The ideological Left has adopted Critical Theory and its various identity-based worldviews as a means to a dangerous end. As Contributors Victoria Cobb and Heather Mac Donald discuss in their featured interview clips above, we are witnessing firsthand the strain on a society that is bearing the weight of Critical Theory belief systems—particularly Critical Race Theory, which perpetuates lies and division in our schools, jobs, churches, and even homes.
If you’ve been following Praxis Circle for any amount of time, you know that we are very critical of… well, Critical Theory and its various offshoots. But what if we told you that Critical Theory isn’t actually the problem? In fact, it’s just another often good tool of analytical discourse.
A Praxis Circle member recently shared a Shaun Kenney article in The Republican Standard entitled, “Critical Race Theory: A Primer.” In the article, Kenney defines Critical Theory this way: a means of examining the dispositions of any aggregation of power over other human beings. By this definition, politicians on both sides of the aisle challenge the powers that be using Critical Theory, whether that be “big government” or “racist institutions.” In sum, Kenney argues that the problem is not Critical Theory itself, but its application. On average, using a hammer to turn a screw doesn’t go well in the long run.
Kenney cites Max Horkheimer, the German critical theory philosopher who gives a litmus test for true Critical Theory: It must be explanatory, practical, and normative, all at the same time. Today’s CRT theorists comically fail this test across the board. Kenney writes, “CRT doesn’t grasp the world as it is; equity is entirely condescending and deterministic as an outcome; one cannot claim biological determinism and still claim you are anti-racist.” Critical race theorists do nothing to explain human nature, offer no practical solutions, and create false narratives in order to prove that race determines every power structure.
We would argue that it’s helpful and good to criticize systems within society that are failing us. But that would not be our American Constitutional, public, or private sector systems. The difference between Critical Theory and Critical Race Theory is that CRT is a belief system based on largely false biology that offers a problem with no solution, a critique without hope. A one way ticket to heightened social division and extreme violence at increasing levels. (In this post we’re ignoring CT’s confusion about whether truth is true or relative – a very serious confusion, indeed.)
For real reform to occur, the beliefs on which we build our worldviews must reflect reality, offer unity, and instill peace. And above all, our beliefs must invoke love for our fellow man. If the critical theories we attach ourselves to do not promote these beliefs, then perhaps it’s time to be critical of the theory itself. True progress is knowing no theory or theorist is above criticism.
Only then will we all have the wisdom and humility to effect change, where change is truly needed.