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Frankfurt School and the Social Disorder

    Time to read: 15 min
    In the last half of the century, a social disorder, emerged in Western societies. The English philosopher Richard Scruton, in his book “Fools, Frauds and Firebrands” scrutinized this problem. He recognized that its source was an intellectual formation called the “The New Left”, comprising prominent representatives of the Frankfurt School, whose views were critically analyzed in the chapter titled “Tedium in Germany. Downhill to Habermas”. Scruton argues that  the left-wing movements have infested the society and led to “a serious social disorder”. Also, a new person was formed by the Left, more precisely, “an existential posture” which is “the core of a serious disorder”. Here are its brief characteristics, which are “a repudiation of what we, the inheritors of Western civilization, have received as our bequest” [1].

    “Such a person does not seek to negotiate with existing structures, but to gain total power so as to abolish the structures themselves. He will set himself against the legal and moral norms that give a voice to the dissenter and sovereignty to the ordinary person. He will set about destroying the enemy, whom he will conceive in collective terms, as the class, group or race that hitherto controlled the world and which must now in turn be controlled. And which now in turn be  controlled. And all institutions that grant protection to that class or a voice in the political process will be targets for his destructive rage”. [2]

    Scruton provides insight into the intellectual content of Frankfurt School but the school’s trajectory still needs to be supplemented, especially its last four decades, which is the purpose of this study.

    Secondly, Scruton focused on the Frankfurt School’s theoretical offerings and its cultural, social and political implications and empirical works of the Institute did not pertain to problems he wanted to examine. This often forgotten dimension adds significantly to fuller understanding of the Frankfurt School. Therefore, the second purpose of this paper is an overview of the research.

    Thirdly, I will present limiting political conditions which had a significant impact on the content of the theories by the Institute’s scholars.

    1. The first half-century of the Frankfurt School

    Institut fur Sozialforschung (The Institute for Social Research) was established in 1923 and began to operate in 1924. It was affiliated with Frankfurt University. The abode of the Institute was a especially-designed, comfortable 7-floor building and what was equally important the Institute had a substantial endowment yielding 120 000 DM a year.

    The team of the institute consisted of communist-oriented thinkers considering themselves as an intellectual movement preparing and serving an approaching revolution. Their goal was to overcome a crisis of Marxism by diminishing its doctrinal differences and synthetizing various Marxist philosophical currents. The director of the institute Carl Grunberg was an orthodox Marxist with an anti-philosophical bias. During his term in the office the Institute conducted mainly historical and empirical work. The first was the history of the working class, the problems of the working class, their problems in Europe, historical works on Marxism as well as studies on workers attitudes to issues in Germany and the rest of Europe.

    During the first period, the members  of the institute had to take precautions to avoid   accusations of Marxism. At the very beginning they gave up from the name planned for the Institute: “The Institute for Researching Marxism”; they did not appoint G. Lukacs to the director’s post although he was their first preferred choice; they used “materialism” instead of “Marxism” and some of them disguised themselves under pseudonyms instead of their real names – Horkheimer published  his articles under the name Heinrich Regius and Theodor Adorno as Hektor Rottweiler.

    This period was the most Marxist in the history of the Institute, although it did not get recognition from most scholars writing about Frankfurt School. For some of them “the effective start” or “real intellectual history” of the Institute began in 1931 with the next director, Max Horkheimer.

    Horkheimer gave the Institute an impetus. In his Inaugural Address on January 21, 1931 he outlined the program emphasizing that social philosophy should be different to the contemporary metaphysical and positivist philosophies. The Institute’s program should be interdisciplinary to avoid a “chaotic specialization,” while its core would be Marxism. The interdisciplinary approach will allow to uniting efforts in a planned direction what it felt should be understood as a socialist society. It seemed that the program of interdisciplinary research with dominating role of Marxism will become a lasting underpinning principle of the Institute.

