Friday, June 4, 2010

The Frankfurt School

I've recently come across an article in Catholic Insight by Timothy Matthews on something called the Frankfurt School. I had never heard of it before, that I can remember, but reading Matthews' column sure explains a lot about what the Left has been up to in the culture wars for the last seventy years or so. Here's Matthews:

What was the Frankfurt School? Well, in the days following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, it was believed that workers' revolution would sweep into Europe and, eventually, into the United States. But it did not do so. Towards the end of 1922 the Communist International (Comintern) began to consider what were the reasons....

Basically, the Frankfurt School believed that as long as an individual had the belief - or even the hope of belief - that his divine gift of reason could solve the problems facing society, then that society would never reach the state of hopelessness and alienation that they considered necessary to provoke socialist revolution. Their task, therefore, was as swiftly as possible to undermine the Judaeo-Christian legacy. To do this they called for the most negative destructive criticism possible of every sphere of life which would be designed to de-stabilize society and bring down what they saw as the 'oppressive' order. Their policies, they hoped, would spread like a virus-'continuing the work of the Western Marxists by other means' as one of their members noted.

To further the advance of their 'quiet' cultural revolution - but giving us no ideas about their plans for the future - the School recommended (among other things):

  • The creation of racism offences.
  • Continual change to create confusion.
  • The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children.
  • The undermining of schools' and teachers' authority.
  • Huge immigration to destroy identity.
  • The promotion of excessive drinking.
  • Emptying of churches.
  • An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime.
  • Dependency on the state or state benefits.
  • Control and dumbing down of media.
  • Encouraging the breakdown of the family.

One of the main ideas of the Frankfurt School was to exploit Freud's idea of 'pansexualism' - the search for pleasure, the exploitation of the differences between the sexes, the overthrowing of traditional relationships between men and women. To further their aims they would:

  • attack the authority of the father, deny the specific roles of father and mother, and wrest away from families their rights as primary educators of their children.
  • abolish differences in the education of boys and girls.
  • abolish all forms of male dominance - hence the presence of women in the armed forces.
  • declare women to be an 'oppressed class' and men to be 'oppressors.'

Munzenberg summed up the Frankfurt School's long-term operation thus: 'We will make the West so corrupt that it stinks.'

The School believed there were two types of revolution: (a) political and (b) cultural. Cultural revolution demolishes from within. 'Modern forms of subjection are marked by mildness'. They saw it as a long-term project and kept their sights clearly focused on the family, education, media, sex and popular culture.

Matthews goes on to discuss specific strategies of the Left's campaign to undermine each of the institutions of our society in order to bring about their cultural revolution. Given the current ulcerated state of much of our culture the Left must feel that success is finally within reach.

At any rate, the essay is worth reading in it's entirety although it has to be taken with a bit of skepticism since Matthews uses no citations. Even so, unless he's just making the whole thing up, which seems unlikely since much of it is simply an elaboration upon Marx's Communist Manifesto, it appears that the Left has for at least three generations been purposefully waging a war of lies and deceit to destroy our nation from within.

Of course, conservatives have been sounding the tocsin for at least that long, but mainstream liberalism has been been deaf to the alarm, preferring instead to remain pretty much in a state of complacent denial. Hopefully, the more the disinfectant of sunlight is shed upon such cabals the better our chances are of blocking their success.


Welcome to L.A.

Maybe this is just a piece of photo-shopped humor, but if in fact it's a real billboard, it's an amusing response to L.A.'s threatened boycott of Arizona:


The Bishop's Letter

The Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Rev. Mark Hanson, has written an epistle expressing his "deep sadness regarding events surrounding the flotilla seeking to deliver humanitarian goods to Gaza." The letter reads in part:

While we condemn all violence in the resolution of political disputes, this incident raises a number of questions related to the just use of force. It is not clear that, in this incident, all alternatives were explored prior to the use of military force. One tenet of the just use of force is proportionality, a principle I raised during my meeting with the chief rabbis of the State of Israel during Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli incursion into Gaza which lasted from December 2008 to January 2009. This incident provides an example of how proportionality is an ongoing concern related to Israeli military action against civilians, both Palestinians and internationals.

Bishop Hanson must be the only person in the U.S. who has not been apprised of what actually happened aboard the lead ship in the flotilla. The Israeli soldiers did not use force as they boarded the ship, but they were immediately mobbed, had their equipment taken from them, were beaten with iron rods, kicked, thrown off the deck, stabbed with knives and shot at. They returned fire with paint ball guns, until the ship's crew ignored the paint balls and continued to threaten the lives of the commandos.

In desperation, unarmed, or disarmed, Israeli commandos jumped off the ship into the water to escape the Muslim crew which had clearly planned to instigate a violent confrontation. At length the commandos were given permission to use their sidearms to protect themselves. I don't know what other measures the good Bishop thinks they might have employed.

Nor do I understand the Bishop's reference to proportionality. He seems to think that it was somehow disproportionate for the Israelis to use pistols when the ship's crew was bringing only knives and iron bars to bear against them. This is, however, a ludicrous application of the Just War proportionality principle which is intended to limit the use of force to what is necessary to defeat one's enemy and to protect one's life. The Bishop's understanding of proportionality seems to entail that since the crew was attacking them with fists, knives, and iron bars the Israelis should have limited their response to similar weapons. This belies both a misunderstanding of "proportionality" and an almost cartoonish understanding of the horrific nature of what the Israelis confronted on board the ship.

Perhaps the Bishop would be better advised in the future to confine his letters to ecclesiastical matters, like how to hold his Lutheran congregations together in the wake of the ELCA's decision to ordain practicing homosexuals, and avoid commenting on things he has taken so little trouble to learn about. He might also go here to educate himself about who these "humanitarians" were and what they were trying to accomplish.

Thanks to Byron for calling our attention to the Bishop's letter.


Re: Defender of the Faith (Pt. I)

Byron shares some thoughts and criticisms of the first part of our critique of Jim Wallis on the Feedback page. Check it out.