By Eric • September 3, 2022
“We make war against all prevailing ideas of religion, of the state, of country, of patriotism. The idea of God is the keynote of a perverted civilization. It must be destroyed.”–Karl Marx
This is Part Seven. The Sacred Destabilization will tie components of the Occult to “Secret Societies” – clubs of the elite/political/donor/ruling class – to the neoliberal, internationalist, corporatist oligarchy which rules over the resources. Power is possession of the Resources. Control. Law. Force. Self-anointed divinity. There is nothing motivating the Big People from ever relinquishing their power. Though, they masquerade in duplicitous behavior, with promoting agendas of “Diversity, Inclusion, Equity” once called Equality. They state they are fighting inequality. Yet to fight this ghost, they work to eliminate QUALITY. In America, some ten years ago we called it the “pussification of America.” The fuckery has been turned up quite a notch. The quality of your life. Of your children’s lives. And your posterity after that. And they are doing so for they know the competent, capable people are their greatest threat to the stability of their control. And since the promise of dystopia via “the New Normal” – there is an Acceleration underway.
The powerful have co-opted the political utopian ideologies of the Left to weaponize against the capable, competent people of the West – in order to bring about the fall of the threat of any competition. Critical Theory and Political Correctness are at the heart of the scheme.
Let us move through this history…
Sabbatean-Frankism to Destabilize Reality
The word “Radiance” from the Zohar was also interpreted into English as “Illuminate” – this is the root of the chosen name, Illuminati. In Sabbatean-Frankism, “who permits the forbidden” later became the Illuminist “do as thou wilt” the expression of their “religious” feeling. That is their tactic. They don’t advocate a Satanic kingdom. They gently steer you that way by questioning the existence of God, by demanding “sexual liberation,” “independence” for women, “internationalism,” “diversity” and “religious tolerance.”
Adam Weishaupt was not, he said, against religion per se, but rather against the way it was practiced and enforced. His thinking, he wrote, freed “from all religious prejudices; cultivated social virtues; and animated them with a deep, realizable and immediate sense of universal happiness. To achieve this, it was necessary to create “a state of freedom and moral equity, free from the obstacles imposed by subordination, rank and wealth.”
Weishuapt was given the task of adapting the ritual and rites of Illuminism for use of initiation into the Grand Orient Masonry. He also lived in Frankfort, Germany. Mirabeau introduced the Duc D’Orleans and his friend Talleyrand to Weishaupt who initiated them into the secrets of Grand Orient Masonry. By the end of 1773 Phillipe, Duc D’Orleans had introduced the Grand Orient Ritual into French Freemasonry. By 1788 there were more than two thousand lodges in France affiliated with Grand Orient Masonry and the number of individual adepts exceeded one hundred thousand. Thus the Jewish Illuminati under Moses Mendelssohn was introduced into Continental Freemasonry by Weishaupt under the guise of Lodges of the Grand Orient. The Jewish Illuminati next organized secret revolutionary committees within the lodges. Thus the revolutionary underground directors were established throughout France.
- Turn to sin, sin is holy, sin brings about the return of Yawweh
- Adultury, pedophilia, incest, prostitution is acceptable
- Blackmail, espionage, sabotage, usury, theft are acceptable
- Fraud, deceit, lying, manipulating are acceptable
- Inversion of all that is wholesome; family, gender roles, values, morals, ethics, reality itself
“Revolution is a blow struck at a paralytic. … When the debt-grip has been firmly established, control of every form of publicity and political activity soon follows, together with a full grip on industrialists, [both management and labour]. The stage is then set for the revolutionary blow. The grip of the right hand of finance establishes the paralysis; while the revolutionary left hand that holds the dagger and deals the fatal blow. Moral corruption facilitates the whole process.”-Captain A.H.M. Ramsay: The Nameless War
The French revolution was a period of major uprising and upheaval for France, between 1789 and 1799, when the people fought for greater equality and representation against the ‘ancien regime’ – a long-standing system where the monarchy, aristocracy and Catholic Church held absolute power and privilege over ordinary people. The period was chaotic and brutal as France fought internally as well as with other nations in the struggle for a fairer constitution. During this time, the monarchy was overthrown, the Church disestablished and France declared a republic, sending Louis XIV and his despised Queen Marie Antoinette to the guillotine. Thousands more were executed at the guillotine, which became an enduring symbol of the events of the time. The revolutionary ideas unleashed by the French Revolution – among them liberté, egalité, and fraternité, influenced countries and peoples far and wide, setting up a new model for what revolution looked like and the powerful effects it could achieve. It sent shockwaves of fear through the British establishment, who inflicted harsh punishments on those who sought to protest or campaign for reform in the coming decades.
During the early days of the French Revolution (1789 – 1799) the red flag was adopted by the Jacobins (the more extreme revolutionaries), and was presented as their statement of a willingness to die as martyrs to the cause. During the Reign of Terror (1793 – 94) it came to symbolise the martial law of the people in their fight against oppression. The red flag became part of the development of new national emblems for France (including the republican cockade), and was soon taken up by revolutionaries elsewhere.
In 1785 a courier was galloping madly on horseback from Frankfort to Paris carrying detailed information regarding the World Revolutionary Movement in general, and instructions for the planned French Revolution in particular. The instructions originated with the Jewish Illuminati in Germany and were addressed to Grand Master of the Grand Orient Masons in France. The Grand Orient Lodges had been established as the revolutionary underground by the Duc D’Orleans after he, as Grand Master of French Masonry, had been initiated into the Jewish Illuminati in Frankfort by Mirabeau. The courier was struck by lightning while passing through Ratisbon, and killed. The documents he carried fell into the hands of the police who turned them over to the Bavarian Government. A record of historical events told in chronological order connects the House of Rothschild with the Jewish Illuminati in Frankfort and the Illuminati within French Free Masonry known as the Grand Orient Lodges.
After the secret documents found on the body of the Courier had been read by the police, the documents were passed on to the Bavarian Government. The Bavarian Government ordered the police to raid the headquarters of the Illuminati. Further evidence was obtained which exposed the wide-spread ramifications of the World Revolutionary Movement. The Governments of France, England, Poland, Germany, Austria and Russia were informed of the International Nature of the revolutionary plot, but as has happened repeatedly since, the governments concerned took no serious action to stop the diabolical conspiracy. Why ? The only answer to this question is this : The power of the men behind the world revolutionary movement is greater than the power of any elected government.
After various governments failed to act on the information made known by the Bavarian police in 1785, the sister of Marie Antoinette wrote her personal letters warning her of the revolutionary plot; the connection of the International Bankers; the part Freemasonry was destined to play, and her own danger. Marie Antoinette (1755 – 1793) was the daughter of the Emperor Francis I of Austria. She married Louis XVI of France. She just couldn’t bring herself to believe the terrible things her own sister told her were being plotted by the Illuminati. To the repeated warnings sent by her sister, Marie Antoinette wrote long letters in reply. In regard to her sister’s claim that evidence had been obtained that the Illuminati operating under the guise of Philanthropic Freemasonry planned to destroy both the Church and State in France, Marie Antoinette replied : “I believe that as far as France is concerned, you worry too much about Freemasonry. Here it is far from having the significance it may have elsewhere in Europe.”How wrong she proved to be is a matter of history. Because she refused consistently to heed her sister’s repeated warnings she and her husband died under the guillotine.
Another piece of evidence which connects the English Jewish moneylenders with the plot to bring about the French Revolution was unearthed by Lady Queensborough, author of “Occult Theocrasy”. While doing some research work she read a copy of “L’Anti-Semitisme” written by a Jew named Bernard Lazare and published in 1849. With the leads obtained from this book Lady Queensborough claims Benjamin Goldsmid, his brother Abraham, and their partner Moses Mecatta, and his nephew Sir Moses Montifiore, were Jewish financiers in England who were definitely affiliated with their continental Jewish brethren in the plot to bring about the revolution in France. Further evidence was found to tie Daniel Itsig of Berlin, and his son-in-law David Friedlander, and Herz Gergbeer of Alsace in with the Rothschilds and the plot.
It has been recorded how the Jewish Rabbis claimed the power to interpret the secret and hidden meanings of the writings of Holy Scripture by special revelation obtained through Cabala. Claiming to have such powers was of little avail unless they had an organization, or instrument, in their hands to put the inspiration they claimed to have received into effect. The money-lenders, certain High Priests, Directors, and Elders decided to organize a very secret society to serve their evil purpose — they named it “The Illuminati”. The word Illuminati is derived from the word Lucifer, which means Bearer of the Light, or Being of extraordinary brilliance. Therefore the Illuminati was Organized to carry out the inspirations given to the High Priests by Lucifer during the performance of their Cabalistic Rites. Thus Christ is proved justified when he named them of the Synagogue of Satan. The Supreme Council of the Jewish Illuminati numbered thirteen. They were, and still remain, the executive body of The Council of Thirty Three. The heads of the Jewish Illuminati claim to possess superlative knowledge in everything pertaining to religious doctrine, religious rites, and religious ceremonies. They were the men who conceived the Atheistic-materialistic ideology which in 1848 was published as “The Communist Manifesto” by Karl Marx.
Origin of the Left v. Right Political Spectrum
The modern usage of the political terms left and right comes from the French Revolution of 1789 when supporters of the king stood to the president’s right, and supporters of the revolution to his left.
This split between liberty and authority and split between individualism and collectivism AKA “social equality and inequality” (or more generally between liberalism and conservatism; AKA “left” and “right”) has defined the political left and right since its first usage in the French press of the time.
A simple way to see this is in terms of classical government types: The French Revolutionaries wanted a more liberal democracy (where both liberalism and democracy are the ideologies of liberty and equality) and that the aristocracy wanted a more aristocratic form of Monarchy (the ideology of hierarchies, order and authority). So those who want Democracy, Liberalism, Equality, and Liberty are “to the political left” of those who want Monarchy, Conservatism, Authority (Illiberality), Hierarchy (Inequality), Tradition, and Order.
Karl Marx & 1848
Karl Marx said as much In the Communist Manifesto of 1848, in which he called for the abolition of the family. The family was already absent among the proletariat, Marx and his co-author Friedrich Engels wrote, and among the bourgeoisie, the family was a mere “money relation.”Most importantly, Marx said that communism would ensure that children would be educated by the state and not by their parents. Communists, he wrote in the Manifesto, would “rescue education from the influence of the ruling class.” The making of the “New Man” was the priority, and the family was an obstacle.
Who Financed Bolshevik Revolution?
The top Communist leaders have never been as hostile to their counterparts in the West, as the rhetoric suggests. They are quite friendly to the world’s leading financiers and have worked closely with them, when it suits their purposes. The Bolshevik revolution actually was financed by wealthy financiers in London and New York. Lenin and Trotsky were on the closest of terms with these moneyed interests both before and after the Revolution. Those hidden liaisons have continued to this day and occasionally pop to the surface, when we discover a David Rockefeller holding confidential meetings with a Mikhail Gorbachev in the absence of government sponsorship or diplomatic purpose.
One of the greatest myths of contemporary history is that the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia was a popular uprising of the downtrodden masses against the hated ruling class of the Tsars. However, the planning, the leadership and especially the financing came entirely from outside Russia, mostly from financiers in Germany, Britain and the United States. Furthermore, the Rothschild Formula played a major role in shaping these events.
