Max Horkheimer on Critical Theory


Conservatives who bring up neo-Marxist Critical Theory and its influence on the modern Left (of which I’ve written about here and here) are often dismissed as conspiracy theorists. After all, “Marx” is still somewhat a dirty, four-letter word in the mainstream, and progressives big and small convulse at being besmirched by it.

Well, take such filthy language straight from the Horkheimer’s mouth:

Betwixt thine dialectical thighs, Freedom and Justice, the social justice warrior is thus thrust into the world only to despise it and manufacture its overcoming. Who else thrives upon bringing forth the perceived “negative aspects” of this country and the concomitant self-loathing festering in American and Western politics? Critical Theory, criticism solely for the sake of change itself, is their noxious enterprise. Regardless of whether the modern leftist wants to think about it, here was “Daddy” reminiscing about conception.

And yes, you read the subtitles correctly. For Horkheimer, a society that “does not immiserate the workers but helps them to build a better life” is not a good or free one. There’s still workers and property owners, the oppressed and their oppressors and social strata, the very being of which dominates human existence. So let’s criticize and tear down the “superstructure” that prevents us from divining this superlative community about which people like Horkheimer cannot ever seem to articulate a moral standard, let alone a compelling reason, as to why this immanentized future would be superior to the capitalist, poverty-killing, constitutional republic in which we now reside. Sure, it’s not perfect, but there’s very little to suggest — controversial appeals to dialectic aside — what follows would be freer and more virtuous.

On the contrary, the evidence — history has routinely reflected the reality of fallible human nature — indicates that it would become the polar opposite,

Modus Pownens

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