Why Muslims don’t need Critical Race Theory (Part 2): It isn’t a study tool, but a movement from Neo-Marxist & Postmodernist thought

After years of critiquing both “modernist” Western ideas (e.g. secular liberalism and nationalism), and neo-Marxist/Post-modernist Western ideas (e.g. “Critical Gender Studies” or “Third-Wave Feminism”), two Muslims from USA, decided to take issue when I applied the exact same criticisms to warn Muslims against another idea arising from materialist Western philosophies, called “Critical Theory” (CT) and “Critical Race Theory” (CRT).

In Part 1 (here), I explained how some Muslims living in the West adopted approaches to criticising the mainstream Western ideologies (liberalism/Capitalism), which were based upon Critical Theory (CT)  despite CT being based on neo-Marxist values that contradict Islamic guidance.

What makes CRT neo-Marxist and Post-Modernist, is that it looks at politics, culture and language using a race-based lens with CT’s neo-Marxist yardstick (i.e. in its model of society, justice and rights), and postmodernism’s tactics and methods (although recently, it has adopted more Postmodernist understandings of power relations and culture).

CRT & other Neo-Marxist and Post-Modernist Movements

While CRT is only one example of neo-Marxist and post-modernist (let’s just call this NP for ease) movements and ideologies, it will be obvious how it can be used as an example to illustrate the problems with all other NP movements.

Other movements based upon NP, use it to attempt to seek its own definition of justice in liberal societies for the “working class” (e.g. Socialism, Critical Legal Studies), women (feminism), LGBT (queer theory, transgender theory), decolonisation (post-colonial theory), “Islamic Liberation Theology” (i.e. Muslims borrowing from “Liberation Theology”, a hybrid of Marxism and Christianity), “Critical Islam” (post-modernist “Islam” – if you thought modernist liberal Muslims were confused…), and even attempts by Muslims to incorporate Muslim identity into CRT as a racial category, and redefine anti-Muslim hate as “racism” (which causes Muslim arguments to then be dismissed and derided by Islamophobes in wider society).

These movements are often called “The New Egalitarianism”.

I am publishing this series of articles, not only as a response to the two critics, “MH” and “SM”, but also to provide a primer on Marxism, Neo-Marxism and Post-Modernism, and why “Third Wave Feminism” and Critical Race Theory are commonly described as “neo-Marxist and post-modernist” movements.

This is important in understanding why they differ from the Islamic method and worldview.

The naive argument that CRT is not fundamentally connected with Neo-Marxism or Post-Modernism

In response to my previous article, some pro-CRT Muslims claimed that CRT and neo-Marxism and post-modernism are not necessarily connected in all things, and that it is possible to “leave the bad and keep the good”. This argument demonstrates basic naivete and ignorance by some Muslims on CRT’s ideological basis, and how it uses those bases to “look” at the world. CRT is not a tool for studying race-based discrimination, but a biased, ideological theory and movement that may, in fact, hinder attempts to objectively assess problems and therefore provide solutions.

CRT lacks objectivity because it is a self-described movement based upon an originally Marxist, materialist theory of society and justice.

Therefore, the first contention of this article is that CRT is not an objective explanatory tool, because it applies pre-formulated explanations to the topic of race, based on neo-Marxist and post-modernist understandings of justice, oppression, and society that originated in 19th century England (where Karl Marx studied as the main basis for his thoughts on “Capitalist” societies).

The second contention of this article is that although CRT may not explicitly contain ideas that contradict foundational Islamic beliefs, like belief in One God, it is fundamentally based upon premises intractably connected to Neo-marxism and Post-Modernism, that contradict the Islamic worldview.

The false claims that CRT is just a study tool

Understandably, there will be some Muslim reverts/converts from African-American backgrounds, who have campaigned against racism in the USA using radical left-wing activism and academia, who may have retained use of CRT after becoming Muslim.

However, there are other Muslims (either raised as Muslim or have been Muslim for a long time) in the USA, Australia, and – expectedly and thankfully only just a few – in the UK, who have become enthralled and co-opted by “left-wing” activists and academics. This is causing them to slowly eschew the use of the Islamic worldview in their advocacy, and instead choosing to lazily copy the “Critical Theory” developed by those historically (again, Marxist) dissident Western intellectuals who were moving against the secular liberal ruling ideology (which they called “Capitalism”).

