Critical Theory


A lot of previous threads touch on the outcomes of Critical Theory but I dont think theres one dedicated to the topic itself.

If you dont know what it is it would be worth educating yourself as it is a way of thinking that underpins the current direction of western civilisation.


I can get regular science mailings from different sources. Some time ago the Institute of Physics mailings had a major focus on LGBT issues within the “science community”. Recently, has interrupted its regular summarisation of astrophysics papers for #BlackInAstro week. I prefer not to prejudge what others will think of them. There is some genuine good stuff in there, such as organisations promoting better opportunities for historically underprivileged groups. I have no problem accepting that historic racism has left societal inequities that should be addressed. I don’t necessarily think the focus should be unduly on race, as lack of opportunity should be addressed whoever is experiencing it.

However, this writing seems to be to be dominated by the language of intersectionality, microaggressions, and collective guilt. I will say no more, you can judge for yourself, if interested.


Poor people?

historic racism has left societal inequities that should be addressed

You’ll have to explain that one. Last I looked in the history books, violence, grinding poverty, war and hunger were equal opportunity for most people through out history.


It’s clearly racist, but because it is not white generated racism it does not count as racism.
If the symbol was replaced with one that represented white power and the word black was replaced with the word white, it would be flagged as racist from the treetops, even if 100% of the remaining text was unchanged.


Yes, that’s pretty much what I mean.

Do any of these alleged history books include the labour movements of the early twentieth century, or any of the conditions they were protesting? Do you believe that family incomes have any bearing whatsoever on the attainments – or even aspirations – of children of the family?


I read about those labour movements alright and poor working conditions.

Income is 1 factor. There are many, many other factors. Income is not the same as wealth, and there are many types of wealth.

Aspirations/attainments, these are very abstract and personal concepts deeply tied in with and individuals identity and character. Whose aspirations? Societies aspirations? Parents aspirations? Personal aspirations?

1 other point worth making…
The whole “privilege” as a social issue goes back to the French revolution. The term basically means private law.


You sound extremely defensive.


How so?


1 other small point also worthy of mention…

Bit more here, for those with time and interest. Starts around 7 mins in.


A long one but worth the read



He looks a lot like Peter Capaldi


Seems there’s quite a bit of gamer-gate over-reaction here to what amounts to little more than trolling.

To begin, my perspective: there are fully valid critiques to be made of existing inequalities of opportunity (and outcome) across certain identity lines. One I know about is gender and craft-apprenticeship (i.e. the traditional trades: electrician, plumber, etc.,). When I worked in the field (about 2.5 years ago), there were only 45 women in training across all the traditional trades (and there would be several thousand apprentices). I think we had something like 25 of those in electrical, with a total of maybe 3000 apprentices in electrical across Ireland, so less than 1%.

When I had this discussion with people, lots would say: “it makes no sense to try for equal representation”. And my response would always be, “sure, 50:50 may not be the right answer, but can you really imagine that 1%:99% is the right answer?”. You’d also hear that there is no bias, and while there was little formal bias in the system I inherited, there was definitely a “similarity bias” that means that people tended to pick people who looked/sounded like them and looked like other successful candidates so far. This helps to minimise risk (those people will generally do ok), but it misses out on some great candidates who would be exceptional electricians or whatever. There were also un-noticed biases where certain knowledge was assessed and valued in the interview process that would be easier to obtain in a boys than a girls school, even though that was all fully trainable (in a few weeks you could close the gap, so made almost no sense to select candidates on that basis except as tie-break).
This didn’t only go against women, it also to a lesser extent mitigated against urban (versus rural farm-based) candidates.

When I talked to women actually recruited, the anecdotes reveal further barriers: career guidance counselors with minimal understanding of the trades in the first place, and no imagination to understand how a woman would fit into that career path. Family members skeptical of such choices, and nervous for their daughters; friends slagging; etc.,

The problem with these barriers is you have some women missing out on a career they would love and do really well in, and employers/society missing out on some great tradespeople. You also have lads doing the trade who aren’t really fitted to it, even if they do “ok”, but got railroaded that way by a mammy who filled in application forms (real anecdotes)

Anyway, this is a long tour on a specific topic, but it was one that I found very eye opening when I lived it. The beauty of the gender divide is you know you start out with 50:50 in the population at large, and if somewhere you end up with something very different from that (like 1:99), and don’t know why, then that’s an interesting place to ask some questions. I have no doubt that similar barriers to opportunity arise in relation to race, sexuality, and a bunch of other identifiable groupings. It’s absolutely valid to critique those, and to look for biases, and to see if you can smooth out some of those barriers.

