By Stephen Paul Foster for Counter Currents
Thinking about the continuing plague of neo-Bolshevik assaults on our intelligence and our institutions brought me around to reflect on the difference between pure and applied disciplines of knowledge. Consider: pure or theoretical mathematics is the abstract science of number, quantity, and space, as distinct from applied mathematics, “which involves the application of mathematics to problems which arise in various areas, e.g., science, engineering or other diverse areas, and/or the development of new or improved methods to meet the challenges of new problems.”
“New and improved methods” derived from theoretical understanding are the keywords here. Without mathematics and the smart people who are exceptionally good at it, no modern physics, no engineering schools, not much in the way of all of those modern devices — computers, pharmaceuticals, vehicles, etc. — that we all take for granted. A short time ago, relatively none of them existed and daily life was more onerous than it is today. They didn’t come into existence because some unhappy, helpless folks whined incessantly about how “unfair” it was that we didn’t have them until they magically appeared.
We have airplanes, refrigerators, and EKG machines because a relatively few cognitively gifted people successfully applied their creative and inventive imaginations to the test of practical challenges. To point out that these benefactors belonged to a unique ethnic group and were males is now an offense of the highest order: blasphemy against the state religion of egalitarianism. The historical truth, in contrast to the religious dogma, is: “If not for Western man, the bulk of humanity would be trapped in the Iron Age. Modernity is a white man’s creation.”
This brings us to consider the productive and beneficial potential of a different kind of “theoretical” discipline, one that seems to be taking the country by storm. I am speaking of Critical race theory (CRT), a “theory” the “applications” of which bring no improvements and nothing new and/or useful.
the view that the law and legal institutions are inherently racist and that race itself, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is a socially constructed concept that is used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of color. According to CRT, racial inequality emerges from the social, economic, and legal differences that white people create between “races” to maintain elite white interests in labor markets and politics, giving rise to poverty and criminality in many minority communities.
You don’t need to be especially perceptive to recognize that the language of the “theory” expressed here is, to put it bluntly, rather menacing. It is so by design: it lays the foundation for the “application” of the theory — to eschew euphemism and call it what it is, moral blackmail. “This is what your folks did to our folks — you owe us.” Don’t think so? As you read this, a bill for “reparations for slavery” is moving through Congress. Critical Race Theory is being “applied” by our perfidious law-makers to “meet the challenges of new problems.” Our Congressional representatives, you might say, are functioning as the bagmen for the CRT extortionists. Lest you think that the “extortion” descriptor is overdrawn: should the bill pass, it will only be the first of many. Blackmailers never say: “Okay, we’re good.” They keep coming back for more until they meet resistance or they completely finish off their marks.
CRT is yet another cult-Marxist piece of agitprop that relies on the perversion of language, specifically the word “theory.” You see, CRT has same “theoretical,” or explanatory, predictive status as astrology or numerology. It states itself (above) to be “the view that . . .” etc. etc. There you have it: it’s a view, an opinion, a perception. Perceptions and opinions, as we know, tend to be error-prone, subjectively based, tendentious, and at times held with fanatical fervor in the face of disconfirming, empirically-based reality. As we often retort in heated arguments: “Well, that’s just your opinion.” Or as Voltaire quipped: “Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.”
A real theorist first looks at a complex phenomenon and then attempts to explain its origins, causes, or structure. The apple falls and hits Newton on the head. He applies his brainpower — voila, the theory of gravity. That theory gained confirmation because it explained so many aspects of physical reality and because it is still so practically and educationally useful.
CRT moves in the opposite, ass-backwards direction of circularity: it begins with a “view” of a phenomenon (racial disparities are caused by racism), and then calls it “a theory” that explains the phenomenon — why black people are poorer than white people, why there are so few black theoretical physicists and computer scientists and so many black young black men are in prison. This kind of “theorizing” doesn’t seek to gain confirmation by experiment or by a logical, empirical examination of its arguments. The “theory” (‘the view”) simply asserts itself as self-evidently true. Its “truth” is regarded as unquestionable and unassailable. Its confirmation process is propaganda — constant repetition of its “truth” with heavy moral intonation. Arguments against its skeptics are ad hominem. Skeptics are self-interest-motivated moral reprobates. Doubting the theory — racism’s exclusive causal reach — is itself confirmation of its explanatory validity. “You must be a racist and a bigot; otherwise you would admit the truth.” The “theory” is invincible, completely bulletproof.
Affirming it confirms it. Doubting it also confirms it.
Now, one would think that black people blaming all their misfortunes and shortcomings on white people would make white people just a tad suspicious. Particularly when so many white people for the last sixty years or so have been bending over backward to be nice and accommodating to black people. You know: Brown v. Board of Education, affirmative action, section eight housing, Office of Equal Opportunity, Civil Rights Act of 1964, the apotheosis of MLK, making the “N-word” a firing offense for white people, just to scrape the surface on “righting those wrongs.” Black people seem resentful that white people have considered them to be dumber than white people; how dumb, though, can it be for white people to believe that black academic failure, criminality, and poverty are all the fault of white people?
A lot of them, apparently, are pretty goddamn dumb.
