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Author Topic: Adorno And the Focus On Anti-Semitism As the Origin of Marxist Political Correctness  (Read 1826 times)

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Adorno And the Focus On Anti-Semitism As the Origin of Marxist Political Correctness
Bernard Pyron

Anti-Semitism Played A Major Role In the History of Frankfurt School Transformational Marxism, 

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-scale_(personality_test)

"The California F-scale is a 1947 personality test, designed by Theodor W. Adorno and others to measure the authoritarian personality.[1] The "F" stands for "fascist". "

"The purpose of the F-scale is to measure an antidemocratic personality structure, usually defined by authoritarianism. A score of above 80 on the F-scale test indicates that the subject may be suffering from severe psychopathology"

"The scale specifically examines the following personality dimensions:

    Conventionalism: conformity to the traditional societal norms and values of the middle class;
    Authoritarian submission: a passive notion towards adhering to conventional norms and values;
    Authoritarian aggression: punishing and condemning individuals who don’t adhere to conventional values;
    Religion and Ethics;
    Power and "toughness";

Anti-intraception, i.e. "rejection of all inwardness, of the subjective, the imaginative, the tender-minded, and of self-criticism."

There was a great deal of interest during the late fifties and early sixties by personality and social psychologists in the Theodore W. Adorno studies published in the 1950 book. The Authoritarian Personality, by Theodore W. Adorno and others.

But soon, by 1960, psychologist Milton Rokeach published his book, The Open and Closed Mind.

Rokeach had developed an alternative approach to the study of "The Authoritarian Personality," which he called the "Open and Closed Mind."  He developed another paper and pencil questionnaire, which was the  Dogmatism Scale.  See: https://psychology.wikia.org/wiki/Rokeach_Dogmatism_Scale

"The scale was an early attempt to measure pure authoritarianism, whether left or right. The intended purpose of the scale was to measure "closed mindedness" without regard to ideology."

Rokeach did not say that there was no such thing as totalitarian dogmatism, but that it was not limited to the Right Wing or to Conservatives.  There was also a Left Wing Dogmatism or Totalitarianism."  The work of the Theodore W. Adorno group in the book, The Authoritarian  Personality, was biased toward the idea that the Authoritarian or Totalitarian Personality was limited to Conservatives or to Fascists, which was what the Marxist Adorno was interested in.


"A major point of departure for Rokeach’s studies were the investigations by Adorno and his associates which culminated in the publication of The Authoritarian Personality in 1950. This research, which began in 1943 when, for obvious reasons, anti-Semitism had assumed a peculiar saliency for social scientists, gradually was broadened to include other forms of intolerance as well. As the research progressed, the study’s well-known F scale, originally designed to measure personality traits underlying a fascist outlook, was used to test authoritarianism in general, and so those who scored high on this scale were hence dubbed “authoritarian.” The results showed that such people tended to be ethnocentric, intolerant of Negroes and Jews, and politically conservative. But the shift from measuring “fascism in personality” to measuring the “authoritarian personality” led to some awkward difficulties. As a number of critics pointed out, the scale did not in fact reveal authoritarianism per se, but only right-wing authoritarianism. More particularly, the test items were so worded that members of the Communist party did not emerge as authoritarian if they were measured by the F scale."

Remember that Anti-Semitism Played A Major Role In the History of Frankfurt School Transformational Marxism.   But Rokeach's work focuses not so much on Anti-Semitism as a point of origin for  Dogmatism as Rokeach defines it as it does in the Adorno theory that Fascism is caused by the Authoritarian Personality, and the Family and Christianity. which Marxism opposes specifically.

Transformational Marxism Differs from the Bolshevik Marxism of the Russian Revolution.  Transformational Marxism acknowledged that the dominant Culture in the West had to be changed before a Marxist collectivist culture and totalitarian government could be created.  The Transformattonal Marxists first made use of Freud's theories as a basis for their work of changing the Culture in the West.  Later, when the Frankfurt School Transformational Marxists settled in the major universities in the United States, they began to make use of American Personality and Social Psychology.  And so Transformational Marxism became "psychologized."  It's theories and ideology about  Anti-Semitism became a psychologized theory of Anti-Semitism.

The ideas of  Social Psychologists, Personality Theorists and Clinical Psychologists like Kurt Lewin, Abraham H. Maslow, and Carl R. Rogers, from more mainstream psychology, contributed to the work of changing the culture.  And, in addition, the Frankfurt School had its own psychologists and psychiatrists, who were influenced by psychoanalysis, such as Eric Fromm, and Wilhelm Reich.

Georg Lukács, 1885-1971, was one of the original Founders of the Frankfurt School of Transformational Marxism.  He understood that Protestant Christianity, in its spiritual transformation of the individual, and the Culture that Protestant Christianity created, prevented Marxism from taking over Western Europe and the United States. So Marxism must get rid of that Protestant Christianity and that Culture it created.

Though Lukács himself did not develop a specific method for the abolition of that Culture which grew out of the Northern Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation, Theodore Wiesengrund Adorno, 1903-1969, with other Frankfurters in the U.S. did lay the foundation for the Identity Politics now being used by Marxists to combat that Western dominant culture from the Renaissance-Reformation  which  Lukács had identified.

The Northern Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation were important for the development of that Culture which Lukacs understood to be a major hinder to the takeover of Western Europe and the U.S. by Marxism because that Northern Renaissance created the scholarship which enabled the Reformation to began in Northern Europe.  For example, Desiderius Erasmus, 1466-1536, was from Holland.  Erasmus created the Textus Receptus, which made the original Greek of the New Testament again available to translate into the common languages of Europe, including English in about 1526 by William Tyndale. Before Erasmus created the Textus Rceptus, the Bible was only available  to most people in the form of the Latin Vulgate of Jerome.

