A leading national expert on critical theory and its offshoot, Critical Race Theory (CRT), said it is designed to undermine American values ââby ignoring the reality of progress and assuming the worst for people. .
“It was literally designed by Marxists who hoped to conquer America with communism,” said James Lindsay, whose biography describes himself as a “professional author, mathematician and troublemaker.”
Lindsay has written six books covering a wide range of topics, including religion, philosophy of science, and postmodern theory. His most recent book, Cynical theories: how the activists scholarship did it all about race, gender and identity, and why it hurts everyone, documents the evolution of critical theory (and critical race theory) and how its application today generates significant societal damage.
Lindsay discussed the book and Critical Race Theory as a guest speaker to the latest cohort of people attending the Oklahoma Public Affairs Council. J. Rufus scholarship feared, which equips young leaders by exploring the ideals of free enterprise, limited government, personal responsibility and individual initiative.
Lindsay noted that critical theory was first fleshed out in 1937 by Max Horkheimer, a Marxist who realized Karl Marx was wrong when he concluded that the working class would still see themselves as oppressed in a capitalist society and seek to overthrow the power structure through revolution.
Like traditional Marxism, critical theory looks at everything through the lens of power dynamics, but critical theory divides people based on criteria other than income.
âCritical theory was designed to tear apart existing society, not because it fails, but precisely because it works,â Lindsay said. “And if it works, you don’t have a Marxist revolution.”
Horkheimer said critical theory has three main components. First, he must have an âidealized vision of a perfected society,â Lindsay noted. Second, the theory must âcomplain or criticize how the existing society fails to live up to this visionâ. And third, it “must inspire social activism for the realization of this vision.”
âThe goal is not just to understand society, but to change it,â Lindsay said.
Today, various critical theories focus on the alleged power dynamics between different groups, but rather than focusing on the rich and the working class, they divide society into identity and class conflicts, ranging from racial lines to heterosexuals who identify as their biological sex against all other groups.
âThey still somehow honor the men who oppress women, but only when it suits them,â Lindsay said. âBecause you can’t have men oppressing women without standing up for cis heteronormativity, which is a big problem, a big contradiction to their ideology. But when it’s practical, they break their own rules. It’s not that big of a deal. They will find a way. Where there is hateful will, there is a way.
“Critical Race Theory: An Introduction”, first published in 2001 and since updated by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, explicitly states in its first chapter that Critical Race Theory “calls into question the very foundations of the order. liberal, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism and neutral principles of constitutional law.
Lindsay noted that this means that critics of race oppose things like the rule of law.
“If you don’t know that this is a constitutional republic, and rejecting the Constitution is probably anti-American, and if you don’t understand that we hold this law to be neutral in design, then if you reject the neutral principles of the Constitution law that you are not American, then you missed the boat on what it means to be American and I feel for you, âLindsay said.
Opposition to equality has been a major part of many of the CRT’s spin-off trainings in Oklahoma education, including the compulsory student training imposed at the University of Oklahoma during the 2020-2021 school year and staff training in the Norman Public School District.
âThe theory of equality must be out. Why? Because they claim that if we have equality, then equality breeds inequality. Equality becomes inequality; it’s a very ‘1984’ moment, âsaid Lindsay, referring to George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel.
Lindsay said supporters of critical race theory will argue that under equality those who are ahead stay ahead and those who are late never catch up, but he noted that this ignores real world experience.
“They never take it into account: what if the guy in front is lazy?” Lindsay said. “What if the guy behind decides he’s going to close the gap?” It is the American dream.
The dynamism of the United States and the ability of people to move quickly from the lower to the upper echelons of the economic and social ladder goes against the core beliefs of the followers of Critical Race Theory, he said.
âThey don’t understand how the American Dream works at all because they don’t believe in the American Dream,â Lindsay said. “And they tried to teach everyone for 50 years in our schools not to believe in the American Dream.”
He also noted that applying critical race theory results in the assumption that all people are racist, regardless of action, intention or outcome.
“Why are they cynical, just to answer that? Because they can read your mind, âLindsay said. “And they ‘know’ that your motivation is always the worst possible motivation.”
As an example, he asked which customer an employee should serve first when two people walk into a store at the same time and one is white and the other is black. Pick the white client, and you’ll be seen as racist by critical race theorists, Lindsay said. But choose the black customer, and you’re still seen as racist because you try to hide your racism or don’t trust black people and try to get them out of the store ASAP.
âThe thing is, there was no right answer to the question,â Lindsay said. âThere was just a setup to get you wrong. This is the critical theory of race. This is why critical theories are cynical theories. This is because they can read your mind and interpret everything you have done in the worst light possible.
He said the Critical Race Theory is âan absolute tool for blaming people for things they didn’t even think they knew how to do and then capitalizing on their emotional reaction or the resulting public outcry. That’s all it is.
To fight the CRT, Lindsay said citizens need to focus on several core values, including the reality of the truth.
âThe truth is the same for everyone. There is no âyour truth,â Lindsay said. “If you think there are, cry more, because the world does not care and they will get you sooner or later. Reality harsh and reality is the thing you encounter when “your truth” is wrong.
(Image: Dr Rick Farmer, Dean of the J. Rufus Fears Fellowship and Dr James Lindsay, Author and Founder of New Discourses)