Check out the website Critical Race Training in Education and prepare yourself to stare in the face of collective suicide-level mass stupidity. CRT has spread like a contagion to hundreds of universities across the country, has moved into the basic curriculum of K-12 schools, and is part of the curriculum at the U.S. military academies. The officer corps of our military is emerging from the academies with an ugly view of white people (exclusively) as racist bigots. Stand by and watch “educators” train your white children and grandchildren to shame themselves for their “white privilege,” confess their innate bigotry, and apologize for . . . well, being white.
How we have risen to such astonishing levels of ethnomasochism is a huge, important question and is explored in extensive, theoretical detail by Professor Kevin McDonald, an evolutionary psychologist.
My intent here, however, is to suggest a potent analogy that demonstrates how CRT functions as a tool of Leninist invention to contain resistance to the propaganda that rationalizes the usurpations of the new gang as it takes over.
The analogy relates to Trofim Lysenko, the charlatan who led the wreckage of biological science in the Soviet Union beginning in the 1930s. Lysenko was a modestly-educated quack agronomist who developed “a theory” of environmentally-acquired inheritance for plants and animals. His experiments were proclaimed by the Bolsheviks in charge to be “established science.” For any researcher or expert in the biological sciences to question or “deny” what Lysenko was peddling was to be career-ending, and for some, lethal.
Lysenko’s astounding success was due to his skill in bending his “scientific research” into findings that pleased Stalin, whose authority in all matters of importance — art, history, music, philosophy, sociology, economics, and, yes, science — was supreme and unquestionable. The science of genetics that the ignorant Lysenko overturned pointed its researchers toward conclusions that were, unfortunately for real geneticists, incompatible with Stalin’s insights into how any part of the world (social or physical) actually worked. Marx had laid the theoretical groundwork for it all: Stalin fleshed out the details and perfected its applications. Pointing out flaws in any of it, shall we say, was not a prudent move. The real scientists who noted Lysenko’s deficiencies were also casting shadows over Stalin’s jealously guarded shield of infallibility. They were dispatched to the work camps. Lysenko, with Stalin’s imprimatur, shut down scientific debate and research in much of the life sciences, including genetics, wrecked Soviet agriculture, and put biology in the Soviet Union into a thirty-year deep freeze.
Critical Race Theory, I would argue, is our very own Lysenkoism, ideology masquerading as “science,” and an essential piece of the soft-totalitarianism that now envelops us. “Deniers” are shut out of the conversations, purged from their positions, their careers ruined and characters assassinated. James Watson, the Nobel Prize-winning geneticist who discovered the double helix structure of the DNA molecule, had his reputation and career destroyed for suggesting a link between race and intelligence in a 2007 interview. Watson at the age of 85 in 2014 was reduced to selling his Nobel Prize (first ever sale by a living recipient) because of the ostracism by the scientific community after his remarks.
The parallels are absolutely uncanny. Distinguished, highly-accomplished scientists bullied by ideologues come under attack because their research and findings are incompatible with the religion of contemporary racial egalitarianism. Any scientist or academician who suggests that disparities in racial social positioning can be explained, even in part, by attributes determined by genetics will himself (a) be denounced as a “racist” and (b) risk losing his employment and professional future.
Our contemporary Lysenkoism needs a real live Trofim Lysenko to complete the analogy. And we have just the right one. Ibram X. Kendi, who with the connivance of our “higher education” establishment, has been installed as the director of — are you ready? — the Center for Antiracist Research and Policy at Boston University. “Antiracist research,” you are wondering, is what? It is “diversity” lingo contrived to make Kendi appear to be a serious, legitimate, scientifically-oriented thinker rather than what he is: a young, dreadlocked thug who makes his living enforcing the “party line” and intimidating non-believers. Denunciation as confirmation. Same MO as Lysenko.
“Author and historian Ibram X. Kendi claims there’s no such thing as being ‘not racist.’ He explains [sic] that even inaction (simply being ‘not racist’) in the face of racism is, in fact, a form of racism. The idea of an innocent bystander is wishful thinking for Kendi; instead, there’s only racism and antiracism.”
So, unless you’re busy ratting out your family, friends, and neighbors for their “racism,” you are part of the problem rather than the solution.
Here we are, Mates. The smart set running the show has pulled out all the stops, and we are looking at Leninism in full bloom in 21st-century America. This is Clausewitz’s theory of war turned on its head: “Politics is war by other means.” Now, given that “racism” appears to be a uniquely white shortcoming that, as Barack Obama said, is in “our DNA,” politics is rapidly turning into a war on white people with the complicity of a lot of white people.
The irony is the failure of woke whites to grasp the obvious and what it means for their future: “I am not a racist,” spoken by a white person, no matter how sincere and plaintive it rings, does not turn him into an anti-racist. Confession is not a “get out of jail free” card. Only Kendi and his comrade-theorists get to say who is and who isn’t a racist, and I am going to break it to the hopeful apologizers: There are no incentives — material, moral, or power-wise — for the Critical Race Gang to let bygones be bygones. After they take care of the open resisters, they’ll get around to you.
“The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it — and then dismantle it,” writes professor Ibram X. Kendi.
How dumb does a white person have to be not to understand that by “dismantle” this “Professor” means “elimination” — him, his children, and his grandchildren?
He’s not kidding. We are already at war.