Commentary: Critical Race Theory as a Leftist Hammer

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by Ned Ryun

 

You have to hand it to the Left: they are relentless and always at war on a thousand fronts. As my father once told me when he was in Congress, “The shame is our people come and go, while evil never sleeps.” As I have pointed out, leftists are on the level of religious zealots; politics and government are their religion, the vehicle by which perfection and utopia will be achieved in this world.

The worst that can be said about many on the Right, however, is that they are just careerists. Most are nine to five types on weekdays and politics is not a religion for them. They consider politics a necessary evil. So if it seems like the Left is always on the move, it’s because politics is a lifestyle for them and they fully intend to reshape this country into their vision for it, everything else be damned.

Roots in Cultural Marxism

One of the vehicles with which they intend to achieve this transformation is critical race theory (CRT). As the 1776 Report noted, CRT is not a new or even a recent concept. Though it has captured the imaginations of many because of the way it has taken root in everything from inclusivity training to cancel culture, more people need a primer for understanding how CRT will be used in all the Left intends to accomplish.

The genesis for undermining the American Republic really started in the early 20th century with European thinkers, prominently Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, who argued that the focus should “not be on economic revolution but instead on taking control of institutions that shape culture.” He argued for creating a counterculture to subvert and destroy the “established order.” If that reminds you of Marxist ideology, it should. It is Marxism, but through the back door instead of through violent revolution.

Many of America’s Marxist thinkers realized the majority of the white working-class was not going to answer the call of a global revolution so instead, the Marxists had to control the institutions that shaped society’s thinking. That’s how we got the un-American Left’s long march through our institutions.

In short, the poor peasants’ thinking needed to be molded so that they would understand how the world worked (at least according to these Marxists).

Gramsci’s work would be a major influence on the “Frankfurt School,” which, building on Gramsci’s thinking regarding institutional control as the vehicle by which to overthrow the established order, formally developed Critical Theory, the social philosophy that societal problems and oppression stem more from flaws at the societal level than at the individual level.

This idea was transported to the United States when Herbert Marcuse of the Frankfurt School immigrated here in the 1940s and became the intellectual godfather of American identity politics. Once in this country, Marcuse focused on “instigating cultural conflicts around racial identity.” But it was not until the 1970s that CRT really became an explicit theory. Derrick Bell, the first tenured black law professor at Harvard, fleshed out critical theory into critical race theory arguing that everything should be seen through the lens of race—arts, institutions, law, everything. Therefore people can choose to accept or reject anything based on whether they believe it is racist or not.

Social Justice as Deity

Today CRT is the worldview of many on the Left, almost to the point of a religion where the deity is “social justice.” This religion has the Oppressed and the Oppressor – the Elect and the Unelect as some have described it – all based on the color of one’s skin.

But in this story, there is no redemption for white people; they can never be “saved.” They will always be the Unelected because they are white. Whites will spend the rest of their lives apologizing for being born white and never truly be forgiven for that grievous sin. But more importantly, whites must submit to whatever the Elect wants because, well, they are irredeemable, deplorable white Neanderthals.

But we must understand the ultimate end they seek: Gramsci wanted to overthrow the established order because of his Marxist beliefs. Out of that thinking would eventually come critical race theory, which prompts people to believe they can choose to reject anything as illegitimate if they can tar it with racism. Thus the founders, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution are illegitimate because they are tainted with the stain of racism. If you believe all of that, your “religion” compels you to reshape and reimagine the entire country and its society.

There really is a fusion of Marxism and Progressivism on this point. Although Woodrow Wilson and many of the early Progressives never launched a public frontal assault on the founders for prudential reasons, they deeply resented one very specific thing about the founder’s Constitution: the separation of powers. Progressives could never have the “progress” they want with the separation of powers in full effect because that would prevent an administrative state. Because of that, they have been trying to delegitimize the founders and the originalist interpretation of the Constitution since the early days of Progressivism. Quite cleverly, Progressives decided to insert their administrative state governing philosophy into the republic as it then existed, figuring events would finally catch up.

But all of this – from control of institutions to critical race theory to the administrative state—is just the means by which the Left intends to reshape America. They are filled with “passionate intensity” to achieve their ends. They never quit. The question is are we filled with a similar passion to save it? Because unless we meet their intensity with our own, we will never restore the republic.

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Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority. You can find him on Twitter @nedryun.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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