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Critical Theory, Marxism, and Modernity (Parallax: by Douglas Kellner

By Douglas Kellner

Kellner explores the consequences of old crises of capitalism and Marxism on severe conception and displays at the persevered relevance or obsolescence of Marxism and demanding concept. Kellner writes, "As we circulation into the Nineties severe thought will help produce theoretical and political views which can join a Left flip which could reanimate the political hopes of the Nineteen Sixties, whereas supporting conquer and opposite the losses and regression of the 1980s."

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Y For Horkheimer, however, the striving for happiness involves attempts to eliminate unhappiness and the conditions which produce human suffering. Suffering itself is conceived as a product of both natural conditionsscarcity, sickness, natural catastrophe and so on- and historical conditions - poverty, exploitation, war and so forth. The task for social theory (and society) is therefore to conceptualize and struggle to eliminate social and historical causes of suffering: In the future society toward which the moral consciousness aspires, the life of the whole and of the individuals is produced not merely as a natural effect, but as the consequence of rational designs that take account of the happiness of the individuals in equal measure.

126). Studies on Family and Authority Fromm also played a key role in the most substantial research project undertaken by the Institute for Social Research in the 1930s, a multidisciplinary inquiry into the connections between family and authority. The results of a five-year study were published in 1936 in a two-volume 'research report' Studien uber A utoritiit und Familie. 26 The first section THE 1930s PROGRAM 41 consisted of three theoretical studies, by Horkheimer, Fromm and Marcuse, and was edited by Horkheimer; the second part was edited by Fromm and consisted of studies of socialization in different classes, with special studies of sexual education, socialization of youth and socialization in unemployed families; the third part, edited by Lowenthal, consisted of individual studies of a variety of topics in the area of family and authority in different countries.

The synthesis of Marxism and psychology instantiates the Institute's transcendence of disciplinary boundaries and specializations and its belief that fruitful theoretical innovations can best be attained by supradisciplinary work. There were several reasons why the members of the Institute for Social Research believed that it was important to develop a materialist social psychology . 19 From a theoretical point of view, one of the major deficiencies of classical Marxism was the lack of a socio-psychological theory which could describe in detail how society shapes the beliefs, values, aspirations and so on dominant among its members.

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