Cause & Effect
Woods jumps from Stormer to Patrick Buchanan in his concluding remarks, which necessitates the construction of more straw men. He turns his attention to a paper by this writer, published in a peer-reviewed journal (although Woods does not mention this fact).1 It is notable that while Woods does not cite the paper in his endnotes, he embeds a link in his article, which does not go to the complete paper, but to an extract on Questia. Has Woods read the paper, or just gleaned some key words from the Questia ‘article excerpt’?2 Likewise we are tempted to wonder whether Woods has read Patrick Buchanan’s book itself, since the reference embedded in his article is merely a link to a Wikipedia entry.3
Woods leaps across the abyss of logic to allege conclusions counter to fact. He recognises that The Frankfurt School ‘denounced the conventional family unit as “fascistic,” and encouraged the youth of America to indulge their sexual impulses’, and from this claims that The Death of the West and Revolution from Above describe feminism as responsible for the plummeting birth rate of North America and Europe. ‘Bolton appears to agree with Buchanan’s assertion’.4
Woods has not understood that feminism, birth control and abortion are symptoms of an organic spiritual and cultural decline, and that capitalism, materialism and hedonism are part of an economic process that occurs at the late epoch of a civilisation. This historical morphology is intrinsic to the Right, as might be seen from at least the time of Giambattista Vico (1668-1744), but it is contrary to the progressive-Darwinian dogma of capitalism and the Left, which assume all such change to be ‘progress’. Buchanan quotes the historian Will Durant’s The Story of Civilisation, on the drastic and irreversible population decline in Greece and Rome, where abortion and infanticide became the norms. Buchanan refers to ‘an aging, dying Christian West’.5 Buchanan is clear enough: ‘As a growing population has long been a mark of healthy nations and rising civilizations, falling populations have been a sign of nations and civilizations in decline. If that holds true, Western civilization, power and wealth aside, is in a critical condition’.6 It was not conspiracies and cabals in Greece and Rome that caused these symptoms of decay, and neither Revolution from Above nor The Death of the West suggests they did. What both do suggest is that, to cite an interview by Buchanan, ‘Global capitalism and Marxism share a belief that it is far better to have women in the market place than in the home’.7 There is nothing controversial about this statement; it is a fact.
Turning to Bolton’s peer-reviewed paper ‘Cultural Marxism: Origins, Development, and Significance’,8 Woods claims that ‘Bolton further implies that the Frankfurt School devised the theoretical rationale for Gender and Sexuality Studies at The New School’. This is not the case, and earlier programmes during the Weimar era are considered. ‘Bolton imagines that these forms of research, inquiry, and critique benefit collectivist and oligarchical agendas’. Woods does not explain why there has long been a lavish patronage by the oligarchy on such ‘gender and sexuality studies’.
According to Woods, the ‘Cultural Marxism’ paper alleges, ‘The New School is a Soros-sponsored laboratory for testing new radical ideas before they are injected into mainstream culture, such as the “controversial” idea that sexuality is a “social construct.”’9 Again, the strategy is dramatizing and using a straw-man argument.
George Soros is a prominent funder of The New School. If Soros funds something, then it is to advance an agenda. Recently Soros announced at the World Economic Forum at Davos that he was advancing $1 billion to establish a ‘global university to fight authoritarian governments’.10 Again there will be another institution to churn out pseudo-scholarly studies on the ‘threat of the extreme Right’, and of ‘populism’,11 with as much objectivity as a research paper on tobacco funded by a tobacco company.
Conspiracy or Degeneracy?
The father of ‘Ethology’, Konrad Lorenz, pointed out fifty years ago that the rulers and policy-makers in the USA, China and the USSR were unanimous in their insistence on the conditionality of human behaviour. Lorenz described this behaviourist doctrine as ‘pseudodemocratic’, ‘inhuman’ and ‘satanic’, as it enables the ‘dehumanization’ and ‘manipulation’ of mankind. This is the crux of the matter, of what Woods et al. disparage as ‘conspiracy theory’. Lorenz explained:
It is equally important to the capitalist mass producer as to the Soviet functionary to condition people into uniform, unresisting subjects, not very different from those described by Aldous Huxley in his terrifying novel Brave New World.12
Lorenz warns that if a doctrine based on ‘a lie’ about human behaviour is universally accepted then the effects will be ‘disastrous’. This doctrine, Lorenz contends, is responsible for much of the ‘moral and cultural collapse that threatens the Western world’.13 Lorenz saw the methods used by ‘various “establishments”’ – whether capitalist or communist – to recondition people into their own preconceptions of the ideal, as ‘substantially the same throughout the world’. ‘We, ostensibly free, Western civilized people are no longer conscious of the extent to which we are being manipulated by the commercial decisions of the mass producers’.
