Frankfurt School unmasked fascism, lay foundations for democracy  

your say January 30, 2018 01:00

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Re: “Now I know how Trump feels...”, Have Your Say, January 27.

To my surprise there was no reaction to Nigel Pike’s statement that “Frankfurt School tactics” involve ignoring or denying facts. It is not the first time Pike has tried to discredit letter writers by accusing them of belonging to this School, which he misunderstands. Evidently he chose to keep silent or else didn’t understand my rebuttal of his statements about the School some time ago. The lack of reply wasn’t surprising since Pike never answers refutations of his lies, hoping that utter silence will help readers forget his shameful deceptions.

Pike shows a disturbing lack of understanding about the aims of the Frankfurt School. It started with an attempt to adapt Marxist theory to the needs of the time, the 1920s, while also seeking to apply all of social science to produce a critical theory of society. It changed its orientation in response to the rise of fascism, seeking reasons for this phenomenon. Under the influence of Jurgen Habermas, the School evolved by understanding that the communicative agreement between individuals is the basis for the “moral grounds and democratic application of critical theory”.

The School warned against the underlying ideology and interests on which the social sciences were grounded. Even Max Weber’s statement that science should be “value free” is in itself a value judgement which could block a deeper understanding by eliminating other competitors for the theory. 

Far more can be said, but I hope the above is sufficient to see that Pike’s statement about the School is completely false. I would urge Pike to use valid arguments in his letters attacking arguments which don’t fit his worldview.

My compliments to Pike, though, for attracting such an impressive list of adjectives from other letter-writers.