The Historical Roots of Political Correctness

“The highest art in the world cannot guild socialism. It is impossible to make beautiful, the denial of liberty.” — Auberon Edward William Molyneux Herbert, British writer, theorist, philosopher, and 19th century individualist.


Posted by P. Brooks.

America as a nation, is now dominated by an alien system of beliefs, attitudes and values, become known as Political Correctness (PC). It seeks to impose a uniformity in thought & behavior among all Americans and is therefore totalitarian in nature. It has roots in the ideology of Marxism, which requires a radical inversion of the prevailing traditional culture by Cultural Marxism (CM), in order to achieve a social revolution. Such a social revolution is the kind envisioned by Karl Marx, as an inversion of the social order and commensurate inversion of the power structure.

Social revolution has a long history involving a number of disparate forces, conceivably inspired by Plato’s “Republic”. But it was the French Revolution of 1789 which probably inspired Karl Marx to do what he did in the 19th century. In the 20th century, success of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 in Russia, sent a wave of optimistic expectation among Marxists in Europe & America believing the new Proletariat world of equality espoused by Karl Marx, was now at hand. Russia, as the first communist nation in the world, would lead revolutionary forces to final victory.

Marxist revolutionaries in Europe could not restrain themselves. They leapt at this opportunity to lead the proletarian workers into a promised new world. There was a Communist ‘Spartacist’ uprising in Berlin, led by Rosa Luxemburg; the creation of a Bavarian ‘Soviet’ in Germany, led by Kurt Eisner and an Hungarian ‘Soviet,’ established by Bella Kun in 1919.

There was great concern Europe might fall, under the banner of Bolshevism.

This sense of impending doom was given vivid life by Trotsky’s Red Army invasion of Poland in 1919, which was expected to begin a triumphant conquest of all Western Europe by Soviet Armed Forces – allied with local communists, according to Lenin’s plan.

However in 1920, Trotsky’s Red Army was defeated by Polish forces at the Battle of The Vistula – and the Spartacist, Bavarian Soviet & Hungarian Soviet moments all failed to gain widespread support of workers and after a brief time, were deposed by opposition forces.  These events created a quandary for Marxist revolutionaries in Europe. Under Marxist economic theory, oppressed workers were supposed to be beneficiaries of a social revolution that would place them on top of the power structure. When revolutionary opportunity presented itself, workers didn’t respond. Marxist revolutionaries did not blame their theory for these failures. They blamed workers. The Marxists resolved their quandary by an analysis focused on the cultural superstructure of society, rather than the economic substructure as Marx had done. Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci and the Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukacs contributed most to this, ‘Cultural’ Marxism.

Antonio Gramsci worked for the Communist International in 1923 – 1924, in Moscow & Vienna. He was later imprisoned in one of Mussolini’s jails where he wrote his famous “Prison Notebooks”. Among Marxists, Gramsci is noted for his theory of cultural & ideological hegemony, as the means of class dominance. His view that a new Communist Man must be made, before any political revolution could succeed, led to a focus on efforts of intellectuals in the fields of education & culture, to perform this task. This was to be a long march through society’s institutions – meaning government, judiciary, military, schools and the media. Gramsci concluded, so long as workers had Christian souls, they would not respond to revolutionary appeals. Multiculturalism thus can be seen as a means of breaking the grip of traditional cultural hegemony on American society.

Georg Lukacs, the son of a wealthy Hungarian banker, began his political life as a key Soviet agent of the Communist International. His book “History and Class Consciousness” gained him recognition as the leading Marxist theorist since Karl Marx.

Like Karl Marx, Lukacs’ primary emotion was hatred.

I saw revolutionary destruction of society as the one and only solution to cultural contradictions of the epoch,” was one of Lukacs’ noxious screeds. In defending Bolshevism, Lukacs proposed, “Such a worldwide overturning of values cannot take place without annihilation of old values and creation of new ones by revolutionaries.”

In 1919, Georg Lukacs became Deputy Commissar for Culture in the Bolshevik Bela Kun Regime in Hungary, where he instigated what became known as ‘Culture Terrorism’. Lukacs launched an explosive sex education program. Special lectures were organized in Hungarian schools and literature printed & distributed to instruct children about free love, the nature of sexual intercourse, the archaic nature of bourgeois family codes, the outdatedness of monogamy and the irrelevance of religion, which deprives man of all pleasures. Children urged to reject & deride paternal authority and the authority of the Church – and to ignore precepts of morality – easily & spontaneously turned into delinquents, with whom only the police could cope. This call to rebellion for Hungarian children, was matched by a call to rebellion for Hungarian women. This was a precursor to what Cultural Marxism would later bring to American schools.

