Saturday, August 05, 2023

The Marxist roots of Critical Race Theory

"CRT has its roots in the early 20th Century thought of neo-Marxist Antonio Gramsci, founder of the Italian Communist Party. His desire was to spur on the stalled communism of 19th Century social revolutionists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels toward an overthrow of the “bourgeoisie” (ruling middle- and upper-class) by the proletariat (working-class). To accomplish this goal, societal norms and institutions, such as family, nation state, capitalism, and God, needed to be torn down, and this is where we begin to see the notion of group-based morality, with the idea that what is moral is what serves the interests of the “oppressed” or “marginalized.”

While European Marxism focused on class, a distinctly American brand of Marxism was brought to America in 1937 by scholars from the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany, known commonly as the Frankfurt School, who left Nazi Germany to escape the Third Reich. They eventually landed in New York where they setup shop at the Columbia University Teachers’ College. While most of the Frankfurt scholars returned to Germany after the defeat of the Nazis, Herbert Marcuse stayed behind and became one of the leading spokesmen of Critical Theory (on which CRT is based) during the massive upheavals of the 1960s and early 1970s caused by riots and violence associated with the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam movements. The focus shifted specifically to oppressed ethnic, racial, and gender groups.

In short, CRT argues that America’s legal, economic, and political systems are inextricably racist. It argues that racism advances only the interests of white elites materially and working-class whites mentally. CRT Chooses race-consciousness over the Enlightenment view of colorblindness as a societal norm. Since all whites benefit from an unearned advantage, race-consciousness remedies rectify this inherent injustice. CRT criticizes the civil-rights movement and the liberal ideology it promotes. The view is civil rights laws are limited to isolated discriminatory acts by individuals or businesses, when in fact discrimination continues to be both pervasive and systemic. CRT rejects the principle of equal opportunity, believing it to be a myth, and rejects conceptions of “merit” since only those in power determine what is equal or what has merit. Finally, CRT promotes equality of results instead of equality of opportunity. (Walter Myers III, Discovery Institute," Critical Race Theory – The Marxist Trojan Horse | American Center for Transforming Education (

Heritage Foundation Backgrounder  BG3567.pdf (

No comments: