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This is the sixth and final chapter in the Free Congress Foundation’s book on Political Correctness, or – to call it by its real name – cultural Marxism. It is a short bibliographical essay intended not as an exhaustive resource for scholars but as a guide for interested citisens who want to learn more about the ideology that is taking over Western Europe and America.
To understand Political Correctness or so called cultural Marxism and the threat it poses it is necessary to understand its history, particularly the history of the institution most responsible for creating it, the Frankfurt School. The Frankfurt School, or the Institute for Social Research as it was formally known, was established at Frankfurt University in Germany in 1923. This fact alone is important, because it tells us that Political Correctness is not merely a leftover of the European student rebellions of the 1960s and 1970s.
Another fact from that long-ago year, 1923, is equally significant: the intended name for the Frankfurt School was the Institute for Marxism. The Institute’s father and funder, Felix Weil, wrote in 1971 that he “wanted the Institute to become known, and perhaps famous, due to its contributions to Marxism as a scientific discipline…” Beginning a tradition Political Correctness still carries on, Weil and others decided that they could operate more effectively if they concealed their Marxism; hence, on reflection, they chose the neutral-sounding name, the Institute for Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung). But “Weil’s heartfelt wish was still to create a foundation similar to the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow – equipped with a staff of professors and students, with libraries and archives – and one day to present it to a German Soviet Republic.” In 1933, this disguised “Institute for Marxism” left Germany and reestablished itself in New York City, where in time it shifted its focus to injecting its ideology into Western European and American society.
The most readable English-language history of the Frankfurt School is Martin Jay’s book, The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute for Social Research, 1932 - 1950 (University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1973 – new edition in 1996). This book is in print in paperback and can be ordered through any bookstore. The reader should be aware that Jay’s book is, in the words of another work on the Frankfurt School, a “semiofficial” history, which is to say that it is largely uncritical. Like virtually all other English-language authors on the Institute, Jay is on the political left. Nonetheless, the book provides a solid factual introduction to the Frankfurt School, and the reader should have little trouble discerning in it the roots and origins of today’s Political Correctness.
In his first chapter, “The Creation of the Institut für Sozialforschung and Its First Frankfurt Years,” Jay lays bare the Institute’s Marxist origins and nature, and equally its efforts to conceal both: “The original idea of calling it the Institut für Marxismus (Institute for Marxism) was abandoned as too provocative, and a more Aesopian alternative was sought (not for the last time in the Frankfurt School’s history).” Of the Institute’s first director, Carl Grünberg, Jay writes, “Grünberg concluded his opening address by clearly stating his personal allegiance to Marxism as a scientific methodology. Just as liberalism, state socialism, and the historical school had institutional homes elsewhere, so Marxism would be the ruling principle at the Institut.” Jay’s first chapter also introduces the Institute’s critical shift that laid the basis for today’s Political Correctness, a.k.a. cultural Marxism: “if it can be said that in early years of its history the Institut concerned itself primarily with an analysis of bourgeois society’s socio-economic substructure, in the years after 1930 its prime interest lay in its cultural superstructure.”
The second chapter, “The Genius of Critical Theory,” gets at the heart of the “Critical Studies” departments that now serve as the fonts of Political Correctness on college campuses. All of these are branches and descendants of the Critical Theory first developed in the 1930s by the Frankfurt School. The term “Critical Theory” is itself something of a play on words. One is tempted to ask, “OK, what is the theory?” The answer is, “The theory is to criticise.” Jay writes, “Critical Theory, as its name implies, was expressed through a series of critiques of other thinkers and philosophical traditions…Only by confronting it in its own terms, as a gadly of other systems, can it be fully understood.” The goal of Critical Theory was not truth, but praxis, or revolutionary action: bringing the current society and culture down through unremitting, destructive criticism. According to Jay, “The true object of Marxism, Horkheimer argued (Max Horkheimer succeeded Carl Grünberg as director of the Institute in July, 1930), was not the uncovering of immutable truths, but the fostering of social change.”
