “The “system” is capitalism and its relentless accumulation at the expense of everything that is local and/or authentic. It primarily benefits monied elites associated with the finance sector, not some liberal bureaucratic elite.”

      As far as the big picture is concerned, yes, of course. But the role of the “liberal bureaucratic elite” in managing that system is important to understand, and so is the system’s self-legitimizing ideology of totalitarian humanism. And it’s important to critique the ideological origins of that ideology, even if the origins cannot be traced to a singular source.

    • Thanks for the links, Illin_Spree. I had actually read Martin Jay’s article a while back and believe it should be circulated more widely, given his role in Lind’s propaganda film.

      In response to the myriad criticisms the cultural Marxist conspiracy theory has been receiving as of late, I’ve noticed many neo-reactionaries are now resorting to highlighting the fact there are still courses in critical theory being taught in American and European universities, in a desperate attempt to validate the meme. What they fail to understand, however, is that the issue isn’t about whether the Frankfurt school is still mentioned in the history of ideas presented to students in college textbooks, or whether there are entire courses centered around the work of Adorno, Horkheimer, and Marcuse. Rather, it is a matter of whether or not cultural liberalism derives from a Gramscian conspiracy the Frankfurt school undertook in an effort to manufacture social conditions conducive to communist revolution – as the conspiracy theory alleges. We all know there are a few Marxist professors here and there – including ones influenced by the sinister Frankfurt school – but how many of their students graduate from universities waving a red flag? And how many of the ones that do go on to influence public policy in a manner which significantly effects culture? And how can cultural policies allegedly designed to undermine capitalism be successfully implemented in societies wherein the superstructure (i.e., society’s dominant institutions and practices) are subordinated to the law of value, and the state is firmly controlled by the bourgeoisie? These are the questions the cultural conservatives who believe in this bullshit can’t answer.

      • ” And how can cultural policies allegedly designed to undermine capitalism be successfully implemented in societies wherein the superstructure (i.e., society’s dominant institutions and practices) are subordinated to the law of value, and the state is firmly controlled by the bourgeoisie?”

        Says the person who believes in Marxist bullshit! Maybe you need to stop being a Marxist idiot and look at the Fabian socialists. They gradually introduced socialism into England whilst the bourgeoisie power structure was still entact. Their biggest success was the nationalization of British Health Care and before Thatcher heavy industry. So it is possible for socialism to for a time coexist with capitalism that’s the whole point of the evolutionary process vs. tje

        • Unfinished.

          “So it is possible for socialism to for a time coexist with capitalism that’s the whole point of the evolutionary process vs. tje”

          So it is possible for socialism to for a time coexist with capitalism that’s the whole point of the evolutionary process vs. the revolutionary process.

          Here is question Marxists cannot answer: Why does it fail wherever its tried? USSR R.I.P; Maoist China R.I.P, Kibbutzim R.I.P. For some reason people who believe in that Bullshit cannot answer this simple question.

          • What is with the right and having to make sense of the world by recourse to outlandish conspiracy theories? I’m genuinely curious.

            The NHS, like the European welfare state in general, was achieved as a consequence of the geopolitical reality Britain was facing following the Second World War. There was a legitimate threat of domestic revolution breaking out in Europe with Soviet assistance, and that pressured the bourgeoisie into various concessions with labor, including the NHS and strategic nationalizations. That threat has since receded, which is why we’re witnessing the progressive rolling back of these very programs throughout the continent today. In other words, to the extent the Fabian society exercised any influence whatsoever over events in Britain, it was because the balance of class forces temporarily favored the proletariat – not because their clandestine, reformist strategy was effective. Socialism, at least in its Marxist conception, cannot co-exist with capitalism because the former entails the elimination of commodity production while the latter is fundamentally based upon the practice. Socialistic institutions (e.g., labor managed firms) are permitted on the periphery of the economy, and welfare legislation is enacted to the degree it’s of utility to capital, but that’s the extent of it. Moreover, I wasn’t discussing socialism co-existing with capitalism; I was drawing attention to how ludicrous the notion of cultural practices corrosive to the bourgeois mode of production being widely disseminated and embraced is.

            *Todd Lewis: “Here is question Marxists cannot answer: Why does it fail wherever its tried?”

            Why does socialism fail? The answer is: it doesn’t.

            *Todd Lewis: “USSR R.I.P”

            Soviet state socialism succeeded in rapidly industrializing Russia and transforming it into a global superpower. It provided a secure, albeit modest, standard of living to millions of its citizens, which is why opinion polls routinely find that many of the individuals old enough to have experienced both systems continue to prefer state socialism (see, for example, Russia’s Public Opinion Foundation study of 2013).

