(1) American children "brain damaged" from computer games, TV, movies & pop music
(2) 75% of young Americans unfit for Military Duty - obese, junk food eaters, dumbed down
(3) The Frankfurt School has its way, undermining relationships with the Family
(4) The Frankfurt School - now we are the ones with feelings of Alienation
(1) American children "brain damaged" from computer games, TV, movies & pop music
From: WVNS <email@example.com> Date: 03.11.2009 05:36 PM
Protecting our Children in a World Gone Mad
1 November 2009
When I spent a year teaching 6-8 grade students in Detroit, Michigan, I had hoped that with my high ideals, I could influence the children to become thinkers, perhaps even sway them towards a Godly life. But I found a tragic situation. American children of today are seriously brain damaged from computer games, TV, movies and pop music. They have an attention span no longer than a commercial and if something is not flashing lights and making bleeping noises they have no interest in it. They have a huge problem translating their thoughts into written words and they have a hard time sitting still. They really require - and want - adults to manage their behavior.
Concerning sex education, it was painfully clear that there was nothing I could do for these kids, except maybe an occasional isolated miracle. How do you convince a girl not to date boys when her own mother goes out on dates? You and I know that she is too young to think about such things, but the fact is, by 6th grade these kids' minds are set into the pattern created by the mass media. It made me realize that you really have to focus on protecting your kids from a very young age and arm them with knowledge.
The religious kids, if they are going to stay clean and innocent, they have to have made that choice well before 6th grade. Parents need to realize that the kids are going to learn everything about the facts of life - if not from school then from the songs playing in the supermarket - so we have to protect them. We have to tell them that they are persons of value who deserve to be respected and cherished and to enjoy happy and healthy relationships. Many children never hear these words from their parents so they seek affection and positive encouragement elsewhere. Most kids chase after boyfriends or girlfriends because the media tells them this is how you find happiness. Parents really need to walk the middle line between saying too much and not saying enough.
Young kids don't need the "details" of how babies are made but they do need to be told at a young age, for example, which parts of their body are off limits, even to family members, and the child should be made to promise to report any violations even if done in jest. Since they are giggling about boys as early as first grade, girls need to be advised well in advance that their lives will be miserable if they fall in love with boys before they are old enough to get married. They need to know the rules of clothing. They need to be instructed never to be alone in a room with a boy. Their brother should go with them if they are visiting the neighbor kids or cousins. You really can't be under-prepared.
A child needs to make an internal promise to keep chaste until marriage, if it is to be. If the kid has not gotten any good advice by age eleven, he or she may easily get lost. Whatever you tell your kids, it has to make sense within the context of the way that their peers explain the world. Although, "We don't do that because we are Muslim (or whatever religion)" goes a long way.
American children have full knowledge of how babies are made and how to prevent them, but they are very protected from knowing how babies come out. I believe that in families where the mother gives birth at home and the children are there to emotionally support her and know what women go through, these children will probably have a healthier attitude and reverence for their bodies and for life itself and will be less likely to make light-hearted decisions. Even many religious men, who were chaste until marriage, still lack the appropriate respect and reverence for the extreme sacrifice that a woman makes when she obeys her husband. A man that heard his mother's screams when he was a boy will probably be more helpful and more emotionally supportive towards his wife than if he was raised in ignorance.
The good news is that there seem to be more and more kids in high schools and colleges that choose to be chaste and who give each other moral support, and I have to assume it's because their parents talked to them about when sex is appropriate. Looking at online teen discussions it seems clear that there is a group of kids who have zero self esteem and are actively striving to crash their lives because they have no guidance other than the desire to be "cool" - while there is another group of kids who are actively striving to be responsible. When I was a kid there were no kids striving to be responsible in matters of chastity. If anyone was religiously motivated they would be treated like a mentally ill person and no one would be their friend. America is becoming better in many ways. At least, there are better choices available. As parents we have to make sure our children are aware of the choices we hope our kids will make, to balance the information they are getting from society about the choices that corporate military consumer culture hopes they make.
Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women.
(2) 75% of young Americans unfit for Military Duty - obese, junk food eaters, dumbed down
From: WVNS <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 06.11.2009 07:03 PM
75 Percent of Young Americans Are Unfit for Military Duty
WASHINGTON (Nov. 3) -- Are America's youth too fat, dumb or dishonest to defend the nation against its enemies?
The latest Army statistics show a stunning 75 percent of military-age youth are ineligible to join the military because they are overweight, can't pass entrance exams, have dropped out of high school or had run-ins with the law.
So many young people between the prime recruiting ages of 17 and 24 cannot meet minimum standards that a group of retired military leaders is calling for more investment in early childhood education to combat the insidious effects of junk food and inadequate education.
"We've never had this problem of young people being obese like we have today," said Gen. John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
He calls the rising number of youth unfit for duty a matter of national security. "We should be concerned about how this will impact this overstretched Army and its ability to recruit."
Shalikashvili is among dozens of retired generals, admirals and civilian Pentagon officials who have banded together as Mission Readiness: Military Leaders for Kids. The group, which includes former NATO commander and presidential candidate Wesley Clark, will appear with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the National Press Club on Thursday to urge immediate action to reduce dropout rates and improve the physical and moral fitness of the nation's youth.
They will cite research that shows quality early childhood education raises graduation rates by up to 44 percent and reduces the odds of being arrested for a violent crime by age 18.
Douglas Smith of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command said 2008 data shows about three in 10 youths have an initial barrier to enlistment.
Most aren't insurmountable. "If you're overweight, we tell you to come back when you've lost the weight. If you don't score well on the armed forces aptitude test, we suggest you study and take it again," he said.
Between 2004 and 2008, the Army more than doubled the number of "conduct" waivers it granted to would-be soldiers with criminal or misdemeanor records. The loosened standards proved necessary in a time of war and amid a booming economy that forced military recruiters to work overtime to fill the ranks.
The new warnings about a generation of couch potatoes comes just weeks after the Pentagon announced its best recruiting year since the all-volunteer force began in 1974. The economic meltdown and rising unemployment, combined with bigger military bonuses and benefits, enticed hundreds of thousands to enlist despite the inevitability most would be sent to war.
The plethora of would-be recruits allowed the military services to be choosier after years of taking in more high school dropouts and those needing extra physical training to meet weight requirements.
Recruiting may have gotten easier, but "the good times don't stay forever," warned David Segal, a University of Maryland military sociologist. When the economy recovers and young people are able to get jobs or can afford to go to college, the military will be faced with the same out-of-shape, ill-prepared pool of recruits as before.
"Recruiting will get tough again," he said. "The trend line is clear: The youth population is getting less healthy."
Comment (Peter M.):
Quality early childhood education is a good idea, eg Montessori preschools.
However education and campaigns against Junk Food will not combat obesity and the deleterious effects of TV, Computer Games, Pop Music, Hollywood, and general dumbing-down.
There's no point pumping water into a leaking pipe; the only solution is to plug the leak.
In this case, you've got to stop those causing the trouble in the first place. It's the so-called "Free Market", the Laissez-Faire approach by which companies are free to harm our young people for their own advantage, that must be reined-in.
Our ancestors in the 1940s & 50s would not have tolerated what passes for "normal" today.
We've got to return to discipline - self-discipline, discipline in the home and school, and punishment for companies that harm family life, e.g. by pitching advertisements at children. The best punishment is to put them out of business - not with fines, but by taking their capital.
Every business runs on capital. Given the seriousness of this matter, companies which destroy the bodies or minds of your young people should forfeit small portions of their capital for each infringement. That is, a portion of their capital should be transferred to government - as a public shareholder.
This punishment would be so feared by companies that they would soon stop their harmful practices.
(3) The Frankfurt School has its way, undermining relationships with the Family
From: ReporterNotebook <RePorterNoteBook@Gmail.com> Date: 19.10.2009 01:43 AM
Review of Thomas Wheatland's The Frankfurt School in Exile, Part I: Authoritarianism and the Family
Prof. Kevin MacDonald
Kevin MacDonald is a professor of psychology at California State University
October 19, 2009
Thomas Wheatland’s book, The Frankfurt School in Exile, provides a useful historical account of the travels, connections, and ideas of an important Jewish intellectual movement. The Institute for Social Research began as an orthodox Marxist organization during the Weimar period. During this period, they were dedicated to studying the class struggle and were often in close contact with members of the German Communist Party. Like several other members of the Institute, Max Horkheimer, who became head of the Institute, came from a wealthy background, but like so many Jewish radicals, had a “moral and emotional” opposition to bourgeois society (p. 15).
Wheatland agrees with other scholars that a persistent motivation of the Frankfurt School was to understand why a working class revolution failed to occur in Germany. Two main theoretical thrusts emerged from this realization: a critique that located ethnic prejudice, backward religious attitudes and lack of revolutionary fervor in the family, and a critique of mass culture seen as promoting passivity and escapism rather than revolutionary consciousness. Part I of this review deals with the first of these issues. Part II will discuss the theory of mass culture and interactions between the Frankfurt School and the New York Intellectuals.
The Frankfurt School Finds Authoritarianism in the Family
Since Marxist revolution was so obviously desirable to the Frankfurt Intellectuals, they developed a theory in which the failure of revolution could be attributed to psychopathology in the family. As reviewedhere, the epitome of psychological health was the “genuine liberal” — a radical individualist who is completely detached from all ingroups, including race and family. White people who rejected their family as role models were analyzed as psychologically healthy, while those who had positive views of their parents were analyzed as psychologically inadequate.
Such a view is obviously subversive of traditional values, since competent parents transmit their religious and cultural values to their children, and at the time of the study, many of these competent White parents had a sense of White racial identity which they were transmitting to their children. The Frankfurt School was essentially claiming that White families who successfully transmitted their ethnocentric attitudes to their children were pathological — a view for which there isn’t a shred of evidence. (Needless to say, the successful transmission of Jewish identity to Jewish children was not considered a pathology.)
A major part of the intellectual ammunition for this assault on the people and culture of the West derived originally from Erich Fromm whose association with the Frankfurt School dates from 1930. Fromm pioneered the idea of combining Marx with Freud and was responsible for the early development of the authoritarian personality concept. Fromm’s ideas are an excellent illustration of the ludicrous but deadly theories that resulted from this marriage of these two influential Jewish philosophers. For example, in Studien über Authorität und Familie (1936), Fromm wrote,
With regard to authoritarianism, masochism manifested itself in the surrender to authority, and sadism was evident in the acceptance of social hierarchy. In the developmental and sexual sense, the authoritarian character had suffered a regression from genital sexuality to infantile sexuality. Accompanying this regression of libidinal energy, Fromm also expected a shift from heterosexual to homosexual behavior among authoritarian personalities. (quoted in Wheatland, p. 68)
As a psychologist, I really can’t imagine a more ridiculous theory — unless perhaps one counts Freud’s politically useful Oedipal complex. None of these ideas ever had even a glimmer of empirical support. Freud’s theorizing — one hesitates to call it a theory — combines outrageousness with infinite plasticity. In the hands of Freudian revisionist like Fromm, it could be used as a weapon against those who resist a communist revolution. Eventually, Fromm’s ideas would be the basis for The Authoritarian Personality and its assault on White racial identity and traditional Western family values.
Wheatland, however, is utterly credulous in discussing these preposterous ideas: “Fromm had carefully examined the empirical findings. Exercising caution to make use of his data, Fromm utilized every response to each question to provide confirmation for his character models” (p. 69).
Ah yes, Erich Fromm — ever the dedicated, impartial empirical scientist. Since such findings have never been confirmed by the research of actual psychologists — indeed, they would be laughed at as the height of ridiculousness, one would think that Wheatland would at least suggest that perhaps Fromm was reading his a priori theories into the interview results — a common enough practice among psychoanalysts.
Indeed, a strikingly similar passage to Fromm’s monstrosity can be found in Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944), by the two leading lights of the Frankfurt School, Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno:
The forbidden action [of killing one’s father out of Oedipal jealousy] which is converted into aggression is generally homosexual in nature. Through fear of castration, obedience to the father is taken to the extreme of an anticipation of castration in conscious emotional approximation to the nature of a small girl, and actual hatred to the father is suppressed” (p. 192).
You can’t make this stuff up. Nevertheless, despite such passages and a generally fanciful theory of anti-Semitism (see Chap. 5 of The Culture of Critique), Wheatland refers to Dialectic of Enlightenment as the Institute’s “theoretical masterpiece” (p. 242).
Wheatland is typical of so many American intellectuals who become caught up in the well-honed mystique of the Frankfurt School, completely losing their critical sense. Even a casual reading ofDialectic of Enlightenment indicates the importance of Jewish ethnic interests in developing a theory of anti-Semitism in which the behavior of Jews is completely irrelevant. As Jacob Katz notes, the Frankfurt School has “not been notable for the accuracy of its evaluation of the Jewish situation either before the advent of Nazism or afterward” (p. 40).
Wheatland presents evidence that the Institute separated themselves from Fromm because of his revisionist views on psychoanalysis. Nevertheless, the separation was more tactical than real. Both Fromm and his former Frankfurt colleagues developed a similar intellectual rationale for radical individualism among Whites — mainly because they viewed it as effective in combating anti-Semitism. Prototypical individualists such as libertarians are much less prone to enmeshing themselves in cohesive groups — especially mass movements of ethnic defense They have no allegiance to their race, their culture, or even their family. The following is a famous passage from Fromm’sEscape from Freedom (1941):
There is only one possible, productive solution for the relationship of individualized man with the world: his active solidarity with all men and his spontaneous activity, love and work, which unite him again with the world, not by primary ties [e.g., family, religion, ethnic group, and race] but as a free and independent individual.... However, if the economic, social and political conditions... do not offer a basis for the realization of individuality in the sense just mentioned, while at the same time people have lost those ties which gave them security, this lag makes freedom an unbearable burden. It then becomes identical with doubt, with a kind of life which lacks meaning and direction. Powerful tendencies arise to escape from this kind of freedom into submission or some kind of relationship to man and the world which promises relief from uncertainty, even if it deprives the individual of his freedom. (Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom)
In other words, psychologically healthy people have no psychological ties to anything except their "active solidarity" with all of humanity. This lack of ethnic commitment is what defines freedom.