    The momentum of the Institute was restrained due to the rise of fascism in Germany, forcing an evacuation of the Institute to the United States, more precisely, to the Department of Sociology at Columbia University in New York. Members of the Institute arrived in 1934 and got installed a year later.

     However, they failed to attract students in in the US to their seminars. Moreover, there was  no chemistry between the members of the Institute and other intellectual circles in the US, maybe due to the fact that Horkheimer decided publish institute’s works in German, which was not well-known in the USA. This linguistic isolation is reflected in T.Adorno’s famous notion “flashenpost” (message in the bottle). Another factor was the attitude of members of the Institute described by M. Walsh:

    “The problem with the Frankfurt school scholars was that they arrived with ideological blinders – men from the Left fighting other men on the Left back in the old “Heimat” – and were unable to see that there was another, different world welcoming them in the United States if only they would open their eyes. (How, for example, could they hate California?). They appear not so much scholarly as simple, viewing American capitalism as a vast, deliberate conspiracy against their own socialist ideas, when in fact, their ideas were simply wrong, their analysis flawed and their animus ineradicable. They were creatures of their own time and place (…)”.[3]

    The members of the Institute for Social Research felt that their freedom of expression was again limited in the United States. They were afraid of the anti-left and antisemitism and already knew how to disguise their ideological commitments taking proper precautions. Thus, they avoided anything that might offend. Stuart Jeffrey [4] enumerated how they coped with such a situation: publishing in German, using pseudonyms, Aesopian language and using euphemisms. One of its members changed his name from “Wiesengrund” to “Adorno” in the United States and threating Walter Benjamin with cutting off funds if hedid not stop manifesting his strict Marxist stance.

    During the first years, German refugees undertook a series of the minor empirical studies. At the same time, they continued work on materials gathered earlier in Germany. As a result, they published a book “Studien uber Autoritat und Familie” (Studies on Authority and the Family) [5], which was an attempt to develop “the materialist theory of family”. As it appeared, it wasamong the most notable achievements of the Frankfurt Institute, although it looked like a work in progress. It was a peculiar work, because it was “(…) the first, but unfortunately also the last, large scale empirical study of the Institute displaying the original aims and scientific visions of Horkheimer's group of scholars"[6]. “Empirical research continued, but not even a loose – knit collective work like ‘Studies’ was ever produced again”. [7] The promising program of the Institute was abandoned after just a few years.

    By the end of 1930s the Institute’s assets decreased drastically due to bad investment decisions. Director Horkheimer had to cut the wages of besides trying to push some employees out of the Institute. The first one was Erich Fromm, then Franz Neumann and, finally, Herbert Marcuse. Fortunately, a temporary solution was found – employment in governmental institutions. The four members joined The Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of the CIA, and two others were employed by the other governmental agencies in Washington.

    In the spring of 1941, Horkheimer moved to California and bought a house there. His old friend Friedrich Pollock, Theodor Adorno and Marcuse settled there as well. Members of the Institute were scattered in various directions and settled in several parts of US, which is why it would be hard to call them a school.

    The publication in English of a 5-volume work entitled “Studies in Prejudice” was the Institute’s most important achievement in the period in exile, and its main part was transformed into a book “The Authoritarian Personality”[8]. It was the result of several years of research financed by the American Jewish Committee. The multi-volume work, in contrast to “Studien”, gained recognition in academic circles and was influential in America in the 1950s. However one could notice that the analyses were based on psychoanalysis, rather than the Marxist approach. The study performed in terms of social psychology belonged to the ethnic studies area.

    The American period in the history of the Institute can not be considered successful. Its big potential was partly wasted. Martin Jay assessed this period harshly, stating that The Frankfurt School had little significance in the Weimar Republic and in the United States had even less influence. [9]

    The Institute returned to Frankfurt five years after the war and officially opened on 14 XI 1951. Compared with pre-war time the Institute’s conditions had deteriorated significantly. Albeit they kept the status of private foundation, they lacked a crucial element - pre-war assets. The Institute was supported by American occupational authorities and its basic needs were secured by the Hessian government and City of Frankfurt. However, it was not enough to cover all expenditures, and the Institute could not operate without third-party funding.   