Many of these individuals reacted defensively to my Part 1. They claim that those who criticise CRT are either ignorant about what it is, or are simpletons who mistakenly try to use the Islamic worldview to actually view the world. They then tried to justify the use of CRT by claiming that it is merely a “useful tool” for “study”, which gives “useful arguments” in identifying and fighting against racism.

It seems that these individuals have failed to sufficiently read or adequately understand what CRT is. They do not know that it is not a research tool for gaining knowledge about society and politics – and it never has been. The claim that CRT itself has discovered anything new or increased knowledge in the social or political “sciences” (studies) about USA society is simply false.

CRT is not a method of activism or a study tool, as its proponents insist. CRT gives no new knowledge, and is not a sociological or political study method.

CRT, developed to explain racism in USA society, assumes the explanation before the evidence comes in. CRT explains before it observes. This is despite the fact that other sociological and psychological explanations are known in many other comparable situations throughout the world, and are more probable in explaining its occurrence in USA society.

The third contention of this article is that CRT – being a movement rather than a study tool – is not an accurate or reliable understanding of the world and therefore possesses no utility or benefit for Muslims as a method (again, primarily because it is not a method of study).

This article will explain what CRT really is, showing the difference between a study tool and a theory, and will then perform a deep dive into the “New Egalitarianism” movement, of which CRT is a part, which arose from a synthesis of neo-Marxist-postmodernist  (NP) ideologies, originating in Karl Marx’s critique of Western liberalism.

The article will demonstrate in detail, how CRT’s “arguments” are completely derivative from these Western streams of thought, and how the main premise underneath its arguments contradicts the Islamic worldview and guidance.

Is CRT a study tool or a theory?

There have been a couple of claims that CRT is like biology or physics.

The first is that CRT is the study of racism in the same way that biology is the study of living things, or physics is the study of matter and energy.

The second is that even if CRT holds non-Islamic assumptions, so do physics (e.g. the universe being uncreated) and biology (e.g. Darwinism) and because these non-Islamic assumptions would not put us off of studying biology or physics, we should not ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ and reject CRT because of any non-Islamic assumptions it holds.

These claims misunderstand that there is a difference between a study tool and a theory.

Firstly, CRT is not akin to biology or physics. CRT’s subject are intangibles, like ideology and hidden structures in society. These are not physical and cannot be subject to scientific investigation.

Secondly, physics and biology do not have underlying non-Islamic assumptions – rather, theories such as darwinism and the universe being uncreated, are unverifiable theories posited by biased materialists. CRT is not comparable to biology or physics (the underlying sciences or study tools) but CRT is comparable to the theory of Darwinism or the theory that the universe is uncreated.

CRT is not the study tool. It is simply an unverifiable theory of the hidden causes behind racism and observable disparities, ironically based on materialist ideologies.

Racism is defined in this article as prejudicial discrimination based upon a set of phenotypical traits perceived to be held in common by a group of people (or to put it simply, a person or people being treated worse than others because of their appearance or ethnicity).

The assumptions that CRT brings, as you will see below, have nothing to do with the study methods used to gauge racism, and are completely unnecessary in identifying it. So, any hasty comparison of CRT with physics or biology is plainly wrong.

Is atheism a useful tool for studying the natural world?

To really understand the difference between study (to investigate), study method (how to investigate) and theory (positing a believed explanation), consider the following.

An atheist would argue that metaphysical naturalism (the belief that the “natural world” (material objects and forces) is all that exists) is a tool for investigating the world, and the only way we can “access knowledge” about the natural world.

If theists point out that this is unnecessary, skewed, or simply wrong, they may be met with the atheist’s rebuke,“if you don’t use metaphysical naturalism, you cannot possibly know or understand the “natural world”, and this would undermine the efforts of science to discover truth”.

In fact, any argument you level at a naturalist, questioning how they are so sure that only material objects and forces exist, they say, “look at the universe, only material objects and the effect of forces are visible”, claiming knowledge of the hidden!

Of course, no theist would accept such a claim, not least because metaphysical naturalism is based upon an assumption that the material world is all that exists, but also because the atheist would be wrong in their claim that the natural world cannot be understood without metaphysical naturalism as a theory.