Fromm never saw any contradictions between this philosophy and his own strong Jewish identification. Fromm derived from an Orthodox Jewish religious background and was actively involved in promoting Jewish religion and culture in his 20s. Like many secular Jews on the left, Fromm's view of Judaism was that it was a set of ethical, humanistic beliefs — indeed, it is common to assert that his view of Judaism had a strong influence on his humanistic psychology.
Obviously, such a view of Judaism ignores the strong Jewish emphasis on identifying with an ethnically-based ingroup (and all that that entails in terms of between-group conflict) rather than with humanity as a whole. In any case, "although he later distanced himself from Judaism, it is reported that Fromm never tired of singing Hasidic songs or studying scripture." One suspects that whatever Fromm's public pronouncements, his identification with Judaism was quite a bit stronger than his identification with humanity.
While Fromm remained a psychoanalytic revisionist, the Frankfurt School retained an orthodox views of psychoanalysis. This had a major payoff for the Frankfurt School because it was able to ally itself with the Ernst Simmel’s Psychoanalytic Institute. Simmel, a powerful and well-connected psychoanalyst who had direct ties to Freud (the gold standard of psychoanalytic royalty), then promoted the Frankfurt School’s work and called for research on anti-Semitism within the American Psychiatric Association (p. 325) at a time when psychoanalysis used its political muscle to dominate the APA. Simmel also sought funding for the Frankfurt School from wealthy, presumably Jewish, benefactors of psychoanalysis.
The entire episode is a wonderful example of Jewish ethnic networking that had the effect of subverting scientific psychiatry. Psychoanalysis is clearly a Jewish intellectual movement, as indicated not only by the ethnic background of the leading lights of the field, but also by the support it received from the wider Jewish community — the subject of Chapter 4 of The Culture of Critique.Fortunately, the rise of scientific psychiatry has resulted in the more or less complete eradication of psychoanalysis within mainstream psychiatry. Ultimately this was due mainly to the rise of biological psychiatry as well as the usefulness of cognitive and learning perspectives derived from mainstream psychology. During its heyday, however, psychoanalysts like Simmel used their position of power within the APA to promote psychoanalysis — an effort that had the effect of retarding scientific research in psychiatry.
In the event, the Institute received funding for its Studies in Prejudiceproject (including The Authoritarian Personality) from the American Jewish Committee (AJC). Wheatland also shows that the ADL was enthusiastic about the project. The Institute’s successful funding proposal argued that modern anti-Semitism
aims not only at exterminating the Jews, but also at annihilating liberty and democracy. It has become the spearhead of the totalitarian order. … The attacks on the Jews are not primarily aimed at the Jews but at large sections of modern society, especially the free middle classes, which appear as an obstacle to the establishment of totalitarianism. (p. 236)
In other words, the war on anti-Semitism was really a war against those who would destroy democracy, freedom, and the middle classes — clearly an attempt to appeal to mainstream America.
Particularly interesting is that prior to the publication of the Studies in Prejudice series, Commentary developed a public relations campaign to promote the books. (Commentary is an important intellectual magazine published by the AJC.) “From the very first issue [in 1945], the magazine began to publish a series of [uniformly uncritical] articles that brought the work of the Horkheimer Circle to the attention of American readers” (p. 253).
After the Frankfurt School received funding from the AJC, Horkheimer’s office and Commentary were housed in the same building. Nathan Glazer, a prominent New York Intellectual, got his job at Commentary because he was already working for Horkheimer. There was an obvious congruence between the views of the AJC and the Frankfurt School:
Rather than simply fulfilling Jewish aims that had been dramatically highlighted by the Holocaust, The Studies in Prejudice series was envisioned to be a broader contribution to American society and culture — efforts consistent with the AJC’s desire to promote pluralism and Jewish cultural interests within the United States. UnlikePartisan Review which self-consciously promoted an ideal of cosmopolitan universalism that was framed by the influences of Marxism and modernism, Commentary … was envisioned to be a distinctly Jewish magazine (p. 154).