The central question facing the Institute in the early 1930s was how to apply Marxism to the culture. The title of Jay’s third chapter gives the answer: “The Integration of Psychoanalysis.” Here, Jay’s book falls down to some extent, in that it does not offer a clear understanding of how the Institute integrated Marx and Freud. The answer appears to be that Freud’s later critiques were made conditional on a capitalist, bourgeois order: a revolutionary, post-capitalist society could “liberate” man from his Freudian repression. Here again one sees key aspects of Political Correctness emerging, including a demand for sexual “liberation” and the attack on “patriarchal” Western culture.
If the precise nature of the blending of Marx and Freud is left open by Jay, his next chapter makes the blend’s application clear: “The Institute’s First Studies of Authority.” The Institute left Germany for New York in 1933 because the Nazis came to power in Germany. Not surprisingly, one of the Institute’s first tasks in New York was to oppose Nazism. It did so largely by concocting a psychological “test” for an “authoritarian personality.” Supposedly, people with this authoritarian personality were likely to support Nazism. Both the concept and the methodology were doubtful at best. But the Institute’s work laid down an important tool for the left, namely a notion that anyone on the right was psychologically unbalanced. And it marked a key turning for the Institute in the birth of Political Correctness in Western Europe and America, in that the empirical research the studies demanded was done on Western Europeans and Americans. Ultimately, the result was Institute member Theodor Adorno’s vastly influential book, The Authoritarian Personality, published in 1950.
Jay’s fifth chapter, “The Institute’s Analysis of Nazism,” continues the theme of the “authoritarian personality.” But his sixth, “Aesthetic Theory and the Critique of Mass Culture,” provides an answer to the question of why most “serious” modern art and music is so awful. It is intended to be. Theodor Adorno was the Institute’s lead figure on high culture – he began life as a music critic and promoter of Schönberg – and his view was that in the face of the “repressiveness” of bourgeois society, art could only be “true” if it were alienating, reflecting the alienated society around it. Jay quotes Adorno: “A successful work is not one which resolves objective contradictions in a spurious harmony, but one which expresses the idea of harmony negatively by embodying the contradictions, pure and uncompromised, in its innermost structure.”
Adorno despised the new mass culture – film, radio, and jazz – in what seems to be a case of missed opportunity: today, the entertainment industry is the single most powerful promoter of Political Correctness. Another key Frankfurt School figure, Walter Benjamin, did see the potential: “he paradoxically held out hope for the progressive potential of politicised, collectivised art.” At some point, someone – the question of who lies beyond the boundaries of Jay’s book – put Benjamin’s perception together with the Frankfurt School’s general view, which Jay summarises as “the Institut came to feel that the culture industry enslaved men in far more subtle and effective ways than the crude methods of domination practiced in earlier eras.”
In the remainder of the book, Jay traces the (sort of) empirical work of the Institute in the 1940s, which was beset by the same problems as their earlier survey “research,” and follows the Institute in its return to Frankfurt, Germany after World War II. But by this point, the reader will already have the picture. He will have seen how Marxism was translated from economic into cultural terms; discerned the themes of sexual liberation, feminism, “victims” and so on that make up today’s Political Correctness; and found in Critical Theory the origins of the endless wailing about “racism, sexism and homophobia” that “PC” pours forth. One key piece of history is missing: “an analysis of Marcuse’s influential transmission of the Frankfurt School’s work to a new Western European and American audience in the 1960s,” as Jay puts it in his epilogue. Also, Jay curiously passes over with only the most minimal discussion the effective move of the Institute, in the persons of Horkheimer and Adorno, to Los Angeles during the war. Did the connections they built there play any role in injecting the Frankfurt School’s philosophy into Western European and American film and, after the war, television? Jay does not touch upon the subject.