Jacob Schiff – the Financier
Jacob Schiff was head of the New York investment firm Kuhn, Loeb and Co. He was one of the principal backers of the Bolshevik revolution and personally financed Trotsky’s trip from New York to Russia. He was a major contributor to Woodrow Wilson’s presidential campaign and an advocate for passage of the Federal Reserve Act.
The Russo-Japanese War
This amazing story begins with the war between Russia and Japan in 1904. Jacob Schiff, who was head of the New York investment firm Kuhn, Loeb and Company, had raised the capital for large war loans to Japan. It was due to this funding that the Japanese were able to launch a stunning attack against the Russians at Port Arthur and the following year to virtually decimate the Russian fleet. In 1905 the Mikado awarded Jacob Schiff a medal, the Second Order of the Treasure of Japan, in recognition of his important role in that campaign.
The Manufactured Revolutionaries
During the two years of hostilities thousands of Russian soldiers and sailors were taken as prisoners. Sources outside of Russia, which were hostile to the Tsarist regime, paid for the printing of Marxist propaganda and had it delivered to the prison camps. Russian-speaking revolutionaries were trained in New York and sent to distribute the pamphlets among the prisoners and to indoctrinate them into rebellion against their own government.
When the war was ended, these officers and enlisted men returned home to become virtual seeds of treason against the Tsar. They were to play a major role a few years later in creating mutiny among the military during the Communist takeover of Russia.
Leon Trotsky – the Triple Agent
One of the best known Russian revolutionaries at that time was Leon Trotsky. In January of 1916 Trotsky was expelled from France and came to the United States. It has been claimed that his expenses were paid by Jacob Schiff. There is no documentation to substantiate that claim, but the circumstantial evidence does point to a wealthy donor in New York.
He remained for several months, while writing for a Russian socialist paper, the Novy Mir (New World) and giving revolutionary speeches at mass meetings in New York City. According to Trotsky himself, on many occasions a chauffeured limousine was placed at his service by a wealthy friend, identified as Dr. M.
The doctor’s wife took my wife and the boys out driving and was very kind to them. But she was a mere mortal, whereas the chauffeur was a magician, a titan, a superman! With the wave of his hand he made the machine obey his slightest command. To sit beside him was the supreme delight. When they went into a tea room, the boys would anxiously demand of their mother, “Why doesn’t the chauffeur come in?” (Leon Trotsky: My Life, New York publisher: Scribner’s, 1930, p. 277)
It must have been a curious sight to see the family of the great socialist radical, defender of the working class, enemy of capitalism, enjoying the pleasures of tea rooms and chauffeurs, the very symbols of capitalist luxury.
Overthrow of the Tsarist Regime
On March 23, 1917 a mass meeting was held at Carnegie Hall to celebrate the abdication of Nicolas II, which meant the overthrow of Tsarist rule in Russia. Thousands of socialists, Marxists, nihilists and anarchists attended to cheer the event. The following day there was published on page two of the New York Times a telegram from Jacob Schiff, which had been read to this audience. He expressed regrets, that he could not attend and then described the successful Russian revolution as “…what we had hoped and striven for these long years”. (Mayor Calls Pacifists Traitors, The New York Times, March 24, 1917, p. 2)
In the February 3, 1949 issue of the New York Journal American Schiff’s grandson, John, was quoted by columnist Cholly Knickerbocker as saying that his grandfather had given about $20 million for the triumph of Communism in Russia. To appraise Schiff’s motives for supporting the Bolsheviks, we must remember, that he was a Jew and that Russian Jews had been persecuted under the Tsarist regime. Consequently the Jewish community in America was inclined to support any movement, which sought to topple the Russian government and the Bolsheviks were excellent candidates for the task.
However, there were also strong financial incentives for Wall Street firms, such as Kuhn, Loeb and Company, of which Schiff was a senior partner, to see the old regime fall into the hands of revolutionaries, who would agree to grant lucrative business concessions in the future in return for financial support today.
When Trotsky returned to Petrograd in May of 1917 to organize the Bolshevik phase of the Russian Revolution, he carried $10,000 for travel expenses, a generously ample fund considering the value of the dollar at that time. Trotsky was arrested by Canadian and British naval intelligence, when the ship, on which he was traveling, the S.S. Kristianiafjord, put in at Halifax. The money in his possession is now a matter of official record. The source of that money has been the focus of much speculation, but the evidence strongly suggests, that its origin was the German government. It was a sound investment.
Trotsky was not arrested on a whim. He was recognized as a threat to the best interests of England, Canada’s mother country in the British Commonwealth. Russia was an ally of England in the First World War, which then was raging in Europe. Anything, that would weaken Russia – and that certainly included internal revolution – would be, in effect, to strengthen Germany and weaken England.
In New York on the night before his departure Trotsky had given a speech, in which he said: “I am going back to Russia to overthrow the provisional government and stop the war with Germany.” (A full report on this meeting had been submitted to the U.S. Military Intelligence. See Senate Document No. 62, 66th Congress, Report and Hearings of the Subcommittee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 1919, Vol. II, p. 2680.) Trotsky therefore represented a real threat to England’s war effort. He was arrested as a German agent and taken as a prisoner of war.
Trotsky’s mysterious release
With this in mind we can appreciate the great strength of those mysterious forces both in England and the United States, that intervened on Trotsky’s behalf. Immediately telegrams began to come into Halifax from such divergent sources, as an obscure attorney in New York City, from the Canadian Deputy Postmaster-General and even from a high-ranking British military officer, all inquiring into Trotsky’s situation and urging his immediate release.
The head of the British Secret Service in America at the time was Sir William Wiseman, who, as fate would have it, occupied the apartment directly above the apartment of Edward Mandell House and who had become fast friends with him. House advised Wiseman, that President Wilson wished to have Trotsky released. Wiseman advised his government and the British Admiralty issued orders on April 21st, that Trotsky was to be sent on his way. (“Why Did We Let Trotsky Go? How Canada Lost an Opportunity to Shorten the War”, MacLeans magazine, Canada, June 1919. Also see Martin, pp. 163-164.) It was a fateful deecision, that would affect not only the outcome of the war, but the future of the entire world.
President Woodrow Wilson – the Fairy Godmother
It would be a mistake to conclude, that Jacob Schiff and Germany were the only players in this drama. Trotsky could not have gone even as far as Halifax without having been granted an American passport and this was accomplished by the personal intervention of
President Woodrow Wilson was the fairy godmother, who provided Trotsky with a passport to return to Russia to “carry forward” the revolution… At the same time careful State Department bureaucrats, concerned about such revolutionaries entering Russia, were unilaterally attempting to tighten up passport procedures. (Antony C. Sutton, Ph. D.: Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, published by Arlington House in New Rochelle, NY, 1974, p. 25)
Robert Minor’s Deelighted
In 1911 the St. Louis Dispatch published a cartoon by a Bolshevik named Robert Minor. Minor was later to be arrested in Tsarist Russia for revolutionary activities and in fact was himself bankrolled by famous Wall Street financiers. Since we may safely assume, that he knew his topic well, his cartoon is of great historical importance. It portrays Karl Marx with a book entitled Socialism under his arm, standing amid a cheering crowd on Wall Street. Gathered around and greeting him with enthusiastic handshakes are characters in silk hats identified as John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, John D. Ryan of National City Bank, Morgan partner George W. Perkins and Teddy Roosevelt, leader of the Progressive Party.
Deelighted – This cartoon by Robert Minor appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1911. It shows Karl Marx surrounded by enthusiastic Wall Street financiers: Morgan partner George Perkins, J.P. Morgan, John Ryan of National City Bank, John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. Immediately behind Marx is Teddy Roosevelt, leader of the Progressive Party.
What emerges from this sampling of events is a clear pattern of strong support for Bolshevism coming from the highest financial and political power centers in the United States; from men, who supposedly were “capitalists” and who according to conventional wisdom should have been the mortal enemies of socialism and communism. Nor was this phenomenon confined to the United States.
The British Betrayal
Trotsky in his book My Life tells of a British financier, who in 1907 gave him a “large loan” to be repaid after the overthrow of the Tsar. Arsene de Goulevitch, who witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution firsthand, has identified both the name of the financier and the amount of the loan.
“In private interviews”, he said, “I have been told that over 21 million rubles were spent by Lord Alfred Milner in financing the Russian Revolution… The financier just mentioned was by no means alone among the British to support the Russian revolution with large financial donations.” Another name specifically mentioned by de Goulevitch was that of Sir George Buchanan, the British Ambassador to Russia at the time. (See Arsene de Goulevitch: Czarism and Revolution, published by Omni Publications in Hawthorne, California, no date; rpt. from 1962 French edition, pp. 224, 230)
It was one thing for Americans to undermine Tsarist Russia and thus indirectly help Germany in the war, because Americans were not then into it, but for British citizens to do so was tantamount to treason. To understand, what higher loyalty compelled these men to betray their battlefield ally and to sacrifice the blood of their own countrymen, we must take a look at the unique organization, to which they belonged.
The Round Table Agents
In Russia prior to and during the revolution there were many local observers, tourists and newsmen, who reported, that British and American agents were everywhere, particularly in Petrograd, providing money for insurrection. One report said, for example, that British agents were seen handing out 25-rouble notes to the men at the Pavlovski Regiment just a few hours, before it mutinied against its officers and sided with the revolution. The subsequent publication of various memoirs and documents made it clear, that this funding was provided by Lord Alfred Milner and channeled through Sir George Buchanan, who was the British Ambassador to Russia at the time.
Round Table members were once again working both sides of the conflict to weaken and topple a target government. Tsar Nicholas had every reason to believe, that since the British were Russia’s allies in the war against Germany, British officials would be the last persons on Earth to conspire against him. Yet the British Ambassador himself represented the hidden group, which was financing the regime’s downfall.
The Red Cross’s Military Mission
The Round Table Agents from America did not have the advantage of using the diplomatic service as cover and therefore had to be considerably more ingenious. They came not as diplomats or even as interested businessmen, but disguised as Red Cross officials on a humanitarian mission. The group consisted almost entirely of financiers, lawyers and accountants from New York banks and investment houses. They simply had overpowered the American Red Cross organization with large contributions and in effect purchased a franchise to operate in its name.
The 1910 [Red Cross] fund-raising campaign for $2 million, for example, was successful only, because it was supported by these wealthy residents of New York City. J.P. Morgan himself contributed $100,000… Henry P. Davison [a Morgan partner] was chairman of the 1910 New York Fund-Raising Committee and later became chairman of the War Council of the American Red Cross… The Red Cross was unable to cope with the demands of World War I. and in effect was taken over by these New York bankers. (Sutton: Revolution, p. 72)
For the duration of the war the Red Cross had been made nominally a part of the armed forces and subject to orders from the proper military authorities. It was not clear, who these authorities were and in fact there were never any orders, but the arrangement made it possible for the participants to receive military commissions and wear the uniform of American army officers. The entire expense of the Red Cross Mission in Russia, including the purchase of uniforms, was paid for by the man, who was appointed by President Wilson to become its head, “Colonel” William Boyce Thompson.