Indeed, despite a carefully crafted public image of Commentary as completely independent of the AJC, in fact its “autonomy may have been more of an illusion than a reality” (p. 155). Wheatland cites evidence that Elliot Cohen, the editor of Commentary from 1945–1959), was occasionally reprimanded by the AJC executive board and at other times was pressured to promote projects advocated by the AJC. Significantly, Cohen encouraged members of the Frankfurt School to write for Commentary, and the AJC had become the main financial support for the Frankfurt School. Wheatland shows thatCommentary played a major role in promoting the Frankfurt School’sStudies in Prejudice series, including the disastrously influential The Authoritarian Personality. The Institute also appealed to the wider Jewish community, publicizing their work “through public lectures at Jewish colleges and local temples” (p. 251) as well as other public venues.
An example of Frankfurt School writing in Commentary is Leo Lowenthal’s 1947 article on Heinrich Heine, a 19th-century Jewish poet who converted to Christianity early in his career but later renounced his conversion. “Heine’s religion” is interesting because, as Wheatland notes, it reflects not only Heine’s attitudes but also the attitudes of the New York Intellectuals and the other members of the Frankfurt School. Heine “sacrificed his Jewish traditions in order to embrace the same ideal of cosmopolitanism — embodied by the Enlightenment and the French Revolution — that the Frankfurt School and the prewar writers for Partisan Review adopted … For both groups [i.e., the Frankfurt School and the New York Intellectuals] Marxism embodied the yearning for a repaired and redeemed humanity — a world in which racial prejudice and socioeconomic injustice were overcome” (p. 157).
Eventually, however, Heine and Lowenthal (and the other Frankfurters and New York Intellectuals) abandoned the Enlightenment and reverted to Jewish patriotism. Heine wrote that “my preference for Greece has declined. I see now that the Greeks were merely handsome youths, while the Jews were, and still are, grown men, mighty, indomitable men, despite eighteen centuries of persecution and misery. I have learned to rate them at their true value.” Lowenthal concurred: Judaism “was a tradition that need not be transcended in the name of loftier ideals” (p. 158).
In other words, Jews could advocate cosmopolitan universalism for Whites while at the same time retaining their own Jewish identity. This is perhaps the fundamental intellectual stance of Diaspora Jewish intellectuals since the Enlightenment (and strikingly absent in Israel). Wheatland doesn’t comment on the obvious contradiction here. White Christians are to give up their ethnic and religious attachments as outmoded and “anti-democratic” while Jews fashion an ethnic identity that wears the mask of cosmopolitan universalism.
To his credit, Wheatland presents at least some of the criticisms of the Studies in Prejudice series and, in particular, The Authoritarian Personality. As he notes, a consistent thread of the criticisms was the belief that the authors let their biases color their hypotheses and interpretations. My views on this body of work are a bit more scathing: “It is not difficult to suppose that the entire program of research of The Authoritarian Personality involved deception from beginning to end.”
After WWII, the Institute “returned to Germany with great fanfare, it received the generous support of HICOG [the US High Commissioner in occupied Germany] and the Rockefeller Foundation, … and its staff was viewed as a living bridge to the past” (p. 261). It’s fascinating that Adorno then embarked on a series of articles completely repudiating the entire concept of empirical research — perhaps agreeing with me that The Authoritarian Personality and the rest of the Studies in Prejudice series were not really empirical research at all.
Adorno would presumably not agree with me that these works were nothing more than thinly disguised, ethnically motivated ideology. But that’s what it was — aided and abetted by the organized Jewish community.
Kevin MacDonald is editor of The Occidental Observer and a professor of psychology at California State University–Long Beach. Email him.
(4) The Frankfurt School - now we are the ones with feelings of Alienation
From: ReporterNotebook <RePorterNoteBook@Gmail.com> Date: 29.10.2009 04:49 AM
Review of Thomas Wheatland's The Frankfurt School in Exile, Part II: The Critique of Mass Culture
Kevin MacDonald is editor of The Occidental Observer and a professor of psychology at California State University–Long Beach
October 28, 2009
One of Wheatland’s strengths is his rich documentation of the strong connections between the New York Intellectuals and the Frankfurt School. Both groups were predominantly Jewish (the first generation Frankfurt School exclusively so), and both were associated with the anti-Stalinist left. However, they had somewhat different theoretical perspectives and overlapping associations. It is common among intellectual historians (e.g., Eric P. Kaufmann) to view the New York Intellectuals as the most important group advocating cosmopolitan racial ideology in the post-World War II era.
Prominent New York Intellectuals include the art critic Clement Greenberg, writer and critic Robert Warshow, philosopher Sidney Hook, Partisan Review editors William Phillips and Philip Rahv, and several forerunners of the neoconservative movement, especially Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz. Wheatland shows that the some of the second-generation New York Intellectuals (e.g., Daniel Bell, Irving Howe, and Nathan Glazer) were well acquainted with the work of the Frankfurt School. Howe and Glazer had minor roles in the notorious Studies in Prejudice series discussed in Part I of this review.