But for the reader new to the Frankfurt School as the source of today’s Political Correctness, Jay’s The Dialectical Imagination offers a solid base. The book concludes with an extensive (though not annotated) bibliography of works by and about the Frankfurt School.
As to other accessible works about the Frankfurt School, the definitive modern work in German has recently been translated into English: The Frankfurt School: Its History, Theories and Political Significance by Rolf Wiggershaus, (translated by Michael Robertson, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, first paperback edition 1995). This covers much of the same ground as Martin Jay’s book, although it also follows the Institute from its post-war return to Germany up to Adorno’s death in 1969. Wiggershaus is more detailed than Jay, and, although he too is on the left politically, he is more critical than Jay. In the book’s Afterword, Wiggershaus offers a brief look (and a hostile one) at some German conservative critiques of the Frankfurt School. A picture emerges that will seem familiar to Western Europeans and Americans entrapped in the coils of Political Correctness:
Since the publication in 1970 of his book The Poverty of Critical Theory, Rohrmoser has promulgated, in constantly varying forms, the view that Marcuse, Adorno, and Horkheimer were the terrorists’ intellectual foster-parents, who were using Cultural Revolution to destroy the traditions of the Christian West. Academics such as Ernst Topitsch and Kurt Sontheimer, who saw themselves as educators and liberal democrats, followed in Rohrmoser’s footsteps. In 1972 Topitsch, a critical rationalist who was Professor of Philosophy in Graz, had stated that behind the slogans of “rational discussion” and “dialogue free of domination” there was being established at the universities “a distinctterrorism of political convictions such as never existed before, even under Nazi tyranny.”
Literature is, if not the most important cultural indicator, at least a significant benchmark of a society’s level of civilisation. Our nature and environment combine to form each individual mind, which in turn expresses itself in words. Literature, as the words society collectively holds up as exemplary, is then a starting point of sorts – a window into the culture.
Today’s literary field is therefore worth examining for the insights it provides into our current cultural milieu. The contemporary Western European and American literary field is awash in “isms:” Marxism, Freudianism, feminism, and so on. Most of these are the academic cousins of what is called in the common culture “Political Correctness.” Literary theorists take their particular brand of criticism and apply it to literature in an effort to find self-affirmation in a “discovered” meaning of the text. For a feminist critic, for example, no longer does Andrew Marvel’s “Upon Appleton House” have the beauty of the grounds as its theme; it speaks instead of the evils of a patriarchal line of inheritance. These “cultural critics,” so named because they critique literature based on the point of view of a particular culture, arose in the 1960s, but their schools of criticism only truly began to pick up steam with the arrival of the school of deconstruction in the 1970s.
The works of the father of deconstruction, Jacques Derrida, began to be translated from the French by American professor Gayatri Spivak in the mid-1970s, a time when the U.S. literary scene was ripe for its influence. The economic Marxists were alive and well on Western European and American campuses, and the cultural critics were still being fed by the radicalism of the times. Feminists had gained a foothold in the earlier decade, but they had in their meagre arsenals only a vague feeling of repression. What they lacked was philosophical backing – the courage prompted by having their own logos. The arrival of deconstruction from France provided that philosophy.
At that time, that generation of academics was doing what all academics do, telling the previous generation that it had it all wrong. In this case the rebellion was against the New Critics – so-called even now, decades after their prime. The New Critics specialised in finding the meaning of texts without regard to background information such as authorial intent, a process that had “the text is everything” as its guiding principle.
The new generation of critics set out to turn that principle on its head. Instead of “the text is everything,” the new generation claimed that “everything is text” and turned to analysing anything and everything in relation to the literary work. If a poet wrote a poem that included a female character, the critics would look into the poet’s relationship with his mother, his wife, his sister and so on in an effort to offer up an interpretation of the work. This could have (and often did have) the positive effect of using biographic information to gain new understanding of the work; however, these new interpretations were not attempts to discern the true meaning of the work (as the New Critics had done) or even to discover the author’s intended meaning (as traditional readings attempted). This new generation of critics instead became prime practitioners of what is known in literary circles as “cultural criticism.” They strained to view literature from the “woman’s point of view” or the “victims” or the “radical minority point of view.” Their attempts were not to find meaning – they were influenced too greatly by relativists for that – but to find sexism, racism or “homophobia” in the works of male, European or heterosexual authors.
