|End of Page||Mass Brainwashing||Site Map||Overview Page|
``Who will save us from Western civilization?''
--Georg Lukacs, 1914
``Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Western Culture's Got to Go''
--Stanford University students, 1988
Closing touched a nerve. At the time of its publication, it had become clear that the worst lunacies of the drug-rock-sex ``counterculture'' of the late 1960s had, over the subsequent 20 years, never abated on the nation's campuses; in fact, many of the leaders of that counterculture--now equipped with Ph.D.s--had become the dominant minority in college faculties and administrations. This minority was consciously training their students to be a thought police enforcing ``political correctness,'' ready to denounce and punish any student or instructor deemed guilty of racism, sexism, insufficient sensitivity to the homosexual ``lifestyle,'' or too high an appreciation of Western Judeo-Christian culture.
In the five years since Bloom's book, the situation on campus has become worse. Even as Bloom's thesis was being debated, students at California's Stanford University, supported in person by Jesse Jackson, were successfully overturning the university's Western Civilization course requirement as ``racist''; at their demonstrations, the students chanted, ``Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Western Culture's Got to Go.'' Across the country, students have successfully demanded that readings from ``DEMs'' (``Dead European Male'' writers) be replaced by supposedly more relevant female and Third World authors. Most major universities now subscribe to quotas, to ensure a politically correct mix of whites, blacks, Hispanics, and homosexuals. Most schools now also have speech codes, like the model code promulgated at the University of Wisconsin, which, for instance, permits a black student to call a white ``honkie,'' but would punish a white student for calling a black ``nigger.''
This article has two purposes. First: I shall demonstrate that all manifestations of ``political correctness'' are generated by a single core philosophy which is actively evil. The antics on campus often appear humorous, and make good news copy; but, what stands behind them, is evil--a philosophy of evil that is responsible for genocide and untold human misery, and represents a danger not only to American education, but also to the continuation of the American form of government.
Second: The politically correct rampages that gall so many observers will not be defeated until the evil philosophy underlying those atrocities is confronted with an opposing philosophy which comprehends the actual function of education. LaRouche is the only thinker today who is still asking the question, ``Why educate?'' The only effective means of combatting political correctness is bringing the ideas of LaRouche onto the campus.
Bloom is wrong in thinking that British liberalism is the positive basis of American education. At its best, American education was based on the German system of classical education, the same system subverted in Germany by Nietzsche, Heidegger, and the Frankfurt School. Bloom's criticism of the latter as the source of political correctness is on the mark. However, he is ultimately unable to effectively combat it because he had no rigorous basis for criticizing British liberalism.
``Political correctness'' was a phrase originally used in Communist Party intellectual circles in the 1930s and 1940s. It was revived by neoconservative authors around 1990 as an insulting characterization of a general school of thought that might be more scientifically called postmodernism.
All the lunacies being taught on campus are postmodernism. The postmodernists spend much of their time polemicizing with each other over who, exactly, has possession of the true grail of postmodernism; thus, there are structuralists, poststructuralists, feminist deconstructionists, Third World lesbian feminist deconstructionists, and so on. However, all postmodernist thought has its proximate origins, as Bloom implies, in the three sources of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and the Frankfurt School. The postmodernists will not deny this; most celebrate it. What, then, is postmodernism?
In 1936, Nazi Culture Minister Josef Goebbels, on orders from Adolf Hitler, formed a committee of academics to edit the complete works of Frederich Nietzsche. Martin Heidegger was placed on that committee; in preparation, Heidegger prepared a series of lectures on Nietzsche's work. Heidegger concluded that the most important thing that he shared with Nietzsche was the commitment to extinguish the last traces in Western civilization of what he called ``metaphysical humanism.'' This commitment was also shared by the Frankfurt School.
``Metaphysics'' is the investigation of that which is not in the physical world, which generates the physical world, or generates changes in the physical world. Many readers will say at this point: ``Something which is not generated by the world, but which operates in the world? That's God.''