It would be equally ridiculous for Muslims to consider that studying the theory of metaphysical naturalism is equivalent to studying physics or biology, because it is to take the theory as fact (which atheists would warmly welcome and encourage Muslims to do).

Metaphysical naturalism is not a tool for understanding the observable world, it is just an assumption or theory about what is behind it (which it says is “nothing else”). The only real tool for studying the observable world is the scientific method, which consists of the observation, measurement and experimentation of material objects. Clearly, this is not the same as naturalism, which is not the study of material objects, but simply a claim that only material objects exist.

Theists accept that material objects exist and interact causing the observable phenomena we can see. Theists are not hampered from science because rain, for example, is explained as part of the water cycle, without needing metaphysical naturalism. This is all that is required for the use of the scientific method (i.e. the observation, measurement and experimentation of material objects).

Naturalism is attractive and seems plausible to atheists because, like all of the greatest falsehoods, it is based upon a ‘half-truth’ – that material objects and forces do exist and we cannot directly observe non-material objects in the external world (outside of our minds). Atheists use this ‘half-truth’ to disguise this assumption that they use to make naturalism sound plausible and convincing.

However, theism would contest that metaphysical naturalism is a false and incomplete picture of the world, because (as can be demonstrated rationally) the material world cannot only be explained through material objects and forces, but there must ultimately be a non-material cause that started it, and a non-material cause must be ultimately sustaining it.

Therefore, the problem with metaphysical naturalism is that it is:

  1. Not a tool for discovering new knowledge – It is not a tool for inquiry, and produces no observations or knowledge. It is usually mentioned only outside real investigations of the natural world, as a pre-fabricated, over-arching explanation of reality regardless of the result of experiments or observations.
  2. Unnecessary – It is not a necessary theory for investigation because there exist better (and more objective) tools, like the scientific method. It is not necessary for technology either, like medicine, where treating illness or disease by use of medicine does not require a belief that only material things exist.
  3. Potential for an incomplete/skewed explanation of reality – It is a theory about reality that skews investigation only toward material objects and forces (which do exist, but naturalism ignores the possibility of other types of existence) and therefore will never be able to provide a complete explanation of the reality it investigates.

These are the very same critiques that can be levelled at Critical Race Theory (CRT), using the very same reasoning, because that is all that CRT is – a set of theories, not a tool to discover knowledge.

Because CRT is a theory and not a method for study, it is comprised of a number of assumptions and ‘half-truths’ (just like metaphysical naturalism is), which is where we dive in below, insha’Allah.

CRT is based on and applies neo-Marxist and postmodernist thought

The reason why it has been called “Neo-Marxist”, and Post-Modernist”, is because it has CRT is a development of Critical Theory (neo-Marxism), and also heavily influenced by Post-modernist thought, which are both streams of Western philosophical thought. CRT tries to explain ongoing race-based discrimination using concepts such as Structuralism, conflict theory, and cultural hegemony, which are neo-Marxist (materialist) in origin, as well as using concepts such as “narrative”, power relations, binaries, deconstruction, and “somatic normativity”, which are all post-modernist in origin.

Marxism

The C19th thinker, Karl Marx (1818 – 1883), is famous for his critiques of Capitalism. According to Marx’s theory of what a society is, Capitalism was not just the economic system of liberalism but was the totality of liberalism.

Marx started out from the premises of Enlightenment Individualism, the focus on the individual human as the highest concern. However, 19th-century European thought had only just begun to take seriously the effect of society on individuals, and this led to a new study of society and how it affects individuals, called “Sociology”.

The famous German idealist philosopher, Hegel reasoned that since society precedes the individual born into it, every individual was the product of the ideas of their society (he invented the term, spirit of the age, Zeitgeist). Marx took this idea, but because he was a materialist, he argued that ideas were reflections of matter on the brain, and that society and culture were products of the material industry humans use to extract resources and goods from the natural world. Therefore, according to his materialist view, society was economics, and visa versa.

Whilst liberalism believed that equality was part of individual freedom, Marx argued that equality was freedom, but this equality had to be absolute, in all things. So, for Marx, all material resources ought to be equally owned by all people (and private property was theft). He claimed that all social hierarchy is derived from economic hierarchy of the property owners (bourgeoisie) against the exploited workers (proletariat). So, hierarchies by ownership of material wealth were really the domination of those who owned property and exploited the labour of others, over those who sold their labour.