Derridean deconstruction became a tool for these cultural critics. Simply stated, deconstruction is a school of thought that posits that words have no meaning. Instead, words have “traces” of meaning. The meaning of a word is continually disappearing, leaving us with only the memory, or trace, of what that meaning once was.
Once they realised the power of this school of thought, the cultural critics embraced it readily, for here they discovered a method of attack on the traditional interpretations of
literary works. They used deconstruction to remove traditional meaning and replaced it with new meaning. That meaning was the Political Correctness that infests our society today. For example, after the traditional meaning of “How Do I Love Thee?” has been destabilised in the process described above, a feminist critic might come along and - in the absence of a stable traditional interpretation – declare that the poem is “really” concerned with how women in nineteenth-century England were conditioned to see themselves as secondary to men.
The intelligentsia had forgotten its literature in its haste to promote its politics.
Unfortunately, that has not stopped the cultural critics from indoctrinating this new generation in feminist interpretation, Marxist philosophy and so-called “queer theory.” Requirements for reading Shakespeare, Milton, Chaucer, and other dead white males are disappearing, to be replaced by options to take studies in “The Roles of Women in the Renaissance” (an excuse to lament the sexism of the past) or “The Bible as Literature” (a course designed to denigrate the Bible as cleverly crafted fiction instead of God’s truth).
The reliable saviour of the intelligentsia is the common man and his common sense. Common sense dictates that words do mean things, and as deconstruction posits otherwise it will be relegated to the margins of society. Sadly, its effects will linger on – it has given a sense of validity to cultural criticism and established a marketplace for its ideas.
Despite the institutional power of the campus radicals, forces are at work seeking to spur authentic academic reform. The academic reform movement relies on the principles of accountability, communication, and a commitment to authentic scholarship. One force of academic reform is a growing demand among parents for greater accountability from colleges and universities. At a time when studies show that students are paying more and learning less than ever before, parents in increasing numbers are becoming discriminating consumers.
Another force is independent student newspapers whose journalists publicise the antics of political correctness on campus. In many universities, campus radicals are still unchallenged in the enclosed world of the university.
However, there are alternatives. Alternative student organisations have identified abuses at all levels of academic life and engaged in investigative journalism that has been remarkably fair and accurate. Perhaps the most well-known “scoop” came from Yale University’s alternative paper, Light & Truth, a publication supported by the Collegiate Network. The editors of Light & Truth discovered that the $20 million gift of alumnus Lee Bass was not being used for its intended purpose of supporting an integrated course in Western civilisation. Their report broke open the scandal, which ended when Yale
returned Mr. Bass’s money. The subsequent furor cost Yale a great deal more than Mr. Bass’s $20 million – both in monetary terms and in the loss of confidence of many Yale donors that the current administration can be trusted.
Not all the scandals uncovered by alternative campus papers are of this magnitude, but there are innumerable abuses that can be exposed by investigative student journalism. The law school at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, banned representatives of the U.S. military from setting up recruiting tables there, despite receiving federal tax dollars from the Defence Department. An article about this outrageous assault on freedom that ran in both the student-run Carolina Review and in the national student newspaper published by ISI, CAMPUS, raised a hue and cry on and off campus. North Carolina legislators took immediate action and passed a bill prohibiting taxpayer-supported schools from discriminating against the military when prospective employers come to the university.