God: a perfectly valid response. That answer doesn't exhaust the subject of metaphysics, and many metaphysicians would deny the existence of God, but it gives us a common ground to admit the validity of the investigation. So what Heidegger is saying is: We have to remove as a subject of discussion, any theory which admits of the possibility of human activity connected to a metaphysical agency.
Now, go back to Nietzsche, the context for Heidegger's analysis. Nietzsche is probably most famous for a single sentence, written a little over 100 years ago: ``God is dead.'' This, it should be noted, is a lot nastier than the classic atheist argument that ``God does not exist and here are my proofs;'' Nietzsche was saying, ``God is dead; I killed Him; and I want you to kill Him too.'' This statement--``God is dead''-- is the basis of all politically correct postmodernism.
Frederich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was a professor of classics who abandoned his academic career in his thirties to write wildly polemical philosophical works. In 1888, he collapsed on the street and spent the remainder of his life in semi-catatonia; syphylis was the probable cause. Nietzsche wrote to prove that the highest concepts that mankind has developed, the idea of God, the idea of morality, of good and evil, are foolish and false; mankind evolved these ideas over the centuries as a self-consolation, to escape the mental pain of admitting that this material world, and our very short-lived bodies are all that we have, and all that we can expect. At the very beginning of human civilization, says Nietzsche, the physically stronger and smarter minority of the population became the rulers over the majority. Morality was developed by these primordial rulers as a means of social control: Good was what they wanted people to do, and bad was what they didn't want people to do. However, the subject peoples chaffed under this aristocratic rule and became vengeful, so the rulers had to invent the concept of God to justify their orders. But, this ploy by the master race contained the seeds of their own destruction. They had to create priests to administer this religion, and these priests started to believe their own propaganda, and began to oppose the aristocracy. Ultimately, you have what Nietzsche calls ``the most priestly people,'' the Jews.
``All that has been done on earth against `the noble', `the powerful,' `the masters,' `the rulers,' fades into nothing compared with what the Jews have done against them,'' said Nietzsche. Here, incidentally, is where Hitler got the core of his anti-Semitism; even in his mass murder, Hitler was pursuing what he thought were philosophical ends. Why were the Jews bad? Because they gave us Jesus.
According to Nietzsche, Christianity is thus a Jewish plot, whose conspiratorial origins are lost in the fact that the plot has been so successful over the last two thousand years. And that's what Hitler said too: First we must eliminate the Jews, then we will deal with enervating effects of Christianity on the Nazi master race. Therefore, Christianity is the most false of all false myths of religion. What we must do, says Nietzsche, is to return in our minds to the past--before Christianity, before Jewish monotheism, especially before Socrates and Plato, who demonstrated that there must be a self-subsisting Good which is connected to the evolution, through mankind, of the physical universe. Modern man must ``eternally return'' to a sufficiently primitive time when man was starting to make his own god-myths. Homer, says Nietzsche in a famous example, was a great author not because he wrote about the gods, but because he created his own gods.
Nietzsche's revolutionary New Man of the future, the Uebermensch or superman, must strip away all the values with which he has lived--equality, justice, humility--and see them as illegitimate overlays on society. We must have an Umwertung aller Werte (the ``transvaluation'' or ``revaluation of all values''): Each man makes his own values, makes his own concept of good and evil, based upon his own physical and intellectual strength. The man of the future must be a beast of prey, an ``artist of violence'' creating new myths, new states based upon the essence of human nature, which Nietzsche identifies as Wille zur Macht, the ``Will to Power.'' At the same time, the old illegitimate metaphysical overlays must be pitilessly destroyed, starting with Christianity. As Nietzsche concludes: ``I am the Antichrist.''