Marx advocated a ‘socialist’ society, which he defined as the realm of free individuality”, and his ideas were about emancipating the individual from economic domination (which was the same as social domination according to Marx, because social relations were merely economic relations).

How Marx got to these conclusions, was that he started by speculating that, originally, all individuals laboured for themselves from the land by farming, gathering or hunting, and only produced enough for their own needs. This, Marx considered, was a time when all individuals were in harmony with their nature.

However, with the development of new technologies (“the means of production”), individuals were able to produce more than their needs. This was called “Surplus value” by Marx. He speculated that over time, hierarchies were formed by parasitic individuals to feed off the surplus value and exploit the workers.

These hierarchies were achieved by the institution of “private property” by which “surplus value” of their work could be extracted. Marx considered history to progress in stages, Marx claimed that the first stage was where people were considered property (slavery), and were forced to work. The second stage was where all farming and hunting land was owned and people forced to work that land for a small wage or percentage, if they did not want to starve (feudalism). Lastly, was the capitalist stage – from the word “Capital” – used to denote a type of property that could generate wealth. In the capitalist stage, people depended on industry (like factories) to produce processed goods that people needed. Therefore in order for people not to face abject poverty and starvation, they had to sell their labour to factories, in order to afford the goods produced by the industrial system.

Because economics was the same as social structure for Marx, if a society possessed anything other than exactly equal distribution of resources and properties, it was a hierarchy. Since Marx believed in the Enlightenment idea of the fundamental equality between all individuals, his ideas judged that all hierarchies represent domination, and therefore were against the natural human condition.

However, Marx faced a contradiction with his theory. If people working for themselves was the natural state, why did the people (the workers) accept the situation of exploitation? To explain this problem, Marx claimed that the property owners formed a ruling class (the bourgeoisie), and to make people accept and maintain the system, they invented culture and religion for the people to believe in and be placated by, which Marx called “ideology”.

Marx argued that the only thing preventing the workers from realising their plight, was the property owners’ use of “ideology” to deceive them into thinking their situation was natural (a function Marx called “reification”). Thus, Marx invented an argument akin to a conspiracy theory to reconcile the contradiction in his own theory.

In Capitalist societies, the belief by the workers that they were living in a fair, equal, and free society, was a false ideology, which Marx called “false consciousness”, because the ideology did not represent the “true” reality of domination the workers faced. The main purpose of the ideology was to conceal the exploitation of oppression of the working class (like e.g. “equality under the law” making the workers believe they live in a equal society).

Taking these observations forward, Marx’s materialism produced a new Marxist model of society. He argued that the economic activity, the means of production of commodities and industrial labour, and the economic relations between people, were the “base” of society. The state apparatus, judiciary, administration, and “ideology” together existed as a “superstructure” over this base, that (like DNA does with a body) both emerges from, maintains and “reproduces” the “base”.

The ruling class (the bourgeoisie), according to Marx, had a collective long-term interest in preserving their class privilege, and they were the originators and maintainers of the “ideology” of the superstructure.

Marx deemed the exploitation by the bourgeoisie to be parasitic and a gross injustice – the profits that workers’ labour produced for the bourgeoisie were after all greater than their wages (“the surplus value”).

Also, whilst Marx believed society was a completely integrated totality, and that each individual was a product of their society, he believed that individual humans still had individual natures and inclinations that could be oppressed under the wrong system. Humans, being social creatures, need to form social relations with other humans. But because he considered economic relations to be social relations, when a worker in a capitalist system produced work for exploitation by an impersonal system of economic classes, that individual did not own their work, control it, or transact with the consumer of his work personally, therefore he was denied any real social relation. Marx called this estrangement (entfremdung) of the individual from their own nature (or species essence, gattungwesen). This is sometimes referred to ‘self-alienation’ by Marxists, and is conceived by Marx to be the true meaning of oppression. So Marx argued that the Capitalist system had to be overthrown.