As result of a meeting in 1923, attended by Lukacs & other Marxist intellectuals associated with the Communist Party of Germany, the “Institute of Social Research” was founded at Frankfurt University in Frankfurt, Germany in 1924. This Institute became known as ‘The Frankfurt School’. Its model was the ”Marx Engels Institute” in Moscow. The members of this Institute prepared numerous studies on beliefs, attitudes and the values they assumed led to the rise of German national socialism. These were critical studies combining Marxist analysis with Freudian psychoanalysis.

The sum of these critical studies became known as Frankfurt School Critical Theory.

Frankfurt School Critical Theory was essentially destructive criticism of the main elements of Western culture such as Christianity, capitalism, authority, family, patriarchy, hierarchy, morality, tradition, sexual restraint, loyalty, patriotism, nationalism, heredity, ethnocentrism, convention & conservatism.

Frankfurt School criticisms are reflected in their written works like, “Studies on Authority and the Family”, Erich Fromm’s ”Escape From Freedom” and his ”The Dogma of Christ”, Wilhelm Reich’s ”The Mass Psychology of Fascism” and Theodor Adorno’s “The Authoritarian Personality”, published in 1950.

Frankfurt School Critical Theory encompasses specific sub-theories such as matriarchal theory, androgyny theory, personality theory, prejudice theory, authority theory, family theory, sexuality theory, racial theory, legal theory and literary theory. These various sub-theories are used to induce inversion of the prevailing belief system, so Marxist revolutionaries can engineer a non-violent social revolution. As the Marxist social revolutionaries readily proclaim, their avowed purpose is to destroy the hegemonic white male power structure. This requires the inversion of beliefs of white males, so they feel compelled to relinquish their positions to women & minorities. This reflects the psycho-dynamics of social revolution, that lie at the core of Political Correctness.

The belief in patriarchy is inverted to a belief in matriarchy, in accordance with Frankfurt School matriarchal theory. The belief in distinct gender roles is inverted to belief that gender roles should not exist, in accordance with Frankfurt School androgyny theory. The belief in inherent differences among races is inverted to belief that differences do not exist, in accordance with Frankfurt School racial theory. The belief that heterosexual is the norm is inverted to belief that homosexuality is normal, in accordance with Frankfurt School sexuality theory. Frankfurt School prejudice theory as presented in Theodor Adorno’s “The Authoritarian Personality” had the intended effect of inverting belief about racial discrimination. The belief that racial discrimination was a normal instinctive response to a perceived threat to survival of a race, was inverted to belief that racial discrimination was evidence of social pathology and mental sickness in an individual. This Frankfurt School theory of prejudice was then applied to gender & sexual discrimination in much the same way.

By its very nature, Frankfurt School Critical Theory amounted to a grand scheme for inversion of the intrinsic worth of white heterosexual males, opening an intellectual door to the racial & sexual antagonisms of the Trotskyites, Herbert Marcuse and Betty Friedan. The expressed views of Leon Trotsky, adopted by his ‘Fourth International’, were especially revealing. Trotsky had denounced prejudiced white workers in scathing, bitter terms.  He asserted that due to oppression, Negroes could become the most revolutionary element of the population – and furnish the vanguard of the revolution. Trotsky demanded white workers assist blacks in this revolution.

Most young student leaders of the 1960’s counterculture revolution, to a large extent, followed dictates of Leon Trotsky, attempting to elevate black revolutionaries to positions of leadership. Since the counterculture revolution of the 1960’s was an attempt to invert prevailing culture – as its very description implies – acceptance of an inversion of white & black roles seemed logical to student revolutionaries.  These radical Marxists likewise followed Herbert Marcuse of the Frankfurt School – who became the admired philosopher on 1960’s campuses at American colleges & universities, with his advocacy of women’s & black revolutions.

As a Marxist revolutionary alumnus of the Frankfurt School, Herbert Marcuse became a key practitioner of revolutionary theory in America. In 1947, he argued for a Soviet style republic and welcomed anarchy, disintegration & catastrophe, to bring about revolutionary change. Marcuse preached the “Great Refusal”, sexual liberation and the merits of feminist & black revolutions. His primary thesis was that revolutionaries like university students, ghetto blacks, the alienated, the asocial, and the Third World, could take the place of the Proletariat. In his book, “An Essay On Liberation”, Herbert Marcuse proclaimed his aims of a radical transvaluation of values; the relaxation of taboos; cultural subversion; critical theory and a linguistic rebellion amounting to a methodical reversal of meaning. As for racial conflict, Marcuse echoed, ‘it is true that the white man is guilty and that the black population appears the most natural force of rebellion’. The similarity to Leon Trotsky’s mindset should be noted.

