• ToothyMaw
    610
    This post is about Critical Race Theory, some of its defining principles, and how it comes into conflict with liberalism, which entails a rights based approach to addressing inequality. I am of the opinion that both meritocracy and a strong sense of liberty, along with inalienable rights, are important, but I also think that liberalism has failed in some capacities; however, power must be kept in check, and liberalism is the only game in town; some liberties, especially freedom of speech, and freedom of the press, should not be relinquished, even if it is believed to be for the greater good.

    For instance, I remember a (former) facebook friend of mine posted a meme claiming that BLM was sending people of color in buses to go riot in (Minneapolis?). The post was hidden behind a button with a disclaimer that it was fake news. This is an insidious trend. Do we really want to give the CEO’s and the boards of directors of corporations the okay to dictate what is fake news? Certainly not, and this is one of the few instances in which a slippery slope argument is actually warranted: not only are people on the fringe right being censored, but also many leftists: https://nypost.com/2021/01/22/twitter-suspends-antifa-accounts-with-over-71k-followers/

    Furthermore, CRT asserts that race-conscious policies need to be pursued to both combat white supremacy and to create more equality of opportunity. This can take the form of discriminatory policies meant to correct inequalities atomized by systemic racism - or numerical racial quotas. That sounds pretty reasonable, and I think that those are the right tools to combat racial injustice at the moment, but I think CRT crosses the line in ascribing special value to the property of whiteness. This is both racist and idiotic, and flies in the face of liberalism and the property of merit. This doesn’t claim that many whites have erroneous and harmful beliefs about people of color that can be attacked effectively, but rather that whites are an inherently privileged class that needs to be torn down, as their is no other option when you define your oppressors as objects of your oppression. This move is an obvious miscalculation, and does no good for anyone; we should generally see each person for who they are, not what category they fall into.
  • synthesis
    935
    The best any society can do is provide for maximum opportunity. What people/families/communities do with that opportunity is up to them.
  • ToothyMaw
    610


    I agree, but we do not have maximum opportunity, and it doesn't look like equal rights is going to get us there any time soon.
  • Joshs
    2k
    Are you familiar with any of the writings in Critical theory of Continental authors like Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse or Habermas? I’m wondering if your concerns are restricted to critical race theory or if they extend to Critical theory in general.
  • ToothyMaw
    610


    CRT only atm. I'll have to do some more reading.
  • NOS4A2
    5k


    I’m with you, but I fear CRT is the direct descendant of the old racism rather than its opposition. The idea that wider American society constitutes “white supremacy”, as if no other hand but a white one could influence it, change it, or benefit from it, is not only manifestly false debilitating to those who believe it. And the notion of viewing the world through a “racial lens”, which is common to all racists, is frightening given that such a pseudoscientific framework has led to injustice and atrocity, as it must.

    CRT is dangerous because it holds a special status as being academic, which gives it an air of credibility. After a few decades since its conception it now finds itself in the highest echelons of politics and business and entertainment.
  • Joshs
    2k
    CRT is dangerous because it holds a special status as being academic, which gives it an air of credibility. After a few decades since its conception it now finds itself in the highest echelons of politics and business and entertainment.NOS4A2

    The only way to effectively challenge CRT is to either show how it deviates from valuable
    ideas in Critical theory, or critique the foundational
    ideas of critical theory. The right wing lumps CRT together with Marxism , Critical theory and post-modernism. Their attempts to attack it in this sweeping way will fail , I believe, because we’re moving into a post-marxist era where the best concepts from Marx, Critical theory and post-modernism are usurping Enlightenment liberalism as the new ground of political
    thought.
  • ToothyMaw
    610


    Thanks for the reply.

    I fear CRT is the direct descendant of the old racism rather than its opposition. The idea that wider American society constitutes “white supremacy”, as if no other hand but a white one could influence it, change it, or benefit from it, is not only manifestly false debilitating to those who believe it. And the notion of viewing the world through a “racial lens”, which is common to all racists, is frightening given that such a pseudoscientific framework has led to injustice and atrocity, as it must.NOS4A2

    I get that it might seem like CRT is repackaged racism, but many of the race-conscious policies that are being pushed for are being pushed to combat inequality, not increase it, and if we need to have, for example, quotas, to achieve maximum equality of opportunity, I'm fine with that; some inequality in the short term might lead to a more equitable outcome in the long. And I think that proponents of CRT don't think only white people have the power, but rather that they have a disproportionate share of it due to pervasive racism embedded in our institutions and such.
  • ToothyMaw
    610
    Their attempts to attack it in this sweeping way will fail , I believe, because we’re moving into a post-marxist era where the best concepts from Marx, Critical theory and post-modernism are usurping Enlightenment liberalism as the new ground of political
    thought.
    Joshs

    You have to admit though - the whole whiteness being a valuable property thing is very janky. And I think that enlightenment liberalism can coexist with the best concepts of the academic schools of thought you mention - although I am not that well read on them, I must admit.
  • synthesis
    935
    There are no ideal situations. Again, the best you can hope for is that your society works towards particular goals. Look at the difference in opportunity afforded to AAs in 1960 v. 2021. It's night and day.