Marx argued that the bourgeoisie, as well as the workers and everyone else in society due to their “false consciousness” of “ideology”, were prevented from seeing themselves and the other classes as classes (i.e. which later Marxists termed “class blindness”). Therefore, no one could realise they oppressed or were being oppressed. His solution was to raise “class consciousness” amongst the workers to make them aware of the reality of the capitalist system, and to view themselves as an oppressed group within a system of economic class based domination. This was to urge a workers’ movement that could fight the domination of the bourgeoisie and eventually overthrow them, leading to a “dictatorship of the proletariat” with the state becoming a function of economic egalitarianism. This would mean the equal distribution of wealth (Socialism) and, eventually, the abolition of economic classes and private property (Communism).

Marx (and his colleague, Engels) is renowned as having produced a completely total thought system to explain, not just what a society is, but the mechanism by which all things change i.e. dialectic materialism. He argued there was nothing but the material world, and so equality meant nothing if it did not mean material equality in all things.

Neo-Marxism and the Frankfurt School

After Marx, there were important developments we need to be aware of.

First, most capitalist countries failed to undergo a communist revolution. In fact, the workers seemed to prefer Capitalism to the communist society of the Soviet Union.

Second, capitalist (i.e. liberal) states instituted a number of welfare measures, public education, workers’ rights, and voting rights to all citizens regardless of property, which seemed to contradict the Marxist expectation that the ruling class would only implement measures that maximise profit.

Third, some Marxists adopted the studies of renowned analyst, Sigmund Freud, which opened Marxist thought up to a particular idea of the subconscious – which would form a new arena of Marxist analysis looking at how “ideology” could also reside in the subconscious (and not just in the conscious), and be used to replicate itself and the wider system.

This melding of Marx’s ideas with Freudian psychoanalysis led to a focus not only on pointing out that certain ideologies were illusory or hiding oppression, but how they affect the subconscious of humans, causing “self-alienation” in how humans view themselves (according to the Marxist understanding of nature). Marxists developed a new strategy for challenging “ideology” arguing that society itself should be psychoanalysed to show that the mindsets in society are merely symptoms of the oppressive social order behind a deeply stratified and unequal society. This new approach to challenging “ideology” developed into “Critical Theory” or “Critical Social Theory”.

These new Marxists, or neo-Marxists, then began addressing the contradictions between Marx’s predictions of capitalism and actual observations from capitalist countries.

As to the observation that property owners appeared not to be in direct control of the state apparatuses, neo-Marxist thought argued that the state apparatus does not have to be directly in control by the property owners because property owners control the ideology that controls the state and so the state will always make long-term policies that benefit them[1].

They explained that all concessions to the working class (the proletariat) made by the political system in capitalist countries –  such as welfare, public houses, worker’s rights, and full legal equality – were only allowed by the ruling class if it was in the short-term interests of the ruling class, and ultimately to preserve the long-term interest of property owners, and  helped to entrench and expand the control and power of this ruling class over the proletariat.

For neo-Marxists, the key to liberation for the individual in capitalist society is to make them realise their own oppression – not just economically (i.e. lack of equal distribution of resources to all), but how all aspects of their humanity were oppressed (whether they are female, black, or an addicted consumer). They would theorise how that oppression comes about, is maintained, and is reproduced by the “ideology”, and expose their produced “explanations” to the masses as a means of generating social change. This was called “Critical Theory” (originally, “ideologiekritik”).

Critical Theory developed arguments written in a style showing abstract but deliberate oppression was being perpetrated by a faceless, willful  “ideology” behind capitalist society, akin to a conspiracy theory. This they hoped would help agitate against it, demand egalitarian distribution of resources, and end all social classes (in the Marxist sense), bringing about the promised end to self-alienation.

Neo-Marxists then formed a new school for developing Critical Theory, called the Frankfurt School. Its most influential members were Max Horkheimer (1895-1973), Theodor Adorno (1903-1969), Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979), Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), Friedrich Pollock (1894-1970), Leo Lowenthal (1900-1993), and Eric Fromm (1900-1980). The second generation of the Frankfurt school included Jurgen Habermas and Richard Bernstein (who is credited with heavily developing CT in the US).

Over time, the application of Critical Theory began to spawn new branches and movements dedicated to different areas of “social class” and interest that CT had previously “identified”.

CT was applied to legal advocacy in Western liberal states in an attempt to demonstrate that legal rulings and court cases in the West were designed to protect class interests of the rich (i.e. the bourgeoisie). This application of CT “analysis” was called “Critical Legal Studies”.

