Here’s a really thought-provoking discussion of Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt School. As somebody that’s pretty caught up in the culture wars, I have been wondering recently if the Frankfurt School should be reconsidered. While I admire the work of thinkers like William S. Lind (the first half of this article is modelled on Lind’s speech, ‘The Origins of Political Correctness’), I have been wondering whether the whole Marx-Frankfurt-Generation 68-Safe Space narrative might be a little one-dimensional, bordering on conspiracy; Marcuse’s ‘Repressive Tolerance’ is undoubtedly a disgrace, but perhaps there is something of value in the consumerist critiques and liberatory dimensions of the post-Marxists/Freudian-Marxists, provided that those works are thoroughly scrutinised and combed through critically. This article by Keith Preston bridges that gap beautifully. Essential reading for the radical centrist.
Be sure to check out the discussions in the comments section also, some of the more cogent contributions are worthwhile essays in themselves.
“The rise of the New Left is typically considered to have its origins in the student rebellions of the late 1960s and early 1970s when the war in Vietnam was at its height and cultural transformation was taking place in Western countries with dizzying rapidity. Yet scholars have long recognized that the intellectual roots of the New Left were created several decades earlier through the efforts of the thinkers associated with the Institute for Social Research (commonly known as the “Frankfurt School”) to reconsider the essence of Marxist theory following the failure of the working classes of Western Europe to produce a socialist revolution as orthodox Marxism had predicted…”