In Part 1 of this series, The Left’s War on Science, I analyzed the left’s insistence on the denial of biological differences between men and women that result in variations in temperament, which affect career interests and aspirations. Leftists (feminists, in particular) deny these biological differences because it conflicts with their narrative of an oppressive white male patriarchy that maniacally seeks to maintain power over women and minorities. If gender only accounts for less than 10% (a conservative estimate) of the variance between median male wages and median female wages, it means that there are a myriad of other factors that contribute to the variance, which includes a woman’s right to choose what career she pursues and her right to decide how she plans her family (or lack thereof). The gender equality paradox, exemplified by hyper-progressive Scandinavian countries, showed that artificial measures aimed at achieving equality of outcomes only serves to accentuate the differences between the sexes.
I’ve written extensively about the right’s shameless denial of scientific evidence that contradicts their political ideology and worldview. Whenever scientific evidence is interpreted through the lens of ideology and identity, disaster occurs. Fundamentalist creationists and climate skeptics are every bit as harmful and intellectually dishonest as the leftists that I criticize here. If an individual or group believes that their truth or philosophy has transcended the need to address objective criticism and contrary evidence, they have lost all semblance of intellectual integrity and curiosity. Donald Trump’s economic trade policies (idiotic trade wars, for example) and proliferation of xenophobic tales of evil Mexican immigrants, which cater to ignorant prejudices, are great examples of this. While the left justifiably, and mercilessly, attacks Donald Trump for his hypocrisy and abhorrent characterizations of immigrants, they engage in the same arrogant certitude. They’re not interested in science, they’re interested in indoctrinating the public with a centuries-old narrative of oppression and inequality, which is championed by a profoundly disturbing approach to understanding reality. All post-modernist systems of thought, including feminism, post-structuralism and constructivism, share this narrative. What do feminism, post-structuralism and constructivism all have in common? Answer: they are all rooted in a form of cultural analysis called critical theory.
The left’s narrative of oppression is anchored in twentieth-century post-modernist philosophy. Out of that school of thought (coined by Marxist sociology professor Max Horkheimer of the Frankfurt School of Sociology in Germany during the 1930s) came an analytical approach to culture that, unlike normal cultural and literary analysis, aimed to fundamentally change the social fabric of society instead of merely to understand it. Early proponents of critical theory were concerned about the products of capitalistic culture, such as literature, films and television. They believed that these toxic outputs were tools of ideological indoctrination. Finding targeted solutions to societal problems was viewed as ineffective; post-modernists were confident that real, substantive change necessitated a fundamental transformation of the social order. That’s the ultimate goal of critical theorists. It’s not objective, scientific inquiry; analyses involve the examination of literature and other forms of cultural expression to determine ways to liberate oppressed groups from enslavement, physically or culturally. It was designed to combat the ‘authoritarian’ positivist intellectuals of the time that ‘bullied’ critics with empirical justification for their theories.
White House Counsel, Kellyanne Conway, coined the famous phrase ‘alternative facts.’ The reason that this term has been burned into the American psyche is because it perfectly articulates the world’s epistemic crisis. The internet has created an environment where indoctrination and the spread of misinformation is dangerously easy to perfect. We now rarely agree on the veracity of facts, mainly because we are skeptical of the source’s political bias or the integrity of the investigative methodology that generated the facts. This skepticism isn’t unfounded in any sense. People have a plethora of valid reasons to question a fact’s legitimacy. Nonetheless, there is one process that virtually everyone revers as the unbiased producer of facts: the scientific method.
When people deny certain scientific findings (global warming, biological differences in gender, etc.), they don’t deny the validity of the scientific method, they claim that the scientific method was not applied appropriately. Critical theorists go a step further in their skepticism. Max Horkheimer and his contemporaries wanted critical theory to be an active mechanism to simultaneously emancipate and vindicate Marxism. They intended critical theory to be a tool that oppressed classes could use to free themselves from their capitalist oppressors. According to Horkheimer, this is accomplished by politicizing social issues and framing them in the context of the Marxist oppression narrative. That narrative is always tailored relative to the period in question. Critical theory has two main tenants:
Horkheimer and co. were hostile to positivist intellectuals, who argued that every rationally justifiable claim can be scientifically verified or is capable of logical or mathematical proof. The critical theorists believed that truth and meaning are functions of social construction and are never fixed. Since social structures are unstable (especially those during Horkheimers’ time), truth and meaning are always in constant flux. Critical Theorists see science as an inherently subjective venture and believe that it is not possible for a scientist to divorce herself from her socially-constructed biases when performing experiments and interpreting findings. This critical theorist ‘dilemma’ is referred to as the ‘crisis of representation,’ which rejects the notion that a researcher’s work is an objective representation of a stable reality. Because of this, post-modernists have developed alternative methods of research, which focus on reflection and meta-analyses of cultural works from a Marxist political perspective. It’s no surprise that in 2018, nearly 80% of humanities papers are not cited. Their ‘research’ consists of reading and theorizing, nothing more.
Critical theory has branched into multiple sub-disciplines, but all are firmly rooted in the post-modernist work of Horkheimer and other Marxists. By neutering the scientific method through the manufactured ‘crisis of representation,’ post-modernists have laid the foundation for the acceptance of claims and assertions that simply have no evidence. There is no scientific evidence that an infinite number of genders exists, but the post-modernist can easily ignore this. There IS evidence that the optimal setting for child-rearing is a married heterosexual couple, but, again, the post-modernist can easily ignore this. Anything that doesn’t align with the Neo-Marxist post-modernist narrative will be viciously attacked. Because Critical Theory believes in leveraging the findings of other disciplines, most of the humanities departments in North American universities have been strongly influenced by this philosophy, which Horkheimer openly declared was the purpose of Critical Theory.
The clip above showcases evidence of this reality. Several progressive humanities academics banded together to expose the corruption of the academic community (hard sciences remain strong). They created intentionally broken scholarly articles and submitted them to prominent feminist, sociology and gender studies journals, which accepted and praised their ‘scholarship’. It’s a funny, but deeply disturbing look at the state of North American higher education. The ideology of compassionate inclusiveness and diversity practiced by GOOGLE and other companies is NOT based on any scientific evidence; it’s based on the Neo-Marxist narratives that have been refined by the works of Critical Theorists for almost a century. Make no mistake, post-modernists aren’t just hostile to the findings of science, they are hostile to the scientific method itself. This is terrifying.