As the secular left continues to push Christianity out of mainstream American culture, a new set of religious orthodoxies is taking its place — critical theories.
This set of philosophies and beliefs is being taught at colleges, workplace seminars, some public schools and various other institutions all across the United States.
Although the critical theories have long been relatively unheard of, President Donald Trump’s recent ban of critical race theory (a segment of critical theory responsible for the creation of terms such as anti-racism and white fragility) has brought the belief and its academic roots to light.
Critical race theory, queer theory, intersectional feminism (which was discussed in the previous installment of Social Justice 1o1), disability studies, fat studies and gender studies are all distinct segments within this strange philosophy.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains that critical theory must meet “three criteria: it must be explanatory, practical, and normative, all at the same time. That is, it must explain what is wrong with current social reality, identify the actors to change it, and provide both clear norms for criticism and achievable practical goals for social transformation.”
“A unique practical aim of social inquiry suggests itself: to transform contemporary capitalism into a consensual form of social life.”
Critical Theory Is Based on Faith, Not Evidence
One aspect that separates Christianity from other religions and belief systems is the evidentiary basis for it. Scripture provides historical and logical evidence to back up its claims that Christ is the son of God and only through his sacrifice can human beings be redeemed.
While secular leftists scoff at the above evidence, they hypocritically make absolutely no effort to provide any to support their new religious orthodoxy of critical theory.
This gives critical theorists the room to make broad, radical statements about society without having to provide one bit of evidence.
Opinions given by critical theory, which are then treated as unquestionable truth, often involve taking the most cynical, pessimistic readings of social interactions that appear to be incredibly ill-informed and unscientific all for the purpose of promoting a Marxist political revolution.
To put it another way, critical theorists nitpick aspects of society that they deem to be unfair, whether that opinion is based on facts or not.
Without any further research or examination of other possible contributing factors (this would be a more responsible, scientific approach to solving problems of social inequity) these academics and activists claim that bigotry, or a system built on bigotry (systemic discrimination), is responsible and can only be fixed by tearing the system out at its root and replacing it with a socialist or communist political system where the government redistributes wealth to all people equally.
The academics and activists responsible for this ideological framework are more focused on identity groups and social activism than they are on rigorous study and finding the truth.
Examples of Critical Theories in Practice
Last week’s Social Justice 101 dissection of “white privilege,” “male privilege” and other aspects of intersectionality gave several examples of how the critical theories ignore evidence, instead of relying on their own guess-work to determine what is wrong with society and who is at blame.
There are many other relevant examples of how this philosophy makes some massively unscientific, illogical assumptions.
One of these examples is an aspect of critical race theory referred to as “discourse analysis.”
“Discourse analysis” is a highly interpretive approach to reading the interactions between a white person and a person of color as merely an expression of white supremacy over a minority victim.
For example, according to “Analyzing Racism Through Discourse Analysis” by Pompeu Fabra University’s Teun A. van Dijk, critical discourse analysis dictates that directive speech acts given by a police officer, immigration officer, judge, professor, politician or employer are examples of those people restraining the freedom of minority groups in an abusive way.
“[T]he police or immigration officers may abuse their power by threatening illegal immigrants with expulsion if they do not comply with specific police demands. Discursive power here consists of directly limiting the freedom (to act) of less powerful others by making the others know about possible sanctions,” Dijk claims.
“In the same way, judges, professors, politicians, and employers are able to control minority group members directly by more or less (il)legitimately constraining their freedom to act or their participation in socially desired social values — that is, with physical, social, or economic sanctions (such as prison sentences, low grades, or harsh legislation) or by firing or not hiring minorities, respectively.”
“Discourse power in this case is a direct function of social power: Outside their own power domain these social actors may, almost literally, have nothing or little to say over others. Note, however, that direct discursive racism is involved when majority actors feel entitled to thus control minorities with directive speech acts only because of their dominant group membership.”
Another example of this can be found in queer theory.
According to New Discourses, a self-described apolitical resource that was created to combat social justice academics, queer theory posits that any male or female trait must be “understood pejoratively and seen as somehow illegitimate.”
“This idea suggests that all of gender (and sexuality), and maybe all of (biological) sex, even, is attributable to a kind of learned and enforced performance of socially constructed roles,” a New Discourses page on queer theory reads.
Essentially, according to queer theory, the idea that women are inherently more nurturing of children, or that men tend to be biologically larger and stronger than women, are both equally illegitimate claims.
Those facts are merely ideas our American society has brainwashed us into thinking, according to this strange ideology.
American Institutions Remain in Support of the Critical Theories
Following Trump’s banning of critical race theory being taught at federal agencies, many institutions came out in support of the theoretical, far-left, race-baiting philosophy.
UC Berkeley Law released a joint statement from the Deans of University of California law schools saying “CRT is most assuredly not contrary to what we stand for.”
When someone tells you who they are, believe them. When our University of California law schools tell you that they stand for the terrible, racist, and cynical assumptions of Critical Race Theory, believe them. https://t.co/NnzvaKDgR7
— James Lindsay, spirit animal (@ConceptualJames) September 15, 2020
The Center for Disease Control decided to continue critical race theory seminars in spite of the executive order, although they were later forced to stop by the Trump Administration.
Progressive academics and activists will continue to promote this nonsensical philosophy until it’s brought to the light.
Once the average American understands how incredibly ridiculous and unscientific this approach is, academia will no longer be able to hide how corrupt and incompetent it has become.
Critical theory isn’t academic. It’s a cult.
Come back in a week to check out the next installment of Social Justice 101, which covers another extremely dangerous religious belief held by modern-day leftists — that gender is a social construct rather than a biological reality, meaning men can be women and women can be men.
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