William Boyce Thompson – the American Tsar
Thompson was a classical specimen of the Round Table network. Having begun his career as a speculator in copper mines, he soon moved into the world of high finance.
He refinanced the American Woolen Company and the Tobacco Products Company;
He launched the Cuban Cane Sugar Company;
He purchased controlling interest in the Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company;
He organized the Submarine Boat Corporation and the Wright-Martin Aeroplane Company;
He became a director of the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railway, the Magma Arizona Railroad and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company;
He was one of the heaviest stockholders in the Chase National Bank;
He was the agent for J.P. Morgan’s British securities operation;
He became the first full-time director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the most important bank in the Federal Reserve System;
He contributed a quarter-million dollars to the Red Cross.
When Thompson arrived in Russia, he made it clear, that he was not your typical Red Cross representative. According to Hermann Hagedorn, Thompson’s biographer:
He deliberately created the kind of setting, which would be expected of an American magnate: established himself in a suite in the Hotel de l’Europe, bought a French limousine, went dutifully to receptions and teas and evinced an interest in objects of art. Society and the diplomats, noting that here was a man of parts and power, began to flock about him. He was entertained at the embassies, at the houses of Kerensky’s ministers. It was discovered, that he was a collector and those with antiques to sell fluttered around him offering him miniatures, Dresden china, tapestries, even a palace or two. (Hermann Hagedorn: The Magnate: William Boyce Thompson and His Time, published by Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1935, pp. 192-93)
When Thompson attended the opera, he was given the imperial box. People on the street called him the American Tsar. And it is not surprising, that according to George Kennan, “He was viewed by the Kerensky authorities as the ‘real’ ambassador of the United States.” (George F. Kennan: Russia Leaves the War: Soviet-American Relations, 1917-1920 published by Princeton University Press in Princeton, NJ, 1956, p. 60)
Funding Both Sides
It is now a matter of record, that Thompson syndicated the purchase on Wall Street of Russian bonds in the amount of ten million roubles. In addition, he gave over two million roubles to Aleksandr Kerensky for propaganda purposes inside Russia and with J.P. Morgan gave the rouble equivalent of one million dollars to the Bolsheviks for the spreading of revolutionary propaganda outside of Russia, particularly in Germany and Austria. It was the agitation made possible by this funding, that led to the abortive German Spartacus Revolt of 1918.
At first it may seem incongruous, that the Morgan group would provide funding for both Kerensky and Lenin. These men may have both been socialist revolutionaries, but they were miles apart in their plans for the future and in fact were bitter competitors for control of the new government. But the tactic of funding both sides in a political contest by then had been refined by members of the Round Table into a fine art.
Subjugation of Independent Republics
Towards the middle of the twentieth century, the Colonial Era started winding down, and independent republics started coming up. Starting from 1920 to 1970, huge economic assets were created in more than forty or so countries under the tight control and supervision of their own watchful governments. Though there were complaints about some level of mismanagement of the funds, overall trillions of dollars worth of economic assets were created in these countries, these assets being off-limits to every Colonial Power.
Every war that happened during this period, every coup that took place were aimed at knocking down these republics one after the other and sucking their economic resources into the un-maintainable, wasteful Western Economic Lifestyle based on faulty economic theories. After thirty such countries were knocked down, the process of divide and rule and plunder was christened with a nice-sounding name: “Privatization and Liberalization”. The theoretical framework of this was proposed by none other than the Chairman of the Bank of England around 1971. The final frontiers in this process of knocking down the country’s economic resources were Russia and India. Excerpts from GreatGameIndia‘s exclusive book India in Cognitive Dissonance.
Going beyond the economic mechanisms involved in Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto is the aim to dissect these other attributes of the West; Patriarchy, Gender dynamics, race, faith, culture, history.
Hungarian communists managed to establish a Hungarian soviet for a short time in 1919. They quickly realized that the way to completely change society was to destroy the most important civil society institution, the family. Its culture and education commissar, George Lukacs, therefore instituted a system to instruct young children into sexual perversions.
Lukacs’s biographer described it this way: “Special lectures were organized in schools and literature printed and distributed to ‘instruct’ children about free love, about the nature of sexual intercourse, about the archaic nature of bourgeois family codes, about the outdatedness of monogamy, and the irrelevance of religion, which deprives man of all pleasure. Children urged thus to reject and deride paternal authority and the authority of the church, and to ignore precepts of morality.”None of this went down well with the typical Hungarian, needless to say, and the Hungarian soviet lasted only 133 days.
Luckas escaped with this life and influenced a group of neo-communists academics in Germany that we know as “the Frankfurt School.”
The Frankfurt School
All the tensions within the German academic community which accompanied the changes in political, cultural and intellectual life in Germany since 1890 were reproduced in the Institute for Social Research from its inception in Frankfurt in 1923. These changes were widely diagnosed as a ‘crisis in culture’. By this very definition the ‘crisis’ was deplored yet exacerbated. The Institute carried these tensions with it into exile and when it returned to Germany after the war and found itself the sole heir to a discredited tradition the inherited tensions became even more acute. These tensions are evident in the work of most of the School’s members, and most clearly, self-consciously and importantly in the work of Theodor W. Adorno.
Three of their most famous scholars were Theodore Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse. One of their key intellectual contributions was the idea that it was the family that created the authoritarian character. The patriarchal father created in his children the desire to obey and submit to authority.
The single, most important organizational component of this conspiracy was a Communist thinktank called the Institute for Social Research (I.S.R.), but popularly known as the Frankfurt School.
In the heady days immediately after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, it was widely believed that proletarian revolution would momentarily sweep out of the Urals into Europe and, ultimately, North America. It did not; the only two attempts at workers’ government in the West— in Munich and Budapest—lasted only months. The Communist International (Comintern) therefore began several operations to determine why this was so. One such was headed by Georg Lukacs, a Hungarian aristocrat, son of one of the Hapsburg Empire’s leading bankers. Trained in Germany and already an important literary theorist, Lukacs became a Communist during World War I, writing as he joined the party, “Who will save us from Western civilization?” Lukacs was well-suited to the Comintern task: he had been one of the Commissars of Culture during the short-lived Hungarian Soviet in Budapest in 1919; in fact, modern historians link the shortness of the Budapest experiment to Lukacs’ orders mandating sex education in the schools, easy access to contraception, and the loosening of divorce laws—all of which revulsed Hungary’s Roman Catholic population.
Fleeing to the Soviet Union after the counter-revolution, Lukacs was secreted into Germany in 1922, where he chaired a meeting of Communist-oriented sociologists and intellectuals. This meeting founded the Institute for Social Research. Over the next decade, the Institute worked out what was to become the Comintern’s most successful psychological warfare operation against the capitalist West.
Lukacs identified that any political movement capable of bringing Bolshevism to the West would have to be, in his words, “demonic”; it would have to “possess the religious power which is capable of filling the entire soul; a power that characterized primitive Christianity.” However, Lukacs suggested, such a “messianic” political movement could only succeed when the individual believes that his or her actions are determined by “not a personal destiny, but the destiny of the community” in a world “that has been abandoned by God [emphasis added-MJM].” Bolshevism worked in Russia because that nation was dominated by a peculiar gnostic form of Christianty typified by the writings of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. “The model for the new man is Alyosha Karamazov,” said Lukacs, referring to the Dostoyevsky character who willingly gave over his personal identity to a holy man, and thus ceased to be “unique, pure, and therefore abstract.”
This abandonment of the soul’s uniqueness also solves the problem of “the diabolic forces lurking in all violence” which must be unleashed in order to create a revolution. In this context, Lukacs cited the Grand Inquisitor section of Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, noting that the Inquisitor who is interrogating Jesus, has resolved the issue of good and evil: once man has understood his alienation from God, then any act in the service of the “destiny of the community” is justified; such an act can be “neither crime nor madness…. For crime and madness are objectifications of transcendental homelessness.”
According to an eyewitness, during meetings of the Hungarian Soviet leadership in 1919 to draw up lists for the firing squad, Lukacs would often quote the Grand Inquisitor: “And we who, for their happiness, have taken their sins upon ourselves, we stand before you and say, ‘Judge us if you can and if you dare.’ “
The task of the Frankfurt School, then, was first, to undermine the Christian legacy through an “abolition of culture” (Aufhebung der Kultur in Lukacs’ German); and, second, to determine new cultural forms which would increase the alienation of the population, thus creating a “new barbarism.” To this task, there gathered in and around the Frankfurt School an incredible assortment of not only Communists, but also non-party socialists, radical phenomenologists, Zionists, renegade Freudians, and at least a few members of a self-identified “cult of Astarte.” The variegated membership reflected, to a certain extent, the sponsorship: although the Institute for Social Research started with Comintern support, over the next three decades its sources of funds included various German and American universities, the Rockefeller Foundation, Columbia Broadcasting System, the American Jewish Committee, several American intelligence services, the Office of the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, the International Labour Organization, and the Hacker Institute, a posh psychiatric clinic in Beverly Hills.
Similarly, the Institute’s political allegiances: although top personnel maintained what might be called a sentimental relationship to the Soviet Union (and there is evidence that some of them worked for Soviet intelligence into the 1960’s), the Institute saw its goals as higher than that of Russian foreign policy. Stalin, who was horrified at the undisciplined, “cosmopolitan” operation set up by his predecessors, cut the Institute off in the late 1920’s, forcing Lukacs into “self-criticism,” and briefly jailing him as a German sympathizer during World War II.
Lukacs survived to briefly take up his old post as Minister of Culture during the anti-Stalinist Imre Nagy regime in Hungary. Of the other top Institute figures, the political perambulations of Herbert Marcuse are typical. He started as a Communist; became a protégé of philosopher Martin Heidegger even as the latter was joining the Nazi Party; coming to America, he worked for the World War II Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and later became the U.S. State Department’s top analyst of Soviet policy during the height of the McCarthy period; in the 1960’s, he turned again, to become the most important guru of the New Left; and he ended his days helping to found the environmentalist extremist Green Party in West Germany.
In all this seeming incoherence of shifting positions and contradictory funding, there is no ideological conflict. The invariant is the desire of all parties to answer Lukacs’ original question: “Who will save us from Western civilization?”
Perhaps the most important, if least-known, of the Frankfurt School’s successes was the shaping of the electronic media of radio and television into the powerful instruments of social control which they represent today. This grew out of the work originally done by two men who came to the Institute in the late 1920’s, Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin.
After completing studies at the University of Frankfurt, Walter Benjamin planned to emigrate to Palestine in 1924 with his friend Gershom Scholem (who later became one of Israel’s most famous philosophers, as well as Judaism’s leading gnostic), but was prevented by a love affair with Asja Lacis, a Latvian actress and Comintern stringer. Lacis whisked him off to the Italian island of Capri, a cult center from the time of the Emperor Tiberius, then used as a Comintern training base; the heretofore apolitical Benjamin wrote Scholem from Capri, that he had found “an existential liberation and an intensive insight into the actuality of radical communism.”