    As the financial independence was lost and the Institute was hard-pressed for money, only Horkheimer, Adorno and Pollock could be paid. The others had status of associates and were assisted by several young assistants. Although infrequent, occasional contacts were maintained with the former employees, now only associates.

     The Institute was asunder even more than in previous periods. They were more or less loosely associated with the Institute. The Institute ceased to be a research unit with remarkable potential as it was at its beginning. As Jerzy Szacki wrote: ”(…) the school was disintegrated and lost a lot of its primary intellectual impetus”[10].            

    The activities of the Institute in the first years after return were not very ambitious, and its members were afraid or lost interest in pursuing the Institute’s original goals - developing Marxism and  radically transforming capitalistic society. Moreover, the old fears resurfaced and the group again had to undergo self-censorship, as they were concerned with the conservative academic environment in the country governed by conservative chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Further, anti-communism was a part of the official ideology.

    Horkheimer kept “Zeitschrift”, published in the 1930s, hidden in the basement  until the 1970s  He also did not allow republishing Neumann’s “Behemoth”, delayed the German translation of “Eclipse of Reason”, bowdlerized  the manuscript of “Dialectic of Enlightenment”, and censored many passages of Walter Benjamin’s “Art in the Age of Mechanical  Reproduction”, to boot.

    The safest way to survive was to conduct empirical research which consisted of research on the political attitudes of Germans and the industrial sociology researches in which members of the school did not have much experience. It was obvious that the Institute had to satisfy demands of sponsors paying for the research, of which the oppressed people or leftist political parties were not a part of. According to Rolf  Wiggershaus the contract with the Mannesmann corporation ”seemed like the first serious lapse on the part of the Institute for Social Research” [11].

    The main research in Mannesmann’s factories was carried out in the summer of 1954. The researchers did not create anything ground breaking, it was not different from the pattern established by the dominating school in industrial sociology Human Relations school in management, founded in the 1920s in the United States by Elton Mayo. That school promoted collaboration and harmony in workers – managers relations, as a part of managerial ideology.

    Thus, the goal of the Institute’s researchers was to identify conditions improving satisfaction of employees as a tool to increase workers’ productivity, appreciated by the managers and the owners. Institute’s researchers aligned themselves with the interests of the capitalists, thus contributing to the stability of the capitalistic system.

    At the beginning of the 1970s Institute’s commitment to the empirical work in industry increased. It was decided that the Institute’s research should be concentrated on industrial sociology and labor unions. For the next decades, the Institute became the center of research in industrial sociology. According to Ralph Dahrendorf: ”The legendary Frankfurt Institute performed standard research activities through surveys. When they tried something new it appeared useless, and when they had something useful it was not that new (…)” [12] Moreover, the Institute was struggling with attracting sufficient number of research contracts, which is why there were sometimes breaks in research.

    Some scholars maintain that apogee of the Frankfurt School came in the second half of  the 1960s. Certainly at that time it gained more visibility and notoriety. It is also true that during this period, a team of German thinkers finally got the name and became broadly known as the “Frankfurt School”. However, the truth is that the Institute’s scholars did not coin this label. Moreover, the process of recognition progressed to the extent that the school was canonized during that period.

    There is no doubt that the school owns its fame to Herbert Marcuse. This thinker was never well-integrated with the school, as the other members kept him at a distance. “Within the Frankfurt School, whose influential representatives did in fact all grew up in Frankfurt or eventually reside there, the Berlin born Herbert Marcuse remained a permanent outsider”[13].

    He followed different but not completely separate path from the Frankfurt School, and, after publishing “Eros and Civilization” “the relationship between Marcuse and the directors of the Institute became even more fragile” [14].

    Moreover, if one takes into account Marcuse’s theoretical and political views, it is hard to fully identify him with the Frankfurt School. However has did not hindered him from emerging as the face of the Frankfurt School.

