The Historical Roots of "Political Correctness"
By Raymond V. Raehn
Danish translation: De historiske rødder til "politisk korrekthed"
Source: Arkansas Council of Conservative Citizens,
Published on September 3, 2015

America as a nation is now dominated by an alien system of beliefs, attitudes and values that has become known as Political Correctness. It seeks to impose uniformity in thought and behavior among all Americans and is therefore totalitarian in nature. It has its roots in the ideology of Marxism which requires a radical inversion of the prevailing traditional culture by cultural Marxism in order to achieve a social revolution. Such a social revolution is the kind envisioned by Karl Marx as an inversion of the social order and a commensurate inversion of the structure of power.

Social revolution has a long history involving a number of disparate forces that have conceivably been inspired by Plato's Republic. But it was the French Revolution of 1789 that probably inspired Karl Marx to do what he did in the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century it was the success of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 in Russia that set off a wave of optimistic expectation among the Marxist forces in Europe and America that the new proletarian world of equality popularized by Karl Marx was finally coming into being as the wave of the future. Russia as the first communist nation in the world would lead the revolutionary forces to final victory.

The Marxist revolutionary forces in Europe could not restrain themselves. They leaped at this opportunity to lead the proletarian workers into the promised new world. There was a Communist Spartacist uprising in Berlin, Germany, led by Rosa Luxemburg; the creation of a Bavarian Soviet in Germany led by Kurt Eisner, and a Hungarian Soviet established by Bella Kun in 1919. At the time, there was great concern that all of Europe might soon fall under the banner of Bolshevism.

This sense of impending doom was given vivid life by Trotsky's Red Army invasion of Poland in 1919 that was expected to begin the triumphant conquest of all of Western Europe by Soviet Armed Forces allied with local communists in accordance with Lenin's plan.

While the Red Army's invasion was defeated by Polish forces at the battle of the Vistula in 1920, the Spartacist, Bavarian Soviet and Hungarian Soviet all failed to gain widespread support of the workers and after a brief time they were all deposed by opposition forces. These events created a quandary for the Marxist revolutionaries in Europe. Under Marxist economic theory, the oppressed workers were supposed to be the beneficiaries of a social revolution that would place them on top of the structure of power. When the revolutionary opportunity presented itself, the workers did not respond. The Marxist revolutionaries did not blame their theory for these failures. They blamed the workers. They resolved their quandary by an analysis that focused on the cultural superstructure of society rather than on the economic substructure as Marx did. The Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci and the Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukacs contributed the most to this cultural Marxism.

Antonio Gramsci worked for the Communist International in the years 1923 to 1924 in Moscow and Vienna. He was later imprisoned in one of Mussolini's jails where he wrote his famous "Prison Notebooks". Among Marxists, Gramsci is noted for his theory of cultural and ideological hegemony as the means of class dominance. His view that a new Communist man had to be made before any political revolution led to a focus on the efforts of the intellectuals in the fields of education and the culture to perform this task. This was to be a long march through the society's institutions, meaning the government, the judiciary, the military, the schools and the media. He also concluded that so long as the workers had a Christian soul, they would not respond to revolutionary appeals. Multiculturalism can be seen as a means of breaking the grip of the traditional cultural hegemony on American society.

Georg Lukacs was the son of a wealthy Hungarian banker who began his political life as a key Soviet agent of the Communist International. His book History and Class Consciousness gained him recognition as the leading Marxist theorist since Karl Marx. And like Karl Marx his primary emotion was hatred. "I saw the revolutionary destruction of society as the one and only solution to the cultural contradictions of the epoch," was one of his expressed attitudes. In defending Bolshevism, Lukacs stated: "Such a worldwide overturning of values cannot take place without the annihilation of the old values and the creation of new ones by the revolutionaries."

In 1919, Georg Lukacs became the Deputy Commissar for Culture in the Bolshevik Bela Kun regime in Hungary where he instigated what became known as Culture Terrorism. He launched an explosive sex education program. Special lectures were organized in Hungarian schools and literature printed and distributed to instruct children about free love, about the nature of sexual intercourse, about the archaic nature of the bourgeois family codes, about the outdatedness of monogamy, and the irrelevance of religion, which deprives man of all pleasures. Children urged thus to reject and deride paternal authority and the authority of the Church, and to ignore precepts of morality, easily and spontaneously turned into delinquents with whom only the police could cope. This call to rebellion addressed to Hungarian children was matched by a call to rebellion addressed to Hungarian women. This was a precursor to what Cultural Marxism would later bring into American schools.