See:  http://newpol.org/content/frankfurt-school-and-jews

"Fortunately, Horkheimer and Adorno’s approach began to change in 1939-1940, when they began to develop a vast research project on anti-Semitism, ultimately sponsored by the American Jewish Committee."

"Adorno and Horkheimer organized, as mentioned above, a vast research project on anti-Semitism, which resulted in several books published as a series, “Studies in Prejudice.” The best known is The Authoritarian Personality (1948), written, in part, by Adorno, which showed that anti-Semitism is intimately associated with certain character structures, such as blind submission to authority, violent aggressive attitude toward the “other,” and rigid stereotypical thinking. Leo Löwenthal and Norbert Guterman wrote the second book of the series, Prophets of Deceit (1949), dealing with American anti-Semitic agitators such as Father Coughlin, Gerald L. K. Smith, and a few others. Curiously enough, there is hardly a mention, in this context, of the most influential—by far!—American anti-Semite, namely Henry Ford, author of The International Jew (1921), who not only had a big impact in the United States, but whose book became a favorite of a German fascist named Adolf Schickelgruber. "

Note that the "theory" which Adorno and Horkheimer created around their interest in anti-semiticism looks a lot like a theory within American Personality and Social Psychology. In fact, in the fifties, this theory was accepted by many people then working in American Personality and Social Psychology.  At that time one of the most referenced topics in the Social and Personality   Psychology peer review journals was the F Scale, which Adorno and his associates used in heir paper and pencil questionnaire study of anti-semiticism and the Authoritarian Personality.

And in the 1950 book, The Authoritarian Personality, Adorno as senior author does get into his original interest in the study of anti-semiticism.

"The present inquiry into the nature of the potentially fascistic
individual began with anti-Semitism in the focus of attention.
The authors, in common with most social
scientists, hold the
view that anti-Semitism is based more largely upon factors in
the   subject   and   in   his   total   situation   than   upon   actual
characteristics   of   Jews,   and   that   one   place   to   look   for
determinants of anti-Semitic opinions and attitudes is within the
persons who express them.."

"And since from the start the
research was guided by the hypotheses stated above, it was
supposed (1) that anti-Semitism probably is not a specific or
isolated   phenomenon   but   a   part   of   a   broader   ideological
framework, and (2) that an individual's susceptibility to this
ideology depends primarily upon his psychological needs. "

"The   task   of   fascist   propaganda,   in   other   words,   is
rendered   easier   to   the   degree   that   antidemocratic   potentials
already exist in the great mass of people."

Although Adorno and other Frankfurters in the U.S. at the time talked about "Critical Theory" and pretended their theory on the cause of fascism and the Authoritarian Personality being centered around anti-semiticism and rigidity was real social science, what they were creating was more of a strategy for political propaganda purposes to change the American Culture - and, as it worked out, through the Universities.

"Once the earthly family is discovered to be the secret of the
heavenly family, the former must be destroyed (annihilated), in theory
and in practice." Karl Marx, Feuerbach Thesis #4

“The authoritarian family becomes the factory in which the state’s
structure and ideology are molded.” Wilhelm Reich The Mass Psychology of

“The conception of the ideal family situation for the child:
uncritical obedience to the father and elders, pressures directed
unilaterally from above to below, inhibition of spontaneity and
emphasis on conformity to externally imposed values.” Theodore. W.
Adorno, The Authoritarian Personality

“Psychoanalysis must treat religion as a neurosis.” Norman O. Brown
Life Against Death

“God is conceived more directly after a parental image and thus as a
source of support and as a guiding and sometimes punishing
authority.” Theodor W. Adorno The Authoritarian Personality (1950)

Transformational Marxist Identity Politics makes certain identities politically incorrect, and in doing so it divides the people.  The White Male becomes politically incorrect - in part because in Transformational Marxism the White Male as Father and ruler over the family is thought to be  what causes the Authoritarian Personality.

You might think that therefore the Mother as head of the family would be acceptable to Identity Politics.  But -  think of the current Leftist chant, "No borders, no wall, no USA at all."  What the Left or Marxists want  is "no family at all."

During the time of the Counterculture many Hippies and others in that Culture were taught to focus on sex, but in having many different sex partners over relatively short periods of time, like a year, what was happening was a diminishing of the heterosexual relationship itself.  A little later, pornography on the Internet can be seen as a part of Transformational Marxism, to diminish the heterosexual relationship, which is the foundation of the family.

Later, as homosexuality and lesbianism became more popular in the Leftist culture, the heterosexual relationship began to became itself politically incorrect among the Marxist Left.

Now there are consequences of all this rebellion against the
patriarchal structure of Christianity and the family.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 06:02:11 pm by bernardpyron »

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Within Political Science there may be studies on the Frankfurt School of Transformational Marxism.  I had  interests at one time that probably are within the areas studied by Political Science.  But I have never read or studied  stuff from Political Science.  Way back in the fifties I had a friend - Bruce Radde -when I was in graduate school at Wisconsin - who was a graduate student in Political Science.  We were both interested in Frank Lloyd Wright then. and travel
ed together in the Midwest to  see Wright's buildings.  Both of us had also taken a course on Frank Lloyd Wright taught in the Wisconsin Art History Department by professor John Kienitz.  I remember that there was talk then about Bruce Radde "getting out of Political Science."  Well, Bruce did get out of Political Science.  He left the University of Wisconsin and went to Berkeley and got his Ph.D there in Art History.  So, that is a big part of my encounter with Political Science, as something to get out of and instead study the art of Frank Lloyd Wright.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 07:46:12 am by bernardpyron »

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