CT was applied to advocacy for women’s social and political rights, creating the branch of study called “Critical Gender Studies”, which would create a new version of (liberal) feminism, called “third wave” feminism. Eventually, the CT approach would be applied to advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual, and queer (LGBTQ+) in the guise of “Queer theory” and “Transgender theory”, and even for cultural and political decolonisation advocacy, as “Post-colonial theory”.

Marxist and neo-Marxist criticisms of Capitalism have been used by almost anyone disenfranchised with Western societies under capitalism (liberalism), who have been enamoured by Marxist half-truths and used Marx’s criticisms as the ideological underpinnings of new counter-movements for change.

Throughout the C20th, many African-American thinkers and movements also took Marxist (and neo-Marxist) communist thought – from Du Bois, to the Black Panthers.

Many global movements were similarly affected, including African liberation and nationalist movements and leaders, like Kwame Nkrumah to Nelson Mandela (in his early career).

Marcuse_Davis-1024x731

Picture of Frankfurt school intellectual, Herbert Marcuse, with his former student, and prominent civil rights activist, Angela Davis (1970)

However, it was not until the 1970s-1980s that advocates from the Critical Legal Studies and Critical Gender Studies movement began to branch out toward a serious attempt to apply Critical Theory to the social class identified by “race”, producing “Critical Race Theory”.

The development of CRT from CT was mostly already covered in Part 1 (here). Neo-Marxists already talked about race from there neo-marxist perspectives, the difference with CRT, is that CRT just made race central to its focus, and placed economic class as secondary.

One of the key founders of CRT was Derrick Bell, who previously worked in the legal profession and advocated Critical Legal Studies. Bell’s writings, transposing CLS onto race relations, along with feminists writers like Kimberly Crenshaw, formed the key founding writings that would constitute the movement of writings later called “Critical Race Theory”.

CRT’s key concepts

Wealth disparity between rich and poor in all capitalist countries is an undeniable reality. Likewise, racial discrimination and wealth/career disparity between races are undeniable realities in modern USA.

However, like (neo-)Marxism’s “analysis” of Capitalism, CRT consists of a number of theories it uses to explain these observed realities. Neo-Marxist readers may find the following CRT theories somewhat familiar.

CRT argues the racism has been used by the USA “White” upper classes to divert the “White” working classes from the class based oppression they face[2].

CRT argues that the U.S.A political and economic system is dependent on “racial subordination” of African-Americans and their domination by “Whites”[3]. Racism therefore is central to U.S.A society[4].

CRT argues that disproportional wealth gap and career disparity between Afro-Americans and Euro-Americans is indicative of the social domination of Afro-Americans by Euro-Americans, and must be completely eliminated in order to end race based domination. Therefore, CRT argues that the solution must go beyond liberal “Affirmative Action” (i.e. anti-discrimination) policies, and ideally seeks out capped racial quotas for jobs[5] and wealth redistribution[6].

CRT defines the ruling class (or privileged class) not as property owners, but those who own “Whiteness as property”[7] – i.e. “White people”. CRT considers “Whiteness” to possess what Marxism would call “commodity exchange value”[8].

CRT claims that this ruling class (i.e. “White people”) have a collective interest in preserving their privilege.

CRT claims that the “ideology” behind the “structure” of the USA (and other Western societies) is “White ideology”, or “White Supremacy”. This means that every part of the “Structure” of U.S. society is designed to perpetuate racism and maintain White Supremacy, even if the “White” people that constitute the Structure, are not conscious of it[9]

CRT claims that liberalism’s colour-blind approach to race, is not for neutrality, but actually is designed to actually cover up and entrench hidden racism. Further, liberalism’s “colour blindness” makes “White people” unaware of their privilege, or the oppression they cause[10]. Likewise, “colour blindness” which is a part of “white ideology” aims to make the other races of the USA unaware of themselves as an oppressed (racial) class. CRT argues that the solution is to raise racial “consciousness”[11]. Bell calls this “racial realism”.

CRT claims that anything done by the state apparatus in the USA to give rights or apply “affirmative action” measures for African-Americans, whether it is ending slavery, repealing legal segregation, giving equal voting rights, or preventing discrimination, was only done cynically. CRT claims that “Whites” only implements such policies when it furthers their short term interests or their long term interest preserving their privilege. Bell called this “Interest Convergence”[12].

