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August 17, 2011



In any case, Marcuse looks like someone beat him with the ugly stick.

Lord Acton's Shaggy Beard

So your enlightened criticism of their arguments amounts to... a bunch of ad hominem attacks and strawmans? Forgive me if I stand unconvinced, unreformed paragon of the radical right-wing that I no doubt am.

Now on to the message. You'd have to be blind not to see the influence of the Frankfurt School and their ilk on the modern victimhood ideologies. Or could you propose an alternate line of intellectual descent for modern Hate Speech laws (which always seem to exclude certain groups from prosecution on achingly familiar grounds), 90% of the social sciences, about half of normative psychology, and the predominant group-conflict narrative that they've injected into modern pop-intellectual discourse? I'm sure you can understand why those of us who have a less group conflict-oriented view of history find that unconscious presumption vexing and dangerous, not just for the fairness of public debate but for the stereotypes and status distinctions that such debates help form.

The next step is only logical - we critique the problem at its roots. In this case, Marcuse, Adorno, Reich, Fromm et al. And, if we go on a more abstract level, Gramsci, Marx, Hegel, Rousseau, and Plato. And that's precisely what conservative scholars have done, with varying degrees of incisiveness and rigor. I don't see how trotting out the unfortunate associations of certain scholars invalidates their work, any more than pointing out Obama's associations with Alinsky and Ayers invalidates his presidency. That's ad hominem at its basest.

P.S. The whole idea about linking hippies and Stalinism? That's not ignorance, that's completely intentional. Not all of us take it on faith that the Soviet system was "deformed" in any fundamental way. In fact, we'd argue precisely the opposite.


The dirty hippies - embraced by Marcuse and hated by "conservative scholars" - helped to stop an unjust war, launched the women's movement, the gay rights movement, the "green" environmental movement, etc... This social transformation was anticipated decades earlier by the Frankfurt School.

It must a nightmare for you to see all of these changes flourishing even today.

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