            The reason the Soviet system dissolved wasn’t because the general public were eager to dismantle it, but because the nomenklatura had a material interest in privatizing the economy – that’s one of the internal contradictions of authoritarian central planning. For more on this point, see David Kotz’s Revolution From Above: The Demise of the Soviet System (London: Routledge, 1997).

            As a communist of a relatively libertarian disposition, I obviously consider the Soviet model objectionable on a number of levels, but it’s patently disingenuous to present the system as an abject failure.

            *Todd Lewis: “Maoist China R.I.P”

            Mao was a crackpot whose economic theories were insane, and in an authoritarian polity that is a recipe for disaster. Couple that with the excesses of the cultural revolution and the aforementioned interest the political elite has in liberalizing the economy and it’s not difficult to discern why socialism failed in China.

            *Todd Lewis: “Kibbutzim R.I.P.”

            The transformation of the Kibbutzim from internally socialistic to more market-orientated communes is due to a number of factors. Among them are the fact that many younger Kibbutzim found the largely agrarian lifestyle the communes offer unappealing compared to the prospects of urban living; the Kibbutz were excessively communitarian (group dining halls and collective child rearing are distasteful to many of us); over the years there has been significant ideological contamination from Israelis raised in the capitalist sector; welfare services being cut negatively impacted the movement; and, finally, the communes were subordinated to the law of value, which bourgeois firms generally have a comparative advantage operating under.

            As much as it may distress conservative gits like yourself, socialism is perfectly feasible, it just requires the appropriate geopolitical climate to flourish. There have been brief, but inspiring moments when its liberatory potential has successfully expressed itself – e.g., in Spain between ’36-’39 – and I’m confident it will emerge once again. Should it fail to do so, the future of humanity is truly a bleak one.

            • Remedial reading for the mentally ill communist:

              Sutton–Western-Technology-1917-1930
              https://archive.org/details/Sutton–Western-Technology-1917-1930

              Sutton–Western-Technology-1930-1945
              https://archive.org/details/Sutton–Western-Technology-1930-1945

              Sutton–Western-Technology-1945-1965
              https://archive.org/details/Sutton–Western-Technology-1945-1965

              These are three volume works of the late Antony Sutton of the Hoover Institute on the Western and Japanese technical transfers to the USSR. Your precious USSR produced nothing. All their factories and industrial content were produced by or with the aid of the west, aka capitalism. Dude your are a freaking idiot.

              Stalin confessed to Averiall Harriman that:

              Stalin paid tribute to the assistance rendered by the United States to
              Soviet industry before and during the war. He said that about two-thirds
              of all the large industrial enterprises in the Soviet Union had been built
              with United States help or technical assistance.
              See: U.S. State Dept. Decimal File, 033.1 161 Johnston, Eric/6-3044: Telegram June
              30, 1944. (For references to Decimal File, see Appendix D.)

              The GAZ auto plant in Gorky was molded after the one in Gary Indiana and was built by Ford Motor Company. Averill Harriman got a concession in manganese and Armand Hammer had a concession in Pencil production. The USSR was one giant corporate lab.

              And since you are a brain dead communist and will no doubt impugn Sutton as a rightwing stooge remember that he was fired from the Hoover Institute under presser from the Republican Party.

              So much for the alleged Soviet development and try not to be a moron for at least five minutes.

            • “Should it fail to do so, the future of humanity is truly a bleak one.”

              Should it arise the future of humanity will be a bleak one.

            • Tell me exactly what was the supposed mechanism of industrial development in the Soviet Union? Remember Emma Goldman’s “My Disillusionment in Russia?” Remember how she observed that nothing worked, how at her death her entire dream had single-handedly been crushed by the ham-fisted efforts of the Bolshevists?Are we to simply assume that somehow, automagically, that the Soviet Union lept from producing only .16 million tons of steel in 1920 (a post-revolution collapse from 4.8 million in 1913) to 5.7 million tons in 1938? That is, by any standard, amazing – and it demands an explanation. What was the mechanism of action for that? Well, as my colleague Mr. Lewis points out, this was only made possible with technical transfers from the West beginning in 1920 and culminating in the massive investment by Western Capitalists (gasp!) that culminated in Stalin’s Five-Year Plan, which resulted thus in the rapid industrial expansion that would only be maintained by further continuous Western involvement in the USSR. How else could the Soviet Union, literally bankrupt in finance and in intellectual capital, industrialize so quickly? The fact of the matter is that, absent a structure of denominated costs and a financial superstructure, there is literally NO WAY the USSR could have pulled of this costly and complicated affair. Machine parts and technical know-how do not spring from the dry well of dialectical materialism – you have to explain where that came from. At least in Capitalism I can explain how we got here. I guess the rest of us just have to believe that Magical Marxism built the Soviet Union.

