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    Frankfurt Socialism

    Frankfurt Socialism is a sausage an economically and culturally left, Marxist ideology based off The Frankfurt School and theorists associated with it. The Frankfurt School is a sociological-philosophical school of Neomarx.png Neo-Marxist orientation. The original nucleus of this school, made up mostly of Cball-Germany.png German philosophers and sociologists, emerged in 1923 in the environment of the newborn "Institute for Social Research" of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main In Cball-Germany.png Germany, under the leadership of the Ormarxf.png Marxist historian Carl Grünberg.

    When Nazi.png Hitler came to power the Frankfurt School was put in exile . 16 Years later the Frankfurt School would come back , the institute moved to Geneva ( in Cball-Switzerland.png Switzerland). The Frankfurt school perspective is based upon Ormarxf.png Marxist, Freudian and Hegelian premises of Idealism. To fill the omissions of 19th-century classical Ormarxf.png Marxism, which did not address 20th-century social problems, they applied the methods of antipositivist sociology, of psychoanalysis, and of existentialism. While some theorists of the institute remained in the Cball-US.png USA , the Frankfurt School was re-established in West Germany, Frankfurt .

    Critical theory

    The works of the Frankfurt School are understood in the context of the intellectual and practical objectives of critical theory. Max Horkheimer defined critical theory as social critique meant to effect sociologic change and realize intellectual emancipation, by way of enlightenment that is not dogmatic in its assumptions. Critical theory analyzes the true significance of the ruling understandings (the dominant ideology) generated in bourgeois society in order to show that the dominant ideology misrepresents how human relations occur in the real world and how capitalism justifies and legitimates the domination of people.

    Unlike Orthodox Marxism, which applies a template to critique and to action, critical theory is self-critical, with no claim to the universality of absolute truth. As such, it does not grant primacy to matter (materialism) or consciousness (idealism), because each epistemology distorts the reality under study to the benefit of a small group. In practice, critical theory is outside the philosophical strictures of traditional theory; however, as a way of thinking and of recovering humanity's self-knowledge, critical theory draws investigational resources and methods from Marxism.


    The Frankfurt School reformulated dialectics into a concrete method of investigation, derived from the Hegelian philosophy that an idea will pass over into its own negation, as the result of conflict between the inherently contradictory aspects of the idea. In opposition to previous modes of reasoning, which viewed things in abstraction, each by itself and as though endowed with fixed properties, Hegelian dialectics considers ideas according to their movement and change in time, according to their interrelations and interactions.

    Marx used dialectical analysis to uncover the contradictions in the predominant ideas of society, and in the social relations to which they are linked – exposing the underlying struggle between opposing forces. Only by becoming aware of the dialectic (i.e. class consciousness) of such opposing forces in a struggle for power can men and women intellectually liberate themselves, and change the existing social order through social progress.

    The Frankfurt School understood that a dialectical method could only be adopted if it could be applied to itself; if they adopted a self-correcting method – a dialectical method that would enable the correction of previous, false interpretations of the dialectical investigation. Accordingly, critical theory rejected the historicism and materialism of Orthodox Marxism.

    Critique of Western civilization

    The second phase of Frankfurt School critical theory centres principally on two works: Adorno and Horkheimer's Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944) and Adorno's Minima Moralia (1951). While retaining much of a Marxian analysis, these works critical shifted emphasis from a critique of capitalism to a critique of Western civilization, as seen in Dialectic of Enlightenment, which uses the Odyssey as a paradigm for their analysis of bourgeois consciousness. Their exposition of the domination of nature as a central characteristic of instrumental rationality in Western civilization was made long before ecology and environmentalism became popular concerns.

    Consequently, at a time when it appears that reality itself has become the basis for ideology, the greatest contribution that critical theory can make is to explore the dialectical contradictions of individual subjective experience on the one hand, and to preserve the truth of theory on the other. Even dialectical progress is put into doubt: "its truth or untruth is not inherent in the method itself, but in its intention in the historical process." This intention must be oriented toward integral freedom and happiness: "The only philosophy which can be responsibly practiced in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption." Adorno distanced himself from the "optimism" of orthodox Marxism: "beside the demand thus placed on thought, the question of the reality or unreality of redemption [i.e. human emancipation] itself hardly matters.