While crafts disappear in the mass (global) consumer society, we are increasingly conditioned to consume according to the production requirements of mass manufacturers, and are not aware of our manipulation.14 Science itself has been conditioned by what is fashionable. Environmental conditioning is the fashion within science, just as it is within politics. What social policies within the Western states are not still dominated by Behaviourism?
However, Lorenz states that fallacious science does not cause the West’s ‘cultural diseases’, but is the product of them.15 That is to say, the position of the social engineers is enabled by a pre-existing weakness in the social organism; if the organism had not succumbed to age and disease in the first instant, it would have had the stamina to resist and repel these social pathologies that are in fact able to enter it. While the likes of Woods disparage ‘conspiracy theories’ as ‘over-simplification of complex issues’, they fail to understand that ‘conspiracy theories’ do not necessarily indicate causes, but rather symptoms. The cultural diseases of the West are the cause of the dehumanising impact of modern science, and not the effect.16 As Lorenz states, it is the social sciences with their behaviourist assumptions that represent the ‘simplification’ of complex issues in seeking to override the instinctual and inherited for the sake of a preconceived ideology.
Woods is resorting to the ‘simplistic’ (as Lorenz referred to it) behaviourist ideology when he states that,
Both Buchanan and Bolton admonish women and queer people for failing to obey traditional social and sexual norms. Feminists are portrayed as too selfish to raise families; queer people are depicted as too irresponsible to become members of a respectable society. The contentious debates over the legalization of gay marriage and the transgender bathroom controversy illustrate that the radical right often targets and demonizes queer people. Buchanan, Bolton, and their fellow right-wing authors seem convinced that pernicious ‘Cultural Marxists’ at The New School and other college campuses brainwashed the American people into believing that queer people deserve equal rights. Although LGBTQ+ advocacy and activism are a crucial extension of the American Civil Rights movement, Bolton argues that the whole affair is a deliberate outcome of the collectivist oligarchy’s assault on Tradition.17
Woods constructs more straw men in a flurry of radical rhetoric more suitable for a soap box than an academic journal. There is no ‘admonishing’ of ‘women and queer people for failing to obey traditional social and sexual norms’; there is no argument ‘that the whole affair is a deliberate outcome of the collectivist oligarchy’s assault on Tradition’. There is a carefully documented consideration (‘overflowing with references’, as Woods concedes) as to why the oligarchy would promote and fund the destruction of traditional bonds, and why there is a convergence of aims in this arena.
Lorenz says the same when he states that Behaviourism, as the basis of much of the social sciences, serves the interests of mass manufacturers just as it did Communist states, with its belief that humanity can be reshaped according to ideological or commercial requirements. Did not Charles Merriam, the dean – as we might say – of U.S. social sciences, say precisely that? Did not Aldous Huxley observe the process in his Brave New World?
Woods concludes his article by evoking images of a Right-wing assault on ‘progressive’ politics: ‘Some people think that it is a waste of time to devote scholarly attention to these conspiracy theories. After all, conspiracy theorists often dismiss anyone who doubts their credibility, debunks their claims, or disagrees with their worldview’.18 Again, we see Woods projecting: what does he – and the entirety of the Left – do other than to ‘dismiss anyone who doubts their credibility, debunks their claims, or disagrees with their worldview’? In reality, because their anti-Right mania accords with that of the Establishment, the Left has the advantage of being onside with the mass media, state authorities, and well-funded think tanks that provide source material for smears by hack journalists.19
Identity Politics vs. Identitarianism
This Rightist conspiracy is a ‘larger metapolitical project to contest liberal values and promote right-wing identitarian politics’, writes Woods. Because Leftist ‘identity politics’ and Rightist identitarianism are antithetical, Woods upholds ‘identity politics’ while decrying identitarianism as fascist and racist.