Nietzsche's will to power, said Heidegger, still retains an unnecessary metaphysical quality, because it allows the individual ego to create a conception of the physical universe without sufficient reference to the actual objects of the universe; that is, if God is truly killed, then objects are all we have, and therefore the sole determinant of our will and our ideas. In this context, Heidegger told his students that ``Christian philosophy'' is a contradiction in terms. Actual philosophy must distinguish between Sein (``Being'' in the abstract) and Dasein (literally, ``being-there,'' the notion of being as it is lived in the world of experiences). The mental history of man is Dasein attempting to grasp Sein, or what Heidegger and his followers called the struggle to be ``authentic.'' The problem is that phenomena--including other people, races, social systems, as well as hard little objects--are ``historicized.'' They are historically specific; Plato's ideas, for instance, were thought in the context of a specific point in history, which is not our point in history, but they are treated as real in our point in history, whereas, as Heidegger says, they aren't real.
Heidegger goes even further: Life itself is ultimately ``inauthentic'' because we are all mortal, and there is no immortality. Therefore, the most authentic and human we can be is Sein zum Tode (``being unto death''), the recognition that Being ends in death. (Some readers will notice at this point in our survey, that this is the origin of postwar existentialism, which merely took these ideas to their logical ends, and announced that the most authentic act, the most truthful act that a human being could achieve was blowing one's own brains out.) Sein zum Tode being the case, the most a people can hope to do, is find what Heidegger calls ``a Hero,'' who will transcend the historicity which has been handed down to them, and will create a new, more authentic history. For Martin Heidegger, that Hero was Adolf Hitler; and, it is undeniable, that thousands of young German intellectuals followed Hitler to their deaths, based upon Heidegger's teachings.
The Frankfurt School is largely Nietzsche and Heidegger, plus a Communist organizing program. The Frankfurt School was founded by Georg Lukacs, a Hungarian aristocrat who became a literary theorist based largely upon the work of Nietzsche and his various elaborators. Around the time of World War I, Lukacs veered toward Bolshevism, and became commissar of culture during the brief Bolshevik seizure of power in Hungary in 1919. After the 100-day ``Budapest Soviet'' was defeated, Lukacs fled to Moscow and became a high official of the Communist International, the Comintern. There, his task was to answer the striking question: Why did Bolshevism succeed in Russia, but fail to take hold in the West despite Communist insurrection across Europe? To this end, Lukacs gathered a group of Marxist sociologists and philosophers who set up the Institute for Social Research (ISR) in Frankfurt, Germany in 1922; this became popularly known as the Frankfurt School. The ISR determined that the key was that Russia was dominated by a peculiar Gnostic form of Christianity which was ultimately pessimistic. This kind of Christianity deemphasized the role of the individual soul as a subject acting in the world, and replaced it with the kind of individual who derived identity by submerging him or herself in the ``communal soul.'' The Bolsheviks succeeded in Russia, said the ISR, because they convinced a portion of the population that their revolutionary movement represented a new secular messiah; that is, they were able to unleash, through propaganda and terrorism, all of the popular resentment--or Nietzschean ``vengefulness,'' if you will--against the aristocracy and the Orthodox Church bureaucracy, while at the same time maintaining the ideology of the communal soul. They were able to make a simple shift: You derive your identity not from the Church or Holy Mother Russia, but from the Party.
The ISR investigators asserted that the problem was that, despite the most pessimistic efforts of Nietzsche and his followers, the West still was dominated by a Judeo-Christian culture which emphasized the uniqueness and sacredness of the individual soul. Worse than that, from the ISR's standpoint, the culture of the West maintained that the individual, through the exercise of his or her reason, could discern the Divine Will in an unmediated relationship; that meant that the individual could change the physical universe in the pursuit of the Good--that mankind could have dominion over nature as commanded by the opening chapters of the Book of Genesis. This meant that every individual in the West--however deep down--was still optimistic; they still believed that the divine spark of reason in every man and woman can solve the problems facing society, no matter how big those problems are. And that meant that the West could not have a successful Bolshevik revolution. Thus, in 1914, Lukacs could write his great complaint, ``Who will save us from Western civilization?''