In 1924, as a result of a meeting the year before attended by Georg Lukacs and other Marxist intellectuals associated with the Communist Party of Germany, there came to be founded the Institute of Social Research at Frankfurt University in Frankfurt, Germany. This Institute became known as the Frankfurt School. Its model was the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow. The members of this Institute prepared numerous studies on the beliefs, attitudes and values they assumed led to the rise of German national socialism. These were critical studies that combined Marxist analysis with Freudian psychoanalysis. The sum of these critical studies became known as Frankfurt School "Critical Theory".

Frankfurt School Critical Theory was essentially destructive criticism of the main elements of Western culture such as Christianity, capitalism, authority, the family, patriarchy, hierarchy, morality, tradition, sexual restraint, loyalties, patriotism, nationalism, heredity, ethnocentrism, convention and conservatism. These criticisms are reflected in such works of the Frankfurt School as Studies on Authority and the Family, Erich Fromm's Escape From Freedom and his The Dogma of Christ, Wilhelm Reich's The Mass Psychology of Fascism and Theodor Adorno's The Authoritarian Personality published in 1950.

Frankfurt School Critical Theory encompasses a group of specific sub-theories such as matriarchal theory, androgyny theory, personality theory, prejudice theory, authority theory, family theory, sexuality theory, racial theory, legal theory and literary theory. These various sub-theories are used to induce an inversion of the prevailing belief system so the Marxist revolutionaries can engineer a non-violent social revolution. As the Marxist social revolutionaries readily proclaim among themselves, their avowed purpose is to destroy the hegemonic white male structure of power. This requires the inversion of beliefs of white males so that they feel impelled to relinquish their positions to women and minorities. This reflects the psycho-dynamics of social revolution that lies at the core of Political Correctness.

The belief in patriarchy is to be inverted to a belief in matriarchy in accordance with Frankfurt School matriarchal theory. The belief in distinct gender roles is to be inverted to a belief that distinct gender roles should not exist in accordance with Frankfurt School androgyny theory. The belief in inherent differences among the races is to be inverted to a belief that differences do not exist in accordance with Frankfurt School racial theory. The belief that the heterosexual is the norm is to be inverted to a belief that the homosexual is normal. Frankfurt School prejudice theory as presented in Theodor Adorno's The Authoritarian Personality had the intended effect of inverting the belief about racial discrimination. The belief that racial discrimination was a normal instinctive response to a perceived threat to the survival of the race was inverted to a belief that racial discrimination was evidence of a social pathology and a mental sickness in an individual. This Frankfurt School theory of prejudice was then applied to gender and sexual discrimination in the same way.

By its very nature, Frankfurt School Critical Theory amounted to a grand scheme for the inversion of the intrinsic worth of white heterosexual males that opened the intellectual door to the racial and sexual antagonisms of the Trotskyites, Herbert Marcuse and Betty Friedan. The expressed views of Leon Trotsky that were adopted by his Fourth International were especially revealing. Trotsky had denounced prejudiced white workers in scathing and bitter terms. He followed this with the assertion that due to the oppression of the Negroes they could become the most revolutionary element of the population and furnish the vanguard of the revolution. Trotsky demanded that the white workers assist the blacks in this revolution.

Most of the young student leaders of the 1960's counterculture revolution to a large extent followed the dictates of Leon Trotsky by attempting to elevate black revolutionaries to positions of leadership. Since the counterculture revolution of the 1960's was an attempt to invert the prevailing culture as the very name implies, acceptance of an inversion of white and black roles seemed logical to the student revolutionaries. These radical Marxists also followed Herbert Marcuse of the Frankfurt School who became the admired philosopher on the campuses of American colleges and universities in the 1960's with his advocacy of the women's and black revolutions.

As a Marxist revolutionary alumni of the Frankfurt School, Herbert Marcuse became a key practitioner of revolutionary theory in America. In 1947, he argued the case for a Soviet republic and welcomed anarchy disintegration and catastrophe to bring about revolutionary change. He preached the "Great Refusal" sexual liberation and the merits of the feminist and black revolutions. His primary thesis was that revolutionaries such as university students, ghetto blacks, the alienated and the asocial, and the Third World could take the place of the proletariat. In his book An Essay on Liberation, Herbert Marcuse proclaimed his aim of a radical transvaluation of values; the relaxation of taboo; cultural subversion; critical theory; and a linguistic rebellion that amounts to a methodical reversal of meaning. As for racial conflict, Marcuse wrote that it is true that the white man is guilty and that the black population appears as the most natural force of rebellion. The similarity to Leon Trotsky's mindset should be noted.