At the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the UWM Times, a conservative student newspaper, revealed that a university administrator had been soliciting signatures for local Democrat candidates for public office, in direct violation of a state law forbidding university employees from engaging in political campaigning. The university refused to reprimand the administrator in question – perhaps because the chancellor himself violated both the state law and his own directive by signing one of the petitions while at work. The story was picked up by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the abuse was brought to an end.
Now that alternative newspapers and organisations dedicated to academic reform are spreading the word, the larger communities that surround our institutions of higher education are getting more involved in serious academic reform. For example, the National Association of Scholars is encouraging university trustees to take a more active and vocal role in opposing the excesses of political correctness. Efforts of this type must be expanded and intensified.
In the long run, the most direct method of defeating the inquisitors of political correctness is simply to stand up to them. Individual acts of defiance often entail serious risks: students can face star-chamber proceedings that are humiliating and demoralising while faculty can lose their bids to receive tenure. But every act of resistance causes a ripple, encouraging others to stand up to ideological intimidation. With the support of a significant number of parents, donors, and alumni, these David’s may yet slay the Goliaths who tower over them.
The two pillars that have traditionally sustained the liberal arts are academic freedom and freedom of speech. Without the freedom to pursue the truth and to write and speak freely, authentic scholarship is impossible. But both of these fundamental freedoms have been routinely abrogated by the establishment of speech codes, “sensitivity” classes, and a general atmosphere of fear and intimidation on campus.
For example, younger professors who have not received tenure must not only be careful of what they say, but of what they publish. Ideological university administrators in the 1990s have created an environment dominated by suspicion that is far more intense than anything spawned by anti-Communist Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.
The most tragic victims of this age of political correctness are the students. The traditional goal of a liberal arts education – acculturation, whereby students absorb the inherited wisdom of the past – has been set aside. Increasingly, a university education today seems to involve political indoctrination. When all is said and done, political correctness substitutes smug feelings of righteousness for the traditional habits of critical thinking. One distinguished scholar recently lamented that “higher education is increasingly about acquiring attitudes and opinions that one puts on like a uniform.”
Because the academy is a relatively isolated world, it can allow politicised administrators to turn the campus into a laboratory for experiments in social transformation. When critics of political correctness have compared the atmosphere on campus to that of a totalitarian state, liberal pundits have been quick to denounce them as hysterical. Few of these pundits have any first-hand experience of daily life on campus.
The proponents of political correctness have concentrated their efforts on the core of a liberal education, the curriculum. Their efforts will radically alter what new generations of Western Europeans and Americans will learn. In this battle the handmaiden of political correctness has been the “multicultural” movement. A number of critics have rightly pointed out that multiculturalism is more than an argument for courses that concentrate on groups that at one time were disadvantaged or oppressed. Rather, multiculturalism involves the systematic restructuring of the curriculum so as to hinder students from learning about the Western tradition. Since the ulterior motive behind political correctness is an attempt to restructure Western European and American society along egalitarian lines, it is imperative for its proponents to instill in the minds of students a thoroughgoing cultural relativism.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the politically correct assault on the curriculum is that it has occurred at many of our elite universities. Take, for example, the case of Stanford University, an institution that has long played a leadership role in American higher education. Stanford eliminated its long-standing Western civilisation requirement in 1988 and replaced it with a multicultural program known as “Cultures, Ideas, and Values.” Under this new program freshmen at Stanford can just as easily study Marxist revolutionaries in Central America as they can Plato, Shakespeare, or Newton.
Stanford has also led the movement away from serious study of history. Students at Stanford, like students at all but one of the other top 50 universities in the United States, are not required to take a single course in history. Instead, they are offered a choice of courses under the heading of “American Cultures.” According to one recent graduate at Stanford, it is impossible to fulfill the “American Cultures” requirement by studying Protestantism, Irish Americans, or the American West, while courses that do fulfill the requirement include “Film and Literature: US-Mexico Border Representations” and “Contemporary Ethnic Drama.” Stanford students must also take courses in “World Cultures” and “Gender Studies” that include “Chicana Expressive Culture” and “Misogyny and Feminism in the Renaissance.”