The Critique of Mass Culture
These linkages and cross-fertilization were especially apparent in the analysis of culture. The Frankfurt School viewed contemporary Western societies of the 1930s and '40s as “soft authoritarianism” — a phrase also used by Tom Sunic in describing contemporary Western societies. From their point of view, the basic problem was to explain the lack of revolutionary fervor in Western societies. Quite clearly, orthodox Marxism was wrong: The predicted revolution hadn't happened.
This lack of fervor was particularly problematic because there was a considerable degree of personal freedom in Western societies: Theoretically at least, people had the freedom to be revolutionary, but instead they passively accepted the evils of capitalism.
These intellectuals developed the theory that control had shifted from obvious forms of external control (like gulags in the USSR) to control via the media — “secondary emanations of authority … namely newspapers, advertising, radio, etc.” (p. 79). Because the media was an expression of "late capitalism," it prevented people from seeing the world as good leftists should, and as a result they were unable to “break the cycle of injustice and domination” (p. 79).
Early on Erich Fromm gathered survey data showing that working class Germans were not interested in revolution but were passive and prone to escapism. (Incidentally, Fromm seems to have been the originator of the most important ideas of the Frankfurt School. As noted in Part I of this review, he also came up with the disastrous idea of explaining ethnocentrism among Whites as due to family pathology.) The passivity and escapism of the working class were viewed as due to the failure of the culture, and particularly the media, to properly foment revolutionary consciousness. For example, during the 1930s, Herbert Marcuse wrote attacking “all bourgeois culture for its escapism, repression, and concealment of capitalism’s harsh realities” (p. 160). As discussed extensively by Elizabeth Whitcombein TOO, the Frankfurt School criticized culture because it upheld a reactionary status quo.
Eventually, there was a general understanding among both the Frankfurt School and the New York Intellectuals that mass culture — whether in the USSR (both of these groups were anti-Stalinist), National Socialist Germany, or bourgeois United States — promoted conformism and escape from harsh political realities; it “offered false pleasure, reaffirmed the status quo, and promoted a pervasive conformity that stripped the masses of their individuality and subjectivity” (p. 175). Obviously this fits well with the Frankfurt School ideas on the family: Again, there is a plea for individualists free from family and ethnic ties and in favor of non-conformity with the status quo.
These intellectuals promoted modernism in art at least partly because of its compatibility with expressive individualism, but also because they believed that it effectively opposed the culture of capitalism. Modernism was also seen as capable of alienating people from modern Western societies. As Elizabeth Whitcombe points out, “Adorno’s desire for a socialist revolution led him to favor Modernist music that left the listener feeling unsatisfied and dislocated — music that consciously avoided harmony and predictability.”
To be modern is to be alienated from the society of capitalism. The alienation of the New York Intellectuals is legendary. Norman Podhoretz was famously asked by a New Yorker editor in the 1950s “whether there was a special typewriter key at Partisan Review with the word ‘alienation’ on a single key.”
In short, they were trying to make all of America as alienated as they were.
Both the New York Intellectuals and the Frankfurt School had nothing but disdain for traditional art. In Adorno’s words, they sought “the end of the order that bore the sonata” — the end of European high culture. And if the audience failed to appreciate modernism, it was their fault. For example, Adorno wrote that the failure of the audience to appreciate Schoenberg “pointed to widespread alienation and irrationalism that were pervasive in society” (p. 29). Only the revolution would make people psychologically whole again and in tune with a genuine aesthetic sense.
The view that modernism would ultimately usher in the revolution eventually faded when it became obvious that it would never be popular with the great mass of people. The view that, say, Schoenberg, could ever have become popular with the great mass of people can only be described as amazingly naïve. We just aren't wired that way. But of course realistic ideas about human penchants and limitations have never been a strong suit of the intellectual left.
In reading the views of the Frankfurt School on the importance of cultural control, it struck me that those of us attempting to preserve the traditional peoples and culture of the West are in a similar situation to the Frankfurt School and the New York Intellectuals. Their complaints about the American culture of the 1930s through the 1950s are mirror images of the complaints that we have now.
Whereas the New York Intellectuals and the Frankfurt School felt alienated from the culture of the West, now we are the ones with feelings of alienation from the culture that has been so strongly influenced by these Jewish intellectual movements.
We are dismayed at the failure of the media to properly address White interests or even to allow expressions of White identity to be seen or heard in the mainstream media.
We are well aware that when there is a failure of media self-censorship (e.g., when media critic William Cash described the Jewish media elite as “culturally nihilist” in the Spectator in 1994), there are powerful campaigns to punish the guilty parties and to get them to recant.