Another important revolutionary contributor to Political Correctness was Betty Friedan who promoted the modern feminist movement in America and Canada with her book The Feminine Mystique. In that book, she claimed the feminist movement was a sex-role revolution. This sex role inversion did indeed eventually take the form of the extreme demand for female combat soldiers and female fighter pilots which was duly complied with by the new American males. In her book, Betty Friedan devoted almost a full chapter to Abraham Maslow's theory of self-actualization. Maslow was a social psychologist who in his early years did research on female dominance and sexuality. Maslow was a friend of Herbert Marcuse at Brandeis University and had met with Erich Fromm in 1936. He was so impressed by Erich Fromm's Frankfurt School ideology that he wrote an article entitled "The Authoritarian Character Structure" published in 1944. This reflected the personality theory of Frankfurt School Critical Theory. Maslow was also impressed with the work of Wilhelm Reich who was another Frankfurt School originator of personality theory that became an integral part of Marxist ideology in America.

The significance of the historical roots of Political Correctness cannot be fully comprehended unless such a thing as Betty Friedan's sex-role revolution is viewed for what it really is--a manifestation of the social revolutionary process begun by Karl Marx himself. Her reliance on Abraham Maslow's reflection of Frankfurt School Marxist ideology is simply one indicator. The very idea of her sex-role inversion corresponds with Georg Lukacs' annihilation of old values and the creation of new ones by the Marxist revolutionaries and Herbert Marcuse's radical transvaluation of all values. But the very idea of transforming a patriarchy into a matriarchy which is what a sex-role inversion is designed to do, can be connected directly to Frederick Engel's book The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, first published in 1884, which popularized the currently adopted feminist belief that the deep-rooted discrimination against the oppressed female sex was a function of patriarchy.

The belief that matriarchy is the solution to patriarchy flows from Karl Marx's comments in his The German Ideology of 1845. It was in that document that Marx advanced the theory that wives and children were the first property of the patriarchal male which Engels elaborated in his book from notes made by Marx. The Frankfurt School's matriarchal theory and its related androgyny theory both originated from these sources. So there is a historical consistency to this sex aspect of the Marxist social revolution. There is another historical consistency to the racial aspect of the Marxist social revolution. Karl Marx had a revolutionary friend by the name of Moses Hess who had introduced him to communism. In 1865, Moses Hess wrote the dictum in his book, Rome and Jerusalem that race struggle was to be primary. This could be seen as the inspirational source of the Frankfurt School's prejudice theory as well as the attitudes of Leon Trotsky and Herbert Marcuse on the subject.

There is another historical consistency to the Marxist social revolution that is related to the Frankfurt School's Critical Theory as destructive criticism. In his war plan of 1844 directed against the Prussian state, Karl Marx was more blunt about his use of ruthless criticism. It was to be a weapon to destroy. What he intended to destroy was the bourgeois middle class and so he related the means to do this by class warfare. Under his formula, the middle class bourgeoisie was to become the oppressing class in which the evils of society were to be concentrated and so regarded as the notorious crime of the whole society. The middle class was to be criminalized. This was the initial part of Karl Marx's social revolutionary process that was supposed to lead to the disintegration of the middle class. The similarity to Herbert Marcuse's use of the term "disintegration" should be noted. In 1969, Marcuse wrote in "The Carnivorous Society" that "what we must undertake is a type of diffuse and dispersed disintegration of the system."

It so happens that when the Frankfurt School's book The Authoritarian Personality authored by Theodor Adorno, et al and edited by Max Horkheimer was published in 1950, it was a seminal event because of its substantial impact on American social psychologists and social scientists of the day. It was one of a series of books entitled Studies on Prejudice. It evolved from a simplified formula developed by the Frankfurt School in Europe. Christianity plus capitalism plus the patriarchal authoritarian family created a type of character that was prone to racial prejudice and German fascism. After the Frankfurt School group of social revolutionaries came to America in the mid-1930's, they looked around and observed an America that was Christian, capitalist and with patriarchal families so they sensed there was potential for some kind of authoritarian regime as came about in the Hitlerian Germany they had left. As a result of these circumstances, The Authoritarian Personality came to serve as an ideological handbook for a national campaign against any kind of prejudice or discrimination on the theory that if these evils were not eradicated, another Holocaust might ensue. Political Correctness evolved from that milieu.

