How to Critique Authoritarian Populism

Methodologies of the Frankfurt School


Volume Editor:
How to Critique Authoritarian Populism: Methodologies of the Frankfurt School offers a comprehensive introduction to the techniques used by the early Frankfurt School to study and combat authoritarianism and authoritarian populism. In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the writings of the early Frankfurt School, at the same time as authoritarian populist movements are resurging in Europe and the Americas. This volume shows why and how Frankfurt School methodologies can and should be used to address the rise of authoritarianism today. Critical theory scholars are assembled from a variety of disciplines to discuss Frankfurt School approaches to dialectical philosophy, psychoanalytic theory, human subjects research, discourse analysis and media studies.

Contributors include: Robert J. Antonio, Stefanie Baumann, Christopher Craig Brittain, Dustin J. Byrd, Mariana Caldas Pinto Ferreira, Panayota Gounari, Peter-Erwin Jansen, Imaculada Kangussu, Douglas Kellner, Dan Krier, Lauren Langman, Claudia Leeb, Gregory Joseph Menillo, Jeremiah Morelock, Felipe Ziotti Narita, Michael R. Ott, Charles Reitz, Avery Schatz, Rudolf J. Siebert, William M. Sipling, David Norman Smith, Daniel Sullivan, and AK Thompson.

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Jeremiah Morelock, Ph.D. (2019), Boston College, is an Instructor of Sociology at that university. He has published books and articles on critical theory, media discourse, authoritarianism, and populism, including the edited volume Critical Theory and Authoritarian Populism (UWP, 2018).
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Frankfurt School Methodologies
Jeremiah Morelock and Daniel Sullivan


1 When History Fails Us: Immanent Critique of Capitalism to the New Right and Beyond
  Robert J. Antonio

2 A Dialectical Constellation of Authoritarian Populism in the United States and Brazil
  Jeremiah Morelock and Felipe Ziotti Narita

3 Capital Fetishism and the Authoritarian Personality: Critical Theory in the Weimar Years
  David Norman Smith

4 Mythology, Enlightenment, and Dialectic: Determinate Negation
  Rudolf J. Siebert, Michael R. Ott, and Dustin J. Byrd


5 The Dialectic of Unreason: Authoritarianism and the Irrational
  Lauren Langman and Avery Schatz

6 Adorno and Freud Meet Kazuo Ishiguro: The Rise of the Far- Right from a Psychoanalytic Critical Theory Perspective
  Claudia Leeb

7 Marcuse and the Symbolic Roles of the Father: Someone to Watch over Me
  Imaculada Kangussu

8 “Variation within a Single Paradigm”: The Latent Authoritarian Dynamics of the Culture Industry
  Gregory Joseph Menillo

9 What Would Jesus Do? Christianity as Wish Image and Historical Bloc
  AK Thompson

Human Subjects

10 Mobilization of Bias Today: The Renewed Use of Established Techniques; A Reconsideration of Two Studies on Prejudice from the Institute for Social Research
  Peter-Erwin Jansen

11 From ‘False’ to ‘Reified’ Consciousness: Tracing the isr’s Critical Research on Authoritarianism
  Daniel Sullivan

12 Franz Neumann’s Behemoth and Trumpism: Comprehending the Beast of Bad Government
  Dan Krier

13 Donald Trump and the Stigmata of Democracy: Adorno and the Consolidation of a Religious Racket
  Christopher Craig Brittain

Media Discourse

14 Siegfried Kracauer and the Interpretation of Films
  Jeremiah Morelock

15 How to Mediate Reality: Thinking Documentary Film with Adorno and Horkheimer
  Stefanie Baumann

16 One-dimensional Social Media: The Discourse of Authoritarianism and the Authoritarianism of Discourse
  Panayota Gounari

17 Applying and Extrapolating Prophets of Deceit: Heuristics of ‘Agitator’ Identification through Löwenthal and Guterman’s Analysis
  William M. Sipling

18 Dialectical Images and Contemporary Times: Thinking Critically about Authoritarian Populism
  Mariana Caldas Pinto Ferreira

  Douglas Kellner


Academic libraries, graduate students and upper-level undergraduate students in sociology, social psychology and media studies who are interested in using Critical Theory to inform their work, and Frankfurt School scholars.
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