Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The Frankfurt School Conspiracy Theory

I did not know about this:
The '''Frankfurt School conspiracy theory''' postulates that the Frankfurt School of deliberately subverted traditional Western values through interventions, leading to what is called political correctness. This represents an alternative to the scholarly understanding of the Frankfurt School, which argues that while members of the Frankfurt School did individually engage in social critique, they never developed any unified theory or collective political agenda in the United States. The theory has received institutional support from the Free Congress Foundation. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported in 2002 that the theory had been taken up by a number of what it defined as "[h]ate groups".

(I'm no fan of the Frankfurt School/critical theory...and certainly no fan of political correctness...but c'mon..intentionally subverted Western values? I mean...accidentally maybe...but not intentionally...)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This entry is really troubling to me. It seems to basically run together a conspiracy theory (that a small cabal of mostly Jewish intellectuals conspired to "undermine the west") with an analysis of critical theory methodology that is basically legitimate: that is a style of Marxism with its foundational elements (materialism & a Hegelian theory of history) abandoned in favor of a subjective notion of "alienation", augmented with enough Freudian psychology to insulate it against counterexamples. I have criticized Frankfurtish works in these terms quite a bit. Can my interlocutors now wave away these criticisms as a paranoid conspiracy theory? Where is the conspiracy in the analysis?

Also, note the way the conspiracy theory itself is presented as a conspiracy by owners of property. How I hate culture war thinking.

10:32 AM  

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