    You can not throw out the good because you want the perfect. Even with all the insanity going on economically in the country, 20% of the AA community is doing quite well and the Asians that have emigrated to the U.S. are doing incredibly well. Opportunity still exists. You have to work hard to take advantage of it.
  • ToothyMaw
    610


    here are no ideal situations. Again, the best you can hope for is that your society works towards particular goals. Look at the difference in opportunity afforded to AAs in 1960 v. 2021. It's night and day.

    You can not throw out the good because you want the perfect.
    synthesis

    But taking strides toward eliminating racial inequality does not constitute throwing out the good; no one suffers unduly from activism, quotas, or racially conscious policies. The people of color who are doing well won't do worse because another black congresswoman is elected. And yes, opportunity exists, but obviously we do not have true equality of opportunity, and if CRT is the way to it, so be it - it just needs to be kept in check.
  • synthesis
    935
    And yes, opportunity exists, but obviously we do not have true equality of opportunity, and if CRT is the way to it, so be it - it just needs to be kept in check.ToothyMaw

    CRT is crazy. It is Maoist cultural revolution kind of stuff.

    You have to have a system based on merit, otherwise, you will be killing your economy and your society. AAs need to get their communities together and do what the Asians did, work their asses off. That's what it takes to succeed. 20% of the AA community already has accomplished this!

    You will never have perfect anything, but where is it better? The key is to keep moving forward. We need to root-out the corruption in the system, as that will make the greatest difference (by providing more opportunity).
  • ToothyMaw
    610
    AAs need to get their communities together and do what the Asians did, work their asses off.synthesis

    Has it ever occurred to you that many people of color are hard-working yet are not doing well financially because of external disadvantages? Maybe from a long history of differential treatment?

    CRT is crazy. It is Maoist cultural revolution kind of stuff.synthesis

    Sounds like you enjoy soundbites almost as much as belittling people of color whom you deem unsuccessful.
  • Apollodorus
    2.7k
    Furthermore, CRT asserts that race-conscious policies need to be pursued to both combat white supremacy and to create more equality of opportunity.ToothyMaw

    "Race-conscious policies", "white supremacy" and "equality" seem to be rather nebulous concepts that are used to promote dubious political agendas and create division in society. It looks like Marxist "class-wars" have progressed to "culture-wars" and "race-wars".

    And as far as I am aware, these movements tend to be exploited by foreign powers like China to destabilize Western governments.
  • NOS4A2
    5k


    I get that it might seem like CRT is repackaged racism, but many of the race-conscious policies that are being pushed for are being pushed to combat inequality, not increase it, and if we need to have, for example, quotas, to achieve maximum equality of opportunity, I'm fine with that; some inequality in the short term might lead to a more equitable outcome in the long. And I think that proponents of CRT don't think only white people have the power, but rather that they have a disproportionate share of it due to pervasive racism embedded in our institutions and such.

    Aren’t race-conscious policies and quotas a form of exclusionary, institutional racism? It seems to me if we want to rid the system of embedded racism we should first start by refusing to institute it.

    For instance, at the moment, white farmers are suing the federal government of the US because they are excluded from debt relief programs due to the fact of their skin color, and by no other measure. I think this is wrong for the same reason it is wrong to exclude any other race. How can it be said that this combats inequality?
  • ToothyMaw
    610


    I agree, it is a bit nebulous, and has the potential to be commandeered or misused, but I don't see liberalism solving the issues of racial inequality plaguing our society, although I understand, like I say in the OP, that certain rights cannot be relinquished, and that a respect for some enlightenment values is paramount. For example, to quote Chomsky: there are precisely two positions on free speech: you are either for it or against it. Any reasonable progressive is a proponent of free speech/free press while also recognizing that there is racial inequality and that fake news probably contributes to it. As to whether or not it is part of a Chinese plot: I think that the conditions of US academia are wholly sufficient for producing and propagating CRT, with all of its flaws.
  • ToothyMaw
    610
    Aren’t race-conscious policies and quotas a form of exclusionary, institutional racism? It seems to me if we want to rid the system of embedded racism we should first start by refusing to institute it.NOS4A2

    They are, but a proponent of CRT would probably argue that it is the only way to correct existing institutional racism, so it is justified.

    For instance, at the moment, white farmers are suing the federal government of the US because they are excluded from debt relief programs due to the fact of their skin color, and by no other measure. I think this is wrong for the same reason it is wrong to exclude any other race. How can it be said that this combats inequality?NOS4A2

    That is obviously stupid. I certainly wouldn't advocate for that. But then again I'm not exactly a proponent of CRT. I just think it has some useful applications.
  • NOS4A2
    5k


    I appreciate your nuanced view. And who knows? Maybe all this stuff will turn out well in the end. If so I will undoubtedly hang my head in shame for opposing it. But I think it will get worse before it gets better.
  • ToothyMaw
    610


    Thanks for participating in the thread. You seem pretty reasonable to me. :up:
  • synthesis
    935
    AAs need to get their communities together and do what the Asians did, work their asses off.
    — synthesis

    Has it ever occurred to you that many people of color are hard-working yet are not doing well financially because of external disadvantages? Maybe from a long history of differential treatment?
    ToothyMaw
    Well, then what explains all the successful AAs and Asians and Indians as well as all the poor white people?