    After World War II, Marcuse stayed in the United States, where he worked at universities and had opportunity to observe the youth movements in the 1950s and the 1960s and learn from them. They had their ideologists: Tom Hayden, Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsburg and others, and the students’ exposure to their views was immensely bigger than to Marcuse’s work.

    Marcuse’s time came in the second half of the 1960s. The obscure American-German philosopher, influenced by the youth protest movements, started getting popular. He appeared timely in accordance with the rebellious culture of the time. Hip Marcuse threw himself into the whirlwind of events. His books found buyers, and he was giving lectures at many universities in Europe and the United States.

    It is popular to ascribe the causative role in the upheaval of second half of the 1960s to Marcuse’s book “Eros and Civilization. A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud” [15]. Marcuse considered it as his biggest achievement, although he assumed that his work was only temporary and would trigger discussions resulting in further works by other thinkers, but it did not happen. Both the author and the book quickly lost popularity in 1970s and his theory was never developed.

    In his book Marcuse outlined a vision of “a truly free world”, which was the utopian prophecy completely out of step with the Frankfurt School’s thinking, and the students’ reception was questionable. The majority did not read this book and many of those who read it did not understand it. Alex Demirovic, a participant of the 1968 student revolt and later a member of the Institute for Social Research acknowledged: “For the first time I read Marx, Marcuse, Adorno with other students. Although I didn’t understand very much, everything seemed to be so promising” [16].

    Certainly, the New York intellectual Morris Dickstein was right in stating that difficult philosophical issues were not absorbed by student activists, for whom ‘Eros and Civilization’ meant “simply fucking, lots of it”.

    While Marcuse flourished, scholars of the Institute had a hard time. They lost their faith in  the prospects of imminent radical political change, in the working class and any other group as an object capable of making a revolution. Certainly their writings could not help the late 1960s protest movement. They found refuge in speculative thinking. While their deliberations were anti-capitalist, they did not move towards practice, nor did they offer anyadvice on how to revolutionize society. However, they needed an image of being radical and Marxist and a radical label was conveniently ascribed to them.

    It was not good enough for the students, they were disappointed by the scholars’ attitude. The students accused the Institute’s scholars to be armchair philosophers seeing the world from an ivory tower. The Frankfurt school thinkers’ theoretical radicalism couldn’t tool up practical radicals, and their writings did not translate into practice. Consequently, the students turned against their teachers not only in an intellectual sense but also physically. They disrupted the lectures of distinguished scholars and found the other ways to humilitate them. The intense protests were especially tiring to Adorno, the director of the Institute. The militant students interrupted his seminars and later coined it “Spartacus Department” and occupied it. Adorno had to call the police to remove them and this did not gain appreciation in the eyes of Marcuse.

    The second half of the century of the Frankfurt School

    The first half of the century of the Institute for Social Research ended with the deaths of its leading scholars at the turn of the 1960s and the 1970s, Adorno died in 1969, Pollock in 1970 and Horkheimer in 1973. In 1971, the Frankfurt University’s reform took place which stripped the Institute of its teaching privileges. What was worse, the Institute was not getting enough orders to keep continuous flow of empirical research. In result the financial situation of the Institute was insecure, to say the least.

    In 1971, the directorship of the Institute was taken over by Juergen Habermas, the most prominent figure of the second generation of the Frankfurt School. Later, Habermas moved out from Frankfurt and moved in to Starnberg, a small town near Munich, where he co-directored the Max Planck Institut in the period from 1969 to 1983. A decade later, he returned to Goethe Univesitat but not to the Institute and he retired from the Goethe Universitat in 1994. Nevertheless his name was associated with the Institut fur Sozialforschung and the  Frankfurt School for decades, and Habermas is perceived as the best known scholar working in the Institute’s tradition.

