Critical Race Theory: As 'Pseudo' as Pseudoscience Gets
Racial relations are a complicated and controversial topic, so many are uncomfortable and even afraid to discuss it. I consider myself an exception, given my "suitable background": I am a European-American, based on my geographical place of birth; I am a Middle Eastern American, based on my historical homeland; and I am also an African-American, based on the origin of my species, Homo sapiens sapiens! I came from a third-world country where I experienced racist hostility toward my ethnicity and fought back in various ways until I immigrated to the United States. Therefore, the issue of race relations is not at all alien to me.
Recently, reading a seminal book on Critical Race Theory (CRT) gave me a long forgotten and unpleasant feeling from my student days in the ex–Soviet Union. It was a feeling that I was wasting time and effort in studying inherently wrong subjects that were ideologically driven and lacking in any practical validation and usefulness. (These subjects were scientific communism, Marxist-Leninist philosophy, and political economy of socialism). Studying these subjects and experiencing firsthand their practical implementation had expanded my knowledge about the development of human society only to the extent that socialism is a dead end of societal evolution.
My first impression of the book was that CRT is a shining example of politically and ideologically driven yet illogical pseudoscience. As the title suggests, the subject of this "critical" study is race and the relationship between people of different races, while at the same time, one of its pillars is the assertion that races are artificial, human-invented categories that do not have any biological and genetic basis.
This assertion does not constitute a fact since the question of the existence or non-existence of the biological nature of races has not yet been settled by science. Instead, it reflects the penchant of some modern anthropologists, biologists, geneticists, and sociologists who question traditional race-based human taxonomy and propose to classify people by geographic origins or ethnic groups. But their proposals are no better than the taxonomy of races, primarily because the categorizing of people is not eliminated once and for all, but is replaced with other concepts that still intersect with the traditional race-based ones.
The theory postulates that although "racism" is real, there are no genetically based races, but instead, populations divided by geographical principles. As such, geography wickedly affected the consciousness of Europeans, leading them to invent an artificial social category of races, thereby establishing dominance over the rest of humanity. Thus, according to CRT, racism represents a one-way vector of negative thoughts that arise in the minds of whites — in relation to everyone else and their collective actions, in order to maintain their perceived elitist positions in economics and politics.
Postulating that the concept of race is not based on objective reality, this theory, nevertheless, continues to reference it. CRT theorists ("Crits") reject the conciliatory "colorblindness" approach, as it does not fit their purpose of ultimate revenge against whites. They are not even interested in merely using the so-called "race card" as a pretext for some incremental social change; they are after complete domination in racial relations. The Crits' goal is to unite minorities to fight for power on the side of the left. Thus, it is not difficult to conclude that CRT is racist on its face and in its rhetoric. The Crits' claim that whites are inherently privileged is as foolish and racist as the white supremacists' claim that blacks are intrinsically backward. This is a primitive doctrine of jealousy and revenge that is as racist in its essence as eugenics, also a pseudoscience espoused by progressivists during the last century.
Although it is true that Europeans, over the past 500 years, have had outstanding accomplishments in many areas, these achievements had nothing to do with any innate racism and were not made at the expense of other races. Moreover, Europeans had not always been the leading force for the development of human civilization. Human progress resulted from influence by many factors, pushing some societies to the forefront and others to the back during different epochs.
The earliest human civilizations with attributes such as the state, organized religion, and writing were formed not by the white race, but by the inhabitants of the "Fertile Crescent," stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf and included Egypt and Mesopotamia. On the current territory of Pakistan and India, along the Indus River, the Hindu civilization flourished, and along the Yellow River, the Chinese kingdom was organized.
The rise of European civilization happened much later and was not on a straightforward trajectory, experiencing both peaks and falls during various times of its development. For example, Europeans were very much backward during the Dark Ages while the Levant under the Ottomans prospered and was considered the center of civilization. Also, the European peoples fell under the control of Arabs, Mongols, and Turks for centuries, with all the attributes of oppression, including genocide and slavery. European development accelerated significantly during the era of the Renaissance and Exploration, primarily driven by competition, individualism, and creativity, not by social engineering or dominance over other peoples.
