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Political correctness 05

Roberto Henry Ebelt

19.05.2017

Political correctness 05

5ª e última parte do discurso de Bill Lind (foto abaixo) sobre as origens da Correção Política:

Another example is the emphasis we now see on environmentalism. "Materialism as far back as Hobbes had led to a manipulative dominating attitude toward nature." That was Horkheimer writing in 1933 in Materialismus und Moral. "The theme of man’s domination of nature," according to Jay," was to become a central concern of the Frankfurt School in subsequent years." "Horkheimer’s antagonism to the fetishization of labor, (here’s where they’re obviously departing from Marxist orthodoxy) expressed another dimension of his materialism, the demand for human, sensual happiness." In one of his most trenchant essays, Egoism and the Movement for Emancipation, written in 1936, Horkheimer "discussed the hostility to personal gratification inherent in bourgeois culture." And he specifically referred to the Marquis de Sade, favorably, for his "protest…against asceticism in the name of a higher morality." 

How does all of this stuff flood in here? How does it flood into our universities, and indeed into our lives today? The members of the Frankfurt School are Marxist, they are also, to a man, Jewish. In 1933, the Nazis came to power in Germany, and not surprisingly they shut down the Institute for Social Research. And its members fled. They fled to New York City, and the Institute was reestablished there in 1933 with help from Columbia University. And the members of the Institute, gradually through the 1930s, though many of them remained writing in German, shift their focus from Critical Theory about German society, destructive criticism about every aspect of that society, to Critical Theory directed toward American society. There is another very important transition when the war comes. Some of them go to work for the government, including Herbert Marcuse, who became a key figure in the OSS* (the predecessor to the CIA), and some, including Horkheimer and Adorno, move to Hollywood

* The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a wartime intelligence agency of the United States during World War II, and a predecessor of the modern Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The OSS was formed as an agency of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines for all branches of the United States Armed Forces. Other OSS functions included the use of propaganda, subversion, and post-war planning.

These origins of Political Correctness would probably not mean too much to us today except for two subsequent events. The first was the student rebellion in the mid-1960s, which was driven largely by resistance to the draft and the Vietnam War. But the student rebels needed theory of some sort. They couldn’t just get out there and say, "Hell no we won’t go," they had to have some theoretical explanation behind it. Very few of them were interested in wading through Das Kapital. Classical, economic Marxism is not light, and most of the radicals of the 60s were not deep. Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for our country today, and not just in the university, Herbert Marcuse remained in America when the Frankfurt School relocated back to Frankfurt after the war. And whereas Mr. Adorno in Germany is appalled by the student rebellion when it breaks out there – when the student rebels come into Adorno’s classroom, he calls the police and has them arrested – Herbert Marcuse, who remained here, saw the 60s student rebellion as the great chance. He saw the opportunity to take the work of the Frankfurt School and make it the theory of the New Left in the United States. 

One of Marcuse’s books was the key book. It virtually became the bible of the SDS* and the student rebels of the 60s. That book was Eros and Civilization. Marcuse argues that under a capitalistic order (he downplays the Marxism very strongly here, it is subtitled, A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud, but the framework is Marxist), repression is the essence of that order and that gives us the person Freud describes – the person with all the hang-ups, the neuroses, because his sexual instincts are repressed. We can envision a future, if we can only destroy this existing oppressive order, in which we liberate Eros, we liberate libido, in which we have a world of "polymorphous perversity," in which you can "do your own thing." And by the way, in that world there will no longer be work, only play. What a wonderful message for the radicals of the mid-60s! They’re students, they’re baby-boomers, and they’ve grown up never having to worry about anything except eventually having to get a job. And here is a guy writing in a way they can easily follow. He doesn’t require them to read a lot of heavy Marxism and tells them everything they want to hear which is essentially, "Do your own thing," "If it feels good do it," and "You never have to go to work."

By the way, Marcuse is also the man who creates the phrase, "Make love, not war."

Coming back to the situation people face on campus, Marcuse defines "liberating tolerance" as intolerance for anything coming from the Right and tolerance for anything coming from the Left. Marcuse joined the Frankfurt School, in 1932 (if I remember right). So, all of this goes back to the 1930s.

*SDS: Sozialistische Deutsche Studentenbund — the Socialist German Student Union or Socialist German Student League — was founded in 1946 in Hamburg, Germany, as the collegiate branch of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). In the 1950s tensions between the SDS and the main party surfaced, particularly over the party's support of West Germany's rearming, until in 1961 the SPD expelled all members of the SDS from the party.

PARA TRMINAR, A PARTE MAIS TRISTE DESTA HOSTÓRIA:

In conclusion, America today is in the throws (in the throws = na rota) of the greatest and direst transformation in its history. We are becoming an ideological state, a country with an official state ideology enforced by the power of the state.

In "hate crimes", we now have people serving jail sentences for political thoughts.

And the Congress is now moving to expand that category ever further. Affirmative action is part of it. The terror against anyone who dissents from Political Correctness on campus is part of it. It’s exactly what we have seen happen in Russia, in Germany, in Italy, in China, and now it’s coming here. And we don’t recognize it because we call it Political Correctness and laugh it off. My message today is that it’s not funny, it’s here, it’s growing and it will eventually destroy, as it seeks to destroy, everything that we have ever defined as our freedom and our culture.

END.


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Roberto Henry Ebelt é professor, escritor, escreveu uma coluna semanal para o Jornal do Comércio de Porto Alegre entre 2001 e 2013, e é diretor do curso HENRY'S BUSINESS ENGLISH desde 1971.

Seu mais recente livro, O QUE VOCÊ DEVE SABER ANTES DE ESTUDAR INGLÊS, pode ser encontrado nas livrarias Disal, Cultura e SBS ou à rua Hoffmann, 728 em Porto Alegre.

E-mail: roberto@henrys.com.br
Fone (51) 3222-3144
www.henrys.com.br
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