    Habermas had been a prolific writer publishing his works for more than fifty years. In the 1970s he wrote several books on communicative reason and communicative rationality, with “The Theory of Communicative Action” [17] as his magnum opus. He turned to workings of language, a new theme in the tradition of the Frankfurt School, which led to the so-called linguistic turn. His theory formulates the conditions for acceptable linguistic communication with an emphasis on normativity. The “ideal speech situation” in interpersonal relations contains equal participants and reasoned discussion; each of them should have the right to propose themes and the rules of discussion. Mutual understanding of major problems in open public discussion would lead to a consensus and emancipation.

    While Marxism was a philosophy of conflict, Habermas’ theory certainly was not. He replaced the hard tools of a revolution by soft paradigm of interpersonal communication. A dialogue striving to an agreement led to harmony and the social order which was contrary to critique and negation both the strong features of the Frankfurt School.

    Habermas’s so-called “The New Beginning” also contained the other elements, two important differences with the Frankfurt School’s hitherto scholarship. Firstly, he added the analytical philosophy of language to his new theory, breaking the school’s anti-positivist dogma. Secondly, he broke the stance on the role of reason. The Institute’s masters viewed reason as a source of enslaving humanity but, according to Habermas reason brought freedom.

    Habermas’s theory of communicative action should be appraised from a practical point of view, which is so important in Marxism. However, it appeared that productivity of his theory was low. Sophisticated as a theory, it was gradually proving as practically and politically powerless, and could only be considered as the next serious lapse of the Frankfurt School.

    It appeared that outside academy movements had more weight than his communicative theory, and social activism prevailed over social science. Today’s reality contradicts almost completely Habermas’ “communicative ethics”. It now can be seen that University’s campuses are called, after William Lindt, “small ivy covered North Koreas”. The radical students get strong assistance from faculty, university administration and outside militant groups. So-called “campus thinking” not only shaped academic discourse but also drifted into mainstream of public life: mass media, schools, governmental institutions, and courts.

    Scruton focused on Newspeak, which we could call political correctness, which is a transformation of language by one side of public discourse, serving the interests of a particular group. It is also a cancel culture devastating the social status of opponents, the critical race theory making one side of the political discourse inferior, and Social Justice Theory, which “(…) have created a new religion, a tradition of faith that is actively hostile to reason, falsification, disconfirmation, and disagreement of any kind” [18]. This is quite opposite to rationalization of linguistic practices. In such circumstances a quality of discourse is lowered.

    What was not done by Habermas’ theory was achieved by a swarm of critical theories, who appeared in the 1970s. Before them, Frankfurt School’s  Critical Theory was set forth by Horkheimer in 1937. It was done by Horkheimer in 1937, in his seminal 64-page essay “Traditionelle und Kritische Theorie”, (“Classical Theory vs. Critical Theory”) [19] published in “Zeitschrift fur Sozialforschung”. It has been chiseled at the Frankfurt School for the past ninety years and became arguably its most important achievement. Although it went through some changes, it never created a monolithic tradition and failed to form an unified theory. It contains various approaches, understandings, meanings and methodologies. It is crucial to notice that this project was never finished as it was typical for the Frankfurt School. As Wiggershaus wrote: “(…) one aspect or another is always turning out to have been unfinished crying out to be carried forward” [20]. One could say that the scholars of the Frankfurt School were virtuosos of unfinished projects.

    One could expect that it was a linear process leading to a final work in the form of a grand theory, which could be used by specific theories. Yet in the 1970s it infiltrated social sciences, literature and law, at the same time, Critical Theory proliferated to various social groups.

    The beginning was marked by the upheavals of the second part of the 1960s. Minorities guided by their own interests presented demands and became parts of a wider emancipation movement. The aggressiveness and intensity of their actions helped them to enter the political scene and to succeed in it.

    The root of the new critical theories was more practice than theory. Their pre-theoretical knowledge was partly enriched by theoretical knowledge including the Frankfurt School Critical Theory. The critical theories were developing autonomously to some extent, and each critical theory had its specific roots and trajectory. Their internal dynamics was not dependent on the development of the Frankfurt School.