              BTW, I thought you were done engaging with Todd Lewis? You just couldn’t resist could you. Foolhardiness and intemperance are not virtues.

              • Even if Sutton’s scholarship is unimpeachable – which I can neither confirm nor deny at this point – I fail to see its relevance to my argument. Are you two suggesting the Soviets needed to, as it were, reinvent the wheel in order to be given any credit for industrialization? Of course transfers of technology and some degree of Western investment was going to transpire. Marxists aren’t the puritanical fanatics you seem to think we are. We’ve always respected the technological advancements made during the bourgeois epoch and have no misgivings whatsoever about utilizing them and improving upon them. What the Soviet Union did was take the forces of production (including Western technologies) available to it and put them to work without use of bourgeois social relations. The most significant difference was that directives from Gosplan replaced markets, thereby eliminating the bourgeoisie – which is why the social product was distributed in a more equitable manner and how capitalist exploitation was eradicated. It also improved its “human capital” by way of subsidized educational opportunities provided to the entire population. If you’re interested in a more detailed account of its industrialization, I highly recommend Robert C. Allen’s Farm to Factory: A Reinterpretation of the Soviet Industrial Revolution (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009).

                The Soviet Union was, to be sure, authoritarian and alienating – partially because it adopted another Western innovation, to wit, Taylorist management techniques – and can be argued to have developed its own bureaucratic form of exploitation. Nevertheless, it transformed a backwards peasant country into one which could provide the majority of its population with food, clothing, housing, transportation, health care, and education, and which was capable of competing with the capitalist West militarily and in terms of space exploration. Were atrocities and errors committed? Undoubtedly, but they’ve been committed by capitalist states for centuries as well. And the fact remains the majority of individuals who experienced both systems still prefer state socialism to capitalism in Russia. That’s as far as I’m willing to defend the USSR, so spare me mention of the Holodomor, the suppression of the Makhnovists and Kronstadt, and the Stalinist purges.

                As for Goldman and Berkman’s observations, they visited the country during a Civil War, for fuck’s sake. Of course it wasn’t going to be a shining example of socialism, let alone reflective of their anarchist political philosophy. That’s to be expected when an isolated, undeveloped country is forced to battle the forces of international reaction.

                *Philos: “BTW, I thought you were done engaging with Todd Lewis? You just couldn’t resist could you. Foolhardiness and intemperance are not virtues.”

                I suppose I’ll just have to live with the fact Aristotle would not approve of my behavior, then.

                *Todd Lewis: “Should it arise the future of humanity will be a bleak one.”

                You say that either because you own capital and buy into the self-serving propaganda which characterizes capitalist social relations as the pinnacle of morality, or because you’re a contemptible, masochistic worker who celebrates and defends the exploitation he endures from his bourgeois and managerial overlords. Either way, you and your paramour Philos would be doing humanity a service by taking a long walk off a short bridge.

                *Todd Lewis: “Yes three years and Franco smashes your face in. Thats success? I’d love to see a communists definition of failure.”

                Franco, Mussolini, and Hitler, you mean. Their joint efforts were required to defeat the Republic. Furthermore, the fact the regions controlled by the CNT-FAI in Spain failed to endure in the face of such a hostile geopolitical climate says absolutely nothing about the success or failure of the syndicalism/council communism practiced therein. All this proves is that the only way socialism can fully develop is for the proletarian revolution to first occur in the epicenters of capital, i.e., the United States and Western Europe (which is precisely what Marx argued, incidentally). Until that occurs, whatever countries attempt to escape the circuit of international capital are bound to fail.

                *Todd Lewis: “Also I guess it was a success if you count raping and murdering nuns, murdering priests and the petite bourgeoisie of cobblers and bakers, then yeah a huge success. Take your terroristic red wet dreams elsewhere.”

                Ah, yes. Those innocent little nuns and priests the nasty anarchist abused.. It’s not as though the Catholic Church in Spain was instrumental in defending privilege and exploitation in the country for centuries, and legitimized the rape and murder of countless Amerindians in the “New World,” right? And let’s not forget about the women who Franco’s Moroccan legion raped and murdered in Northern Spain during the war. My great-grandfather was an anarcho-syndicalist who served in the CNT-FAI militias during the Civil War, and the horror stories I’ve heard about the conduct of some of the nationalist troops would even make a concentration camp guard blush.

                Having said that, by no means do I defend the atrocities committed by the leftist during the revolution or war. I’m merely pointing out that both sides engaged in morally objectionable behavior.