This is something that the free-market liberals of pseudo-conservativism do not understand, because their origins, as Lasch found, are Whig-Liberal and not conservative. ‘Identity politics’ states that ‘identity’ is a social construct and can be changed by the individual at will. There is nothing organic about one’s ethnicity or even gender. When the individual is not subjected to the ‘primary ties’, as Critical Theory calls them, he can change – or be changed – by social engineering.
Contrary to this, one’s identity, according Rightist identitarianism, is fixed over long periods of time, is organic and is maintained and enriched with the help of tradition, religion, and myth. The Leftist conception of identity is one of fluidity; that of the Right one of permanence.
To Woods, the Right ‘preys on genuine economic precarity and cultural anxiety’. ‘For instance, he [Bolton] re-directs post-2008-financial-crisis contempt for Wall Street into an irrational fear of “progressive” politics. In the end, reactionary identitarianism is offered as the only way to resist dialectical capitalism’.20 Perhaps Woods has only read the redacted version of Revolution from Above that appears on the internet? So far from re-directing ‘post-2008-financial-crisis contempt for Wall Street’, Revolution from Above, at the first sentence of the concluding paragraph, states: ‘In general it can be stated that many of these problems are the direct result of the debt-finance, trade and economic system that is operated by the oligarchs’.21
Woods must conclude with non sequiturs, stating that Revolution from Above claims, ‘Any academic critique of social and economic inequality is covert propaganda for the globalist oligarchy’. The Right was in the forefront of critiquing the social and economic inequality of capitalism, while it was Whig-liberalism that saw the inequities of industrialism and money as part of an evolutionary process; Marx similarly regarded the social inequities as a necessary part of the dialectical process, and condemned as ‘reactionists’ those who sought to halt and reverse the process.
During the mid-nineteenth century a conservative socialist movement arose among German ‘clergymen, nobles, guild masters, romantic thinkers and poets’, advocating ‘a modernized medieval order or a social monarchy’, based around a ‘reorganization of the Guild system’. 22 This movement ‘could not accept ideas and demands and economic practices which were based on individual freedom of judgment and of action – without regard to the Church, the State, and the community, and placed egoism and self-interest before subordination, commonality, and social solidarity.23 This Rightist call for a return to the organic community was anathema to Marx, and he condemned the movement as ‘feudal socialism’, and ‘reactionary socialism’.24
One seeks in vain for a fundamental critique of debt-finance from the Left. One looks to their father, Marx for guidance, only to find that Marx did not understand the significance of credit, circulation, and the means of exchange as the ‘dominant moment’ in capitalist production.25 Marx especially critiqued Proudhon and other French socialists for their belief that the exchange processes (credit) were distorted by the banks. Marx said that the means of circulating production was ‘mere semblance’.26 In his Fundamentals of Political Economy Criticism,27 Marx explains at length that ‘Production [is] directly identical with consumption’, ‘Consumption is also immediately production’, and that ‘exchange of activities and abilities which takes place within production itself belongs directly to production and essentially constitutes it’.28 As an analyst of the primary flaw in capitalist production and consumption, Marx is useless. One must look to the analysis of those such as C. H. Douglas, whose Social Credit theory is intrinsic to any genuine Right.29
Woods continues, ‘Bolton’s caricature of The New School is an attempt to devalue and discredit the humanities, the social sciences, and critical inquiry in general.’30 If the description of the New School and Critical Theory is a ‘caricature’ then that is because of the farcical character of doctrines that Lorenz described as falsehoods. ‘Bolton strives to persuade his readers that only anti-academic conspiracy theorists can be trusted to tell the truth about modern history and politics’.31 Projection. Woods implies that only Leftists ‘can be trusted to tell the truth about modern history and politics’. The dogmatism that controls academe results in the denigration and suppression of scholars such as the psychologist Richard Lynn, who had his emeritus status withdrawn by Ulster University in 2018; or sociologist Ricardo Duchesne of the University of New Brunswick, who took early retirement after being condemned by 100 faculty members for being a ‘white supremacist’, with Professor Gary Waite stating that criticism of multiculturalism ‘has no place in academia’.32 The manner by which opinions contrary to the Left have been suppressed in the social sciences reveals Woods’ protest of a scholarly high ground as nothing but cant.