    In the course of time, the importance of the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory was decreasing. “At the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, Critical Theory more or less ceased to serve as a guide for the protest movements” [21] At the same time, the importance of critical theories grew.

    For the next couple of decades, a change for the worse gradually occurred, and the label of the Frankfurt School was rubbed away. The monopoly on the term, the Frankfurt School was lost a long time ago. Wiggershaus mentioned about “inseparability of concepts such as Frankfurt School, Critical Theory” [22] but it goes farther, the process of metonymy replaces the term “Frankfurt School” with the label “Critical Theory,” meaning the Frankfurt School loses its name.

    A radical edge of the Frankfurt School was lost by Axel Honneth, the most prominent figure of the Frankfurt School’s third generation. He attempted to modernize the Frankfurt School and maintain its relevance. He set forth the recognition theory, which was yet another attempt at reshaping the Frankfurt School tradition. The best elucidation of the theory can be found in his flagship book “The Struggle for Recognition” [23]. In a nutshell, Honneth like Habermas created his own anti-capitalist emancipatory theory, taking psychological mechanisms in interpersonal relations as a point of departure. From the level of partners in an interaction he goes to “morally motivated social groups” and this leads to “normative foundations for a theory of society”.

    One can find some different theories of recognition in a literature, popular in the 1990s. However, the very concept of recognition is controversial. In terms of politics, it is not strong enough to successfully fight against political domination. “But perhaps most importantly, it should be seen that the failure of the recognition paradigm is more than an intellectual or academic concern; it also entails a diminution of the vibrancy and vitality of the tradition of critical theory more generally” [24].

    A conceptual continuity of the Frankfurt School was broken by Habermas and Honneth, leaving a big rift between them and the Frankfurt School’s orthodoxy. Both of them did not identified themselves as the members of Frankfurt School, which they stated in no uncertain terms. Habermas’ and Honneth’s motives were praiseworthy and respectable and they viewed themselves as radical reformists. However, in reality they were merely the theoretical nonconformists far from the image of the Frankfurt School as “an island of German radical intellectuals”. Needless to say, they, and the Frankfurt School as whole, did not influenced any revolutionary movement in the world.

    The second half  of the history of the Frankfurt School was very disappointing to the progressive forces. As Jeffries noticed: “(…) the Frankfurt School wasn’t so much a Marxist Institute as an organized hypocrisy, a conservative sheep in radical wolf’s closing” [25]. And Dick Howard stated the following: “The political project of the old Frankfurt School  has to be revivified – or at least given a decent burial” [26]. Indeed, after one hundred years of activity, the Frankfurt School deserves it.

    The idea of an interdisciplinary research gained momentum during Honneth’s directorial tenure from 2001 to 2018. It was preceded in 1996 by the change of the institute’s statutes aimed at focusing on interdisciplinary research and upgrading its scale. An innovation was introduced in the form of a board consisting of scientists from various disciplines, replacing the Institute’s council, which has existed since 1973.

    At the beginning of the 2000s, the Institute entered an ambitious research program planned for three years, under the name: Paradoxes of Capitalist Modernization [27]. It was so successful that it was extended and, after twenty years, still constitutes a framework for research conducted by the Institute as an attempt in direction of strategic development. In the second half of the century, the Institute for Social Research failed to produce great calibre figures, excluding Habermas and Honneth. The rest of the directors did not measure up to the high standards set by Horkheimer, Marcuse or Adorno. Here is a list of  the Institute’s consecutive directors: H. Baier (1971-1972). Gerhard Brandt (1972-1984), Wilhelm Schumm (1984-1989), Helmuth Dubiel (1989-1997), Ludwig von Friedeburg (1997-2001) and Ferdinand Sutterluty (2019-2021).