The ISR's particular contribution to the theory and practice of postmodernist Hell was to realize that Western culture could be manipulated in such a way as to self-destruct. All that is in culture had to be abolished through an active theory of criticism, while at the same time, new cultural forms had to be created--forms which would not enlighten nor uplift, but which would expose the true degradation of life under capitalism and the false myths of monotheism. What was needed was what Lukacs called the ``abolition of culture,'' a new ``culture of pessimism,'' a world in which the individual does not believe that he or she can have a personal destiny, but only ``a destiny of the community in a world that has been abandoned by God.'' The political task was to fill the people of the West with hatred, pessimism, and hopelessness--while simultaneously making them so stupid that they saw no other solution to their problems than wild, uncontrollable revolt.
In the 45 years following 1922, the ISR spun out theory after theory (collectively known as Critical Theory), designed to forcibly remove the joy, the divine spark of reason, out of our appreciation of art, literature, and music. Walter Benjamin, who is very popular on campuses today, took on the question of artistic creativity. Like Nietzsche and Heidegger, Benjamin and his colleagues were determined to locate the origins of philosophy before Socrates and Plato. Benjamin admits that most people think that Socrates started philosophy with the subject of the reasonable mind hypothesizing the nature of the physical universe, and seeking successively higher hypotheses to better that understanding. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, basing himself on Socrates, Plato, and Nicolaus of Cusa, had demonstrated that this hypothesizing mind could not be material; matter does not think. (Keep in mind that Leibniz is not talking about thinking as simple mental activity, as Freud does; he defines thinking as creative activity.) The creative mind can apprehend the truth of the physical universe, but it is not determined by that physical universe. The creative mind is self-consciously reflecting on the past understanding of the universe in the present to effect the future understanding of the universe, and the creative act is as immortal as the soul which envisions it.
All this is wrong, says Benjamin. Philosophy begins with the material object, not the mind. Way back in the primordial past (reliance on this hypothetical ``primordial past'' is obsessive), man was confronted with the objects of physical reality; philosophy began with man's naming of these objects. Since there was no science, no technology, no physical economy back then to get in the way, the name of the object was the essence of the object; to name something was to say all there was to say about that object. But, with the great evil of human progress, man becomes estranged or alienated from the objects of nature. Creativity exists in a fashion, but it is only the attempt by man to get back to that primordial name or essence of the object, past the impediments of capitalist society. But creativity cannot be immortal or universal since it is based on the material world; the creative act must be specifically related to its point in history--again, the historicity of Nietzsche and Heidegger. The creative act of Mozart or Shakespeare cannot be known as Mozart or Shakepseare understood it in their point in history, but only as we understand it in our own, ``alienated'' point in history.
Therefore, there is no universal history; there is no universal truth; there is no natural law. The best art in the modern period, says Benjamin, cannot be judged by the bourgeois concepts of good and evil. Benjamin gives the example of the consciously evil art of the French Symbolists and Surrealists: Their ``Satanism,'' as he calls it, cannot be judged as bad, because it exposes the false morality of ``capitalist art.''
Theodor Adorno, a musician himself, did the same thing for music. Beethoven, says Adorno, actually yearned to write atonal music and this is supposedly shown by his chord structure; however, Beethoven simply didn't have the guts to break with the social structures of his periodm, which would not have accepted the revolutionary change to atonalism. Today's music must be atonal because atonalism is ugly, and only ugly music tells us the truth about the ugliness of our own miserable existence.
The purpose of art, said Benjamin, is to organize pessimism, and ``To organize pessimism means nothing other than to expel the moral metaphor from politics.''
The Frankfurt School was not satisfied with theory; they attempted to put this nonsense into practice. The entire institute (with the exception of Benjamin, who died in 1941 of a self-administered drug overdose) decamped to America as Hitler was coming to power. Sponsored by such institutions as CBS, Columbia University, the American Jewish Committee, and the B'nai B'rith, it became the dominant force in sociological and communications theory. It developed the concept of the ``authoritarian personality'' to get scholarly justification for its irrationalism, defining as ``authoritarian,'' anyone who has too high a regard for family, nation, or reason itself. The Frankfurt School's Critical Theory is the basis for today's ``entertainment industry,'' a phrase which the School coined; it is the theoretical basis of all of today's television, film, and music programming. It is the basis of the public opinion polls that have become the determining factor of politics in America.