As such, blaming Europeans on the whole for the white supremacist ideas of exclusivity and superiority is not substantiated by their historic experience. Non-white people were not under constant oppression by whites since whites, too, were victims of oppression by non-white people during some periods of human development. Thus, we can conclude that ideas of exclusivity and superiority are not inherent in the white race and are actually practiced by some across the entire spectrum of humanity. Therefore, Europeans should not apologize or be prosecuted for their success, and the modern generation should not be blamed for some of the actions of their ancestors. Moreover, it is wrong to assign collective responsibility for the actions of some individuals or various ethnic groups belonging to the same race. However, this is precisely what CRT is positing and is trying to do.
"Races" are objective categories. As the forces of progress and development continue to influence human populations, it is entirely unknown who will make the next civilizational breakthrough and when. The differences among human populations are a biological blessing; such diversity should be celebrated, as it is a guarantor of our survival as a species and a force for our successful future development. On the other hand, the advancement of societies is hindered by inorganic compulsory social engineering, as has been proven over time, especially during the 20th century.
All socialist totalitarian regimes, to some degree, used social engineering to advance their political agendas. For example, in the Soviet Union, people with proletarian and peasant backgrounds were provided with preferential university entrance and career advancement opportunities, regardless of their individual abilities and skills. Jews, an ethnic minority, were subject to quotas for admissions to most universities and subsequent careers and professional opportunities. This and other anti-Semitic repressions led to a mass migration of Jews out of the Soviet Union to Western countries and significantly contributed to its "brain drain."
Social engineering was a significant component of forces that led to the economic stagnation and eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. The new community of people — the Soviet people — which it tried to create turned out to be fiction, and its population was not interested in saving its system. The collapse of the Soviet Union and its socialist patron states in Eastern Europe led to interethnic conflicts and bloodshed, demonstrating a complete failure of imposed social change to pacify and homogenize ethnicities and populations. This is still being felt throughout the ex-Soviet space, as exemplified by the Armenian-Azerbaijani war over Nagorno-Karabakh just a few months ago.
Affirmative action, one of the key levers of social engineering, fails for several reasons. First of all, it implicitly assumes the backwardness of some strata of society and their inability to succeed on their own. Secondly, social engineering in general and affirmative action in particular ultimately hurt those whom they try to help. Rather than promoting education and hard work, affirmative action fosters insufficient learning, lack of effort, and a false sense of achievement. It chooses winners and losers, and most importantly, it does not rectify ethnic and racial tensions, but rather makes them more acute.
In the U.S., affirmative action (really a racial quota system) has been practiced for decades. Our universities and corporations have been implementing it to various degrees, but without achieving the desired outcomes of social justice (as demonstrated by recent social unrest in large urban areas of the country). Instead of admitting its failure and looking for other approaches, we now have entities like Nasdaq pushing to require thousands of companies listed on its exchange to include women, racial minorities, and "LGBT" individuals on their boards. It is harmful to human dignity to appoint people to positions not according to their merit and experience, but according to quotas, based on racial or gender criteria. Mandatory diversity for its own sake is detrimental to minorities and society at large and will not end well, as demonstrated by the examples above.
In my recent article "How Socialist Dogma Replaces Real Science with Settled Science,'" I argue that one of the signs of the socialization of consciousness, and hence a symbol of socialization of society, is the rapid growth of ideological pseudoscience, which has neither scientific nor practical value and only harms both the science itself and society as a whole. This is why the emergence of CRT at the end of the 20th century was not a coincidence, but rather a result of increasing socialist trends in American society, as the leftist elite try to use minorities and racial tension as a driving force for socialist transformation.
UNESCO defines scientific research as neutral, systematic, and creative actions taken to increase knowledge about nature, humans, culture, and society and to apply it in new areas of interest. CRT is not neutral, but ideologically motivated and biased. CRT is to race what Marxism is to social class. Both theories promote forced social engineering and are grounded in false principles, dividing societies into privileged and oppressed segments, inciting the latter to revolutionary actions to achieve a utopian future. They both manipulate reality, and just as the social classes proposed by Marx have no meaning outside the framework of his theory of scientific communism, the hypothesis of intrinsically evil Europeans and white privilege has no meaning outside of the CRT framework. Both approaches have not increased knowledge about people and society as they served as ideological argumentation for social change but not for the advance of scientific knowledge. Moreover, the experiments suggested by these theories have disproved their primary hypotheses because they did not eliminate the class or racial antagonism postulated by the doctrines.
Therefore, both are as "pseudo" as pseudoscience gets.