Deconstructing Marxist Critical Theory – LewRockwell

For those of you who haven’t been formally introduced to the sociological doomsday weapon of the 20th century, critical theory is an approach to analyzing society not for the purpose of understanding it, but for the purpose of transforming it by undermining its existing institutions.  The hard work of understanding how and why people do things is unnecessary if your goal is merely to take a sledgehammer to the machinery.  Critical theory is the invention of the Marxist Frankfort School of the 1930s, so, as one might expect, it reinterprets everything it looks at through a Marxist (or neo-Marxist) lens.  The women’s studies, racial studies, and gender studies curricula found in almost every university in the West are the direct products of the more general critical theory program.  Many things that end in “theory” (e.g., deconstruction theory, queer theory) are also critical theory’s progeny.

The connection between critical theory and Marxism is neither disputable nor often denied.  The discipline’s formulators (Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin, et al.) were all self-identified Marxists teaching in an avowedly Marxist school.  Modern academic proponents of critical theory and its descendants do not go to any great lengths to deny either the discipline’s origins or their own fundamentally Marxist intentions.  Only the mainstream media, renowned for denying the existence of gorillas discovered in plain sight, deny that the echoes they make in their echo chambers have a distinctly German socialist accent.

In our deconstruction of this leftist tool, let’s begin with an examination of the promise Marxism has always made though never achieved.  While the language of the promise has changed from…

Read more