Because elite institutions such as Stanford set an example for the rest of American and European higher education, other universities eagerly adopt these devastating assaults
on the curriculum. This “trickle-down” effect will have a long-lasting impact on the way future generations of Western Europeans and Americans will be educated.
The stakes in this war of ideas are high, for they include the very concept of freedom itself. Western Europeans and Americans have always understood the intimate and vital connection between liberal education and political liberty. That is why political correctness is nothing less than a death blow aimed at the heart of our countries.
In his seminal book The Idea of a University, Cardinal John Henry Newman defined the “liberal arts” as a pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. By way of contrast, he defined the “servile arts” as those modes of study that serve only specific, immediate ends. The liberal arts are liberating, Newman argued, because they enable men to discover the underlying principles that guide us toward wisdom and virtue.
Were he alive today, Newman would view political correctness as “servile” because its purpose is to advance a political agenda to a position of national power. Militant professors in increasing numbers are shamelessly turning their podiums into pulpits, abandoning the search for objective truth and setting about the task of indoctrinating their students.
While the ideology of political correctness is hardly restricted to our campuses, there is no doubt it originated there. The intellectual roots of this phenomenon stretch back over centuries. Ultimately, the origins of PC can be traced to the rise of modern ideology and its quest for power. In contrast to the classical and Judeo-Christian traditions, which stressed man’s need to understand the moral order and conform himself to it, modern ideologies have sought to dominate and control the world. In the twentieth century these ideologies gained political power in Communist states.
But in the West, ideology has not been able to make such a direct assault on our traditions of ordered liberty. Rather, radical intellectuals have sought to undermine the foundations of knowledge itself, concentrating their efforts on the transformation of the university.
The turning point in the academy came in the 1960s, when militant students launched a guerrilla attack on the traditions of Western culture and the liberal arts. Seeing that they could not gain lasting power through demonstrations alone, many of these militants opted to remain “in the system,” going on to become professors themselves. This generation of “Cultural Marxist radicals” has now become the establishment in the vast majority of our institutions of higher learning. As university head masters, deans, and department chairmen, they have set about hiring other ideologues in their own image and have instigated the repressive policies we know as political correctness. These politicised academics will be extremely difficult to dislodge from their current positions of power.
• He was another Marxist revolutionary and a member of the Frankfurt School who came to America in the 1930s.
• Along with others, Adorno authored The Authoritarian Personality, which was published in 1950.
• Adorno’s book was inspired by the same kind of theoretical assertions revealed in the works of Wilhelm Reich, Erich Fromm, and Herbert Marcuse based on analytical studies of German society that were begun in 1923.
• The basic theme was the same. There was such a thing as an authoritarian character that was the opposite of the desired revolutionary character. This authoritarian character was a product of capitalism, Christianity, conservatism, the patriarchal family and sexual repression. In Germany, this combination induced prejudice, anti-Semitism and fascism according to Frankfurt School theory.
• It so happened that most Western Europeans and Americans were products of capitalism, Christianity, conservatism, the patriarchal family, and sexual repression in their youth. So Theodor Adorno and other members of the Frankfurt School had a golden opportunity to execute Georg Lukacs’ and Antonio Gramsci’s program for creating social revolution in Western Europe and America instead of Germany.
• They would posit the existence of authoritarian personalities among Western Europeans and Americans with tendencies toward prejudice, and then exploit this to force the “scientifically planned re-education” of Western Europeans and Americans with the excuse that it was being done in order to eradicate prejudice.
• This scientifically-planned re-education would become the master plan for the transformation of Europe’s and America’s system of fundamental values into their opposite revolutionary values in European education so that school children would become replicas of the Frankfurt School revolutionary characters and thus create the New Western Child.