    From a sociological point of view, Horkheimer's and Adorno's works contain an ambivalence concerning the ultimate source or foundation of social domination, an ambivalence that gave rise to the "pessimism" of the new critical theory over the possibility of human emancipation and freedom. This ambivalence was rooted in the historical circumstances in which the work was originally produced, in particular, the rise of National Socialism, state capitalism, and mass culture as entirely new forms of social domination that could not be adequately explained within the terms of traditional Marxist sociology.

    For Adorno and Horkheimer, state intervention in the economy had effectively abolished the tension in capitalism between the "relations of production" and "material productive forces of society"—a tension that, according to traditional Marxist theory, constituted the primary contradiction within capitalism. The previously "free" market (as an "unconscious" mechanism for the distribution of goods) and "irrevocable" private property of Marx's epoch gradually have been replaced by the more central role of management hierarchies at the firm level and macroeconomic interventions at the state level in contemporary Western societies. The dialectic through which Marx predicted the emancipation of modern society is suppressed, effectively being subjugated to a positivist rationality of domination.

    How to draw

    Flag of Frankfurt Socialism
    Color Name HEX RGB
    White #FFFFFF 255, 255, 255
    Red #FF0000 255, 0, 0
    Gold #FBDF00 251, 223, 0
    Darker Red #DE0010 222, 0, 16



    • Libmarx.png Libertarian Marxism - A very good friend
    • Situ.png Situationism - We share many similarities in thought.
    • Neomarx.png Neo-Marxism - My older brother. He influenced me greatly and it’s always a joy working with him.
    • Prog-u.png Progressivism - A very popular fellow who takes many of my ideas, though you’re too moderate.
    • Antifa.png Anti-Fascism - More radical version of the last guy, just make sure you keep distancing yourself from Neoliberal-icon.png him.


    • Mao.png Maoism - I don’t quite know what to make of him. Some of my theorists loved him, others detested him.
    • Ancom.png Anarcho-Communism - You're cool and all, but Anarchism is childish and delusional.
    • Marxlen.png Marxism–Leninism - Thanks for spreading socialism, but you’re class reductionist and repressive af.