Another important revolutionary contributor to Political Correctness was Betty Friedan, who promoted the modern feminist movement in America & Canada with her book ”The Feminine Mystique”. In that book, she claimed the feminist movement was sex role revolution. This sex role inversion did indeed eventually take the form of the extreme demand for female combat soldiers & female fighter pilots, which was duly complied with by new American males. In her book, Betty Friedan devoted almost a full chapter to Abraham Maslow’s theory of self-actualization.

Abraham Maslow was a social psychologist, who in his early years, did research on female dominance and sexuality. Maslow was a friend of Herbert Marcuse at Brandeis University and had met with Erich Fromm in 1936. Maslow was so impressed by Fromm’s Frankfurt School ideology he wrote an article entitled, “The Authoritarian Character Structure”, published in 1944. This piece reflected the personality theory of Frankfurt School Critical Theory. Maslow was likewise impressed with Wilhelm Reich, another Frankfurt Schooler & originator of personality theory – which became integral to Marxist ideology in America.

The significance of the historical roots of Political Correctness cannot be fully comprehended unless Betty Friedan’s sex-role revolution is viewed for what it really is – a manifestation of a social revolutionary process begun by Karl Marx himself. Friedan’s reliance on Abraham Maslow’s reflection of Frankfurt School Marxist ideology is but one indicator.  The very idea of her sex role inversion corresponds with Georg Lukacs’ annihilation of old values & creation of new ones by Marxist revolutionaries and Herbert Marcuse’s radical transvaluation of all values. But the idea of transforming a patriarchy into a matriarchy – which is what a sex role inversion is designed to do – can be connected directly to Frederick Engel’s book, “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State”, published in 1884, which popularized a currently adopted feminist belief that deep-rooted discrimination against an oppressed female sex was a function of patriarchy.

Belief that matriarchy is the solution to patriarchy flows from Karl Marx’s comments in his ’The German Ideology” of 1845. In that document Marx advanced the theory that wives & children were the first property of patriarchal males, which Engels elaborated upon in his book, from notes by Marx. The Frankfurt School’s matriarchal theory and its related androgyny theory both originated from these sources. So there is historical consistency to this sex aspect of the Marxist social revolution. There is another historical consistency to the racial aspect of Marxist social revolution. Karl Marx had a revolutionary friend named Moses Hess, who introduced him to communism. In 1865, Hess wrote a dictum in his book, ”Rome and Jerusalem” that race struggle was primary. This could be seen as the inspiration of the Frankfurt School’s prejudice theory, as well as the attitudes of Leon Trotsky & Herbert Marcuse on the race subject.

There is further historical consistency to Marxist social revolution related to the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory as destructive criticism. In his 1844 war plan against the Prussian State, Karl Marx was more blunt about his use of ruthless criticism. Criticism was a weapon to destroy. He intended to destroy the bourgeois middle class in class warfare. Under Marx’s formula, the middle class Bourgeoisie would become the oppressing class, in which evils of society would be concentrated – and thus regarded as the notorious center of crime for the whole society. The middle class would be criminalized. This was the initial part of Karl Marx’s social revolutionary process leading to middle class disintegration. Later similarity to Herbert Marcuse’s use of the term ‘disintegration’ should be observed. In 1969, Marcuse wrote in “The Carnivorous Society”, What we must undertake is a type of diffuse and dispersed disintegration of the system.

It happens the Frankfurt School’s book, ”The Authoritarian Personality” authored by Theodor Adorno, et al, edited by Max Horkheimer & published in 1950, was a seminal event, because of its substantial impact on American social psychologists & social scientists of the day. It was one of a series of books entitled, “Studies on Prejudice”. Adorno’s premise evolved from a simplified formula developed by the Frankfurt School in Europe. Christianity plus capitalism, plus patriarchal authoritarian family, created a character prone to racial prejudice & German fascism. After the Frankfurt School group of social revolutionaries came to America in the mid-1930’s, they looked around and observed an America that was Christian, capitalist and with patriarchal families – so they sensed potential for authoritarian regime, as had came about in the Hitlerian Germany they left. As a result, ”The Authoritarian Personality” came to serve as an ideological handbook for a national campaign against any kind of prejudice or discrimination, on the theory that if these evils were not eradicated, another Holocaust might ensue. Political Correctness evolved from that milieu.