• This can be confirmed by noting that The Authoritarian Personality is the key source of the affective domain of Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives of 1964, which guided the education cartel thereafter.
• Like Wilhelm Reich and Erich Fromm, Marcuse was an intellectual of the Frankfurt School who came to America in the 1930s.
• He has often been described as a Marxist philosopher, but he was in fact a full-blooded social revolutionary who contemplated the disintegration of Western European and American society just as Karl Marx and Georg Lukacs contemplated the disintegration of German society: “One can rightfully speak of a cultural revolution, since the protest is directed toward the whole cultural establishment, including the morality of existing society…there is one thing we can say with complete assurance: the traditional idea of revolution and the traditional strategy of revolution has ended. These ideas are old-fashioned…What we must undertake is a type of diffuse and dispersed disintegration of the system.”
• Marcuse published Eros and Civilisation in 1955, which became the founding document of the 1960s counterculture and brought the Frankfurt School into the colleges and universities of Western Europe and America.
• He asserted that the only way to escape the one-dimensionality of modern industrial society was to liberate the erotic side of man, the sensuous instinct, in rebellion against “technological rationality.”
• This erotic liberation was to take the form of the “Great Refusal,” a total rejection of the capitalist monster and its entire works, including technological reason and ritual-authoritarian language.
• He provided the needed intellectual justifications for adolescent sexual rebellion and the slogan “Make Love, Not War.”
• His theory included the belief that the Women’s Liberation Movement was to be the most important component of the opposition, and potentially the most radical.
• His revolutionary efforts would blossom into a full-scale war by revolutionary Marxism against the European white male in the schools and colleges.
• He began his political life as a Kremlin agent of the Communist International.
• His History and Class-Consciousness gained him recognition as the leading Marxist theorist since Karl Marx.
• In 1919 he became the Deputy Commissar for Culture in the Bolshevik Bela Kun Regime in Hungary. He instigated what become known as “Cultural Terrorism.”
• Cultural Terrorism was a precursor of what was to happen in European and American schools.
• He launched an “explosive” sex education program. Special lectures were organised in Hungarian schools and literature was printed and distributed to instruct children about free love, the nature of sexual intercourse, the archaic nature of the bourgeois family codes, the outdatedness of monogamy, and the irrelevance of religion, which deprives man of all pleasure. Children were urged to reject and deride paternal authority and the authority of the Church, and to ignore precepts of morality. They were easily and spontaneously turned into delinquents with whom only the police could cope. This call to rebellion addressed to Hungarian children was matched by a call to rebellion addressed to Hungarian women.
• In rejecting the idea that Bolshevism spelled the destruction of civilisation and culture, Lukacs stated: “Such a worldwide overturning of values cannot take place without the annihilation of the old values and the creation of new ones by the revolutionaries.”
• Lukacs’ state of mind was expressed in his own words:
- “All the social forces I had hated since my youth, and which I aimed in spirit to annihilate, now came together to unleash the First Global War.”
- “I saw the revolutionary destruction of society as the one and only solution to the cultural contradictions of the speech.”
- “The question is: Who will free us from the yoke of Western Civilisation?”
- “Any political movement capable of bringing Bolshevism to the West would have to be ‘Demonic’.”
- “The abandonment of the soul’s uniqueness solves the problem of ‘unleashing’ the diabolic forces lurking in all the violence which is needed to create revolution.”
• Lukacs’ state of mind was typical of those who represented the forces of Revolutionary Marxism.
• At a secret meeting in Germany in 1923, Lukacs proposed the concept of inducing “Cultural Pessimism” in order to increase the state of hopelessness and alienation in the people of the West as a necessary prerequisite for revolution.
• This meeting led to the founding of the Institute for Social Research at Frankfurt University in Germany in 1923 – an organisation of Marxist and Communist-oriented psychologists, sociologists and other intellectuals that came to be known as the Frankfurt School, which devoted itself to implementing Georg Lukacs’s program.