‘The ideological foundations of Critical Race Theory’

July 2024 Forums Events and announcements ‘The ideological foundations of Critical Race Theory’

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    An article from two days ago by the Northite Trotskyists (WSWS / Socialist Equality Party). If you skip over the Trotsko-Leninist parts, there are some very rewarding parts to it, in the sense of both information and analysis.

    ‘The ideological foundations of Critical Race Theory’: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/08/30/crit-a30.html .

    I don’t know to what extent this garbage (Critical Race Theory) has extended itself to the UK; in the US it is rife.

    By the way, I seem to recall that there is a (sometimes?) participant on this forum who thinks well of the Frankfurt School. Perhaps he could obtain and review North’s book ‘The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left: A Marxist Critique’, which is mentioned in the article.


    I always found the Frankfurters to be stimulating.



    A left-communist friend remarks on it:

    ‘Not a bad critique, right about the basics. However, their understanding of both science and Marxism seems a bit crude – you would think they’ve never read Pannekoek’s critique of Lenin’s “Materialism and Empiriocriticism”!’


    You’re right. There is some good stuff there if you ignore the quotes from Lenin and talk about capitalism being “restored” in Yugoslavia and the former USSR. “Critical race theory” is a load of dangerous nonsense that by “racialising” everything itself encourages racism, is in fact as the article says a form of “racial sectarianism”.

    Incidentally, I think the reference to the Frankfurt School is not to the original pre-WW2 lot but to their current descendants Adorno and Horkheimer. I have tried to read them but have to confess that I gave up, so convoluted is their style of writing. I suspect that they are really just a couple of naked emperors.


    Critical Race Theory doesn’t really have much to do with Adorno and Horkheimer either, or even Habermas. I guess the name sounds similar to “Critical Theory”, but CRT is its own thing, coming from the academic field of law.

    Critical Theory isn’t “postmodernism” either, Habermas was critical of Foucault and Derrida.

    Adorno’s writings on culture and music are worth reading if you like that kind of thing, but I agree his style isn’t the easiest to read.

    Jordan Levi

    good article. i haven’t read enough about CRT yet, but it does seem incompatible with marxism on a surface level. what sucks is that all the “marxists” with the biggest platforms seem to be gung-ho. it’s hard enough explaining to someone that AOC and I agree on very little without also having to explain why many of her positions are the complete opposite of Marxist


    good article.

    No, I don’t think it is. It’s just carelessly recycling right-wing tropes about the Frankfurt school (what they used to attack as “cultural Marxism). And if they make a hash of that I’m presuming they’re making a has of the rest.

    A better article on why race essentialism is no good for socialism is the recent Anarchist Communist Group pamphlet on “identity politics”, or Kwame Anthony Appiah’s book The Lies that Bind. A version of the book as a series of audio lectures is here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07z43ds

    This Youtube channel has some interesting stuff about identity and activist morality:


    A more accurate article about what CRT is and is not.

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