An assessment of the Frankfurt School's approach to cultural studies turns on the issue of its relationship to Marxism. Most cultural studies proponents view the apparent Frankfurt cultural mandarinism with a good deal of skepticism, rejecting what they take to be the Frankfurt aversion to emancipatory themes in popular culture. Frankfurt discourse became more remote from the ringing declarations of Marx as their political pessimism deepened with the unfolding of fascism, the post-World War Two consolidation of world capitalism and the massive extent of the culture industry. Frankfurt aesthetic theory combines cultural and economic analysis to the extent to which these separate categories blur and even merge. This tendency on the part of the Frankfurt theorists to combine cultural and social theory has been profoundly troubling to orthodox Marxists who retain a more reductive base-superstructure model. The nationalization and internationalization of culture are developments not expected by orthodox Marxists, who retain relatively rigid class distinctions in their approaches to culture.