In 1967, a Frenchman named Roland Barthes founded the literary theory of ``poststructuralism'' with a single statement, basing himself completely on Benjamin and in conscious emulation of Nietzsche's famous sentence: ``The author is dead.'' By this he meant: Let's go all the way and admit that any important literary figure was so completely determined by his conscious and unconscious interaction with his material existence that to talk about ``the author'' is obsolete, and to say that some past author has anything to say to you today, is hopelessly naive. Even the words that the author used are freighted with the meanings imposed by the ruling class of that specific period, so the words themselves are suspect because they subtly convey capitalist oppression. In 1979, while accepting a prestigious professorship in Paris, Barthes concluded: ``Language is fascism.''
Many readers have seen reports of the experimental Rainbow Curriculum in New York: children have to be taught tolerance for the homosexual lifestyle, the Satanic lifestyle, and so on. This is called ``values clarification'' in new educational texts. ``Excuse me,'' says the parent, ``Could you teach some family values, some universal values of good and evil?'' The school responds, in effect: ``Universal values? Are you an authoritarian? Are you a religious fanatic? The only universal truth is that a syphilitic Nazi was right: We all create our own values--Umwertung aller Werte.'' It comes as no surprise that John Dewey, the founder of modern American educational theory, was a public and committed follower of Frederich Nietzsche.
Martin Heidegger was, tragically, the most influential German academic at the time of Hitler's assumption of the Chancellorship in January 1933; many in that nation looked to him for guidance concerning the Nazis. He answered them in May 1933 by joining the Nazi Party and assuming the rectorship of the University of Freiburg, replacing a rector who had refused to implement anti-Semitic regulations at the university. An enormous amount of ink has been wasted over the last 40 years in the attempt to minimize or justify Heidegger's Nazism as a confused interlude. At the time, however, Heidegger left no doubt that the ``inner truth and greatness of this [Nazi] movement'' was exactly what he had been talking about for the previous decade. Heidegger even tried to recruit his cothinker and university colleague, Karl Jaspers, to the Party. Jaspers had no choice in the matter, since his wife was Jewish; at one point, however, Jaspers reports that he challenged Heidegger on Hitler's ignorance of philosophy. ``Education is altogether unimportant,'' answered Heidegger, ``just look at his marvellous hands.''
At the same time that Heidegger was making these statements, his students included a large portion of the group that would dominate postwar academia on the Continent. Among the Germans were Hans-Georg Gadamer, the faculty adviser to the 1960s generation of student radicals. French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre, arguably Europe's most famous Communist of the 1950s, went to Nazi Germany for the sole purpose of studying at Heidegger's feet; it is not exaggeration to say that Sartre learned his Stalinism from a Nazi.
Heidegger's other famous student, the Frankfurt School's Herbert Marcuse, had left Germany by the time of the Nazi regime, and was in America, on his way to becoming the single most important ideological guru of America's New Left. In the 1960s, Heidegger himself came full circle, and announced that ``the Marxist view of history excels all others''; by this late date, Heidegger also publicly agreed with Marcuse that the origin of totalitarianism, including Nazism, was really technological progress, which destroys philosophical thinking and increases alienation. Predictably, the extremist ecologist Green Party of Germany began to take up the arguments of both Heidegger and Marcuse.
The list goes on. Paul de Man, Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University until his death in 1983, was America's leading practitioner of ``deconstructive'' literary theory, and an uncompromising critic of the authoritarianism allegedly embedded in language. In 1987, it was discovered that de Man had written anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi articles for a collaboratist journal in German-occupied Belgium in 1941-1942; the Belgian Resistance had publicly denounced him as a traitor. The deconstructionist movement that de Man had helped develop took these revelations in stride: ``The author is dead,'' therefore, the historically specific Nazi de Man is a completely different entity than the historically specific Yale deconstructionist.