    On July 1, 2021 Stephan Lessenich became the new director, taking over a newly created professorship for Social Theory and Social Research set up at Frankfurt University. As such, he was able to receive a salary in contrast to his predecessors in the last decades, who performed their functions on an honorary basis. At the same time the Hessen government gave the Institute a grant in the amount of 870 000 euros for the year 2021, assuring that the same amount of money is allocated in the following years.


    I presented a short, unsimplified history of the Frankfurt School, emphasizing its research. This vantage point helped present an undistorted picture, opposed to its popular view. My essay revealed that the Frankfurt School did not solely and univocally further the cause of the political left. Habermas and Honneth, with their versions of Critical Theory: communicative action and reconciliation theory, helped achieve consensus and build social harmony. That served perpetuating domination rather than emancipation. Shortly, it helped to perpetuate the capitalistic system.

    The members of the Frankfurt School aligned themselves with the interests of the adherents of the capitalistic system, which was never a part of the aspirations of the first generation of the Frankfurt School.

    It may be worth noting that the Frankfurt School was not visible for the first four decades, which is a long period of time, and its role was later exaggerated in terms of inspiring mass movements in real politics.

    Nevertheless, the Frankfurt School was an important intellectual strand of XX century, especially in Germany. It set in place far-reaching ideas and theories, which could be academically impressive. Nowadays, the Institute is a moderate centre of social sciences and the Frankfurt School continues to be a symbol and a myth: “When the real action had moved elsewhere, the Institute became an historical site of imaginary entity of the Frankfurt School” [28]. To some extent, it could be enough to keep the school’s spirit alive.

    Finally, it is the right thing to ask: What about Marxism so crucial at the inception of the Institute for Social Research? The answer is: The Frankfurt School “was not so much a continuation of any certain side of Marxism, it was a manifestation of its decay and paralysis” [29].


    * This article was originally published in the book entitled Tradition and Change. Scruton’s Philosophy and its Meaning for Contemporary Europe, European Conservatives and Reformists, Warszawa 2022.

    Works cited

    Adorno, Theodor, Frenkel - Brunswik, Else, Levinson, Daniel, Sanford Nevitt, The Authoritarian Personality, Harper Brothers, 1950.

    Dahrendorf, Ralf, Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society, Routlege, 1967.

    Garlitz, Dustin, Kogler,Hans-Herbert, Frankfurt School: Institute for Social Research”, in Wright, James, International encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Elsevier, 2015.

    Habermas, Juergen, The Theory of Communicative Action, Beacon Press, 1984.

    Honneth, Axel, Paradoxes of Capitalist Modernization, The Foundation of a Comprehensive Research Project of the Institute for Social Research, Campus Verlag, 2006.

    Honneth, Axel, The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts, Polity Press, 1995.

    Horkheimer, Max, Traditionelle und Kritische Theorie (Traditional and Critical Theory), 1937.

    Howard, Dick, Political Theory, Critical Theory, and the Place of Frankfurt School, A Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory, vol. 1, 2000 – Issue 2.

    Jay, Martin, Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute for Social Research 1923-1950, California University Press, 1973.

    Jeffries, Stuart, Grand Hotel Abyss. The Lives of the Frankfurt School, Verso, 2017.

    Kolakowski, Leszek, Główne nurty marksizmu. Czesc III. Rozklad, (The Main Currents of Marxism. Part III. The Decay), Wydawnictwo “Krag”, 1989, p.1103

    Pluckrose, Helen, Lindsay James, Critical Theories. How activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity – and Why This Harms Everybody, Pitchstone Publishing, 2020.

    Marcuse, Herbert, Eros and Civilization, Beacon Press, 1955.

    Scruton, Roger, Fools, Frauds and Firebrands. Thinkers of the New Left, Bloomsbury, 2019.

    Studien uber Autoritat und Familie, (Studies on Authority and the Family), edited by Horkheimer, Max, Alcan, 1936.

    Szacki, Jerzy, Historia mysli socjologicznej, (History of the Sociological Thought), PWN, 1981.

