CIA/OSS/FBI Socialists

James Farmelant farmelantj at
Fri Mar 12 12:42:38 PST 1999

Herbert Marcuse remained with the CIA right up to the time of the Korean War. I haven't heard that the CIA funded the revival of the Frankfurt Institute after WW II but it wouldn't surprise me if they did, since the CIA in its early days was financing lots of liberal and social democratic groups, apparently on the premise that social democracy was to be supported as a viable alternative to the Communists.

Marcuse's CIA background was first publicly exposed over thirty years ago by the Progressive Labor Party in its newspaper, "Challenge." The attempted to use this revelation to "CIA-bait" the New Left generally, against whom they were waging a bitter struggle to for control of SDS.

Jim Farmelant

On Fri, 12 Mar 1999 09:25:22 +0000 Jim heartfield <jim at> writes:
>In message <v04011744b30e508e36a5@[]>, Doug Henwood
><dhenwood at> writes
>>In a talk at the Brecht Forum in NYC a year or two ago, Joel Kovel
>>that the CIA funded the re-establishment of the Frankfurt Institute
>>WW II and kept it going. He didn't say what his source was, but I've
>>others say this too. Any cites?
>Istvan Meszaros, The Power of Ideology, Harvester Wheatsheaf,
>1989, p118 on
>The OSS was a branch of the FBI that became an independent service,
>CIA. Marcuse started working for the OSS and was later employed by the
>CIA. All this is described in the first volume of Marcuse's papers
>(Technology, War and Fascism, ed Douglas Kellner).
>I'm not convinced that talking down Marcuse's contribution to the
>American war effort as analysing German documents quite captures what
>meant. Marcuse was advising the US government on the pacification of
>German population under allied occupation. The content of the
>is largely along the lines of Lord Vansittart's 'collective guilt'
>thesis, adopted as US and later official German history after the war.
>Given that the second world war was the period that saw the greatest
>expansion of US imperialism, I'm not sure that it is entirely
>to work as a CIA agent.
>But more than that Marcuse went on to analyse SOVIET society on behalf
>of the CIA. Taught Russian by the OSS he was invaluable in the
>of Soviet documents and intelligence reports. At one point in the
>correspondence he complains that he is under pressure to identify the
>Soviet Union with Fascism (a pressure some would say he conceded to).
>The reports and analyses that Marcuse prepared of Russian society were
>the basis of his later work, One Dimensional Man.
>Jim heartfield

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