Today, we have evidence that postmodernism is reverting, lawfully, to its raw Nazi-Communist form. The architects of the rape- and murder-camps built as part of the Serbian ``ethnic cleansing'' of the former Yugoslavia have been shown to include a group of nominally leftist psychiatrists trained in the Nietzschean psychoanalysis of Jacques Lacan. It must be emphasized that these horrors in Bosnia are simply the ``culture of barbarism'' sought by Lukacs, and the ``forced retardation'' of Adorno, and the ``primitivization'' of Nietzsche and Heidegger. What is going on in Bosnia is a forced march to tribalism, and postmodernists think tribal existence is a positive good, where people live more ``authentically,'' and the will to power is fully liberated. This also explains the dominance of postmodern theory over today's ``Afro-centrist'' and ``indigenous peoples'' movements.
In three recent articles (see references) LaRouche has outlined a comprehensive reform of America's elementary and secondary education system. These reforms and the philosophical method that stands behind them, represent the only effective antidote to politically correct postmodernism. Piecemeal opposition is absurd in the face of a coherent philosophy of evil; only a complete philosophy which answers the question, ``Why educate?'' can work.
``The purpose and content of humanist education,'' says LaRouche, ``is not the accumulation of mere information and recipes but rather the direct fostering of the individual spark of creative genius (imago viva Dei--the image of the living God) in each student, by a total emphasis upon incorporating in the student's mind crucial moments from the acts of crucial, valid discoveries by (implicitly) all of the greatest known creative geniuses of all history.'' LaRouche demands the abandonment of all ``value-clarification'' and ``ethno-centrism'' from education. Rather, we help the student to reexperience--without idiotic reference to ``race, creed, color, or sexual preference''--the creative moment of scientific discovery. We order those experiences, firstly, on the basis of how each of those discoveries advances human understanding beyond the previous one; and, secondly, how all of those advances, taken as a whole, perfect humanity's ability to fulfill the command of Genesis to be fruitful, multiply, and have dominion over the earth. That is, we help the student experience, insofar as mankind can experience, the overall and ongoing act by which the Creator is creating the human race.
As LaRouche emphasizes, the purpose of elementary and secondary education is not to teach ``science,'' but scientific method, as the only possible preparation for further studies. LaRouche goes so far as to offer a basis for ordering of past thinkers upon whose successive scientific discoveries our Judeo-Christian culture and our literal physical existence depends; he also notes in this context the most influential representatives of the opposing, ``oligarchical'' tendency in the history of thought. It is striking that LaRouche's list matches almost exactly one offered by postmodernist Wilhelm Dilthey about 75 years ago. Dilthey, a colleague of Nietzsche, highly praised by Heidegger, and the teacher of several Frankfurt School personnel, divided philosophy into two schools of thought: One was represented by Socrates, St. Augustine, Cusanus, and Leibniz; and the other by John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, and the mechanistic scientist Helmholz. But for Dilthey, the ``values'' are reversed: Socrates and his followers are not to be studied, but their influence destroyed!
LaRouche here is trying, almost singlehandedly, to revive the educational theory of Leibniz, the thinker Nietzsche called the ``greatest brake shoe on the intellectual integrity of Europe.'' Almost 300 years ago, Leibniz identified that there could only be two methods of education, the ``recitatorial'' and the ``scientific'': The recitatorial ``method is thus used for reducing things already known into a synopsis, and it also serves the purpose of teaching those who are looking for a historical acquaintance with doctrines without the reasons for them. But it does not preserve the order in which some truths are born of others; it is this order which produces science.... So I consider philosophy not as an orderly exposition of principles with which schoolboys or businessmen who require only rote learning can be satisfied, but as true science not yet made public.''