What had begun with the founding of the Frankfurt School in 1924 as destructive criticism of the elements of Western culture had ended in The Authoritarian Personality as a psychological method for pathologizing any evidence of religious, cultural or racial superiority in the thinking and behavior among the American majority. No single religion was to be superior. No single culture was to be superior. And no single race was to be superior. And so multiculturalism was invented. And then no single sex was to be superior. And with nothing superior, there was nothing to value. It was to be a matter of choice by the individual self since there was to be no higher authority than the self. This is the very essence of Political Correctness. It serves as the means to conduct the psychic decapitation of any potential leader who might seek to unify Americans on the basis of a shared religion, culture or race. Americans were to be kept fragmented by this radical individualism and subjected to a national condition of cognitive dissonance, meaning massive confusion over beliefs and values. Then America could be treated as one vast psychopathic ward and controlled accordingly.

The method selected by the Marxist social revolutionaries to control the American people is rather simple. It is by dialectical stages of operant conditioning by words. Only instead of the bourgeois middle class being made to bear the brunt of all society's ills and thus merit the criminalization of that class as Karl Marx proposed, the modern cultural Marxists have substituted white heterosexual males as the class to be criminalized by charges of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia or xenophobia as the particular circumstance requires. They have manipulated the federal government itself into passing laws and regulations against discrimination to keep white males in their psychic iron cage where they fear to challenge what is being done to the American nation. Then Hate Crimes were added to this cultural terrorism to keep the white males in their place. This was an inversion of reality since those who originated the charge of Hate Crimes were the ones who were guilty of attempting to destroy the white male structure of power. But this is what Frankfurt School Critical Theory has brought about.

A review of the historical roots of Political Correctness would not be complete without reference to the psychological process of dialectical stages of operant conditioning by words that have been directed against the larger body of Western Man in the generic sense before Frankfurt School Critical Theory came to be applied against American white males. For more than a hundred years, Marxist social revolutionaries have leveled criminal-like charges of imperialism, colonialism, militarism, chauvinism, feudalism as well as fascism and nazism in later years against Western Man. These words are still part of the Marxist vocabulary. But they were only in the first of the dialectical stages. What has been going on in America is the second stage. Only the first stage was designed to destroy the whole Western structure of power that in earlier times dominated the world. So the process is basically the same except the social revolution in America is only a part of this larger global picture.

The visible evidence that Political Correctness reigns supreme over the American landscape is not a nice sight for the eyes of a traditional American to behold. For all practical purposes, the social revolution promoted by the Marxists of the Frankfurt School and such others as Leon Trotsky, Herbert Marcuse, and Betty Friedan has been successfully executed in America. There is virtually no sphere of American life that has been left untouched. The revolutionary inversions in the heretofore prevailing system of beliefs as a result of Frankfurt School Critical Theory has had the effect of preparing Americans for an ongoing and steadily increasing displacement of white males by women and minorities in the governmental, judicial, military, educational and informational structures of society as the Marxist revolutionaries intended. For instance, at the 1996 Democratic national convention fifty percent of the delegates were women. The Republican national convention was not much better in its pandering. There were loud cheers when the firstwoman was appointed Secretary of State in 1997. Before that, the President's cabinet consisted of only four Euro-white males out of fourteen cabinet posts. The remainder were women and various minorities. Herbert Marcuse should be proud, for there were no complaints. So would Antonio Gramsci, especially if he knew about the ordination of women in the churches and the gender-neutering and demasculation of prayerbooks and other texts in the synagogues. This points to the expanding sexual madness in the land brought on by Frankfurt School Critical Theory that became transposed into Political Correctness.

Raymond V. Raehn holds an M.A. degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University and is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College. He flew Navy fighter planes during World War II and became the Commander of a fighter squadron some years later. After serving on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operation, he retired to head a real estate development company. In 1981, he founded the United States Global Strategy Council and served as its president as an advocate of a comprehensive U.S. national security strategy which became law in 1986. He operates a family cattle ranch in South Texas.