                • Given your defense of the Soviet Union I can only assume are support a well know and peculiar practice of Soviet soldiers. A practice I call woman spiking. In the Napoleonic wars one, if unable to hold onto a cannon would spike it by ramming a triangular object into the mouth of a cannon to render it inoperable. To render a woman inoperable the Soviets, done prolifically in the years 1944-46, utilized a sharpened stake and shoved it up the woman’s vagina, hence rendering it inoperable. Why men should treat women as cannons is beyond me. A practice repeated by communist forces in African decolonization. Yet another example of the lefts war on humanity. I would like to see third wave feminists speak on this peculiar practice as well as the practice of mass rape as well, which is a common communist pastime. It is rather easy to understand communists having won a war and having their enemies women at their disposal and being beset by boredom want to have a little fun, to paraphrase Stalin. After the said woman died it was standard to but a telephone receiver into her vagina to signify the booth was closed. This is what Michael Acuña, as a communist, has tasked himself to defend. For we need to look, as leftists are so fond of reminding us things as they really are historically, well historically communism has practiced a war on women with woman spiking as a major weapon.

            • “There have been brief, but inspiring moments when its liberatory potential has successfully expressed itself – e.g., in Spain between ’36-’39 – and I’m confident it will emerge once again. Should it fail to do so, the future of humanity is truly a bleak one.”

              Yes three years and Franco smashes your face in. Thats success? I’d love to see a communists definition of failure.

              Also I guess it was a success if you count raping and murdering nuns, murdering priests and the petite bourgeoisie of cobblers and bakers, then yeah a huge success. Take your terroristic red wet dreams elsewhere.

              • Enough, Lewis. I’m under no obligation to defend this grotesque practice, which you appear to have found so captivating you’ve spent a considerable amount of time researching its details. Such barbaric actions are no more an intrinsic aspect of communism than the aforementioned Moroccan rape and murder of Spanish women are an intrinsic aspect of nationalism or the inquisitions or witch burning are an intrinsic aspect of Christianity. I explicitly stated that my defense of the Soviet Union extends no further than certain aspects of its economic record, so you would do well to apply just a hint of logic if you wish to proceed with this exchange. Since you’re a little slow, I’ll try to be as unambiguous as possible: I adamantly oppose *all* instances of authoritarianism, rape, torture, and murder – including those committed by leftists.

                And frankly, I find this “woman spiking” tale a little far fetched – not unlike the Jewish lampshades the Nazis are alleged to have manufactured – and would be interested in seeing a citation for it. If it did occur, I can’t imagine it having been as widespread as you seem to be suggesting.

                • “Are you two suggesting the Soviets needed to, as it were, reinvent the wheel in order to be given any credit for industrialization? “

                  No I am stating that it never stopped sucking the capitalist teets. Which Mejii Japan at least stopped doing.
                  “The most significant difference was that directives from Gosplan replaced markets, thereby eliminating the bourgeoisie.”
                  Not really. Read Raymond Robins testimony in congress. He forced Lenin to repeal man y of his misguided collectivitation schemes at the behest of resident western technical experts.

                  “Undoubtedly, but they’ve been committed by capitalist states for centuries as well. “
                  Yeah the US has gulags for people like us in Kansa. Are you retarted? Nothing the US has ever done compares to the Gulag. And Canada as a gulag for dissidents in Saskatchewan.

                  “As for Goldman and Berkman’s observations, they visited the country during a Civil War, for fuck’s sake. “
                  So what! Did the Union economy suffer the same problems during the Civil War? Did the Rhodesian economy suffer the same problems during the Communist terrorist insurgency? Nope. Communism sucks that’s all. More special pleading.

                  “Either way, you and your paramour Philos would be doing humanity a service by taking a long walk off a short bridge.”

                  Ditto for roaches like you and your lover Marx! Is that the best you people have man your dumb. I’ve seen better insults from people in the hood.
                  “It’s not as though the Catholic Church in Spain was instrumental in defending privilege and exploitation in the country for centuries, and legitimized the rape and murder of countless Amerindians in the “New World,” right?”
                  OK I understand you are a dumbass just read Bartolomé de las Casas and listen to this interview with Stanley G Payne: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icdQS4nkwxk for Catholic Amerindian relations. Since your ok with Socialist genocide what’s the big deal? Sucking Stalin’s you know what and all?

                  “Having said that, by no means do I defend the atrocities committed by the leftist during the revolution or war. I’m merely pointing out that both sides engaged in morally objectionable behavior.”

                  So you defend the CNT and then disavow it. Right. Whatever. Why is it that genocidal lunatics like your self always defend communist atrocities and then pretend you did not?
                  “My great-grandfather was an anarcho-syndicalist who served in the CNT-FAI militias during the Civil War, and the horror stories I’ve heard about the conduct of some of the nationalist troops would even make a concentration camp guard blush.”
                  Yeah like those womens vagina’s the Reds ruined in Eastern Europe. Sorry you sob stories will never equal the death toll meated out by the USSR or PRC.

