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DARREL SMITH: Could critical thinking kill our society?

3 min read

by Darrel Smith, February 3 2016

Marxists were disappointed after World War I that workers in Western Europe didn’t revolt and demand socialist governments because of the war. They expected these socialist governments and economies to create a utopian paradise on earth. A group of Marxist academics formed in Frankfurt, Germany after the war to study and realize how to encourage that transformation. They have been called the Frankfurt School or the Institute of Social Research. Pressure from the Nazi party caused them to move to the United States, where they were welcomed at Columbia University in New York.

In about 1937, they developed a process called Critical Theory. Critical Theory is first of all critical. It is a very broad attack on our capitalist economy and society. It focuses on the political, cultural, economic, and social relationships within a culture. It seeks to criticize whatever they consider is mistaken with the present social status. It also seeks to identify who can alter it, and provide clear criticism. Then it looks for attainable goals to bring about a socialist transformation.

Oregon coast, 1986

Critical Theory has been divided into all kinds of subgroups. There is Critical Race Theory, Critical Gender Theory, Critical Criminology Theory, Critical Political Theory and on and on. Essentially every university in America teaches Critical Theory. In fact, Critical Race Theory has spawned “Whiteness” studies with both of these focusing on “White Privilege.”

Universities have programs for their entire student body teaching Whiteness studies. Whiteness studies focus on what they consider to be the white privilege of our society. To them, our institutions, including our Constitution, were created by white rich males for their advantage. They think these advantages are the reason that women and minorities are disadvantaged. You can research all these ideas on the internet.

What if one spouse focuses only on the faults of the other spouse? How long will that marriage last? Likewise, if groups of people, including universities, focus primarily on the faults of a society, how long will that society prosper? You can criticize anything to death. When criticisms are made, there is often a basis for the criticism and people tend to compare that behavior to an ideal in their mind. For example, we aren’t encouraged to compare our society to the reality of past socialists in the Soviet Union, Cuba or China. How effective have Critical Theorist’s been in changing America?

Millennials (age 18-29) favor socialism (49%) more than capitalism (46%) according to a Pew study. Are they believing what they have been taught? Bernie Sanders, who is a socialist, is running for President and could be the Democratic nominee if Clinton can’t survive her many scandals.

Socialism advocates that the economy should be owned or regulated by the state. A simple difference between socialism and capitalism or free enterprise is that government uses collective force and free enterprise thrives on liberty and the free choices of individuals. Each system has benefits and abuses. I prefer a society strongly tilted toward the free enterprise approach.

How about you?