To start conflating discussion of discrimination and measures to address it with nonsense terminology like “Cultural Marxism” (as in the New Discourses article) and collapse of western civilisation is either delusion or grift or scam:

These alt-right-turns also lead to the true dead-end-alleys where rational thinking dies.

(On optimistic note, I know there were attempts to build an alt-right sensibility among open source community online, on back of gamer-gate success; but that these did not succeed. I can’t find links for it any more, but know that it was not very successful; I was reminded of it recently on a Reddit thread where a chap was looking to move to Arch Linux because he was disillusioned with what he saw as social-justice agendas around Debian, but got very polite yet firm clarification from the Arch folk that his problems had more to do with his own personality than one project or another)


“sure, 50:50 may not be the right answer, but can you really imagine that 1%:99% is the right answer?”

Why not? Its that way across the board from jobs to incarceration rates, its practically 99 to 1 across swathes of every society. Men and women are biologically different, they have goals, aspirations and mindsets that have fa biological/evolutionary basis. Implementing radical social engineering that stems from marxist ideology of how society should be, on the basis that this will somehow “be better”, or is even desirable, is madness.


No, the theory that equal representation or lack thereof, is something nefarious/deliberate or even a good/bad thing is the point. Its not the government or educations role to interject left wing sociological theory into the economy. At the very least prove the theory justifying said intervention. Until that is done, why would you even entertain the topic. At the very minimum you can admit all of this “study” comes from left wing sociology depts, who are not concerned with biological reality, its ideology.

Also, you replied by having a pop and completely ignoring what you did not want to deal with. Why are men 90%+ of prisoners the world over? Discrimination? Unseen bias? etc


Interesting take here from Jordan Peterson around this topic…

Also, re this part of your post

I think most reasonable people will agree with this. However, there is little to suggest that simply flipping the equation will automatically produce superior outcomes. Theres nothing to suggest, for example, that the proposed remedies will not simply skew things in the opposite direction.


Thats the relevant point as cited by Peterson ie the outcomes engendered by the application of certain equalising theoretical assumptions do not necessarily result in the desired/assumed outcomes (links to supporting studies provided in previous post). Its quite simple.

Well this thread is about the broader application of whats termed critical theory. To apply said theory’s underlying premise would be to question whether anything can ever be made ‘better’ (or indeed worse) ie there is no objective measure available that is capable of quantifying what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’ in the first instance…at least from the perspective of the progressively woke.

In essence there is merely ‘normativity’ of varying hues as well as the power to deviate (or not) from such norms, on both an individual and a wider societal basis…with the ultimate objective being to establish new norms across society (iwield collective power).

So to answer your question, it may be possible to achieve altered societal outcomes by way of the implementation of specific public policy measures. But contained within such an assumption is a betrayal of what is the current underlying ideological premise of the progressive left ie a belief in a form of objective morality that contradicts the post modern assumptions of critical theory itself.

In essence the woke, progressive liberal left is full of shit to a degree that very few alive in the west today have been previously exposed.


Thats fair enough. I dont necessarily disagree but as Ive mentioned above by way of the Peterson reference , its not fully clear that intended outcomes automatically follow certain policy approaches.

Furthermore, in the context of the example youve introduced of females entering the trades etc, I dont see anyrhing wrong with that occurring if, as you say, thats what individuals genuinely want…again with the caveat that, (to employ similar examples from within my own life experience), Im aware of a number of women who only work because they have to ie they would much prefer to be home with their kids as opposed to being liberated etc

Not fully sure whats being asked but…Im guessing you’re asking whats my problem with the direction of what passes for progress of late…my view is that theres plenty wrong as per some of what has been posted throughout the course of this thread thus far


Im not though.

I provided you with an example which contradicted your own assertion… and which you declined to read or consider because you dont like the author.

Again, the thread topic is Critical Theory and the manner in which its adherents have engaged in a ‘long march through the institutions’ more or less across the board for the past few decades…mainly I would suggest, by stealth. We’ve been presented with a great example of its outcome and reach this week here in Ireland.

And while it remains to be seen where things go from here, it certainly seems as if those same adherents do not apreciate any light being shone on their chosen world view.


Don’t like you or don’t like Peterson?
If Peterson then there’s no point in engaging, his referencing is notoriously unreliable.
If you, then I really have nothing against you.

conspiracy theory stuff? If specifically about the other thread, then why not discuss that in the other thread then?