Lacis later took Benjamin to Moscow for further indoctrination, where he met playwright Bertolt Brecht, with whom he would begin a long collaboration; soon thereafter, while working on the first German translation of the drug-enthusiast French poet Baudelaire, Benjamin began serious experimentation with hallucinogens. In 1927, he was in Berlin as part of a group led by Adorno, studying the works of Lukacs; other members of the study group included Brecht and his composer-partner Kurt Weill; Hans Eisler, another composer who would later become a Hollywood film score composer and co-author with Adorno of the textbook Composition for the Film; the avant-garde photographer Imre Moholy-Nagy; and the conductor Otto Klemperer.
From 1928 to 1932, Adorno and Benjamin had an intensive collaboration, at the end of which they began publishing articles in the Institute’s journal, the Zeitschrift fär Sozialforschung. Benjamin was kept on the margins of the Institute, largely due to Adorno, who would later appropriate much of his work. As Hitler came to power, the Institute’s staff fled, but, whereas most were quickly spirited away to new deployments in the U.S. and England, there were no job offers for Benjamin, probably due to the animus of Adorno. He went to France, and, after the German invasion, fled to the Spanish border; expecting momentary arrest by the Gestapo, he despaired and died in a dingy hotel room of self-administered drug overdose.
Benjamin’s work remained almost completely unknown until 1955, when Scholem and Adorno published an edition of his material in Germany. The full revival occurred in 1968, when Hannah Arendt, Heidegger’s former mistress and a collaborator of the Institute in America, published a major article on Benjamin in the New Yorker magazine, followed in the same year by the first English translations of his work. Today, every university bookstore in the country boasts a full shelf devoted to translations of every scrap Benjamin wrote, plus exegesis, all with 1980’s copyright dates.
Adorno was younger than Benjamin, and as aggressive as the older man was passive. Born Teodoro Wiesengrund-Adorno to a Corsican family, he was taught the piano at an early age by an aunt who lived with the family and had been the concert accompanist to the international opera star Adelina Patti. It was generally thought that Theodor would become a professional musician, and he studied with Bernard Sekles, Paul Hindemith’s teacher. However, in 1918, while still a gymnasium student, Adorno met Siegfried Kracauer. Kracauer was part of a Kantian-Zionist salon which met at the house of Rabbi Nehemiah Nobel in Frankfurt; other members of the Nobel circle included philosopher Martin Buber, writer Franz Rosenzweig, and two students, Leo Lowenthal and Erich Fromm. Kracauer, Lowenthal, and Fromm would join the I.S.R. two decades later. Adorno engaged Kracauer to tutor him in the philosophy of Kant; Kracauer also introduced him to the writings of Lukacs and to Walter Benjamin, who was around the Nobel clique.
In 1924, Adorno moved to Vienna, to study with the atonalist composers Alban Berg and Arnold Schönberg, and became connected to the avant-garde and occult circle around the old Marxist Karl Kraus. Here, he not only met his future collaborator, Hans Eisler, but also came into contact with the theories of Freudian extremist Otto Gross. Gross, a long-time cocaine addict, had died in a Berlin gutter in 1920, while on his way to help the revolution in Budapest; he had developed the theory that mental health could only be achieved through the revival of the ancient cult of Astarte, which would sweep away monotheism and the “bourgeois family.”
By 1928, Adorno and Benjamin had satisfied their intellectual wanderlust, and settled down at the I.S.R. in Germany to do some work. As subject, they chose an aspect of the problem posed by Lukacs: how to give aesthetics a firmly materialistic basis. It was a question of some importance, at the time. Official Soviet discussions of art and culture, with their wild gyrations into “socialist realism” and “proletkult,” were idiotic, and only served to discredit Marxism’s claim to philosophy among intellectuals. Karl Marx’s own writings on the subject were sketchy and banal, at best.
In essence, Adorno and Benjamin’s problem was Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Leibniz had once again obliterated the centuries-old gnostic dualism dividing mind and body, by demonstrating that matter does not think. A creative act in art or science apprehends the truth of the physical universe, but it is not determined by that physical universe. By self-consciously concentrating the past in the present to effect the future, the creative act, properly defined, is as immortal as the soul which envisions the act. This has fatal philosophical implications for Marxism, which rests entirely on the hypothesis that mental activity is determined by the social relations excreted by mankind’s production of its physical existence.
Marx sidestepped the problem of Leibniz, as did Adorno and Benjamin, although the latter did it with a lot more panache. It is wrong, said Benjamin in his first articles on the subject, to start with the reasonable, hypothesizing mind as the basis of the development of civilization; this is an unfortunate legacy of Socrates. As an alternative, Benjamin posed an Aristotelian fable in interpretation of Genesis: Assume that Eden were given to Adam as the primordial physical state. The origin of science and philosophy does not lie in the investigation and mastery of nature, but in the naming of the objects of nature; in the primordial state, to name a thing was to say all there was to say about that thing. In support of this, Benjamin cynically recalled the opening lines of the Gospel according to St. John, carefully avoiding the philosophically-broader Greek, and preferring the Vulgate (so that, in the phrase “In the beginning was the Word,” the connotations of the original Greek word logos—speech, reason, ratiocination, translated as “Word”—are replaced by the narrower meaning of the Latin word verbum). After the expulsion from Eden and God’s requirement that Adam eat his bread earned by the sweat of his face (Benjamin’s Marxist metaphor for the development of economies), and God’s further curse of Babel on Nimrod (that is, the development of nation-states with distinct languages, which Benjamin and Marx viewed as a negative process away from the “primitive communism” of Eden), humanity became “estranged” from the physical world.
Thus, Benjamin continued, objects still give off an “aura” of their primordial form, but the truth is now hopelessly elusive. In fact, speech, written language, art, creativity itself—that by which we master physicality—merely furthers the estrangement by attempting, in Marxist jargon, to incorporate objects of nature into the social relations determined by the class structure dominant at that point in history. The creative artist or scientist, therefore, is a vessel, like Ion the rhapsode as he described himself to Socrates, or like a modern “chaos theory” advocate: the creative act springs out of the hodgepodge of culture as if by magic. The more that bourgeois man tries to convey what he intends about an object, the less truthful he becomes; or, in one of Benjamin’s most oft-quoted statements, “Truth is the death of intention.”
This philosophical sleight-of-hand allows one to do several destructive things. By making creativity historically-specific, you rob it of both immortality and morality. One cannot hypothesize universal truth, or natural law, for truth is completely relative to historical development. By discarding the idea of truth and error, you also may throw out the “obsolete” concept of good and evil; you are, in the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, “beyond good and evil.” Benjamin is able, for instance, to defend what he calls the “Satanism” of the French Symbolists and their Surrealist successors, for at the core of this Satanism “one finds the cult of evil as a political device … to disinfect and isolate against all moralizing dilettantism” of the bourgeoisie. To condemn the Satanism of Rimbaud as evil, is as incorrect as to extol a Beethoven quartet or a Schiller poem as good; for both judgments are blind to the historical forces working unconsciously on the artist.
Thus, we are told, the late Beethoven’s chord structure was striving to be atonal, but Beethoven could not bring himself consciously to break with the structured world of Congress of Vienna Europe (Adorno’s thesis); similarly, Schiller really wanted to state that creativity was the liberation of the erotic, but as a true child of the Enlightenment and Immanuel Kant, he could not make the requisite renunciation of reason (Marcuse’s thesis). Epistemology becomes a poor relation of public opinion, since the artist does not consciously create works in order to uplift society, but instead unconsciously transmits the ideological assumptions of the culture into which he was born. The issue is no longer what is universally true, but what can be plausibly interpreted by the self-appointed guardians of the Zeitgeist.
Thus, for the Frankfort School, the goal of a cultural elite in the modern, “capitalist” era must be to strip away the belief that art derives from the self-conscious emulation of God the Creator; “religious illumination,” says Benjamin, must be shown to “reside in a profane illumination, a materialistic, anthropological inspiration, to which hashish, opium, or whatever else can give an introductory lesson.” At the same time, new cultural forms must be found to increase the alienation of the population, in order for it to understand how truly alienated it is to live without socialism. “Do not build on the good old days, but on the bad new ones,” said Benjamin.
The proper direction in painting, therefore, is that taken by the late Van Gogh, who began to paint objects in disintegration, with the equivalent of a hashish-smoker’s eye that “loosens and entices things out of their familiar world.” In music, “it is not suggested that one can compose better today” than Mozart or Beethoven, said Adorno, but one must compose atonally, for atonalism is sick, and “the sickness, dialectically, is at the same time the cure….The extraordinarily violent reaction protest which such music confronts in the present society … appears nonetheless to suggest that the dialectical function of this music can already be felt … negatively, as ‘destruction.’ “
The purpose of modern art, literature, and music must be to destroy the uplifting—therefore, bourgeois — potential of art, literature, and music, so that man, bereft of his connection to the divine, sees his only creative option to be political revolt. “To organize pessimism means nothing other than to expel the moral metaphor from politics and to discover in political action a sphere reserved one hundred percent for images.” Thus, Benjamin collaborated with Brecht to work these theories into practical form, and their joint effort culminated in the Verfremdungseffekt (“estrangement effect”), Brecht’s attempt to write his plays so as to make the audience leave the theatre demoralized and aimlessly angry.
The Adorno-Benjamin analysis represents almost the entire theoretical basis of all the politically correct aesthetic trends which now plague our universities. The Poststructuralism of Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida, the Semiotics of Umberto Eco, the Deconstructionism of Paul DeMan, all openly cite Benjamin as the source of their work. The Italian terrorist Eco’s best-selling novel, The Name of the Rose, is little more than a paean to Benjamin; DeMan, the former Nazi collaborator in Belgium who became a prestigious Yale professor, began his career translating Benjamin; Barthes’ infamous 1968 statement that “[t]he author is dead,” is meant as an elaboration of Benjamin’s dictum on intention. Benjamin has actually been called the heir of Leibniz and of Wilhelm von Humboldt, the philologist collaborator of Schiller whose educational reforms engendered the tremendous development of Germany in the nineteenth century. Even as recently as September 1991, the Washington Post referred to Benjamin as “the finest German literary theorist of the century (and many would have left off that qualifying German).”
Readers have undoubtedly heard one or another horror story about how an African-American Studies Department has procured a ban on Othello, because it is “racist,” or how a radical feminist professor lectured a Modern Language Association meeting on the witches as the “true heroines” of Macbeth. These atrocities occur because the perpetrators are able to plausibly demonstrate, in the tradition of Benjamin and Adorno, that Shakespeare’s intent is irrelevant; what is important, is the racist or phallocentric “subtext” of which Shakespeare was unconscious when he wrote.
When the local Women’s Studies or Third World Studies Department organizes students to abandon classics in favor of modern Black and feminist authors, the reasons given are pure Benjamin. It is not that these modern writers are better, but they are somehow more truthful because their alienated prose reflects the modern social problems of which the older authors were ignorant! Students are being taught that language itself is, as Benjamin said, merely a conglomeration of false “names” foisted upon society by its oppressors, and are warned against “logocentrism,” the bourgeois over-reliance on words.
If these campus antics appear “retarded” (in the words of Adorno), that is because they are designed to be. The Frankfurt School’s most important breakthrough consists in the realization that their monstrous theories could become dominant in the culture, as a result of the changes in society brought about by what Benjamin called “the age of mechanical reproduction of art.”
