Critical Theory


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?


Fair enough.

Its clearly going to be very difficult to put this stuff back in its box going forward.

The victories of the past few years were cast as human rights issues. I voted for SSM and voted against Repeal on the basis that it went too far (by the way i think this weeks figures have rendered me vindicated on that score). I suppose the point is that decent, rights-centred arguments could be constructed in support of these issues.

However, the onward march of this project, via the planned deconstruction of the family unit, heteronormativity, whiteness, masculinity etc etc are issues that are likely to be less capable of being sold to Joe Soap as ‘rights’ based. Those engaged will lack what the legal types call ‘locus standi’ and will, as we have seen this week, receive significant pushback from the normies that they so despise.

Id suspect that post Repeal Dublin Castle will come to be viewed less as a beginning and more a high water mark. When normie society arrives at the realisation that much of those formerly marginalised groupings do not actually wish to be ‘included’, but rather want to tear down each and every pillar of their day to day reality, we’ll likely see a significant reaction.



Awesome stuff.

“entitlement”, “privilege”, “random point”, “non sequitur”

If you are looking at trends by gender, its an interesting starting point as to why there are gender imbalances in society, rather than anecdotes about localised gender distribution of tradies you worked with and running with it as proof of anything.

The point of looking at impartial studies etc, its that other countries have are doing most of what you suggest, the likes of the US, Nordic countries are miles ahead.

Again, to go back to the start, its an obvious question to ask, where is this coming from, is there a thorough study done, what evidence is there, etc etc


You’re the one introducing this argument, why?

What does that even mean “interject … theory … economy”? It makes no sense. Doing my best to peer through the fog of your clouded thought at what you might be groping for… I think it’s worth pointing out that once you have things like “government” or “education”, they have effects. Equally, if you decided to take them away, that would have effects. So we get to make choices.

I’m not interested in disappearing up my own fundament with theoretical arguments or models. I don’t know why you’re so in love with theoretical proofs. We don’t all live in academia.

It doesn’t though. In my original post I am speaking from practical experience of doing this stuff. Like with real people. And looking at real statistics and outcomes. And working with men (and some women) who have been in traditional trades for 20, 30 and 40 years; and working with apprentices who are entering these trades.

With all due respect, you really, truly, 100% don’t have a clue. :grinning:

You’re story-telling, making stuff up. Waiting for a “theory”, because you want to have a debate. You have an image of how things are, which doesn’t look like it has much link to reality; and of how things should be or should remain. But you’re adrift from reality: get out more.

What position are you actually talking from? Some wounded sense of being assaulted by the world? That you don’t match up to some model of masculinity that you have in your head?

What gives you the sense of entitlement, to imagine that the world must revolve around you and that I would need to respond to some random point you throw out there? Sorry to burst your privileged sense of entitlement.

And it’s worth noting, even as a non-sequitur, you never even quoted a “statistic” of 90% of prisoners being men. What you did was self indulgent and vacuous “theorising” in a “pop one off” sort of way, and now you’re complaining? Do something useful.


My life is too short to read more about Jordan Peterson than I have already, though I hope he’s recovering

That point doesn’t make much sense. It’s basically arguing that we can never make things better (i.e. we have situation A, if we change it to B we’ll never know if B will be any better). How can that be true in general? (forget about gender when answering that question.)

So, logically, I disagree. But I also disagree from experience and measurement.

The first set of selection criteria weighted things that were not useful (in particular, you had a big advantage if you had done Junior Cert Technology, even though if you had aptitude we measured elsewhere we could close that gap for you in weeks (out of a 4 year programme)). This was a generally bad criterion to have. It hit women worse than men because many girls’ schools don’t have technology on offer. We got poorer candidates that way.

When we changed the criteria, we got more successful female candidates, but we also got better males (not just because they had to compete more with women, but also because the “measurement standard” being applied was more appropriate. The improvement shows up quantitatively in year-pass results, and in apprenticeship completion rates. It shows up qualitatively in feedback from the experienced staff who supervise the apprentices on the job.

There are other elements of the process too where it’s easy to unnecessarily skew selection, often without even realizing quite how you’re doing that. If you don’t look for that, you won’t know. If you find those distortions, you will have a better outcome.


Nothing essential about it though. I’ve seen the opposite.

It’s about lots of things. I’ve responded to specific posts.

This reads like Peterson pastiche.

A question: In your response to my previous post you said “Theres nothing to suggest, for example, that the proposed remedies will not simply skew things in the opposite direction.
Is that your view or the point of view you ascribe to critical theory and/or “the progressively woke” (which is what it looks like above).

For clarity: in my own posts, though I do not necessarily subscribe to utilitarianism wholeheartedly, I am for this discussion taking a fairly straight-forward utilitarian line of argument to make a case against earlier posters asserting the absence of any obstacles bar financial means.

What’s the actual problem?


This is empty though. You’re basically arguing “sometimes things don’t work out the way you expect”.

To have to work (in particularly in exploitative conditions) when you don’t want to is not a liberation for a man either

This is a pretty short thread.
It mostly seemed to be assertion of the idea that there are no undesirable barriers (e.g. race, gender, etc.,). But, of course there are, as I’ve demonstrated.



Tom Wolfe described much of this back in 2002.
Originally publish in Harpers magazine.


Thats prescient given its nearly 20 years old.

It seems to me that (paradoxically), the march of critical theory is beginning to give rise to the reemergence of the grand narrative as the primary motivating factor for many. The various strands of social justice are replacing religion as a belief system to which adherents, quite literally, devote their lives.

Likewise the emergence of the new/alt/populist right in response is paving the way for a means through which many of a differing world view create an alternate existential meaning.

Both of these movements seemingly stand in opposition to the pure materialist world view that has held sway since the end of the second world war ie the belief that attainment of a level of material comfort can sate all human want. In many ways post GFA Ireland provides the template for same whereby two warring tribes of old can be weaned off their ancient quarrel through being plugged into globalism. In our case it has been pretty succesful.

However, be it sjw socialism or resurgent nationalism or indeed jihadism, we’re seeing growing disillusionment with modernity across the board. Moves to new ways of working and the ongoing replacement of humans by technology (hastened due to the current pandemic) are likely to result in increased disillusionment and the onset of further pushback globally.

For most of human history peoples lives were intertwined with various grand narratives underpinned by such concepts as religious belief or membership of tribe. The modern world as manifest in the idea of the USA sought to replace such concepts with a materially focussed individualism. Maybe that era is coming to an end.