Education will either teach to confirm already known prejudices, as it does at Stanford; or it will create minds whose thirst for understanding is endless, which look for that ``true science not yet public.'' We will teach children to understand our physical universe in the consciousness of the immortality of great ideas of the past, and in the immortality of their own creative acts. LaRouche expresses this beautifully in his paper, ``On the Subject of Metaphor'': ``So ... the pupil's mind is populated, in effect, by a growing number of such past historical personalities of science, to the effect that the pupil not merely imagines these persons as if they were merely characters in some story, but knows each as a living, thinking person, through replication of some creative processes of each within the student's own mental processes.''
It must be emphasized: The alternative to LaRouche's idea, is book-burning. The postmodernists already have imposed a very effective censorship on America's campuses. Of course, one could respond by burning the postmodernists' books--but all that would leave would be ashes. LaRouche is offering a future in which each parent confidently knows that the divine spark of genius in his or her child has been kindled at an early age. Then, we can tell the postmodernists to publish all they want, for we are confident that our children will ignore them.
``All the critics of postmodernism, from Bloom on down, are defensive: `We respect your opinion, and we should widen our scope to be more sensitive to other cultures, but please don't force us to give up our Homer.'|''
``Lyndon LaRouche says: `No, you are completely wrong. Great authors are not dead, and I can prove that your own physical existence is dependent on those authors' living ideas.'|''
Lyndon LaRouche holding a seminar with college students in 1973. Getting LaRouche's ideas onto the campuses today, is the only hope of reversing ``politically correct'' lunacy.
``The horrors in Bosnia are simply the `culture of barbarism' sought by Lukacs, the `forced retardation' of Adorno, and the `primitivization' of Nietzsche and Heidegger.''
``What is going on in Bosnia is a forced march to tribalism, and postmodernists think tribal existence is a positive good, where people live more `authentically,' and the will to power is fully liberated.''
Recent news coverage of war crimes in Bosnia. The invariable political expression of postmodernism is ``Nazism-Communism.'' The Frankfurt School-trained organizers of rape and genocide in Bosnia are fulfilling Georg Lukacs's demand for a ``new culture of barbarism.''
In 1970, forty years after he first proclaimed the importance of Bachofen's theory of the Great Mother cult revival, 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:
An overwhelming amount of the philosophy and artifacts of the American counter-culture of the 1960s, plus the New Age nonsense of today, derives from a large-scale social experiment sited in Ascona, Switzerland from about 1910 to 1935.
Originally a resort area for members of Helena Blavatsky's Theosophy cult, the little Swiss village became the haven for every occult, leftist and racialist sect of the original New Age movement of the early 20th century. By the end of World War I, Ascona was indistinguishable from what Haight-Ashbury would later become, filled with health food shops, occult book stores hawking the I Ching, and Naturmenschen, ``Mr. Naturals'' who would walk about in long-hair, beads, sandals, and robes in order to ``get back to nature.''
The dominant influence in the area came from Dr. Otto Gross, a student of Freud and friend of Carl Jung, who had been part of Max Weber's circle when Frankfurt School founder Lukacs was also a member. Gross took Bachofen to its logical extremes, and, in the words of a biographer, ``is said to have adopted Babylon as his civilization, in opposition to that of Judeo-Christian Europe....if Jezebel had not been defeated by Elijah, world history would have been different and better. Jezebel was Babylon, love religion, Astarte, Ashtoreth; by killing her, Jewish monotheistic moralism drove pleasure from the world.''
Gross's solution was to recreate the cult of Astarte in order to start a sexual revolution and destroy the bourgeois, patriarchal family. Among the members of his cult were: Frieda and D.H. Lawrence; Franz Kafka; Franz WerBfel, the novelist who later came to Hollywood and wrote The Song of Bernadette; philosopher Martin Buber; Alma Mahler, the wife of composer Gustave Mahler, and later the liaison of Walter Gropius, Oskar Kokoschka, and Franz Werfel; among others. The Ordo Templis Orientalis (OTO), the occult fraternity set up by Satanist Aleister Crowley, had its only female lodge at Ascona.