“Entertainment” Replaces Art
Before the twentieth century, the distinction between art and “entertainment” was much more pronounced. One could be entertained by art, certainly, but the experience was active, not passive. On the first level, one had to make a conscious choice to go to a concert, to view a certain art exhibit, to buy a book or piece of sheet music. It was unlikely that any more than an infinitesimal fraction of the population would have the opportunity to see King Lear or hear Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony more than once or twice in a lifetime. Art demanded that one bring one’s full powers of concentration and knowledge of the subject to bear on each experience, or else the experience were considered wasted. These were the days when memorization of poetry and whole plays, and the gathering of friends and family for a “parlor concert,” were the norm, even in rural households. These were also the days before “music appreciation”; when one studied music, as many did, they learned to play it, not appreciate it.
However, the new technologies of radio, film, and recorded music represented, to use the appropriate Marxist buzz-word, (see box) a dialectical potential. On the one hand, these technologies held out the possibility of bringing the greatest works of art to millions of people who would otherwise not have access to them. On the other, the fact that the experience was infinitely reproducible could tend to disengage the audience’s mind, making the experience less sacred, thus increasing alienation. Adorno called this process, “demythologizing.” This new passivity, Adorno hypothesized in a crucial article published in 1938, could fracture a musical composition into the “entertaining” parts which would be “fetishized” in the memory of the listener, and the difficult parts, which would be forgotten.
“The counterpart to the fetishism is a regression of listening. This does not mean a relapse of the individual listener into an earlier phase of his own development, nor a decline in the collective general level, since the millions who are reached musically for the first time by today’s mass communications cannot be compared with the audiences of the past. Rather, it is the contemporary listening which has regressed, arrested at the infantile stage. Not only do the listening subjects lose, along with the freedom of choice and responsibility, the capacity for the conscious perception of music …. [t]hey fluctuate between comprehensive forgetting and sudden dives into recognition. They listen atomistically and dissociate what they hear, but precisely in this dissociation they develop certain capacities which accord less with the traditional concepts of aesthetics than with those of football or motoring. They are not childlike … but they are childish; their primitivism is not that of the undeveloped, but that of the forcibly retarded. “
This conceptual retardation and preconditioning caused by listening, suggested that programming could determine preference. The very act of putting, say, a Benny Goodman number next to a Mozart sonata on the radio, would tend to amalgamate both into entertaining “music-on-the-radio” in the mind of the listener. This meant that even new and unpalatable ideas could become popular by “re-naming” them through the universal homogenizer of the culture industry. As Benjamin puts it,
“Mechanical reproduction of art changes the reaction of the masses toward art. The reactionary attitude toward a Picasso painting changes into a progressive reaction toward a Chaplin movie. The progressive reaction is characterized by the direct, intimate fusion of visual and emotional enjoyment with the orientation of the expert…. With regard to the screen, the critical and receptive attitudes of the public coincide. The decisive reason for this is that the individual reactions are predetermined by the mass audience response they are about to produce, and this is nowhere more pronounced than in the film.”
At the same time, the magic power of the media could be used to re-define previous ideas. “Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Beethoven will all make films,” concluded Benjamin, quoting the French film pioneer Abel Gance, “… all legends, all mythologies, all myths, all founders of religions, and the very religions themselves … await their exposed resurrection.”
Hence, the task of the Frankfurt School was sociological analysis and deconstruction of the ruling-class narrative as an alternative path to realizing the Marxist revolution.
We are told “free sex” is “progressive and modern.” In fact, the Sabbatean sect has indulged in wife sharing, sex orgies, adultery and incest for more than 350 years. They also promoted interracial sex. Many of the intellectuals that were at the Frankfurt School were openly Sabbatean-Frankist.
Scholem told his friend Walter Benjamin of his attraction to “the positive and noble force of destruction,” and declared that “destruction is a form of redemption.”
The philosophical tradition of the Frankfurt School is associated with the philosopher Max Horkheimer, who became the director in 1930, and recruited intellectuals such as Theodor W. Adorno, Erich Fromm, and Herbert Marcuse.
In addition to Hegel, Marx, and Weber, Freud became one of the foundation stones on which the Frankfurt School’s interdisciplinary program for a critical theory of society was constructed.
The purpose of critical theory is to analyze the true significance of the ruling understandings (the dominant ideology) generated in bourgeois society, by showing that the dominant ideology misrepresents how human relations occur in the real world, to legitimate the domination of people by capitalism.
Through Freud’s influence, the “incest taboo” would become an issue of fundamental concern to the Frankfurt School. Freud’s theories were excessively concerned with sex and even incest, which is reflected in Sabbateanism.
The Radio Project
Here, then, were some potent theories of social control. The great possibilities of this Frankfurt School media work were probably the major contributing factor in the support given the I.S.R. by the bastions of the Establishment, after the Institute transferred its operations to America in 1934.
In 1937, the Rockefeller Foundation began funding research into the social effects of new forms of mass media, particularly radio. Before World War I, radio had been a hobbyist’s toy, with only 125,000 receiving sets in the entire U.S.; twenty years later, it had become the primary mode of entertainment in the country; out of 32 million American families in 1937, 27.5 million had radios — a larger percentage than had telephones, automobiles, plumbing, or electricity! Yet, almost no systematic research had been done up to this point. The Rockefeller Foundation enlisted several universities, and headquartered this network at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Named the Office of Radio Research, it was popularly known as “the Radio Project.”
The director of the Project was Paul Lazersfeld, the foster son of Austrian Marxist economist Rudolph Hilferding, and a long-time collaborator of the I.S.R. from the early 1930’s. Under Lazersfeld was Frank Stanton, a recent Ph.D. in industrial psychology from Ohio State, who had just been made research director of Columbia Broadcasting System—a grand title but a lowly position. After World War II, Stanton became president of the CBS News Division, and ultimately president of CBS at the height of the TV network’s power; he also became Chairman of the Board of the RAND Corporation, and a member of President Lyndon Johnson’s “kitchen cabinet.” Among the Project’s researchers were Herta Herzog, who married Lazersfeld and became the first director of research for the Voice of America; and Hazel Gaudet, who became one of the nation’s leading political pollsters. Theodor Adorno was named chief of the Project’s music section.
Despite the official gloss, the activities of the Radio Project make it clear that its purpose was to test empirically the Adorno-Benjamin thesis that the net effect of the mass media could be to atomize and increase lability—what people would later call “brainwashing.”
Soap Operas and the Invasion from Mars
The first studies were promising. Herta Herzog produced “On Borrowed Experiences,” the first comprehensive research on soap operas. The “serial radio drama” format was first used in 1929, on the inspiration of the old, cliff-hanger “Perils of Pauline” film serial. Because these little radio plays were highly melodramatic, they became popularly identified with Italian grand opera; because they were often sponsored by soap manufacturers, they ended up with the generic name, “soap opera.”
Until Herzog’s work, it was thought that the immense popularity of this format was largely with women of the lowest socioeconomic status who, in the restricted circumstances of their lives, needed a helpful escape to exotic places and romantic situations. A typical article from that period by two University of Chicago psychologists, “The Radio Day-Time Serial: Symbol Analysis” published in the Genetic Psychology Monographs, solemnly emphasized the positive, claiming that the soaps “function very much like the folk tale, expressing the hopes and fears of its female audience, and on the whole contribute to the integration of their lives into the world in which they live.”
Herzog found that there was, in fact, no correlation to socioeconomic status. What is more, there was surprisingly little correlation to content. The key factor — as Adorno and Benjamin’s theories suggested it would be — was the form itself of the serial; women were being effectively addicted to the format, not so much to be entertained or to escape, but to “find out what happens next week.” In fact, Herzog found, you could almost double the listenership of a radio play by dividing it into segments.
Modern readers will immediately recognize that this was not a lesson lost on the entertainment industry. Nowadays, the serial format has spread to children’s programming and high-budget prime time shows. The most widely watched shows in the history of television, remain the “Who Killed JR?” installment of Dallas, and the final episode of M*A*S*H, both of which were premised on a “what happens next?” format. Even feature films, like the Star Wars and Back to the Future trilogies, are now produced as serials, in order to lock in a viewership for the later installments. The humble daytime soap also retains its addictive qualities in the current age: 70% of all American women over eighteen now watch at least two of these shows each day, and there is a fast-growing viewership among men and college students of both sexes.
The Radio Project’s next major study was an investigation into the effects of Orson Welles’ Halloween 1938 radioplay based on H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. Six million people heard the broadcast realistically describing a Martian invasion force landing in rural New Jersey. Despite repeated and clear statements that the show was fictional, approximately 25% of the listeners thought it was real, some panicking outright. The Radio Project researchers found that a majority of the people who panicked did not think that men from Mars had invaded; they actually thought that the Germans had invaded.
It happened this way. The listeners had been psychologically pre-conditioned by radio reports from the Munich crisis earlier that year. During that crisis, CBS’s man in Europe, Edward R. Murrow, hit upon the idea of breaking into regular programming to present short news bulletins. For the first time in broadcasting, news was presented not in longer analytical pieces, but in short clips—what we now call “audio bites.” At the height of the crisis, these flashes got so numerous, that, in the words of Murrow’s producer Fred Friendly, “news bulletins were interrupting news bulletins.” As the listeners thought that the world was moving to the brink of war, CBS ratings rose dramatically.
When Welles did his fictional broadcast later, after the crisis had receded, he used this news bulletin technique to give things verisimilitude: he started the broadcast by faking a standard dance-music program, which kept getting interrupted by increasingly terrifying “on the scene reports” from New Jersey. Listeners who panicked, reacted not to content, but to format; they heard “We interrupt this program for an emergency bulletin,” and “invasion,” and immediately concluded that Hitler had invaded. The soap opera technique, transposed to the news, had worked on a vast and unexpected scale.
Little Annie and the “Wagnerian Dream” of TV
In 1939, one of the numbers of the quarterly Journal of Applied Psychology was handed over to Adorno and the Radio Project to publish some of their findings. Their conclusion was that Americans had, over the last twenty years, become “radio-minded,” and that their listening had become so fragmented that repetition of format was the key to popularity. The play list determined the “hits”—a truth well known to organized crime, both then and now—and repetition could make any form of music or any performer, even a classical music performer, a “star.” As long as a familiar form or context was retained, almost any content would become acceptable. “Not only are hit songs, stars, and soap operas cyclically recurrent and rigidly invariable types,” said Adorno, summarizing this material a few years later, “but the specific content of the entertainment itself is derived from them and only appears to change. The details are interchangeable.”
The crowning achievement of the Radio Project was “Little Annie,” officially titled the Stanton-Lazersfeld Program Analyzer. Radio Project research had shown that all previous methods of preview polling were ineffectual. Up to that point, a preview audience listened to a show or watched a film, and then was asked general questions: did you like the show? what did you think of so-and-so’s performance? The Radio Project realized that this method did not take into account the test audience’s atomized perception of the subject, and demanded that they make a rational analysis of what was intended to be an irrational experience. So, the Project created a device in which each test audience member was supplied with a type of rheostat on which he could register the intensity of his likes or dislikes on a moment-to-moment basis. By comparing the individual graphs produced by the device, the operators could determine, not if the audience liked the whole show — which was irrelevant—but, which situations or characters produced a positive, if momentary, feeling state.