    Further Reading



    • Selected Writings: 1913-1926 by Walter Benjamin (1926)
    • Heideggerian Marxism by Herbert Marcuse (1932)
    • The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin (1935)
    • Against Epistemology: A Metacritique by Theodor Adorno (1937)
    • Punishment and Social Structure by Georg Rusche and Otto Kirchheimer (1939)
    • Escape from Freedom by Erich H Fromm (1941)
    • Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory by Herbert Marcuse (1941)
    • Eclipse of Reason by Max Horkheimer (1947)
    • Dialectic of Enlightenment by Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno (1947)
    • Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life by Theodor Adorno (1947)
    • Philosophy of Modern Music by Theodor Adorno (1949)
    • The Authoritarian Personality by Theodor Adorno (1950)
    • The Stars Down to Earth by Theodor Adorno (1952)
    • Eros And Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry Into Freud by Herbert Marcuse (1955)
    • Notes to Literature by Theodor Adorno (1958)
    • An Introduction to Dialectics by Theodor Adorno (1958)
    • Aesthetics by Theodor Adorno (1959)
    • Ontology and Dialectics by Theodor Adorno (1961)
    • The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry Into a Category of Bourgeois Society by Jürgen Habermas (1962)
    • Philosophical Elements of a Theory of Society by Theodor Adorno (1964)
    • The Jargon of Authenticity by Theodor Adorno (1964)
    • One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society by Herbert Marcuse (1964)
    • Lectures on Negative Dialectics by Theodor Adorno (1965)
    • Negative Dialectics by Theodor Adorno (1966)
    • The New Music by Theodor Adorno (1966)
    • On the Logic of the Social Sciences by Jürgen Habermas (1967)
    • Negations: Essays in Critical Theory by Herbert Marcuse (1968)
    • Knowledge and Human Interests by Jürgen Habermas (1968)
    • An Essay On Liberation by Herbert Marcuse (1969)
    • Aesthetic Theory by Theodor Adorno (1970)
    • Critical Theory: Selected Essays by Max Horkheimer (1972)
    • The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-1950 by Martin Jay (1973)
    • The Aesthetic Dimension: Toward A Critique of Marxist Aesthetics by Herbert Marcuse (1977)
    • The Essential Marcuse: Selected Writings of Philosopher and Social Critic Herbert Marcuse by Andrew Feenberg and Herbert Marcuse (1977)
    • Origin of Negative Dialectics by Susan Buck-Morss (1977)
    • The Critical Theory of Religion: The Frankfurt School by Rudolf J. Siebert (1979)
    • Introduction to Critical Theory: Horkheimer to Habermas by David Held (1980)
    • The Theory of Communicative Action: Reason and the Rationalization of Society, Volume 1 by Jürgen Habermas (1981)
    • The Theory of Communicative Action: Lifeworld and Systems, a Critique of Functionalist Reason, Volume 2 by Jürgen Habermas (1981)
    • The Idea of a Critical Theory: Habermas and the Frankfurt School by Raymond Guess (1981)
    • The Frankfurt School: Its History, Theory and Political Significance by Rolf Wiggershaus (1986)
    • Critique, Norm, and Utopia: A Study of the Foundations of Critical Theory by Seyla Benhabib (1986)
    • A Dictionary of Critical Theory by Ian Buchanan (1991)
    • Time, Labor, and Social Domination: A Reinterpretation of Marx's Critical Theory by Moishe Postone (1993)
    • Of Critical Theory and Its Theorists by Stephen Bronner (1994)
    • The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts by Axel Honneth (1995)
    • Adorno: A Critical Introduction by Simon Jarvis (1998)
    • Max Horkheimer's Critical Theory of Religion: The Meaning of Religion in the Struggle for Human Emancipation by Michael R. Ott (2001)
    • Adorno: A Biography by Stefan Müller-Doohm (2004)
    • The Cambridge Companion to Adorno by Tom Huhn (2004)
    • Adorno's Negative Dialectic: Philosophy and the Possibility of Critical Rationality by Brian O'Connor (2004)
    • The Cambridge Companion to Critical Theory by Fred Rush (2004)
    • Reification: A New Look At An Old Idea by Axel Honneth (2008)
    • Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction by Stephen Bronner (2011)
    • Max Horkheimer and the Foundations of the Frankfurt School by John Abromeit (2011)
    • Re-Imagining Public Space: The Frankfurt School in the 21st Century by D. Boros and J. Glass (2013)
    • Philosophy Of Praxis: Marx, Lukacs And The Frankfurt School by Andrew Feenberg (2014)
    • Autonomy After Auschwitz: Adorno, German Idealism, and Modernity by Martin Shuster (2014)
    • Critical Theory and the Challenge of Praxis: Beyond Reification by Stefano Giacchetti Ludovisi (2015)
    • The Highway of Despair: Critical Theory After Hegel by Robyn Marasco (2015)
    • Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School by Stuart Jeffries (2016)
    • Critical Theory and Feeling: The Affective Politics of the Early Frankfurt School by Simon Mussell (2017)
    • The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Theory by Michael J. Thompson (2017)
    • The Routledge Companion to the Frankfurt School by Peter E. Gordon, Espen Hammer, Axel Honneth (2018)
    • Hegel and the Logic of Decay. A Genealogy of Adorno's Negative Dialectics by Linus Hellwig (2018)
    • Critical Theory and the Classical World by Martyn Hudson (2018)
    • Splinters in Your Eye: Frankfurt School Provocations: Essays on the Frankfurt School by Martin Jay (2020)
    • Hegel and the Frankfurt School: Traditions in Dialogue by Paul Giladi (2020)
    • Negative Dialectics and Event: Nonidentity, Culture, and the Historical Adequacy of Consciousness by Vangelis Giannakakis (2004)


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