                  “You say that either because you own capital and buy into the self-serving propaganda which characterizes capitalist social relations as the pinnacle of morality, or because you’re a contemptible, masochistic worker who celebrates and defends the exploitation he endures from his bourgeois and managerial overlords. “

                  Says the servile, genocidal lunatic who has wet dreams of torturing land lords and nuns; who in his who thinks mass murder and gulags are the highest form of morality as a contemtable pimple and Stalin’s posterior and pimp to his communist prostitutes, who loves his own slavery and gruel in the gulag forgive me if I don’t take you seriously. You’ll have to use a tad more logic for me to take you seriously?

                  I understand your are mentally challenged, but if you were not lazy or stupid you would have listened to my first interview with Keith Preston and understand that I am very skeptical of mega-corporations. I don’t own property and am self-employed I just would rather not have lunatics like yourself kill me and others.

                  “Either way, you and your paramour Philos would be doing humanity a service by taking a long walk off a short bridge.”

                  Here we see the genocidal impulses of Communism, kill those who disagree with you. I suppose you have wet dreams of killing people you disagree with.
                  “Since you’re a little slow, I’ll try to be as unambiguous as possible: I adamantly oppose *all* instances of authoritarianism, rape, torture, and murder – including those committed by leftists.
                  Since your a little insane, why are you still a communist since communism and totalitarian and it seems atheism have been synonymous since 1917?
                  You make baseless assertions of what Capitalists and Conservatives must or must not believe, I am entitled to make based assertions about what you as a communist must believe.

                  “Enough, Lewis. I’m under no obligation to defend this grotesque practice, which you appear to have found so captivating you’ve spent a considerable amount of time researching its details. ”

                  Yes you are entitled to defend these practices. Since you mentally ill leftists are constantly conflating conservatism and capitalism with Fascism and Nazism and tell us that these systems lead to totalitarianism when in fact it is your system which does so.

                  ” Such barbaric actions are no more an intrinsic aspect of communism than the aforementioned Moroccan rape and murder of Spanish women are an intrinsic aspect of nationalism or the inquisitions or witch burning are an intrinsic aspect of Christianity. ”

                  No duh, did Christ or his Apostle’s or the Church fathers do such things no! But Marx and Lenin advocated genocide.

                  ” If it did occur, I can’t imagine it having been as widespread as you seem to be suggesting.”

                  Maybe you should actually read the testimony of victims. Classic Marxist technique discredit the source, but you believe any bullshit about US troops in Vietnam or South African troops in Angola or French troops in Algeria.

                  “, so you would do well to apply just a hint of logic if you wish to proceed with this exchange.”

                  Really the one who accuses people he does not like of fascism is invoking logic. Wow! Alert the media, I guess you should first learn what an ad hominem is.

                  Remember these words:

                  “You’ve exhausted my patience, Lewis. I see no reason to engage any further with a hysterical, religious zealot like yourself. Your long-distance relationship with reason is apparent to all.”

                  I guess your in the habit of not meaning what you say?

                  Why do you communist vermin continue to plague us? Is not enough that you murdered 100 million people in the last century? How many people have to die for your mad dreams before you realize it does not work?

                  It’s funny to watch your façade of civility crack. You have your smarmy cool exterior which really does not take much to crake you are a self-important pimple on the posterior of humanity who is rustling around in the dust bin of history. You repeated call people in the third person idiots, morons, etc. I’m just giving you your medicine so show it. Your really just a petty miserable apparatchik who loves ques and waiting lines. It’s been interesting dealing with a dinosaur like you and drawing your true colors out, but time moves on, other socialist to harass, work to do and life to live and I am rather bored so arrivederci.

                  • *Todd Lewis: “No I am stating that it never stopped sucking the capitalist teets. Which Mejii Japan at least stopped doing.”

                    Believe what you will, I don’t possess the requisite training to treat whatever psychological disorder you’re afflicted with, nor do I particularly care if the Soviet Union was the recipient of technological transfers from the capitalist West until its demise. The bottom line is its economy was internally planned (i.e., non-capitalist) and it provided a relatively decent existence for its population – as the opinion polls continue to affirm. That’s the only claim I made, and its incontestability sent you into a hysterical rage, ending in outrageous stories of sharpened stakes being rammed into women’s vaginas.

                    *Todd Lewis: “Not really. Read Raymond Robins testimony in congress. He forced Lenin to repeal man y of his misguided collectivitation schemes at the behest of resident western technical experts.”

                    If you knew anything about Soviet economic history, you’d know that economic planning wasn’t perfected until after Lenin’s administration. Lenin rightly characterized his New Economic Policy as “state capitalism.” In short, a brief period of council communism in Russia was superseded by the Bolshevik’s war communism, followed by Lenin’s New Economic Policy, which was finally replaced by Stalin’s state socialism – the basic model of which persisted until the late 1980s.