What had begun with the founding of the Frankfurt School in 1924, as destructive criticism of the elements of Western culture, had ended in “The Authoritarian Personality”, as a psychological method for pathologizing any evidence of religious, cultural or racial superiority, in the thinking & behavior among an American majority. No single religion was to be superior. No single culture was to be superior. No single race was to be superior. So multiculturalism was invented. And then no single sex was to be superior. And with nothing superior, there was nothing to value. It was to be a matter of choice by the individual self, since there was to be no higher authority than self. This is the very essence of Political Correctness. It serves as the means to conduct the psychic decapitation of any potential leader who might seek to unify Americans, on the basis of a shared religion, culture or race. Americans were to be kept fragmented by this radical individualism & subjected to a national condition of cognitive dissonance – meaning massive confusion over beliefs & values.

Then America could be treated as one vast psychopathic ward – and controlled accordingly.

The method selected by Marxist social revolutionaries to control the American people is rather simple. It is the use of dialectical stages of operant conditioning words. Only instead of the bourgeois middle class being made to bear the brunt of all society’s ills and merit the criminalization of that class – as Karl Marx proposed – the modern Cultural Marxists have substituted white heterosexual males as the class to be criminalized, with charges of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia or xenophobia, as given particular circumstances require. They have manipulated the federal government itself into passing laws & regulations against discrimination, to keep white males in their ‘psychic iron cage’, where they fear to challenge what is being done to the American nation. Then Hate Crimes were added to this cultural terrorism, to keep white males in their place. This was an inversion of reality, since those originating the charge of Hate Crimes were the ones actually guilty of attempting to destroy the white male power structure.

This is what Frankfurt School Critical Theory is all about inversion.

A review of the historical roots of Political Correctness would not be complete without reference to the psychological process of dialectic stages of operant conditioning, by words directed against the larger body of Western Man generally, before Frankfurt School Critical Theory came to be used against American white males. For more than a hundred years, Marxist social revolutionaries have leveled criminal-like charges of imperialism, colonialism, militarism, chauvinism, feudalism as well as fascism and Nazism in later years against Western Man. These words are still part of the Marxist vocabulary. But they were used only in the first dialectic stage. What has been happening in America is the second stage. First stage was designed to destroy the whole Western structure of power, which in earlier times dominated the world. Now in America, the process is the same, except social revolution in America is just part of this larger global picture.

The visible evidence Political Correctness reigns supreme over the American landscape is not a nice sight to behold, in the eyes of traditional Americans. For all practical purposes, the social revolution promoted by Marxists of the Frankfurt School and others like Leon Trotsky, Herbert Marcuse & Betty Friedan, has been successfully executed in America. There is virtually no sphere of American life left untouched. The revolutionary inversions of the prevailing belief system – as a result of Frankfurt School Critical Theory – has had the effect of preparing Americans for an ongoing & steadily increasing displacement of white males, by women & minorities in government, judicial, military, education & informational structures of society, as the Marxist revolutionaries intended. For example, at the 1996 Democratic National Convention, fifty percent of delegates were women. The Republican National Convention was not much better in its pandering. There was loud cheers when the first woman was appointed Secretary of State in 1997. Before that, the President’s cabinet consisted of just four Euro-white males – out of fourteen cabinet posts. The remainder were women & minorities. Herbert Marcuse should be proud, for there were no complaints. So would deceased Antonio Gramsci – especially if he knew about the ordination of women in churches and the gender-neutering & demasculation of prayer books and other texts in synagogues. This leads to expanding sexual madness in the land, brought on by Frankfurt School Critical Theory, which became transposed into our present bane of Political Correctness.

Originally published by the Free Congress Foundation, Number 44, June 1997

AUTHOR

Raymond V. Raehn

Raymond V. Raehn holds an M.A. degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University and is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College. He flew Navy fighter planes during World War II and became the Commander of a fighter squadron some years later. After serving on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operation, he retired to head a real estate development company. In 1981, he founded the United States Global Strategy Council and served as its president as an advocate of a comprehensive U.S. national security strategy which became law in 1986. He operates a family cattle ranch in South Texas.

©Raymond V. Raehn. All rights reserved. This column is republished with permission.

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