Just as the Frankfurt School theorized, the West has come under the control of soft authoritarianism. But now the shoe is on the other foot: Power resides in the soft totalitarianism of the multi-cultural, multi-racial, anti-White left.
These Jewish intellectual movements decried the passivity, escapism, and conformity of American culture. Those of us who are White advocates are horrified that the vast majority of White people passively accept media messages filled with distorted images of Whites and their history. We are appalled that so many Whites are far more interested in escapist entertainment, ranging from sporting events to sci-fi thrillers, than they care about the future of their people.And we are dismayed by the conformity of the great mass of Whites people who are terrified of being called a racist or in any way violating the current taboos of political correctness. We deplore the pathetic conformists striving to uphold the rules of a society deeply hostile to their own long term interests.
Rather than see a culture controlled by the "late capitalist" media,” White advocates see the culture of the West as controlled by a hostile media that advocates multiculturalism, the displacement of Whites, and the culture of Western suicide. And many of us believe that a very large influence on this culture stems not only from the influence of the Frankfurt School and the New York Intellectuals, but also from Jewish ownership and production of the media.
There is thus a common ground between these Jewish intellectual movements and those of us attempting to preserve the traditional people and culture of the West. We all agree in the importance of media control. As I concluded in an article describing the psychology of cultural control, paraphrasing a Bill Clinton campaign slogan: “It’s the culture, stupid.”
Control of the media is critical. If there were strong media messages advocating White identity and the legitimacy of White interests, things would turn around rather dramatically and rather quickly. This is because the psychological power behind a movement of ethnic defense is far greater than the motivation that can be mustered for a multi-racial, multi-ethnic communist revolution.
Such media messages would be able to tap into the natural wellspring of ethnic feeling. There is a deep psychological attachment to one’s people and culture — even among us individualistic White folks — that can easily motivate a mass movement of ethnic defense.
Often these feelings are implicit and unconscious rather than explicit and conscious. They manifest themselves in moving to neighborhoods where their children can attend school with other Whites. Or they manifest themselves in activities where they are able to enjoy the company and camaraderie of others like themselves.
But these feelings are nevertheless real. And they are potentially very powerful. The revolution needed to reverse the cultural tides of the last decades would therefore be far easier to pull off than the communist revolution so ardently desired by the Frankfurt School.
If there is one central message from the post-World War II world, ethnicity and race matter. As Jerry Z. Muller has shown, there has been a strong trend toward ethnically based nations over the last 150 years, not only in the territorial adjustments in Europe following World War II, but around the world.
It’s interesting that these leftist critics of the media completely ignored the actual mechanisms of cultural control that were in place during the period when they were writing. The controls on culture had little if anything to do with the culture of "late capitalism." Instead, the traditional Anglo-American culture managed to retain its primacy during this period because of political activism on the part of Anglos in defense of their culture, often quite self-consciously directed against Jewish influence in the media.
Jewish influence on the media, especially Hollywood movies,weighed heavily on the minds of people like Henry Ford early in the 20th century. Public outrage at the content of Hollywood movies led to more or less successful controls on the moral and political content of movies until around the mid-1960s. The following passage fromChapter 2 of Separation and Its Discontents discusses this American Kulturkampf (references omitted):
During the McCarthy era, there was concern that the entertainment industry would influence American culture by, in the words of an overt anti-Semite, Congressman John R. Rankin of Mississippi, “insidiously trying to spread subversive propaganda, poison the minds of your children, distort the history of our country and discredit Christianity” ....
The great majority of those stigmatized by the Un-American Activities Committee of the House of Representatives (HUAC) were Jews, many of them in the entertainment industry.... A belief that “Jewish Hollywood” was promoting subversive ideas, including leftist political beliefs, was a common component of anti-Semitism in the post-World War II period, and indeed the push for the HUAC investigation was led by such well-known anti-Semites as Gerald L. K. Smith and Congressman Rankin .... For example, Smith stated that “there is a general belief that Russian Jews control too much of Hollywood propaganda and they are trying to popularize Russian Communism in America through that instrumentality. Personally I believe that is the case” ....
The substantive basis of the opinion of Rankin and others was that beginning in the 1930s Hollywood screenwriters were predominantly Jewish and politically liberal or radical — a general association that has been typical of Jewish intellectual history in the 20th century .... The American Communist Party (CPUSA), which was under Soviet control during the period, sent V. J. Jerome and Stanley Lawrence, both Jews, to Hollywood to organize the writers and take advantage of their political sentiments. Jerome argued that “agitprop propaganda was actually better drama because Marxists better understood the forces that shaped human beings, and could therefore write better characters” .... Writers responded by self-consciously viewing themselves as contributing to “the Cause” by their script writing. “But as much as the Hollywood Communist party was a writers’ party, it was also . . . a Jewish party. (Indeed, to be the former meant to be the latter as well).”
