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The Frankfurt School and the Spread of Marxism in the West

Escuela de Frankfurt

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The abrupt change of social paradigms that is being experienced today in most Western societies is not the result of chance; the sociological debacle being experienced by the most important nation on the planet, the United States, has a root of thought that has been carefully planned decades ago by thinkers such as Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, immortalized by the photograph of Jeremy J. Shapiro in 1964.

In Germany, the Institute for Social Research was born in the city of Frankfurt, with the purpose of reflecting on the failure of the German communist revolution. However, with the passing of years and the entrance of Max Horkheimer, a philosopher, sociologist and psychologist of Jewish origin in 1931, capitalism began to be analyzed as a social superstructure instead of an economic system, which according to its “approaches” oppressed the proletariat, not from the economic point of view, but through the culture of the masses; and different theories began to be developed from the ideas of Hegel, Marx and Freud.

Even before the appearance of the famous think tanks known today, the left had already understood the need to provide Marxism with a whole ideological structure and scientific body.

Cultural neo-Marxism is in principle the following of Marx’s notions and thoughts, leaving aside the economic aspect, to focus on the psychological, sociological and cultural aspects; its mission, which has been maintained over time, is to weaken to the point of destroying Western culture in order to impose a new social model.

Marx had established that the material principle of man (economic) formed his structure of thought (culture-spirit), for this reason as he established, the revolution should be initiated from the proletariat to the “bourgeoisie”, attacking the whole established order of societies.

At present, all the positions deriving from initial Marxism are called neo-Marxist, that is: social democracy, socialism of the 21st century, Eurocommunism, Christian socialism, socialism with a human face, among others.

In the nucleus of the Frankfurt school the concepts were developed that would be capable of implementing this ideology in the masses, the form of criticizing capitalism, of dealing with the issues, and the role of the media and the other elements of society in the matter.

Victimization is one of the fundamental elements in the neo-Marxist line, the implementation of the idea that the media are at the service of the ruling classes, and that therefore they should take power to take over the media and the truth, is a common theme.

This new Marxism (neo-Marxism) was combined with psychoanalysis and made a cultural turnaround. Stuart Jeffries claims that the focus on “reification” shifted Marxism from the “agitating optimism of the Communist Manifesto to the melancholy resignation that filters through the Frankfurt School.

A common story of most of the founders of the School of Neo-Marxism is that they were complete failures. Walter Benjamin, for example, was said to have lived on his family’s income forever and was unable to even prepare his own food, he moved from Judaism to Marxism, and led a life of economic failure and loneliness until he committed suicide on morphine; Today, however, he is a reference point for many “socialist thinkers” who long for the tragedy and the world of injustice represented by Benjamin; for this reason they were called melancholy Marxists.

Despite the foundation and propagation of the postulates emanating from Marx, and the thinkers who later founded the school to develop the theories that would allow the implantation of neo-Marxism, the true ‘genius’, the one who managed to turn it around to position this catastrophic ideology in societies, was the Italian communist philosopher Antonio Gramsci, who established that the workers did not rise up in revolution because they were impregnated with traditional Western culture.

From this deduction, one of Gramsci’s main postulates was born:

“The conquest of cultural power is prior to that of political power and this is achieved through the concerted action of the so-called ‘organic’ intellectuals infiltrated in all the media, expression and universities”.

For the Italian communist, one of the greatest obstacles to the establishment of communism was precisely Western culture, and he was quite right. In that sense, he asked or demanded that these Western cultural media should be defeated, in what he considered a “cultural combat”.

The purpose of this combat was to propagate a struggle that would defeat the convictions and foundations of Western culture, so that once it was weakened, people would have no other choice but to accept the Marxist ideal in a natural way.

That is why communism is openly atheistic, all Western involvement had to be defeated from within, with belief in God and Catholicism being one of the fundamental orders that had to be overthrown; and in this struggle, moreover, one had to ally oneself against everything that opposed Europe and the West.

In this sense, Horkheimer also agreed, in his “Critical Theory”, that the way to destroy civilization was by attacking the system of society and its associated values; therefore, he proposed to destroy the institution of marriage and family.

That school of Frankfurt was transmuting its postulates until it became that wide spectrum of the “cultural left“, that which with one hand tries to destroy the culture of the West, but with the other “defend”, or better said, takes over all the noble causes in vogue on the planet: they are green, feminist, vegan, eco-peaceful, animalist, hippy, LGTBI, etc, and so, they try to appropriate all the minority struggles to consign them to their name, implying that every minority struggle is a “fight” against capitalism, the free market, and the “patriarchal system”; in this way they have converted, with an efficient narrative, cultural aspects of societies into a “package” of struggles for an economic system that annuls private property, the free market and “takes from the poor to give to the rich”.

The best example of how cultural neo-Marxism has deepened societies is to see in the gay pride marches, homosexuals with flags and flannels of Che Guevara, a communist who in life shot, tortured, and segregated gays because of their sexual orientation. That a murderer of homosexuals is the symbol of the homosexual struggle is the best example of the brainwashing and, at the same time, of the efficiency that the left has had in implanting its version of the facts, modifying the present by reconstructing the past, and sowing a future of ideological domination by means of “culture.

This article is part of Emmanuel Rincón’s book “The Ideological Reinvention of Latin America“.

Emmanuel Rincón is a lawyer, writer, novelist and essayist. He has won several international literary awards. He is Editor-at-large at El American // Emmanuel Rincón es abogado, escritor, novelista y ensayista. Ganador de diversos premios literarios internacionales. Es editor-at-large en El American

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