Critical Legal, Critical Race Theories

White privilege. Unconscious bias. Antiracism. The United States is in the midst of a cultural war that has been building for decades. It is a war of worldviews: a Judeo-Christian one on which Western civilization is built versus a Marxist worldview that seeks to transform America. Why is this happening?

In the early 1930’s The Frankfort School’s Marxist professors moved to Columbia University in New York. There they spread the Neo-Marxist interpretation of West called “Critical Theory.” This theory spread to other universities across America.

Critical Theory is not a synonym for critical thinking. It has one goal: to criticize Western culture and eventually take control of it. The criticism of all societal norms will lead to the dismantling of them and subsequently replacing them with another worldview–a Marxist one.

Critical Theory is an unrelenting attack on the West alone. It does not criticize Eastern culture or Muslim countries. All Western institutions (Christianity, capitalism, the nuclear family, etc.) must be torn down according to Critical Theory. There is nothing redeemable about any of them. 

Simply stated, Critical Theory states the dominant culture or those in power oppress marginal groups. The dominant culture/powerful would be whites, the wealthy, males, Christians, English-speakers, and so on. (See the “Circle of Oppression” image included in this blog as an example of oppressors and oppressed.) There is no objective truth in this Marxist worldview, just the truth claims of the powerful. Sometimes this is called cultural hegemony.

By advocating for the oppressed (non-whites, poor, females, non-Christians, non-English speakers, etc.), people can gain power and find meaning in life. In Marxism, there is no afterlife, so improving life here and now is the only goal.

After decades of teaching these concepts on the university campuses, Critical Theory gave birth to two related concepts: Critical Legal Theory and Critical Race Theory. Critical Legal Theory started at the Conference on Critical Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin in 1977. It states the law has biases for oppressors (whites) who created the laws. The wealthy and powerful use the law as an instrument of oppression to maintain their position in society. For the advocate of CLT, the goal is to overturn this unjust society from a legal perspective

Critical Race Theory (CRT) started at Harvard University in the late 1970’s as well. It believes that race is the prism to analyze all of America.  Racism is the explanation for the inequality of outcomes among groups and individuals. Success or failure is not attributed to various factors such as intelligence, family structure, resiliency, socio-economic status, education, and other variables; success or failure is solely attributed to a racist society that favors only whites.

 “White supremacy” not just a belief in white superiority such as the Ku Klux Klan would express. In CRT, white supremacy is the ability of whites to use economic, legal, and social status to oppress non-whites. Because the law privileges whites, societal transformation is sorely needed. This transformation includes attacking fundamental principles of individual rights: equal protection under law, property rights, and free speech. More on that in the next blog.

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