                    *Todd Lewis: “Yeah the US has gulags for people like us in Kansa. Are you retarted? Nothing the US has ever done compares to the Gulag. And Canada as a gulag for dissidents in Saskatchewan.”

                    Are you? The United States didn’t massacre indigenous populations, practice chattel slavery, and hasn’t regularly supported right-wing regimes throughout the world which incarcerate and murders dissident organizations? I suggest you expand your reading of American history to texts beyond, say, A Patriot’s History of the United States.

                    I never suggested the U.S. government operates gulags within its own borders – I’m not Alex Jones, after all.

                    *Todd Lewis: “So what! Did the Union economy suffer the same problems during the Civil War? Did the Rhodesian economy suffer the same problems during the Communist terrorist insurgency? Nope. Communism sucks that’s all. More special pleading.”

                    You can’t be serious.. You’re actually going to compare civil wars which transpired in radically different contexts and expect me to take it seriously? We’re just supposed to disregard time, geography, technology, culture, infrastructure, and differential death tolls when analyzing these events?

                    *Todd Lewis: “Since your ok with Socialist genocide what’s the big deal? Sucking Stalin’s you know what and all?”

                    How many straw men is that now, Lewis? I explicitly denounce all instances of genocide, yet I’m accused of endorsing Soviet and Maoist mass murder; I’m a council communist who explicitly opposes authoritarianism, and you have the audacity to accuse me of Stalinism. You’re a real piece of work.

                    *Todd Lewis: “So you defend the CNT and then disavow it. Right. Whatever. Why is it that genocidal lunatics like your self always defend communist atrocities and then pretend you did not?”

                    No cognitive dissonance here, mate. It’s actually quite simple: I largely support the economic and political program the CNT-FAI promoted in the 1930s, but disagree with the atrocities some of their followers committed during the revolution and Civil War. Likewise, one could agree with Reaganomics yet take a stand against the Reagan administration’s role in the Iran–Contra affair without being accused of hypocrisy or duplicity. I’m not sure why that’s so difficult for you to grasp.

                    *Todd Lewis: “Says the servile, genocidal lunatic who has wet dreams of torturing land lords and nuns”

                    Where do you come up with this shit? Accusing an individual who has dedicated his time and energy to eradicating all manifestations of artificial hierarchy, as I have, of ‘servility’ is about as dishonest as one could sink. Admittedly, my dreams can be rather violent, but at no point have they ever featured me torturing anyone, let alone slumlords or nuns.

                    *Todd Lewis: “who in his who thinks mass murder and gulags are the highest form of morality as a contemtable pimple and Stalin’s posterior and pimp to his communist prostitutes, who loves his own slavery and gruel in the gulag forgive me if I don’t take you seriously.”

                    What’s all this about posteriors, prostitution, and gulags? Are you attempting to insult me or just sharing one of your homoerotic BDSM fantasies?

                    *Todd Lewis: “I understand your are mentally challenged, but if you were not lazy or stupid you would have listened to my first interview with Keith Preston and understand that I am very skeptical of mega-corporations.”

                    That’s nice. Your populist skepticism of corporations seems really subversive; maybe Elizabeth Warren or Ralph Nader can find a place for you on their staff.

                    *Todd Lewis: “I don’t own property and am self-employed I just would rather not have lunatics like yourself kill me and others.”

                    I assure you I have no interest in killing self-employed twits like yourself, no matter how reactionary and delusional they may be. So you can rest at ease.

                    *Todd Lewis: “Here we see the genocidal impulses of Communism, kill those who disagree with you. I suppose you have wet dreams of killing people you disagree with.”

                    In jest, I suggested that you walking off a bridge (of your own volition, let me make that perfectly clear) might improve the situation humanity faces. Again, I have no interest whatsoever in harming you.

                    *Todd Lewis: “You make baseless assertions of what Capitalists and Conservatives must or must not believe, I am entitled to make based assertions about what you as a communist must believe.”

                    Exactly what “baseless assertions” have I made?

                    *Todd Lewis: “Yes you are entitled to defend these practices. Since you mentally ill leftists are constantly conflating conservatism and capitalism with Fascism and Nazism and tell us that these systems lead to totalitarianism when in fact it is your system which does so.”

                    There’s no need for conflation. By leftist standards, Fascism and Nazism were undeniably capitalist and conservative in nature – and the Nazis and Fascists themselves, during their more honest moments, admitted as much. With respect to left-wing totalitarianism, what we observe historically isn’t communism evolving into dictatorship, but rather political parties which expressly endorsed dictatorship gaining power and establishing statist forms of socialism thereafter.

                    *Todd Lewis: “No duh, did Christ or his Apostle’s or the Church fathers do such things no! But Marx and Lenin advocated genocide.”