It is sobering to realize the number of intellectuals now worshipped as cultural heroes who were influenced by the New Age madness in Ascona -- including almost all the authors who enjoyed a major revival in America in the 1960s and 70s. The place and its philosophy figures highly in the works of not only Lawrence, Kafka and Werfel, but also Nobel Prizewinners Gerhardt Hauptmann and Hermann Hesse, H.G. Wells, Max Brod, Stefan George, and the poets Rainer Maria Rilke and Gustav Landauer. In 1935 Ascona became the headquarters for Carl Jung's annual Eranos Conferences to popularize Gnosticism.
Ascona was also the place of creation for most of what we now call modern dance. It was headquarters to Rudolf von Laban, inventor of the most-popular form of dance notation, and Mary Wigman. Isadora Duncan was a frequent visitor. Laban and Wigman, like Duncan, sought to replace the formal geometries of classical ballet with recreations of cult dances which would be capable of ritualistically dredging up the primordial racial memories of the audience. When the Nazis came to power, Laban became the highest dance official in the Reich, and he and Wigman created the ritual dance program for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin--which were filmed by Hitler's personal director Leni Reifenstahl, a former student of Wigman.
The peculiar occult psychoanalysis popular in Ascona was also decisive in the development of much of modern art. The Dada movement originated in nearby Zurich, but all its early figures were Asconans in mind or body, especially Guillame Apollinaire, who was a particular fan of Otto Gross. When ``Berlin Dada'' announced its creation in 1920, its opening manifesto was published in a magazine founded by Gross.
The primary document of Surrealism also came from Ascona. Dr. Hans Prinzhorn, a Heidelberg psychiatrist, commuted to Ascona, where he was the lover of Mary Wigman. In 1922, he published a book, ``The Artwork of the Mentally Ill,'' based on paintings by his psychotic patients, accompanied by an analysis claiming that the creative process shown in this art was actually more liberated than than of the Old Masters. Prinzhorn's book was widely read by the modern artists of the time, and a recent historian has called it, ``the Bible of the Surrealists.''
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 United States 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 1930s.
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 Judeo-Christian 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.
When Lyndon LaRouche and six of his colleagues faced trial on trumped-up charges in 1988, LaRouche identified that the prosecution would rely on the Frankfurt School's authoritarian personality fraud, to claim that the defendants' intentions were inherently criminal. During the trial, LaRouche's defense attorney attempted to demonstrate the Frankfurt School roots of the prosecution's conspiracy theory, but he was overruled by Judge Albert Bryan, Jr., who said, ``I'm not going back into the early 1930s in opening statements or in the testimony of witnesses.''
To be illustrated with a pix of a TV anchorman at his desk
The most important thing to understand about ``the authoritarian personality,'' is that it is a sociological construct: it is not based on actions, but on predilections, on the measurement of alleged attitudes which are politically interpreted to mean whatever you want. It is ``thought crime,'' in the sense that George Orwell used that term in his 1984.
Try the following mental experiment: There is a crowded opening of a new exhibit at a famous art gallery; a man walks in, and from his overcoat, he pulls a revolver, and fires three shots in the air. What is the nature of this bewildering act?
Most people today, need go no further than the knowledge of the name. They are sufficiently retarded in their reasoning by the mass media, that they have returned to Walter Benjamin's Aristotelian Eden: the name tells them all they need to know. We begin to see the power of the Frankfurt School's techniques of ``re-naming,'' and repetition. We also begin to see why, when Lyndon LaRouche became an unignorable political phenomenon after the 1986 elections, there had to be such an obsessive repetition of the phrase ``political extremist,'' in connection with his name.
It's all marketing: You create problems like ``static cling,'' or ``ring around the collar,'' or ``political extremist Lyndon LaRouche,'' in order to justify solving those problems.
|Top of Page||Mass Brainwashing||Site Map||Overview Page|
EIR Issue: Who Controls the Media?, $10.00.