How the progressive movement will be rebuilt

From Postmodernism to Critical Theories

  • totalitarian ideologies that originated in the European authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (from the end of the second decade of the 20th century, 1918 to be precise, to the fall of the Berlin Wall), and
  • postmodern (2) speculation about reality and radical skepticism about the methods of reason to better understand it (in regard to its popularity, 1960s to about the turn of the century).

Race Theory

  • The call for the dismantling or downgrading of the police is an irresponsible proposal that truly amounts to empty posturing — Departments need new recruits and better training. The effect of defunding would be to subject inner city communities to increased danger. In cities where the anti-police campaign succeeds the death toll from gang violence will rise. The slogan offers no solution to the deepening crisis of urban America. Serious confusion results from the false claim that police shootings, today, are characterized by the racial bias of officers. In fact, crime statistics show the claim to be simply wrong.
  • The denial of objective standards and consensus understanding of modern science will result in the further decline of public education— To suggest that knowledge and methods of learning, the achievement of hundreds of years of progress, are in some way not suited for some ethnic groups, as in the absurd notion of “white empiricism,” (9) cripples the educational future of young people. To maintain the double standard, apologize for, and promote the lower standard for any disfavored population is the new bigotry. It is the new discrimination, not “reverse” or “enlightened,” but the same old one, directed against the same vulnerable population of young people as before, today dressed up in academic-sounding Critical Theory pseudo-scholarship. To suggest that the ability to solve a mathematical problem correctly is a prejudice of “whiteness” is the shameful culmination of years of separate-but-equal and double standard. These incoherent ideas borrowed from postmodernism hold back the attainment of school literacy and mathematics of inner city youth. By the way, it does the same in rural areas for many Native American youth trapped in Critical Theory-inspired educational programs. Tolerance of anti-social conduct in school, because disciplinary measures are allegedly applied in a discriminatory manner by a racist system, disrupts students’ learning. And to ascribe across the board differential outcome to biased assessment robs learners of the opportunity to monitor their progress and improve. If district-wide testing is abolished, cancelling the messenger, we will never know how serious the achievement problem is.
  • Safe-space segregation cultivates weakness — Protecting young people from “bad ideas,” instilling in them fear of so-called microaggression, and accepting the condescending virtue signal of people who present themselves as allies, is demeaning. The name for imposing this double (lower) standard, as in the previous example, is paternalism.

How do we move forward?




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Norbert Francis

Norbert Francis

Norbert Francis works on problems of language and culture, research in Latin America and East Asia.