Woods’ concluding sentences ring out like a zealous young Red Guard condemning ‘class enemies’ during the Cultural Revolution: ‘The fight against the radical right must take place not only in the streets, but also in universities like The New School’.33 According to Woods, this is a political fight of the Left against the Right. There is no room for a Socratic dialectic; just the imposition of dogma, totalitarian style.
1Bolton, ‘Cultural Marxism: Origins, Development, and Significance’, ‘Journal of Social, Political & Economic Studies (Washington D.C.), Vol. 43, No. 3 & 4, Fall & Winter 2018, pp. 272-284.
2Questia ‘article excerpt’.
3‘Death of the West’, Wikipedia.
4Woods, ‘A Secret Invasion’.
5Patrick Buchanan, op. cit., p. 48.
6Ibid., p. 11.
7Buchanan interview with Right Now!, No. 35, April-June 2002, cited in Revolution from Above, p. 160.
8Bolton, ‘Cultural Marxism: Origins, Development, and Significance’, op. cit.
9Woods, ‘A Secret Invasion’.
10Katherine Burton, ‘George Soros to Start $1 Billion Fund to Fight Nationalists, Climate Change’, Bloomberg Green, January 24, 2020.
11For how the globalist funded think tanks feed the news media for smearing the Right see: Bolton, ‘What’s Behind the Anti-Right Witch-Hunt’, Arktos Journal, July 10, 2019.
12Konrad Lorenz, Civilized Man’s Eight Deadly Sins, (Helen & Kurt Wolff, 1974), p. 87.
13Ibid., p. 88.
14Ibid., p. 89.
15Ibid., p. 98.
16Ibid., p. 98.
17Woods, ‘A Secret Invasion’.
19Bolton, ‘What’s Behind the Anti-Right Witch-Hunt?’, op. cit.
20Woods, ‘A Secret Invasion’.
21Bolton, Revolution from Above, p. 252.
22Max Beer, A General History of Socialism & Social Struggles, Vol. 2 (New York: Russell & Russell, 1957), p. 109.
23Max Beer, ibid., p. 88.
24Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto (1848), Chapter III, ‘Socialist & Communist Literature: 1. Reactionary Socialism’.
25Karl Marx, Economic Manuscripts 1857-58 , p. 36, cited by Gareth Stedman Jones, Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion (Penguin Books, 2016), pp. 391-392.
26Marx, ibid., p. 186, cited by Jones, ibid.
27Karl Marx, Fundamentals of Political Economy Criticism (1861).
28Karl Marx, ibid., (Section 2).
29For a history of banking reform in theory and practice see: Bolton, Opposing the Money Lenders: The Struggle Against Interest-Slavery (London: Black House Publishing, 2016); The Banking Swindle (2013).
30Woods, ‘A Secret Invasion’, op. cit.
32‘UNB Prof Accused of Being White Supremacist Takes Early Retirement’, CBC News, June 4, 2019.
33Woods, ‘A Secret Invasion’.
In graduate school in the 80s, I ate lunch–not with other biology students–but with a crowd that was mostly made up of political philosophers—purportedly conservative ones. I kept trying to assert that sex and reproduction were very close, if not at the very center, of all politics. My friends seemed to think that there was something odd, something prurient, about my contentions. Perhaps they read better the social hints that some topics were to be avoided if there was to be any hope of becoming employed, finding a mate and raising a family. Even if it could be afforded, I do not know who would ensure its placement—but fancifully imagining that I were to get a tombstone at the end of my atomized, greatly neutralized life, I would at least hope it to read: “Schmitt was Right and he fought like mad.”
I have absolutely no interest in pleading for sympathy. But I DO want people to understand the absolute evil of the system that is arrayed against us. I want people to be attentive enough–and motivated enough–to intelligently, actively and effectively resist the crushing malevolence of “just how things work”—and how they “work” with a little help from those who do conspire to shape events.
Thank you for articulating these matters so well. I especially hope young men and women will pay attention to what you are saying, and to the degree that it is possible for those of us who are older, I hope we can help them erect societies, economies and institutions that serve the Good—which is not as hard to define as some like to make it if you exclude the noisemakers.
Dear Dr. Bolton,
I was wondering in the face of present day degeneracy and since you seem to know decididly more about the Frankfurt school of thought then I do, if you would be interested to share your thoughts on the positive insights of the FS and what could be learned from them in theory and praxis.
