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    Frankfurt School Analysis, Part Two

    THESE days the Frankfurt School is conservative Enemy #1, on account of “cultural Marxism” and political correctness. But I have been reading a book about Horkheimer and Adorno written in the 1970s, The Frankfurt School: The Critical Theories of Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, by Zoltán Tar.

    In Part One, I looked at Tar’s view of Horkheimer and Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment and The Authoritarian Personality. Both books were lefty responses to the rise of fascism. Dialectic rather importantly reminds lefties that, foes of domination and oppression as they are, the very fount of their faith issues from the Enlightenment and its program to dominate Nature.

    The Authoritarian Personality is something of a joke to me. It is a bunch of lefties trying to understand fascism as a natural outgrowth of lower middle-class culture and the natural end-point of bourgeois capitalism. These lefties are blind to the obvious notion that, when the economic interventionism of the democratic left fails, as it did in the 1930s because its ideas are bad science, the people naturally turn to a strong leader to get them out of a jam.

    Zoltán Tar writes off the Frankfurt School as a failure, in part because of the haut-bourgeois Jewish origins of Horkheimer and Adorno, whose Jewishness keeps interfering with their leftiness. This meant that they fell away from the true faith of Marxism:

    Critical Theory dissociated itself from the basic tenet of Marxism: the unity of theory, empirical research, and revolutionary praxis… The crucial issue here is the abandonment of the Marxist method for metaphysical speculation.

    Amusingly, Tar then admits that the Marxian prophecy had failed:

    The Marxist prognosis about the polarization of classes in a capitalist society (bourgeois versus proletariat), with the Verelendung [immiseration] of the latter… did not take place.

    Hey! I’d never known what the original German word for the “immiseration” of the working class. Elend is the German for “misery,” according to Google. Thus Ver-elend-ung. So immiseration is a direct translation!

    Hey kids! Maybe the failed Marxist prognostication is telling us something! Maybe it is telling us that the portentous Marxian combination of theory, research and praxis was, as the Brits say, a load of bollocks, because its basic prediction, the immiseration of the working class, never took place. In fact the opposite is true.

    And by the way, what does "revolutionary praxis" mean when it's at home? The only thing I know is that revolution combined with praxis means riots, and killing, and secret police and revolutionary terror.

    As I have mentioned, what Tar could not know in the 1970s, as he complained that American academics knew next to nothing about the Frankfurters and Critical Theory, was that Critical Theory would turn out to be the left’s star turn. Imagine!

    In the hands of Horkheimer and Adorno’s students, the Marxian “polarization of classes” was expanded into a polarization of races and genders. Why not? Politics is division and if you can’t burn the place down with class division and the instinctive animosity between rich and poor why not go back further into mankind’s instinctive past and gin up a race war? And Herbert Marcuse with his convoluted idea of repressive tolerance, or tolerant intolerance, or intolerant tolerance, gave the left permission -- as if it needed it -- to persecute anyone it chose in the name of tolerance and diversity. Today every lefty knows how to play the game of political correctness and humiliate anyone that dares to disagree with the lefty agenda du jour. Including getting them fired. They get it in their mother's milk.

    Hey lefties, wasn’t firing people for their beliefs a big issue for you in the Fifties when a few Commies got fired from their government teacher jobs and a few Hollywood lefties got blacklisted, but not actually driven out of the industry?

    But those Commies were on the right side of history.


    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 08/26/16 7:24 pm ET


    The biggest jobs program since World War 2!

    HILLARY Clinton is promising to enact "the biggest infrastructure and jobs program that we've had since World War II," according to Yahoo writer Rick Newman. Oh great. According to Newman: Clinton's plan would amount to $300 billion in transportation projects spread over five years... That $300 billion would come from new taxes on the wealthy... Oh great. Do these people never learn? That ...

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    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 08/25/16 4:04 pm ET


    Frankfurters for Breakfast

    THESE days the Frankfurt School is conservative Enemy #1, on account of “Cultural Marxism” and political correctness. But I have been reading a book about Horkheimer and Adorno written in the 1970s, The Frankfurt School: The Critical Theories of Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, by Zoltán Tar. Those were the days before the fall of the Soviet Union and before the ideas of the Frankfurt ...

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    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 08/24/16 7:54 pm ET


    The Descent into Feudalism

    WE moderns are all for freedom, right? And our lefty friends are all for liberation from oppression and marginalization, right? So how come we are taxed on every hour of work? How come we stand in lines at the airport, like peasants? How come the government sequesters our savings for us in government "trust funds" and in special government-regulated IRA and 401k accounts? The answer is that ...

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    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 08/23/16 3:27 pm ET


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    A Look at the Left: “Contra-deBoer”

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    Humanity's Big Problem: Freebooters and Freeloaders
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    The Poor Without the Welfare State
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    The Middle Class Without The Welfare State
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    Liberals, the ruling class of the administrative welfare state.

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    conservative manifesto


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    Stark, Rodney, and Bainbridge, William Sims, A Theory of Religion


    AAM Books on Education

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    How universal literacy was achieved before government education

    Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
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    James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
    How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls

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    F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
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    Henry Maine, Ancient Law
    How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract

    John Zane, The Story of Law
    How law developed from early times down to the present


    AAM Books on Mutual Aid

    James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
    How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.

    David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
    How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century

    David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
    How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state

    Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
    How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again

    David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
    How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland


    AAM Books on Religion

    David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
    How Christianity is booming in China

    Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
    How the United States grew into a religious nation

    Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
    How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state

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    How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world


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    Sponsored: 64% off Code Black Drone with HD Camera
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    r/K Selection Theory
    and how it relates to liberals and conservatives.

    The End of the Memory Hole
    An introduction to blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin.

    Today’s Tech Oligarchs Are Worse Than the Robber Barons
    Joel Kotkin doesn't like the tech guys.

    Confused Why Donald Trump’s Message Is Resonating?
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     THE BOOK

    After a year of President Obama most Americans understand that the nation is on the wrong track. But how do we find the right track? Americans knew thirty years ago that liberalism was a busted flush. Yet Reaganism and Bushism seemed to be less than the best answer.

    But where can we turn? Where are the thinkers and activists of the old days? Where do we find the best ideas? And how do we persuade our present ruling class to loosen its grip on power so that we can move the locomotive of state back onto the right track?

    With all of our problems it seems like the worst of times.

    In fact, this is the best of times. Under the radar a generation of great thinkers have been figuring out what went wrong and conjuring up visions of a better future. This book, "An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism" is an introduction to their ideas, and to the great future that awaits an America willing to respond to their call.

    Although this book is addressed to all Americans, conservative, moderate, and liberal, and looks to a nation that transcends our present partisan divide, I must tell you that liberals will have the most difficulty with the book. The reason is simple. I am asking liberals to give up a lot of the power they have amassed in the last century. But we are all Americans, and we must all give up something for the sake of the greater good.

     THE BLOG

    I am Christopher Chantrill and I am writing this book in full view. I'll be blogging on the process and the ideas, and I'll be asking you, dear readers, to help. Read the blog. Read the articles as they come out on American Thinker and ponder over the draft chapters here on this site.

    Then send me your reactions, your thoughts, and your comments. You will help more than you know.

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    Faith & Purpose

    “When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
    Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


    Mutual Aid

    In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
    Green, Reinventing Civil Society


    Education

    “We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
    E. G. West, Education and the State


    Living Under Law

    Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
    Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


    German Philosophy

    The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
    F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


    Knowledge

    Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
    F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


    Chappies

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    Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


     

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