Nevertheless, during this period the radical writers were able to have little influence on the ultimate product, although there is good evidence that they did their best to influence movie content in the direction of their political views .... Their failure was at least partly because of pressures brought to bear on Hollywood by conservative, predominantly [non-Jewish] political forces, resulting in a great deal of self-censorship by the movie industry. ... The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, headed by Will H. Hays, was created in 1922 in response to movements in over thirty state legislatures to enact strict censorship laws, and the Production Code Administration, headed by Joseph I. Breen, was launched in response to a campaign by the Catholic Legion of Decency. The result was that producers were forced to develop projects “along the lines of a standard Hollywood genre while steering clear of both the Hays and Breen offices and the radical writer who may have been assigned to the project” ....
In addition, the HUAC investigations of the late 1940s and early 1950s and the active campaigning of religious (Legion of Decency, Knights of Columbus), patriotic (Daughters of the American Revolution [DAR]), and educational (Parents and Teachers Association) groups influenced movie content well into the 1950s, including a great many anticommunist films made as a rather direct response to the HUAC investigations. The result was, in the words of one studio executive, that “I now read scripts through the eyes of the DAR, whereas formerly I read them through the eyes of my boss” .... Particular mention should be made of the American Legion, described ... as “the prime mover” in attempting to eradicate “Communist influence” in the movie industry during the 1950s. The list of sixty-six movie personalities said to be associated with communism published in the American Legion Magazine caused panic in Hollywood and a prolonged series of investigations, firings, and blacklistings.
The point here is that there were strong controls emanating from political conservatives and from religious and cultural traditionalists that kept a lid on Jewish influence on culture through the 1950s — doubtless much to the chagrin of the Frankfurt School and the New York Intellectuals who prided themselves in their alienation from that culture.
This all ended when the culture of the left finally triumphed in the 1960s. At that point, when the multi-cultural, anti-White left had seized the high ground in the cultural wars, they had far less reason to engage in the types of cultural criticism so apparent in the writings of the Frankfurt School and the New York Intellectuals. Hollywood and the rest of the American media were unleashed, and it must have became apparent to many on the left that passivity, escapism and (leftist) conformity weren't so bad after all.
Indeed, as Elizabeth Whitcombe suggests, there seems to have been some realization among the Frankfurt School intellectuals in the late 1940s and 1950s that popular culture could be utilized to “manipulate the masses in the directions that they wanted — toward liberal cosmopolitanism, breaking down racial barriers, and promoting Black cultural icons.”
What would have surprised these intellectuals is that the culture of the left could co-exist with capitalism. As Marxists at heart, at least for most of their existence, they felt that it was necessary to destroy capitalism in order to usher in a revolution in culture that would affect the great mass of people.
But it turns out that capitalism was not the problem they faced any more than it is the problem White advocates face. It is certainly true that capitalism requires control by a racially conscious political and intellectual elite. In the absence of such controls, capitalists may, for example, advocate mass immigration because of the purely economic benefits for individual capitalists.
Political control over capitalism was certainly apparent during the period from 1924–1965 when America reaffirmed that it was a nation of Europeans. Capitalism remained on a strong leash — a leash motivated by a deep desire for ethnic defense on the part of the great majority of European Americans.
Even when the immigration law was finally changed in 1965, business interests were notable for their absence. Far more important was Jewish activism motivated ultimately by perceptions of ethnic self-interest.
All of the great changes in culture over the last 100 years occurred within the capitalist system. Capitalism co-existed with immigration restriction from 1924–1965, and it co-exists with the open borders reality of recent decades.
Ethnic interests and cultural traditionalism were far more important than capitalism in defending the ethnic and cultural integrity of pre-1965 America. And the ethnic interests of the nascent Jewish elite were far more important than capitalism in undermining the traditional people and culture of America in the post-1965 era.
As Eric P. Kaufmann shows, the best explanation for the enormous shift in culture is that the left was able to seize the elite institutions of society — the media, the universities, and the political culture. In my view, this would not have happened without the intellectual and political activism of Jewish intellectual and political activists who not only identified as Jews, but also saw their work as advancing specifically Jewish interests. Certainly the Frankfurt School and the New York Intellectuals played important roles in this revolution.
The result of the countercultural revolution is that those who detest the cosmopolitan culture erected by these movements are now on the sidelines, feeling alienated, and decrying the passivity, escapism, and conformity of the contemporary culture of Western suicide.
End of Part 2 of 3. Click here to go to Part I.
Kevin MacDonald is editor of The Occidental Observer and a professor of psychology at California State University–Long Beach. Email him.