Especially when it comes to Adorno many things read themselves almost paleo-conservative if one compares them to the situation today (his hatred for pop-culture, advertisement and consumerism etc.)
Also wouldn’t it be a a nice way to trigger friend and foe alike ?
There has been an interesting discussion on this particular topic in the comment section of Mr. Bolton’s piece on Marxism and the destruction of the family, published here as well. Some readers have pointed out that a more balanced approach to the Frankfurt Schoool is indeed needed. I happen to agree with this as well.
The purpose of the FS was one of destruction. This is achieved by targeting the ‘primary ties’, which are another name for organic bonds. One might see the fulfillment of FS ideology in Jonestown, or Charles Manson’s ‘Family’. Marcuse saw the New Left as positive, while Horkheimer, back in Frankfurt, saw it turn on him. The FS ideologues were flawed personalities and their ideology reflected this. What can be synthesized from their example is had via Christopher Lasch, who rejected the Left as redundant, and unsuccessfully tried to find ‘real conservatism’. There are aspects of FS that can be integrated but they are marred by the will-to-destroy. They refer to Nietzsche for example, but what has Nietzsche to do with the unleashing of atavistic impulses rather than sublimation? When one reads Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization or Fromm’s Fear of Freedom, etc. there is surely little that is of use, and much of it has become part of the present system.
Dear Dr. Bolton,
One of the most interesting parts of the history of the Frankfurt school is Adorno’s biopgraphy to the end of his life, where he negated and found himself negated in a way e.g. when his assistents and students occupied his institute and he called the police, or when editors of Suhrkamp asked for the help of him in their conflict with their bosses and he called them “useless persons” (A Marxist term referring to degenerates like pimps, prostitutes, alcoholics etc.) and “pre-Marxist syndicalists”. Also shortly after he was flashed with bare tits during a lecture he had a heart attack. I tried to find material on this episode but didn’t find much. Do you have any deeper insight ?
I do believe one has to differentiate when one engages with the Left’s theoretical canon, along the following lines:
1. The Issue that is discussed. Does it actually exist or is it just man up to support an agenda ? e.g. the exploitation of the working class by capital in the 19th and early 20th century
2. The analysis delivered (even if one does not agree, with the theoretical underpinnings) e.g. History as the history of class war
3. The theoretical underprinnings e.g. Hegelian Dialectics, Dialectical an Historical materialism by Marx
4. The real world applied or intended policies e.g. sieze the means of production, dictatorship of the proleteriate etc.
Klaus and Brad, you are opening up some potentially interesting topics. Your very open-ended questions call for some discussion , I think, on your part. It seems like you have some interest and access to ideas regarding the Frankfurt School. You have started with the slightly informative hints about pop culture, advertising and consumerism as well as a remark about the family. I am hungry for more, even from you question side, in addition to whatever Dr. Bolton supplies in responses.
Klaus, I apologize. I scrolled past your last enumeration of points not realizing that it was new. Now that I know better what types of questions interest you, I will (respectfully) say that those diverge from what I consider important questions. Perhaps I am a bit of a Philestine regarding these topics in political philosophy. I do believe, to put a finer point on it, that these are time-wasting deliberations—especially given the current crisis. I won’t be surprised, however, if somewhere down the line that–all of a sudden–I might just “get it.” Again, opinions regarding the abstract issues you raise may merely reflect my ignorance and lack of education in political theory. For someone such as myself, the real topics are questions of virtue, heroism, faith and charity, particularly as these concepts act on multidimensionally-intersecting, bivalent, dichotomous scales of individualism versus cooperativity; hierarchy versus personal autonomy; and centralization versus decentralization. (E.g., good individualism contra bad individualism, and likewise for the remaining items mentioned.) None of those matters that I just mentioned can be properly addressed without a properly integrated view of matter and spirit that shuns any sort of dualism. Similarly, theory and practice must also be dynamically and wisely integrated (phronesis) if these things are to become lived qualities and concepts.
Dear Mr. Schmitt,
I think you may misunderstand me. The questions I proposed were meant exemplary. I started to engage with theoretical cannon of the Old Left including the first generation of the Frankfurt school because I was curious if they actually deserved all the hate and ended up astonished that the discontent with the status quo is more than once overlapping if one is willing to dig a little deeper. This has lead me to wonder what could be found there in terms of analysis, strategy and real world policies waiting to be harvested. This means decidedly not sharing the goal setting. As you know much of the strategical considerations on our side of the political spectrum go back to Antonio Gramsci via his rediscovering by Alain de Benoist. I’m just wondering what other apples might be waiting to be picked out there.