Little Annie transformed radio, film, and ultimately television programming. CBS still maintains program analyzer facilities in Hollywood and New York; it is said that results correlate 85% to ratings. Other networks and film studios have similar operations. This kind of analysis is responsible for the uncanny feeling you get when, seeing a new film or TV show, you think you have seen it all before. You have, many times. If a program analyzer indicates that, for instance, audiences were particularly titilated by a short scene in a World War II drama showing a certain type of actor kissing a certain type of actress, then that scene format will be worked into dozens of screenplays—transposed to the Middle Ages, to outer space, etc., etc.
The Radio Project also realized that television had the potential to intensify all of the effects that they had studied. TV technology had been around for some years, and had been exhibited at the 1936 World’s Fair in New York, but the only person to attempt serious utilization of the medium had been Adolf Hitler. The Nazis broadcast events from the 1936 Olympic Games “live” to communal viewing rooms around Germany; they were trying to expand on their great success in using radio to Nazify all aspects of German culture. Further plans for German TV development were sidetracked by war preparations.
Adorno understood this potential perfectly, writing in 1944:
:Television aims at the synthesis of radio and film, and is held up only because the interested parties have not yet reached agreement, but its consequences will be quite enormous and promise to intensify the impoverishment of aesthetic matter so drastically, that by tomorrow the thinly veiled identity of all industrial culture products can come triumphantly out in the open, derisively fulfilling the Wagnerian dream of the Gesamtkunstwerk—the fusion of all the arts in one work.”
The obvious point is this: the profoundly irrational forms of modern entertainment—the stupid and eroticized content of most TV and films, the fact that your local Classical music radio station programs Stravinsky next to Mozart—don’t have to be that way. They were designed to be that way. The design was so successful, that today, no one even questions the reasons or the origins.
Creating “Public Opinion” & The “Authoritarian Personality”
The efforts of the Radio Project conspirators to manipulate the population, spawned the modern pseudoscience of public opinion polling, in order to gain greater control over the methods they were developing.
Today, public opinion polls, like the television news, have been completely integrated into our society. A “scientific survey” of what people are said to think about an issue can be produced in less than twenty-four hours. Some campaigns for high political office are completely shaped by polls; in fact, many politicians try to create issues which are themselves meaningless, but which they know will look good in the polls, purely for the purpose of enhancing their image as “popular.” Important policy decisions are made, even before the actual vote of the citizenry or the legislature, by poll results. Newspapers will occasionally write pious editorials calling on people to think for themselves, even as the newspaper’s business agent sends a check to the local polling organization.
The idea of “public opinion” is not new, of course. Plato spoke against it in his Republic over two millenia ago; Alexis de Tocqueville wrote at length of its influence over America in the early nineteenth century. But, nobody thought to measure public opinion before the twentieth century, and nobody before the 1930’s thought to use those measurements for decision-making.
It is useful to pause and reflect on the whole concept. The belief that public opinion can be a determinant of truth is philosophically insane. It precludes the idea of the rational individual mind. Every individual mind contains the divine spark of reason, and is thus capable of scientific discovery, and understanding the discoveries of others. The individual mind is one of the few things that cannot, therefore, be “averaged.” Consider: at the moment of creative discovery, it is possible, if not probable, that the scientist making the discovery is the only person to hold that opinion about nature, whereas everyone else has a different opinion, or no opinion. One can only imagine what a “scientifically-conducted survey” on Kepler’s model of the solar system would have been, shortly after he published the Harmony of the World: 2% for, 48% against, 50% no opinion.
These psychoanalytic survey techniques became standard, not only for the Frankfurt School, but also throughout American social science departments, particularly after the I.S.R. arrived in the United States. The methodology was the basis of the research piece for which the Frankfurt School is most well known, the “authoritarian personality” project.
In 1942, I.S.R. director Max Horkheimer made contact with the American Jewish Committee, which asked him to set up a Department of Scientific Research within its organization. The American Jewish Committee also provided a large grant to study anti-Semitism in the American population. “Our aim,” wrote Horkheimer in the introduction to the study, “is not merely to describe prejudice, but to explain it in order to help in its eradication…. Eradication means reeducation scientifically planned on the basis of understanding scientifically arrived at.”
Ultimately, five volumes were produced for this study over the course of the late 1940’s; the most important was the last, The Authoritarian Personality, by Adorno, with the help of three Berkeley, California social psychologists.
In the 1930’s Erich Fromm had devised a questionnaire to be used to analyze German workers pychoanalytically as “authoritarian,” “revolutionary” or “ambivalent.” The heart of Adorno’s study was, once again, Fromm’s psychoanalytic scale, but with the positive end changed from a “revolutionary personality,” to a “democratic personality,” in order to make things more palatable for a postwar audience.
Nine personality traits were tested and measured, including:
- conventionalism—rigid adherence to conventional, middle-class values
- authoritarian aggression—the tendency to be on the look-out for, to condemn, reject and punish, people who violate conventional values
- projectivity—the disposition to believethat wild and dangerous things go on in the world
- sex—exaggerated concern with sexual goings-on.
From these measurements were constructed several scales: the E Scale (ethnocentrism), the PEC Scale (poltical and economic conservatism), the A-S Scale (anti-Semitism), and the F Scale (fascism). Using Rensis Lickerts’s methodology of weighting results, the authors were able to tease together an empirical definition of what Adorno called “a new anthropological type,” the authoritarian personality. The legerdemain here, as in all psychoanalytic survey work, is the assumption of a Weberian “type.” Once the type has been statistically determined, all behavior can be explained; if an anti-Semitic personality does not act in an anti-Semitic way, then he or she has an ulterior motive for the act, or is being discontinuous. The idea that a human mind is capable of transformation, is ignored.
The results of this very study can be interpreted in diametrically different ways. One could say that the study proved that the population of the U.S. was generally conservative, did not want to abandon a capitalist economy, believed in a strong family and that sexual promiscuity should be punished, thought that the postwar world was a dangerous place, and was still suspicious of Jews (and Blacks, Roman Catholics, Orientals, etc. — unfortunately true, but correctable in a social context of economic growth and cultural optimism). On the other hand, one could take the same results and prove that anti-Jewish pogroms and Nuremberg rallies were simmering just under the surface, waiting for a new Hitler to ignite them. Which of the two interpretations you accept is a political, not a scientific, decision. Horkheimer and Adorno firmly believed that all religions, Judaism included, were “the opiate of the masses.” Their goal was not the protection of Jews from prejudice, but the creation of a definition of authoritarianism and anti-Semitism which could be exploited to force the “scientifically planned reeducation” of Americans and Europeans away from the principles of Western civilization, which the Frankfurt School despised. In their theoretical writings of this period, Horkheimer and Adorno pushed the thesis to its most paranoid: just as capitalism was inherently fascistic, the philosophy of Christianity itself is the source of anti-Semitism. As Horkheimer and Adorno jointly wrote in their 1947 “Elements of Anti-Semitism”:
“Christ, the spirit become flesh, is the deified sorcerer. Man’s self-reflection in the absolute, the humanization of God by Christ, is the proton pseudos [original falsehood]. Progress beyond Judaism is coupled with the assumption that the man Jesus has become God. The reflective aspect of Christianity, the intellectualization of magic, is the root of evil.”
At the same time, Horkheimer could write in a more-popularized article titled “Anti-Semitism: A Social Disease,” that “at present, the only country where there does not seem to be any kind of anti-Semitism is Russia”
This self-serving attempt to maximize paranoia was further aided by Hannah Arendt, who popularized the authoritarian personality research in her widely-read Origins of Totalitarianism. Arendt also added the famous rhetorical flourish about the “banality of evil” in her later Eichmann in Jerusalem: even a simple, shopkeeper-type like Eichmann can turn into a Nazi beast under the right psychological circumstances—every Gentile is suspect, psychoanalytically.
It is Arendt’s extreme version of the authoritarian personality thesis which is the operant philosophy of today’s Cult Awareness Network (CAN), a group which works with the U.S. Justice Department and the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith, among others. Using standard Frankfurt School method, CAN identifies political and religious groups which are its political enemies, then re-labels them as a “cult,” in order to justify operations against them.
The Public Opinion Explosion
Despite its unprovable central thesis of “psychoanalytic types,” the interpretive survey methodology of the Frankfurt School became dominant in the social sciences, and essentially remains so today. In fact, the adoption of these new, supposedly scientific techniques in the 1930’s brought about an explosion in public-opinion survey use, much of it funded by Madison Avenue. The major pollsters of the 1980s-1990s—A.C. Neilsen, George Gallup, Elmo Roper—started in the mid-1930’s, and began using the I.S.R. methods, especially given the success of the Stanton-Lazersfeld Program Analyzer. By 1936, polling activity had become sufficiently widespread to justify a trade association, the American Academy of Public Opinion Research at Princeton, headed by Lazersfeld; at the same time, the University of Chicago created the National Opinion Research Center. In 1940, the Office of Radio Research was turned into the Bureau of Applied Social Research, a division of Columbia University, with the indefatigable Lazersfeld as director.
After World War II, Lazersfeld especially pioneered the use of surveys to psychoanalyze American voting behavior, and by the 1952 Presidential election, Madison Avenue advertising agencies were firmly in control of Dwight Eisenhower’s campaign, utilizing Lazersfeld’s work. Nineteen fifty-two was also the first election under the influence of television, which, as Adorno had predicted eight years earlier, had grown to incredible influence in a very short time. Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborne — the fabled “BBD&O” ad agency—designed Ike’s campaign appearances entirely for the TV cameras, and as carefully as Hitler’s Nuremberg rallies; one-minute “spot” advertisements were pioneered to cater to the survey-determined needs of the voters.
This snowball has not stopped rolling since. The entire development of television and advertising in the 1950’s and 1960’s was pioneered by men and women who were trained in the Frankfurt School’s techniques of mass alienation. Frank Stanton went directly from the Radio Project to become the single most-important leader of modern television. Stanton’s chief rival in the formative period of TV was NBC’s Sylvester “Pat” Weaver; after a Ph.D. in “listening behavior,” Weaver worked with the Program Analyzer in the late 1930’s, before becoming a Young & Rubicam vice-president, then NBC’s director of programming, and ultimately the network’s president. Stanton and Weaver’s stories are typical.
Today, the men and women who run the networks, the ad agencies, and the polling organizations, even if they have never heard of Theodor Adorno, firmly believe in Adorno’s theory that the media can, and should, turn all they touch into “football.” Coverage of the 1991 Gulf War should make that clear.
The technique of mass media and advertising developed by the Frankfurt School now effectively controls American political campaigning. Campaigns are no longer based on political programs, but actually on alienation. Petty gripes and irrational fears are identified by psychoanalytic survey, to be transmogrified into “issues” to be catered to; the “Willy Horton” ads of the 1988 Presidential campaign, and the “flag-burning amendment,” are but two recent examples. Issues that will determine the future of our civilization, are scrupulously reduced to photo opportunities and audio bites—like Ed Murrow’s original 1930’s radio reports—where the dramatic effect is maximized, and the idea content is zero.