    Therborn, Goran, The Frankfurt School, New Left Review, I/63, Sept./Oct., 1970.

    Thompson, Michael, The Failure of the Recognition Paradigm in Critical Theory, in: Axel Honneth and the Critical Theory of Recognition, edited by Schmitz, Volker, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

    Walsh, Michael, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace. The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West, Encounter Books, 2017, p. 2.

    Wiggershaus, Rolf, The Frankfurt School. Its History, Theories and Political Significance, Polity Press, 1994.


    [1] Scruton Roger, Fools, Frauds and Firebrands. Thinkers of the New Left, Bloomsbury, Continuum 2019, p.15

    [2]  Ibidem.

    [3] Walsh, Michael, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace. The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West, Encounter Books, 2017, p. 2.

    [4] Stuart Jeffrey, Grand Hotel Abyss. The Lives of the Frankfurt School, Verso, 2017.

    [5] Studien uber Authoritat und Familie, (Studies on Authority and the Family), edited by Horkheimer, Max, Alcan, 1936.

    [6] Garlitz, Dustin, Kogler, Hans-Herbert, Frankfurt School: Institute for Social Research, in Wright, James, International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Elsevier, 2015.

    [7] Wiggershaus, Rolf, The Frankfurt School. Its History, Theories and Political Significance, Polity Press, 1994, p. 156.

    [8] Adorno Theodor, Frenkel - Brunswik Else, Levinson Daniel, Sanford, Nevitt, The Authoritarian Personality, Harper Brothers 1950.

    [9] Jay, Martin, The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute for Social Research 1923-1950, University of California Press 1973.[

    [10] Szacki, Jerzy, Historia mysli socjologicznej, (History of sociological thought), PWN, 1981, p. 572.

    [11] Wiggershaus, The Frankfurt School. Its History, Theories and Political Significance, p.479.

    [12] Dahrendorf Ralf, Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society. Routlege. 1967, p.169.

    [13] Honneth, Axel, Reitz, Charles, Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt School, Radical Philosophy Review, vol. 16, no I, 2013.

    [14] Wiggershaus, The Frankfurt School. p.489.

    [15] Marcuse, Herbert, Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical  Inquiry into Freud, Beacon Press, 1955

    [16] Bielskis, Andrius, Interview with Alex Demirovic, Aplinkkeliali.It, 2016

    [17] Juergen Habermas, The Theory of Communicative Action, Beacon Press, 1984.

    [18] Pluckrose, Helen, Lindsay James, Critical Theories. How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity – and why This Harms Everybody, Pitchstone Publishing, 2020, p. 210.

    [19] Horkheimer, Max, Traditionelle und Kritische Theorie, (Classical Theory vs. Critical Theory), 1937.

    [20] Wiggershaus, The Frankfurt School, p. 4.

    [21] Ibid., p. 656.

    [22] Ibid., p. 657.

    [23] Honneth, Axel, The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts, Polity Press, 1995.

    [24] Thompson, Michael, The Failure of the Recognition Paradigm, in Axel Honneth and the Critical Theory of Recognition, edited by Schmitz, Volker, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, p. 244. 

    [25] Jeffries, Grand Hotel Abyss. The Lives of the Frankfurt School, Verso, 2017, p.78.

    [26] Howard Dick, Political Theory, Critical Theory, and the Place of Frankfurt School. A Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory, vol. 1, 2000 – Issue 2.   

    [27] Honneth A., Paradoxes of Capitalist Modernization. The Foundation of a Comprehensive Research Project of the Institute for Social Research, Campus Verlag.   

    [28] Garlitz,Dustin, Kogler, Hans-Herbert, Frankfurt School: Institute for Social Research, in Wright, James, International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2015.

    [29] Kolakowski, Leszek, Główne nurty marksizmu. Część III. Rozklad, (The Main Streams of Marxism. Part III. The Decay), Wydawnictwo “Krag”, 1989, p. 1103.


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