Maybe Dr. Bolton has a few suggestions ? Otherwise I might list some if the editing doesnt mind. Especially the theoretical cannon of the Wilhelmian and Weimar Republican German Social democracy is quite intriguing.
Thank you, Klaus. I appreciate your adding some specifics o your question. Perhaps he intuitively perceived these topics. I will sit back and enjoy the show.
I do not believe their analysis goes anywhere as a true ‘great refusal’ to use Marcuse’s term. As Mr Leimann states, it backfired on on FS back in Germany , but that was a political generation of their creation, and as some of the FS lamented too banal to be a real alternative to anything. The inherent destructive character of the ideology is not so much directed against capitalism as against the remnants of tradition, or the ‘primary ties’, as Fromm called the organic bonds. Hence, part of the explanation as to why the oligarchic foundations funded them. They provided the doctrine of social engineering and control, even if that was not their intention. Their ideal of instant gratification accords with market ideology, rather than being a transcendence of it. The destructive character of their doctrine is not so much Marx, who does have lessons for the Right , as Freud, although Freud himself was not in agreement with his leftist interpreters.
Dear Dr. Bolton,
I know it’s a provocative question, but if you were able to eradicate the influences of one school of thought from post WWII history, which would you choose, if you were forced at gun-point ?
The Frankfurt school of thought (Horkheimer, Adorno, etc.) or the Neo-Liberal school of thought (Mont Pèlerin Society, Hayek, Mises, Friedmann, the Chicago boys etc.) ?
I think Adorno (although I don’t share your negative view of this intellectual and his work) is delivering a negative example of the intellectual in his ivory tower, who always stays in the abstract, somewhat unaware of the results of his writings in the real world, which later killed him in a way.
In comparison (and I truely reject them intellectually) a Foucault or a Satre were never just scribblers but also activists, which fruitful for both roles and are therefore more of a role model.
What would be your take on that comparison ?
Dear Dr Bolton, Too often, we in the New Right simply take for granted the vital work done by those few of us who have committed themselves to an open and sustained assault on that part of the globalist hostile elite’s infrastructure that is least vulnerable – most shielded by funding, privilege and prestige – to our direct probing: the ‘establishment academia’. Too few of us have that rare combination of capacity, stamina and courage to fight this particular fight openly under their own name, but your ‘critique of critical theory’ demolition of Woods’ review proves that no amount of multi-year ‘research’ funding, no amount of ‘peer reviewed’ political correctness and no amount of pharisaic sophistry will protect the Goliath of the ‘establishment academia’ from a straight-aimed knock-out blow by its unseen, unpaid and understaffed New Right enemy. Of course, the pathetic clawing of the ‘new-academic’ nihilist left, such as Woods’ mercenary review of your Revolution from Above, cannot even scratch the surface of the monumental tradition of Western scholarship in the Humanities and the Social Sciences that has now taken refuge in the New Right. Almost entirely staffed by feminist, minority-rights and SJW activist appointees, the ‘establishment academia’ is now effectively beneath our contempt: this is one institutional part of ex-Western civilization that can be written off as a total loss – a future generation can resort to a relatively simple device of wholesale amputation of this ‘degenerate science’. Even so, it is right and proper that you took the time to remind our enemies – and ourselves – of the New Right’s ability to refute, in devastating detail, every single ‘academic’ sophistry throw at it. Of our ability, when necessary, to expose their ‘critiques’ of New Right scholarship – coming out of transparently biased institutions such as the ‘Centre of Analytics of the Radical Right’ – and show them for what they are: a poisonous mix of politically-correct denunciation, psycho-social projection, deliberate conflation and deliberate misrepresentation. One might be tempted to wonder what is the main ingredient of these ‘critiques’: pure maliciousness or simple stupidity? But then one should remember the necessary relation between ‘foundation’ and ‘publicly’ funded ‘scholarship’ and the ‘hand that feeds’. In another dispensation, Woods-type scholars might very well have done useful work – work of the ‘pure science’ type that is has been largely eliminated from the Humanities and Social Sciences after their boomer-heyday ‘hostile take-over’. In my own field, Near Eastern Studies, dissertations of the ‘Gender Politics in 22nd Dynasty Egypt’ and ‘Sexual Identity in Late Babylonian