CRT claims that any liberal measure that gives equal rights to Afro-Americans, and ends segregation, is really designed to cover up the inequality based upon race in the USA[13]. CRT argues that giving equality to African-Americans was intended to preserve subjugation in a new form, and entrench it further.

CRT argues that the system of social domination based upon race, is permanent without a revolution that can depose the structure of the system[14].

Post-Modernist Elements of CRT scholarship

Post-Modernism started from existentialist thinkers like Nietzsche, and “formally” beginning in the works of Lyotard, Deleuze, Barthes, Derrida and Foucault. While the existentialists’ argue that there was no objective reality, therefore no morality or “truth” and that individuals must make their own truths and purposes for their lives, and define their own essence (because as was argued, their existence precedes their essence, hence this school of thought is called “existentialism”) and therefore to live “authentically”. This line of thought was continued under the Postmodernists, who studied language and deemed that language, just like the reality outside the mind it is used to describe, itself contained no absolute meanings, just subjective meanings depending on the reader and “time”. Postmodernism argues that language is used to create power relations between individuals. Therefore, individuals must liberate themselves from the values structures being imposed upon them in language itself that may illegitimately restrict their ability to create their own truths.

There are far more details about Post-Modernism than can be easily summarised in an article (if the word limit is to be maintained), so I leave it here.

CRT argues for African-American (and other non-White) “voices” to be the exclusive narrators for discussions on racism, in order to supplant the narrative of White “ideological hegemony”, that is contained in the mind of “Whites”, that through their voices, reproduces Racism[15].

CRT advocates usually employ “deconstruction” as a means to criticise legal texts and existent laws[16].

CRT advances the use of story-telling, fiction and narrative writing as a means of advocacy[17].

Some CRT theorists have critiqued the use of binaries in CRT, as being overly focused on black vs white[18].

Many CRT theorists argue that since “Whites” cannot understand the personal experiences of oppressed “African-Americans, their utility in CRT advocacy can only ever be as “allies”.

[NP Feminists and Critical Gender Studies movements have their own derivatives of CT that in some ways parallel these CRT concepts, based upon women as a social class defined by sex[19]].

Now M.H. Wrote:

Critical race theory…is fundamentally an African-American critique of being subjugated in a western-liberal state”

While CRT was started by African-American thinkers, CRT’s core value, aims, and theory of society upon which it bases its analysis, were directly transplanted from the Critical Theorists of the Frankfurt school and Existentialists (e.g. Nietzsche, Sartre), and Post-Structuralists (Derrida and Foucault) who are a collection of thinkers most of which U.S. census would classify as “white”. The ideas of these thinkers were simply transposed by Derrick Bell onto USA society with merely the addition of a race “filter”. While CRT is a movement for critique that originated with an African-American (Derrick Bell) – it’s safe to say that almost all CRT’s key concepts coming from “White” Neo-Marxists and Post-Modernists, makes it fundamentally not an African-American critique, but a borrowed “White” critique of Western Capitalism.

Please note, the “White” origins of Critical Race Theory’s key concepts do not by itself invalidate CRT, anymore than CRT would be more valid if it originated purely and wholly from African-Americans. We should simply note the irony inherent in the statement by the critic M.H, which is not an actual argument anyway.

CRT’s measurement for justice is based upon Neo-Marxist Egalitarianism

CRT, in order to identify injustice, like all theories has to adopt a measurement of what injustice is. The measure it adopts is neo-Marxist egalitarianism, which looks at the equality of wealth distribution (“distributive justice”), and the equality of treatment and legal recognition between people of different individual attributes (of which “race” is just one).

As Derrick Bell said: critical race theory adherents..want to retain…a valuable strain of egalitarianism…Critical race theorists strive for a specific, more egalitarian, world…building and concrete advocacy on behalf of those oppressed by race and other interlocking factors of gender, economic class, and sexual orientation”[20]

Now many Muslims get confused by this, because Islam mandates treating the same people in the same way, and skin colour or ethnicity is not a basis for discriminatory treatment in Islam.

