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The Roots of Authoritarian Globalism
SOCIETY AND POWER - 15/10/2023

Frankfurter Schule is a school of social theory and critical philosophy associated with the Institute for Social Research, founded at Goethe University Frankfurt in 1923. The Frankfurt School initially comprised intellectuals, academics, and political dissidents. Critical of both capitalism, national socialism, fascism and communism, as philosophically inflexible systems of social organization, the school's critical theory research indicated experimental paths to realize the social development of a society and a nation, which led to the present globalized, neoliberal catastrophe with more government control, injustice and social differences, worse than ever seen before.


The Frankfurt School perspective is based upon Freudian, Marxist and Hegelian methods of antipositivist sociology, psychoanalysis, and existentialism.
Soon after Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933, the Institute was targeted as a threat against the German nation and had to move from Frankfurt to Geneve, and then to New York City, in 1935, where the Frankfurt School joined Columbia University.


Religious affiliations of the Frankfurt School entailed a history with changes, continuities, and patterns. As historian Peter Gordon argues, "nearly all the core members of the Frankfurt School were Jewish by heritage if not by conviction or practice." Anti-semitic perspectives on Cultural Marxism as a Jewish conspiracy have convoluted and propounded this same observation.
Beginning in 1970, under the self-described "methodological atheism", religious and spiritual affiliations for the so-called "second generation" and "third generation" of the Frankfurt School ranged from Catholicism, Greek Orthodox Christianity, interdenominational Protestantism, and interdenominational Islam, to atheism, agnosticism, and Judaism.


In the Frankfurt School analysis, consumption culture and mass media displaced the role of a father figure in the paternalistic family. Rather than serving to liberate society from patriarchal authority however, this merely replaced it with the authority of the "totally administered" society.
The leftist view of modern art through the negation of traditional aesthetic form and traditional norms of beauty became the cultural characteristic of the Frankfurt School. It works constantly towards the annihilation of traditional concepts and images of beauty and harmony. The goal is to break the cultural part of the human tripod of freedom. Beyond the culture, this tripod consists of family and language.


The Frankfurt School took an active role in the New Left, organizing events with students in the United States and the West German student movements. In the 1970s, perceiving the limitations of the New Left, the Frankfurt School de-emphasized the third world and revolutionary violence in favor of a focus on social issues in the United States. It sought to recruit other movements on the political periphery, such as environmentalism and feminism to a popular front for socialism. During this period the Frankfurt School spoke enthusiastically about women's liberation. 

Seeing that the revolutionary moment of the 1960s was over, they advised students to avoid even a suggestion of terrorism. Instead appeared the project of the "long march through the institutions" which recommended educational institutions as a refuge for radicals. That explains today´s left influence on governmental institutions, justice and schools.
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