                    Did they? Where and when, pray tell?

                    *Todd Lewis: “Maybe you should actually read the testimony of victims.”

                    Point me in the direction of the pertinent testimony.

                    *Todd Lewis: “Classic Marxist technique discredit the source, but you believe any bullshit about US troops in Vietnam or South African troops in Angola or French troops in Algeria.”

                    Don’t presume to know what it is I believe or don’t believe, as you’ve done a terrible job of it thus far.

                    *Todd Lewis: “Really the one who accuses people he does not like of fascism is invoking logic. Wow! ”

                    My blog post simply mentioned that many neo-fascists consider the fact most of the Frankfurt school was of Jewish descent of particular interest – and I should have included certain paleoconservatives, like Kevin MacDonald. The evidence for this is no more than a click away, just google it. I never unjustly accused anyone of fascism.

                    *Todd Lewis: “I guess your in the habit of not meaning what you say?”

                    Ordinarily no. But you decided to respond to me with your usual twaddle and I just couldn’t allow it to go unanswered.

                    *Todd Lewis: “It’s been interesting dealing with a dinosaur like you and drawing your true colors out, but time moves on, other socialist to harass, work to do and life to live and I am rather bored so arrivederci.”

                    Auf Widersehen.

  2. “How can anyone claim that Cultural Marxism is an effective ideological force when its key texts, the major works of the Frankfurt School have hardly been read by any of today’s Leftists”

    That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard lately.

    I will demolish this poorly thought out garbage with a reductio ad absurdum.

    I mean since not many people have read A J Ayer’s ” Language, Truth, and Logic ” and ” The Problem of Knowledge ” then logical positivism does not dominate the sciences and pop culture. That is of course totally asinine and false since whenever some atheist moron says “you cannot prove God exits” he is actually articulating verificationism in a very crass way. He means you cannot prove with empirical scientific experiments that God exists, so what you cannot prove the fundamental premises of science empirically. I also guess that since most Catholics have not read Dun Scotus’ defense of the Immaculate Conception of Mary that it would be absurd to attribute to him the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate conception.

    The claim that since A has not read B, B does not influence A is completely risible. Surely the original Dun Scotus would be rolling over in his grave at such puerile logical childishness. All I can say is go back the sandbox, and let the real men think.

  3. Keith,

    Interesting stuff. I’ll have to reread that Marcuse essay again. From what I recall, Marcuse’s essay is NOT about whether liberals should enact hate-speech laws. It’s about how radicals ought to be more intolerant of radical injustices (the Vietnam war and racial segregation being the big issues of his era) and how the notion of “tolerance”, promoted by establishment culture and education can be repressive and/or counter-revolutionary in practice (a point that many right-wingers emphasize today). I think the kind of activism Marcuse wanted to inspire with “Repressive Tolerance” is something like contemporary Anti-Fa protests, where radical activists confront and shame those they consider reactionary, rather than reformist efforts to restrict speech and/or indoctrinate secondary or university level students.

    Certainly, being “intolerant” can lead to bad consequences sometimes (for example, sometimes anti-fa protesters end up protesting the wrong people out of ignorance). But it’s hard to see how revolutionaries (particularly anarchist revolutionaries) can avoid the substantive part of Marcuse’s argument. If we want to transform capitalist society and correct its injustices, then that requires active intolerance towards certain essential features of that (repressive) society.

  4. “What I find particularly annoying when the “cultural Marxism” meme is peddled is that virtually all of the problems right-wingers attribute to “cultural marxism” are actually caused by centralized, consumerist, corporatist, capitalist culture.”

    Yet affluent capitalist countries like Japan, S. Korea and Taiwan seem to lack the most salient characteristics of postmodern neo-marxism or whatever you want to call it. Feminism is far less advanced in those countries.Same with LGBT. Most importantly, multiculturalism is non-existent and no mass immigration/ethnic replacement as is the norm in the Western capitalist countries. WSJ, NYT and various other outlets of global capitalism regularly call for Japan to adopt Western-style immigration polices-to little or no effect. Unlike Western elites, East Asian elites are unconvinced that any any random Third Worlder can become Japanese or Korean or Chinese.

    TAP was likely the only FS document that was widely influential. Its call for a preemptive program of denazification to be implemented against the American white working class was widely applauded by mainstream liberals. See what Paul Gottfried and Christopher Lasch had to say about this.