    [quote="ToothyMaw;533338"CRT is crazy. It is Maoist cultural revolution kind of stuff.
    — synthesis

    Sounds like you enjoy soundbites almost as much as belittling people of color whom you deem unsuccessful.[/quote]

    You can do better than that. I am belittling nobody as I have been around a lot of very successful people of all colors.

    I get that people have some disadvantages, but you have to do what you can to overcome them. You do that with solid ethics, strong families, and supportive communities. There is no doubt in my mind that the AA community will come into its own within the next couple of generations.
  • ToothyMaw
    610
    Well, then what explains all the successful AAs and Asians and Indians as well as all the poor white people?synthesis

    I'm a little confused; how is that relevant? I'm asking you to recognize that people of color - even the supposedly unsuccessful ones - often times are hard workers that are struggling with the effects of a history of oppression. Just because this is a trend doesn't mean that it is the case for all of them.

    I am belittling nobody as I have been around a lot of very successful people of all colors.synthesis

    Another statement typically squawked with repetition. The success of some doesn't mean that there are not serious disadvantages that cannot be merely overcome with wholesome family values, a respect for authority, and hard work. Or whatever you want to call it; its all the same.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the AA community will come into its own within the next couple of generations.synthesis

    And they will have benefited little from attitudes like yours.
  • Apollodorus
    2.7k
    don't see liberalism solving the issues of racial inequality plaguing our societyToothyMaw

    So, you would advocate communism instead of liberalism?

    And how do you define "racial inequality"?
  • synthesis
    935
    Well, then what explains all the successful AAs and Asians and Indians as well as all the poor white people?
    — synthesis

    I'm a little confused; how is that relevant? I'm asking you to recognize that people of color - even the supposedly unsuccessful ones - often times are hard workers that are struggling with the effects of a history of oppression. Just because this is a trend doesn't mean that it is the case for all of them.
    ToothyMaw

    How is that relevant? You are suggesting that race is THE major factor in success. I am pointing out that the most successful groups in this country are people of color, AND the most of the poorest are white.

    How does that work with your theory?
  • Banno
    14.5k
    What's most notable about the OP is the lack of almost any discussion of Critical Theory, racial or otherwise. The first paragraph sets out some unsupported opinions. The second, an anecdote and an exhortation. The third, the casual denial of white privilege.

    Talk of rights in liberal theory since Rawls has moved on to talk of opportunity and access. The discussion of a supposed freedom to post lies is worthy of further consideration. But pivotal here is the failure to recognise white privilege, together with the the failure to present any alternative politic.

    But it's all parochial stuff; 'merican middle-class white male dominance.

    What little real philosophical interest there will be here is in the comparison of argument structures between opposing sides.
  • Apollodorus
    2.7k
    As to whether or not it is part of a Chinese plot: I think that the conditions of US academia are wholly sufficient for producing and propagating CRT, with all of its flaws.ToothyMaw

    So, are far-left organizations and foreign powers involved in this CRT project or not?

    BLM leader Patrice Cullors has openly endorsed the policies of Socialist leaders like Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong and has described herself and other BLM organisers as “trained Marxists”.
    I think she admits that in her book as well, "When They Call You A Terrorist".

    Activists at BLM demonstrations have been seen carrying signs with Black Nationalist and Socialist slogans such as “Smash capitalism!” and “fight for Socialism!”

    The cyber activities of the Chinese Communist Party division called "United Front Work Department" and its involvement in Western civil movements are well known.

    BLM is apparently financially supported by the Chinese Progressive Association:

    Trained Marxist' Black Lives Matter co-founder is being funded by group linked to the Chinese Communist Party
  • ToothyMaw
    610
    Talk of rights in liberal theory since Rawls has moved on to talk of opportunity and access. The discussion of a supposed freedom to post lies is worthy of further consideration. But pivotal here is the failure to recognise white privilege, together with the the failure to present any alternative politic.

    But it's all parochial stuff; 'merican middle-class male dominance.
    Banno

    Quite frankly it sounds like you skimmed the OP. I literally acknowledge that white supremacy is a thing by claiming that CRT is partially right imo. And I provided an example of censorship even if it wasn't of people on the right. Furthermore, I wasn't laying out a grand scheme for some sort of all-encompassing politic but rather just providing a pretty mild criticism and attempting to start a conversation. You contribute so little for having such a high opinion of yourself.
  • ToothyMaw
    610


    I'll have to read into it.
  • Banno
    14.5k
    I literally acknowledge...ToothyMaw
    Funny, isn't it, how "literally" has come to mean its antonym.
  • ToothyMaw
    610


    Okay, my bad. Now do you want to address something or are you going to offer another quibble (which is all you seem to do)?
  • ToothyMaw
    610


    Now that you have been bequeathed the title of debater this should be easy to demolish me.
  • Banno
    14.5k
    I don't think so. Think I might go read Žižek's A Left that Dares to Speak its Name; It has better jokes.
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