The Frankfurt School & Critical Theory


Marxist thinkers such as Antonia Gramsci and Georg Luckacs posited that religion and culture were the key factors behind the failure of the socialist revolution to materialize beyond the Soviet Union. These two factors suppressed people’s desire to revolt therefore the solution was that cultural values needed to be changed progressively from above through educational institutions such as universities and schools as well as through government and the media.

In 1923, The Institute of Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany, a Marxist-orientated research centre was founded. However, it was forced to shut a decade later when Hitler came to power. The members mostly fled to America and set up the Frankfurt School to resume their work at Columbia university, New York.

The Frankfurt School combined Marxist thought with psychoanalytical theory as believed people were socially and economically as well as sexually repressed. Religion, the family, marriage, heterosexuality and gender hierarchies, were all viewed as part of the problem. Key members include Max Horkheimer, Theodor, Adorno, Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse and Wilhelm Reich amongst others.

The below video provides a useful account of the Frankfurt School and its influence on the sexual revolution. (Warning: As it is produced from an outside source we are unable to edit its content so please be warned that it contains some explicit/nude images between 20:50 – 21:58 and between 26:34 – 27:07 ).  

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The Frankfurt School developed Critical Theory (see video below for a brief explanation). 

Numerous ‘ theories’ surround the Frankfurt School regarding its alleged destruction of Western civilisation. It has also been associated with giving birth to political correctness and cultural marxism (see video below).

The intellectual pursuits of the Frankfurt School played an essential role in creating the intellectual seedbed in which the sexual revolution took root.

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Brief explanation of Critical Theory 

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Frankfurt School and Rise of Political Correctness & Cultural Marxism 

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