    • We already went over this, fnn. It’s not that cultural Marxists succeeded in brainwashing Western people into favoring mass immigration that distinguishes American foreign policy from Japanese foreign policy. If you look at opinion polls, most Americans are just as opposed to immigration as the Japanese are. The difference is that North America is in relatively close proximity to poor countries inhabited by people willing to take advantage of the job opportunities which capitalists (with no respect for the law) provide them with in the United States. The major demographic changes conservatives lament is the consequence low Caucasian birthrates and these frequent acts of illegal immigration. Not only are illegal immigrants exploited by employers eager for dirt cheap manpower, but the former procreate once here, and their offspring are thus integrated into the legal labor market, thereby putting downward pressure on wages in those sectors of the economy as well (greater competition per job reduces a worker’s bargaining power in wage negotiations, as you’re doubtless aware). This is precisely why, with a few minor exceptions, the organized labor movement in north America staunchly opposed liberal immigration policies historically.

      And if Japan, instead of the United States, was situated near Mexico, you can bet they’d be facing a similar situation. It would enable their bourgeois political parties to disingenuously attack one another on the issue of border security – as part of the political theater all parties engage in, to convince the populace we’re practicing democracy – while endless hordes of migrants flood in at the behest of the capitalists.

  5. I’m not an expert on the subject matter of The Authoritarian Personality, but from what I understand about it I tend to agree with Lasch’s criticisms.

    However if we are going to be charitable to Adorno we should note a few things

    1) TAP is a war-time book. Lots of war-time books by academics are somewhat biased and irrational, and Adorno had reason to hate fascism.
    2) This was a war-time team effort and Adorno’s contribution was minimal. He says his primary contribution was coming up with the F-scale and he’s only credited with 6 out of 23 chapters. Most of the content of the book can be attributed to American psychology professors at Berkeley who used primarily quantitative research methods.
    3) Adorno spent decades thereafter savaging capitalist culture as barbaric. He made it clear that he was not a fan of USA-style liberal democracy. His relationship with the New Left in Germany was strained. Out of the major Frankfurt School intellectuals, only Marcuse liked America and felt at home here.

  6. “The Authoritarian Personality” is just an effort to portray people who do not belong to the radical left politically as somehow mentally ill. There’s no evidence for that at all, and it ignores the large numbers of mentally ill and authoritarian people you find on the hard left as well as on the hard right (and everywhere in between).

  7. While the Frankfurt conspiracy theory is retarded, the school does have an important place in the history of the left and its degeneration and ultimate death. To the extent that there was any real Marxism at all in the Frankfurt school, it is precisely that part which was ignored by the new left. It was a hollowed out populist leftism with Marxist words that was actually transmitted.

    This pseudo-Marxism of the Frankfurt school resides in the incoherent use of obscure Marxist jargon (alienation, reification), and a hollowed out shell that mainly consisted of those parts of Marxism that long predated it, and that were common aspects of the entire socialist left. Marx himself admitted that his only really original contribution was to recognize the revolutionary nature of the proletariat as the central class in human history. This is precisely the core of Marxism that the Frankfurt school and the new left abandoned.

    Perhaps the most destructive aspect of the new left was the therapeutic turn. This is really the main legacy of the Frankfurt school: a mix of incoherent Marxism with crank neo-Freudianism that moved the locus of the analysis from economic, social and political conditions to the pathological individual, who replaces the Proletariat as the historical subject. From the point of view of fourth political theory, this shift marks the transformation into a form of liberalism, which goes a long way in explaining why the new left is so compatible with liberal academic institutions and popular culture.

    The Authoritarian Personality is a prime example of the shift, where the unwanted politics of the great unwashed become a psychological disease instead of a function of the superstructure, the class consciousness, history or even politics. Now the central issue is the unhappy childhood that presumably led so many Americans to display their “authoritarianism” by opposing Stalinism.

    The main thinker of the Neo-Freudian wing of the school was Wilhelm Reich. His primary contribution to psychoanalysis is the theory of Orgone Power. This theory led to the development of the Orgone Box that you could buy in order to experience the primordial cosmic Orgone, which among other things cured cancer. His other contribution was Vegetotherapy (also known as sleeping with your patients).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orgone

    No less than Williams S Burroughs said the Orgone Box was The Dope, but Reich ended up doing time on mail order fraud charges, and died in prison as a martyr to quackery. Here we clearly see a bold trailblazer of the new age left: a charming, well educated charlatan selling a patent medicine cure to the neurotic upper class under the veil of a therapeutic leftism. He would be perfectly at home today in the California left next to crystal healing and aromatherapy.

    The most influential member of the school was Eric Fromm, who wrote simple straightforward books that were widely read. He looked favorably on the traditional medieval society, which places him much closer to the neo-reaction than the old left or anything that can coherently be called Marxism. Fromm combined the vague residue of Marxism with an equally toothless neo-Freudianism. Thus he took two of the most dangerously subversive thinkers of modernity and removed from each everything that was hard, dark, and really heretical. Every threatening or difficult aspect was removed from Marx and Freud, as well as every real idea or original insight.

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