To the extent that it foresaw the effect the Internet would have on society, what makes the Frankfurt School--an early 20th century school of thought concerned with how rampant consumerism harms the self--suspect is not so much that it explodes much of what has sometimes proven to be a symbiotic relationship between our “real selves” and our “digital selves” as that it imagines a world so positively dystopian that it becomes but a caricature of the times in which we live.

I cannot understand the meaning of the sentence. Can anyone paraphrase it or explain it simply?

  • It means that we are encapsulating this notion within the limits of its credibility. We all generally accept that the school predicted the advent of the internet; this is not in any doubt. Jun 23 '20 at 16:36
  • 1
    Remember to always cite a source.
    – Eddie Kal
    Jun 23 '20 at 17:53
  • @Eddie Kal. Basically it is a text completion question that appeared in a test of mine. So, I couldn't cite a source.
    – Richard
    Jun 23 '20 at 20:11
  • Then tell us that and what kind of test it is that your sentence is part of.
    – Eddie Kal
    Jun 23 '20 at 20:34

First, the entire sentence is so poorly written as to be almost indecipherable even to a native English speaker, so please do not worry if you don't understand it.

For background, the Frankfurt School was a

"group of researchers associated with the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, who applied Marxism to a radical interdisciplinary social theory.... The members of the Frankfurt School tried to develop a theory of society that was based on Marxism and Hegelian philosophy but which also utilized the insights of psychoanalysis, sociology, existential philosophy, and other disciplines. They used basic Marxist concepts to analyze the social relations within capitalist economic systems. This approach, which became known as “critical theory,” yielded influential critiques of large corporations and monopolies, the role of technology, the industrialization of culture, and the decline of the individual within capitalist society." [The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica]

What the sentence you quoted is claiming is that somehow these philosophers "foresaw" the Internet and that our online involvement would ruin our society (it would become "positively dystopian").

  • I googled the sentence and it appears to be from a GRE practice test. Well, if the OP is preparing for the GRE, they do need to worry about it.
    – Eddie Kal
    Jun 23 '20 at 17:52

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