Espionage & the Office of Strategic Services
Part of the influence of the authoritarian personality hoax in our own day also derives from the fact that, incredibly, the Frankfurt School and its theories were officially accepted by the U.S. government during World War II, and these Cominternists were responsible for determining who were America’s wartime, and postwar, enemies.
In 1942, the Office of Strategic Services, America’s hastily-constructed espionage and covert operations unit, asked former Harvard president James Baxter to form a Research and Analysis (R&A) Branch under the group’s Intelligence Division. By 1944, the R&A Branch had collected such a large and prestigious group of emigré scholars that H. Stuart Hughes, then a young Ph.D., said that working for it was “a second graduate education” at government expense. The Central European Section was headed by historian Carl Schorske; under him, in the all-important Germany/Austria Section, was Franz Neumann, as section chief, with Herbert Marcuse, Paul Baran, and Otto Kirchheimer, all I.S.R. veterans. Leo Lowenthal headed the German-language section of the Office of War Information; Sophie Marcuse, Marcuse’s wife, worked at the Office of Naval Intelligence. Also at the R&A Branch were: Siegfried Kracauer, Adorno’s old Kant instructor, now a film theorist; Norman O. Brown, who would become famous in the 1960’s by combining Marcuse’s hedonism theory with Wilhelm Reich’s orgone therapy to popularize “polymorphous perversity”; Barrington Moore, Jr., later a philosophy professor who would co-author a book with Marcuse; Gregory Bateson, the husband of anthropologist Margaret Mead (who wrote for the Frankfurt School’s journal), and Arthur Schlesinger, the historian who joined the Kennedy Administration.
Marcuse’s first assignment was to head a team to identify both those who would be tried as war criminals after the war, and also those who were potential leaders of postwar Germany. In 1944, Marcuse, Neumann, and Kirchheimer wrote the Denazification Guide, which was later issued to officers of the U.S. Armed Forces occupying Germany, to help them identify and suppress pro-Nazi behaviors. After the armistice, the R&A Branch sent representatives to work as intelligence liaisons with the various occupying powers; Marcuse was assigned the U.S. Zone, Kirchheimer the French, and Barrington Moore the Soviet.
In the summer of 1945, Neumann left to become chief of research for the Nuremburg Tribunal. Marcuse remained in and around U.S. intelligence into the early 1950’s, rising to the chief of the Central European Branch of the State Department’s Office of Intelligence Research, an office formally charged with “planning and implementing a program of positive-intelligence research … to meet the intelligence requirements of the Central Intelligence Agency and other authorized agencies.” During his tenure as a U.S. government official, Marcuse supported the division of Germany into East and West, noting that this would prevent an alliance between the newly liberated left-wing parties and the old, conservative industrial and business layers. In 1949, he produced a 532-page report, “The Potentials of World Communism” (declassified only in 1978), which suggested that the Marshall Plan economic stabilization of Europe would limit the recruitment potential of Western Europe’s Communist Parties to acceptable levels, causing a period of hostile co-existence with the Soviet Union, marked by confrontation only in faraway places like Latin America and Indochina—in all, a surprisingly accurate forecast. Marcuse left the State Department with a Rockefeller Foundation grant to work with the various Soviet Studies departments which were set up at many of America’s top universities after the war, largely by R&A Branch veterans.
At the same time, Max Horkheimer was doing even greater damage. As part of the denazification of Germany suggested by the R&A Branch, U.S. High Commissioner for Germany John J. McCloy, using personal discretionary funds, brought Horkheimer back to Germany to reform the German university system. In fact, McCloy asked President Truman and Congress to pass a bill granting Horkheimer, who had become a naturalized American, dual citizenship; thus, for a brief period, Horkheimer was the only person in the world to hold both German and U.S. citizenship. In Germany, Horkheimer began the spadework for the full-blown revival of the Frankfurt School in that nation in the late 1950’s, including the training of a whole new generation of anti-Western civilization scholars like Hans-Georg Gadamer and Jürgen Habermas, who would have such destructive influence in 1960’s Germany. In a period of American history when some individuals were being hounded into unemployment and suicide for the faintest aroma of leftism, Frankfurt School veterans—all with superb Comintern credentials — led what can only be called charmed lives. America had, to an incredible extent, handed the determination of who were the nation’s enemies, over to the nation’s own worst enemies.
The Aristotelian Eros: Marcuse and the CIA’s Drug Counterculture
In 1989, Hans-Georg Gadamer, a protégé of Martin Heidegger and the last of the original Frankfurt School generation, was asked to provide an appreciation of his own work for the German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He wrote,
“One has to conceive of Aristotle’s ethics as a true fulfillment of the Socratic challenge, which Plato had placed at the center of his dialogues on the Socratic question of the good…. Plato described the idea of the good … as the ultimate and highest idea, which is supposedly the highest principle of being for the universe, the state, and the human soul. Against this Aristotle opposed a decisive critique, under the famous formula, “Plato is my friend, but the truth is my friend even more.” He denied that one could consider the idea of the good as a universal principle of being, which is supposed to hold in the same way for theoretical knowledge as for practical knowledge and human activity.”
This statement not only succinctly states the underlying philosophy of the Frankfurt School, it also suggests an inflection point around which we can order much of the philosophical combat of the last two millenia. In the simplest terms, the Aristotelian correction of Plato sunders physics from metaphysics, relegating the Good to a mere object of speculation about which “our knowledge remains only a hypothesis,” in the words of Wilhelm Dilthey, the Frankfurt School’s favorite philosopher. Our knowledge of the “real world,” as Dilthey, Nietzsche, and other precursors of the Frankfurt School were wont to emphasize, becomes erotic, in the broadest sense of that term, as object fixation.
The universe becomes a collection of things which each operate on the basis of their own natures (that is, genetically), and through interaction between themselves (that is, mechanistically). Science becomes the deduction of the appropriate categories of these natures and interactions. Since the human mind is merely a sensorium, waiting for the Newtonian apple to jar it into deduction, humanity’s relationship to the world (and vice versa) becomes an erotic attachment to objects. The comprehension of the universal—the mind’s seeking to be the living image of the living God—is therefore illusory. That universal either does not exist, or it exists incomprehensibly as a deus ex machina; that is, the Divine exists as a superaddition to the physical universe — God is really Zeus, flinging thunderbolts into the world from some outside location. (Or, perhaps more appropriately: God is really Cupid, letting loose golden arrows to make objects attract, and leaden arrows to make objects repel.) The key to the entire Frankfurt School program, from originator Lukacs on, is the “liberation” of Aristotelian eros, to make individual feeling states psychologically primary. When the I.S.R. leaders arrived in the United States in the mid-1930’s, they exulted that here was a place which had no adequate philosophical defenses against their brand of Kulturpessimismus [cultural pessimism].
However, although the Frankfurt School made major inroads in American intellectual life before World War II, that influence was largely confined to academia and to radio; and radio, although important, did not yet have the overwhelming influence on social life that it would acquire during the war. Furthermore, America’s mobilization for the war, and the victory against fascism, sidetracked the Frankfurt School schedule; America in 1945 was almost sublimely optimistic, with a population firmly convinced that a mobilized republic, backed by science and technology, could do just about anything.
The fifteen years after the war, however, saw the domination of family life by the radio and television shaped by the Frankfurt School, in a period of political erosion in which the great positive potential of America degenerated to a purely negative posture against the real and, oftentimes manipulated, threat of the Soviet Union. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of the young generation—the so-called baby boomers—were entering college and being exposed to the Frankfurt School’s poison, either directly or indirectly. It is illustrative, that by 1960, sociology had become the most popular course of study in American universities. Indeed, when one looks at the first stirrings of the student rebellion at the beginning of the 1960’s, like the speeches of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement or the Port Huron Statement which founded the Students for a Democratic Society, one is struck with how devoid of actual content these discussions were. There is much anxiety about being made to conform to the system—”I am a human being; do not fold, spindle, or mutilate” went an early Berkeley slogan—but it is clear that the “problems” cited derive much more from required sociology textbooks, than from the real needs of the society.
The simmering unrest on campus in 1960 might well too have passed or had a positive outcome, were it not for the traumatic decapitation of the nation through the Kennedy assassination, plus the simultaneous introduction of widespread drug use. Drugs had always been an “analytical tool” of the nineteenth century Romantics, like the French Symbolists, and were popular among the European and American Bohemian fringe well into the post-World War II period. But, in the second half of the 1950’s, the CIA and allied intelligence services began extensive experimentation with the hallucinogen LSD to investigate its potential for social control.
It has now been documented that millions of doses of the chemical were produced and disseminated under the aegis of the CIA’s Operation MK-Ultra. LSD became the drug of choice within the agency itself, and was passed out freely to friends of the family, including a substantial number of OSS veterans. For instance, it was OSS Research and Analysis Branch veteran Gregory Bateson who “turned on” the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg to a U.S. Navy LSD experiment in Palo Alto, California. Not only Ginsberg, but novelist Ken Kesey and the original members of the Grateful Dead rock group opened the doors of perception courtesy of the Navy. The guru of the “psychedelic revolution,” Timothy Leary, first heard about hallucinogens in 1957 from Life magazine (whose publisher, Henry Luce, was often given government acid, like many other opinion shapers), and began his career as a CIA contract employee; at a 1977 “reunion” of acid pioneers, Leary openly admitted, “everything I am, I owe to the foresight of the CIA.” Hallucinogens have the singular effect of making the victim asocial, totally self-centered, and concerned with objects.
Even the most banal objects take on the “aura” which Benjamin had talked about, and become timeless and delusionary profound. In other words, hallucinogens instantaneously achieve a state of mind identical to that prescribed by the Frankfurt School theories. And, the popularization of these chemicals created a vast psychological lability for bringing those theories into practice. Thus, the situation at the beginning of the 1960’s represented a brilliant re-entry point for the Frankfurt School, and it was fully exploited. One of the crowning ironies of the “Now Generation” of 1964 on, is that, for all its protestations of utter modernity, none of its ideas or artifacts was less than thirty years old. The political theory came completely from the Frankfurt School; Lucien Goldmann, a French radical who was a visiting professor at Columbia in 1968, was absolutely correct when he said of Herbert Marcuse in 1969 that “the student movements … found in his works and ultimately in his works alone the theoretical formulation of their problems and aspirations [emphasis in original].” The long hair and sandals, the free love communes, the macrobiotic food, the liberated lifestyles, had been designed at the turn of the century, and thoroughly field-tested by various, Frankfurt School-connected New Age social experiments like the Ascona commune before 1920. (See box.) Even Tom Hayden’s defiant “Never trust anyone over thirty,” was merely a less-urbane version of Rupert Brooke’s 1905, “Nobody over thirty is worth talking to.” The social planners who shaped the 1960’s simply relied on already-available materials.
Eros and Civilization –
The founding document of the 1960’s counterculture, and that which brought the Frankfurt School’s “revolutionary messianism” of the 1920’s into the 1960’s, was Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization, originally published in 1955 and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. The document masterfully sums up the Frankfurt School ideology of Kulturpessimismus in the concept of “dimensionality.” In one of the most bizarre perversions of philosophy, Marcuse claims to derive this concept from Friedrich Schiller. Schiller, whom Marcuse purposefully misidentifies as the heir of Immanuel Kant, discerned two dimensions in humanity: a sensuous instinct and an impulse toward form.