Sources’ type are now the ‘new normal’. The outcome of ‘establishment academia’ ‘critiques’ of New Right scholarship is predictable – it has, as you put it, ‘as much objectivity as a research paper on tobacco funded by a tobacco company’. This has been proven, once more, by your ‘critique of critical theory’ article dealing with Woods’ review. I suspect that the main purpose of Woods’ review of your Revolution from Above was simple internal use in the ‘academic’ echo-chamber: apparently, your book struck some vital but otherwise invisible nerve centre and it caused enough discomfort for the otherwise complacent ‘establishment academia’ to warrant some kind of minimal ‘for the record’ response. Because the (CCF-National Endowment-New School) lines that you have traced back the ‘foundations’ – and to the more sinister forces beyond – go straight to the heart of the globalist hostile elite’s power networks. Perhaps the most important quote you chose to include in your article refers to this: ‘it must be recognized that the power these energetic left-wingers exercised was never their own power or communist power, but ultimately the power of the international financial coterie.’ Our New Right movement has nothing to oppose to material and manpower means that this coterie can field against us: we have no ‘congresses’, ‘bursaries’, ‘visiting scholar programs’, ‘exchange scholarships’. And so, most New Right thinkers, publicists and activists, all fighting their own (smaller or bigger) fights for their own (smaller or bigger) peoples across the Western world, lack substantial resources and outlets, but that also has an advantage: it keeps us on the straight and narrow road of austerity and virtue. And so, unlikely to meet any time soon in any kind of ‘expense account’ funded ‘congress’, I send you – almost precisely from the other side of the world – my thanks for your long-standing commitment to our cause. I also add my voice to that of another commentator of your article, David Schmitt, when he succinctly states the ultimate reason for our collective commitment to our New Right cause, viz. ‘the absolute evil of the system that is arrayed against us’.
Dear Dr Wolfheze
Thank you for your interesting comments and encouraging words. At the risk of seeming like mutual back-slapping, I find your articles particularly thought provoking and informative. Presently I am writing a book on Critical Theory and the social sciences in general for Black House Publishing which has obliged me to plough through major texts by Fromm, Marcuse, et al. Despite their rhetoric on ‘commodification of culture’ and ‘one dimensional man’ under capitalism etc. the upshot is that they really do not have anything positive to teach us.
My priority for elimination would be the neo-liberals; although both they and the Critical Theorists converge in aiming to destroy the ‘primary ties’ that constitute an organic society. I challenge anyone to explain how the Critical Theorists can teach the Right anything of a positive character, that is superior to Evola, Spengler, Guenon, Heidegger, Jung, Kornad Lorenz, Aleix Carrell, Ludovici det al.
Much has been written here about the rightist aspects of the Frankfurt school. Mr. Bolton heaps the most criticism on Marcuse and Fromm, and rightly so. Evola in Cavalcare la tigre exposed Marcuse as superficial. However there remains something to be said about Adorno. Adorno made a point out of formulating his theses in a very incomprehensible way. He consciously strove for difficult grammar and meandering sentences. This shows a certain elitism and incompatibility with today’s ADHD philosophy which can be reduced to a couple of tweets.
He took the idea of dialectical philosophy and applied it to the whole of western philosophy. Not only did he apply it within philosophy but also out of it, in the end proclaiming that myth and enlightenment are the same. In this he basically undertook a project that is very similar though not as radical as Heidegger’s.
I believe Adorno never understood why Heidegger found it necessary to develop a new language to be able to philosophise, which is why Adorno was unable to transcend the dialectic he described. Adorno’s polemic against Heidegger is for many reasons disappointing, but it servers to illustrate this point. This inability Adorno himself recognised which is why he remained in rejection.
From an aesthetic point of view, Adorno, too, was an elitist, being interested in abstract conceptual music and classical music. He bashed popular capitalist culture. And even though he found himself in the part of the left that is least agreeable to a person of our constitution, within this millieu he was the most agreeable.
I believe had Adorno grown up not with marxist friends but surrounded by an Evola or a Leo Strauss, he might very well have gone on to become a rightist philosopher. But this being the point – he is fundamentally a very intelligent follower – not a leader.