Schiller advocated the harmonization of these two instincts in man in the form of a creative play instinct. For Marcuse, on the other hand, the only hope 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.” As Marcuse would say later (1964) in his One-Dimensional Man, “A comfortable, smooth, reasonable, democratic unfreedom prevails in advanced industrial civilization, a token of technical progress.” This erotic liberation he misidentifies with Schiller’s “play instinct,” which, rather than being erotic, is an expression of charity, the higher concept of love associated with true creativity.
Marcuse’s contrary theory of erotic liberation is something implicit in Sigmund Freud, but not explicitly emphasized, except for some Freudian renegades like Wilhelm Reich and, to a certain extent, Carl Jung. Every aspect of culture in the West, including reason itself, says Marcuse, acts to repress this: “The totalitarian universe of technological rationality is the latest transmutation of the idea of reason.” Or: “Auschwitz continues to haunt, not the memory but the accomplishments of man—the space flights, the rockets and missiles, the pretty electronics plants….”
This erotic liberation should take the form of the “Great Refusal,” a total rejection of the “capitalist” monster and all his works, including “technological” reason, and “ritual-authoritarian language.” As part of the Great Refusal, mankind should develop an “aesthetic ethos,” turning life into an aesthetic ritual, a “life-style” (a nonsense phrase which came into the language in the 1960’s under Marcuse’s influence). With Marcuse representing the point of the wedge, the 1960’s were filled with obtuse intellectual justifications of contentless adolescent sexual rebellion. Eros and Civilization was reissued as an inexpensive paperback in 1961, and ran through several editions; in the preface to the 1966 edition, Marcuse added that the new slogan, “Make Love, Not War,” was exactly what he was talking about: “The fight for eros is a political fight [emphasis in original].” In 1969, he noted that even the New Left’s obsessive use of obscenities in its manifestos was part of the Great Refusal, calling it “a systematic linguistic rebellion, which smashes the ideological context in which the words are employed and defined.” Marcuse was aided by psychoanalyst Norman O. Brown, his OSS protege, who contributed Life Against Death in 1959, and Love’s Body in 1966—calling for man to shed his reasonable, “armored” ego, and replace it with a “Dionysian body ego,” that would embrace the instinctual reality of polymorphous perversity, and bring man back into “union with nature.” The books of Reich, who had claimed that Nazism was caused by monogamy, were re-issued. Reich had died in an American prison, jailed for taking money on the claim that cancer could be cured by rechanneling “orgone energy.”
Primary education became dominated by Reich’s leading follower, A.S. Neill, a Theosophical cult member of the 1930’s and militant atheist, whose educational theories demanded that students be taught to rebel against teachers who are, by nature, authoritarian. Neill’s book Summerhill sold 24,000 copies in 1960, rising to 100,000 in 1968, and 2 million in 1970; by 1970, it was required reading in 600 university courses, making it one of the most influential education texts of the period, and still a benchmark for recent writers on the subject. Marcuse led the way for the complete revival of the rest of the Frankfurt School theorists, re-introducing the long-forgotten Lukacs to America. Marcuse himself became the lightning rod for attacks on the counterculture, and was regularly attacked by such sources as the Soviet daily Pravda, and then-California Governor Ronald Reagan.
The only critique of any merit at the time, however, was one by Pope Paul VI, who in 1969 named Marcuse (an extraordinary step, as the Vatican usually refrains from formal denunciations of living individuals), along with Freud, for their justification of “disgusting and unbridled expressions of eroticism”; and called Marcuse’s theory of liberation, “the theory which opens the way for license cloaked as liberty … an aberration of instinct.” The eroticism of the counterculture meant much more than free love and a violent attack on the nuclear family. It also meant the legitimization of philosophical eros. People were trained to see themselves as objects, determined by their “natures.” The importance of the individual as a person gifted with the divine spark of creativity, and capable of acting upon all human civilization, was replaced by the idea that the person is important because he or she is black, or a woman, or feels homosexual impulses. This explains the deformation of the civil rights movement into a “black power” movement, and the transformation of the legitimate issue of civil rights for women into feminism. Discussion of women’s civil rights was forced into being just another “liberation cult,” complete with bra-burning and other, sometimes openly Astarte-style, rituals; a review of Kate Millet’s Sexual Politics (1970) and Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch (1971), demonstrates their complete reliance on Marcuse, Fromm, Reich, and other Freudian extremists.
This popularization of life as an erotic, pessimistic ritual did not abate, but in fact deepened over the twenty years leading to today; it is the basis of the horror we see around us. The heirs of Marcuse and Adorno completely dominate the universities, teaching their own students to replace reason with “Politically Correct” ritual exercises. There are very few theoretical books on arts, letters, or language published today in the United States or Europe which do not openly acknowledge their debt to the Frankfort School.
The witchhunt on today’s campuses is merely the implementation of Marcuse’s concept of “repressive toleration”—”tolerance for movements from the left, but intolerance for movements from the right”—enforced by the students of the Frankfurt School, now become the professors of women’s studies and Afro-American studies. The most erudite spokesman for Afro-American studies, for instance, Professor Cornell West of Princeton, publicly states that his theories are derived from Georg Lukacs.
At the same time, the ugliness so carefully nurtured by the Frankfurt School pessimists, has corrupted our highest cultural endeavors. One can hardly find a performance of a Mozart opera, which has not been utterly deformed by a director who, following Benjamin and the I.S.R., wants to “liberate the erotic subtext.” You cannot ask an orchestra to perform Schönberg and Beethoven on the same program, and maintain its integrity for the latter. And, when our highest culture becomes impotent, popular culture becomes openly bestial. One final image: American and European children daily watch films like Nightmare on Elm Street and Total Recall, or television shows comparable to them. A typical scene in one of these will have a figure emerge from a television set; the skin of his face will realistically peel away to reveal a hideously deformed man with razor-blade fingers, fingers which start growing to several feet in length, and—suddenly—the victim is slashed to bloody ribbons. This is not entertainment. This is the deeply paranoid hallucination of the LSD acid head. The worst of what happened in the 1960’s is now daily fare. Owing to the Frankfurt School and its co-conspirators, the West is on a “bad trip” from which it is not being allowed to come down.
The principles through which Western Christian civilization was built, are now no longer dominant in our society; they exist only as a kind of underground resistance movement. If that resistance is ultimately submerged, then the civilization will not survive—and, in our era of incurable pandemic disease and nuclear weapons, the collapse of Western civilization will very likely take the rest of the world with it to Hell.
The way out is to create a Renaissance. If that sounds grandiose, it is nonetheless what is needed. A renaissance means, to start again; to discard the evil, and inhuman, and just plain stupid, and to go back, hundreds or thousands of years, to the ideas which allow humanity to grow in freedom and goodness. Once we have identified those core beliefs, we can start to rebuild civilization.
Ultimately, a new Renaissance will rely on scientists, artists, and composers, but in the first moment, it depends on seemingly ordinary people who will defend the divine spark of reason in themselves, and tolerate no less in others. Given the successes of the Frankfurt School and its New Dark Age sponsors, these ordinary individuals, with their belief in reason and the difference between right and wrong, will be “unpopular.” But, no really good idea was ever popular, in the beginning.
Make Love, Not War
Marcuse didn’t stop there. He emigrated to the United States in the 1930 to escape Hitler, and while here wrote an influential best seller in 1959, Eros and Civilization, which is seen as a founding document of the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s. Marcuse was very clear why the revolution was important—to destroy the family. He wrote:
“The body in its entirety would become . . . a thing to be enjoyed—an instrument of pleasure. This change in the value and scope in libidinal relationships would lead to a disintegration of the institutions in which the private interpersonal relations have been organized, particularly the monogamic and patriarchal family.”
The New Age Paradigm Shift
The Frankfurt School’s original 1930’s survey work, including the “authoritarian personality,” was based on psychoanalytic categories developed by Erich Fromm. Fromm derived these categories from the theories of J.J. Bachofen, a collaborator of Nietzsche and Richard Wagner, who claimed that human civilization was originally “matriarchal.” This primoridial period of “gynocratic democracy” and dominance of the Magna Mater (Great Mother) cult, said Bachofen, was submerged by the development of rational, authoritarian “patriarchism,” including monotheistic religion. Later, Fromm utilized this theory to claim that support for the nuclear family was evidence of authoritarian tendencies.
In 1970, forty years after he first proclaimed the importance of Bachofen’s theory, the Frankfurt School’s Erich Fromm surveyed how far things had developed. He listed seven “social-psychological changes” which indicated the advance of matriarchism over patriarchism:
- “The women’s revolution;”
- “Children’s and adolescents’ revolution,” based on the work of Benjamin Spock and others, allowing children new, and more-adequate ways to express rebellion;
- The rise of the radical youth movement, which fully embraces Bachofen, in its emphasis on group sex, loose family structure, and unisex clothing and behaviors;
- The increasing use of Bachofen by professionals to correct Freud’s overly-sexual analysis of the mother-son relationship—this would make Freudianism less threatening and more palatable to the general population;
- “The vision of the consumer paradise…. In this vision, technique assumes the characteristics of the Great Mother, a technical instead of a natural one, who nurses her children and pacifies them with a never-ceasing lullaby (in the form of radio and television). In the process, man becomes emotionally an infant, feeling secure in the hope that mother’s breasts will always supply abundant milk, and that decisions need no longer be made by the individual.”
The Frankfurt School devised the “authoritarian personality” profile as a weapon to be used against its political enemies. The fraud rests on the assumption that a person’s actions are not important; rather, the issue is the psychological attitude of the actor—as determined by social scientists like those of the Frankfurt School. The concept is diametrically opposed to the idea of natural law and to the republican legal principles upon which the U.S. was founded; it is, in fact, fascistic, and identical to the idea of “thought crime,” as described by George Orwell in his 1984, and to the theory of “volitional crime” developed by Nazi judge Roland Freisler in the early 1930’s.
When the Frankfurt School was in its openly pro-Bolshevik phase, its authoritarian personality work was designed to identify people who were not sufficiently revolutionary, so that these people could be “re-educated.” When the Frankfurt School expanded its research after World War II at the behest of the American Jewish Committee and the Rockefeller Foundation, its purpose was not to identify anti-Semitism; that was merely a cover story. Its goal was to measure adherence to the core beliefs of Western civilization, so that these beliefs could be characterized as “authoritarian,” and discredited.
For the Frankfurt School conspirators, the worst crime was the belief that each individual was gifted with sovereign reason, which could enable him to determine what is right and wrong for the whole society; thus, to tell people that you have a reasonable idea to which they should conform, is authoritarian, paternalistic extremism.
By these standards, the judges of Socrates and Jesus were correct in condemning these two individuals (as, for example, I.F. Stone asserts in one case in his “Trial of Socrates.”) It is the measure of our own cultural collapse, that this definition of authoritarianism is acceptable to most citizens, and is freely used by political operations like the Anti-Defamation League and the Cult Awareness Network to “demonize” their political enemies.