The Prophet Muhammed (ﷺ) said “O people, verily your Lord is One and your father is one. Verily there is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab or of a non-Arab over an Arab, or of a red man over a black man, or of a black man over a red man, except in terms of taqwa. Have I conveyed the message?” They said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) has conveyed the message”. (Musnad Ahmed)

However, that is where the similarities between Islam and CRT (or Derrick Bell’s) concept of egalitarianism ends.

Since Karl Marx defined that power is the same as material wealth and access to the means of production, the correct distribution of wealth must be exactly equal to all. Accordingly, Marx considered unequal wealth distribution to be economic subordination and therefore social subjugation. The difference between Marxism and Derrick Bell’s CRT analysis of domination, is that while a Marxist cares about wealth distribution between the economic classes, CRT looks at wealth distribution between the “race” classes.

The argument given by CRT analysts is that, in a society where wealth gives power and better opportunities and life experience, wealth inequality is social domination. If “Whites” have more wealth than African-Americans, CRT explains this as “domination”.

However, it is clear that wealth disparity alone does not necessarily mean the domination of one group by the other. When the Muhajireen (emigrants) came with the Prophet (ﷺ) to Yathrib to found the Islamic polity, Al-Madinah (the City – a normative title if ever there was one), the Muslims of Madinah (the Ansar, helpers) had vastly more wealth than the emigrants, and this remained mostly the case. The Islamic concern was not to equalise wealth, but to ensure that the emigrants had their basic needs and requirements met. Moreover, the Ansar did not “dominate” over the Muhajireen, despite having more wealth, and despite the existence of a Yathrib supremacist faction led by Ibn Salool who wanted to evict the Muhajireen who they called ‘foreigners’. The Qur’an described this faction as Munafiqeen (hypocrites).

A neo-Marxist Critical Theory of Yathrib would claim it was an unjust society due to wealth hierarchy, (and lack of direct democracy, which is the Marxist ideal) despite the fact that the ruler was Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and the system was Islam.

The Prophet Muhammed (ﷺ) never highlighted the problem of previous civilisations as being a problem of wealth inequality or disparity (i.e. the existence of different levels of wealth), but pointed at the lack of consistency in how a society treats people (i.e. by treating them differently based on that level of wealth), such as in the following example, in the application of legal punishments for like crimes:

Usama approached the Prophet (ﷺ) on behalf of a woman (who had committed theft). The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The people before you were destroyed because they used to inflict the legal punishments on the poor and forgive the rich. By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! If Fatima (the daughter of the Prophet (ﷺ) ) did that (i.e. stole), I would cut off her hand.”[21]

Moreover, the Qur’an seems to directly rebut Marxism by arguing that humans cannot presume to believe they hold the keys to better justice merely by equal distribution of wealth. The Quran says:

“Do they distribute the mercy of your Lord? It is We who have apportioned among them their livelihood in the life of this world and have raised some of them above others in degrees [of rank] that they may make use of one another for service. But the mercy of your Lord is better than whatever they accumulate.” [Quran 43:32]

The Qur’anic verse above highlights that the function of power (i.e. advantage over others) is to provide service, not to purely exploit. The Qur’an affirms the need for hierarchies in a society based upon knowledge, merit or ability, so that different skills can specialise in different areas, providing order to prevent the anarchy of self-interested individuals sinking the rest of society, and ensuring everyone’s needs are fulfilled.

Al-Nu’man ibn Bashir reported: “The Prophet () said, The parable of those who respect the limits of Allah and those who violate them is that of people who board a ship after casting lots, some of them residing in its upper deck and others in its lower deck. When those in the lower deck want water, they pass by the upper deck and say: If we tear a hole in the bottom of the ship, we will not harm those above us. If those in the upper deck let them do what they want, they will all be destroyed together. If they restrain them, they will all be saved together.”[22]

This is obviously not to justify the level of wealth inequality in the USA, which concentrates wealth to the extent it prevents people from even adequately fulfilling their needs. Rather the Islamic solution changes the focus of identifying injustice, from Marxist egalitarianism in property to demanding consistency of fair treatment by society for all individuals, and secondly, the requirement that all people receive what they need.

Islamic approach to economics is different from Marxism and liberalism, in that it allows private property and wealth accumulation in economic hierarchies as beneficial for society, but prohibits interest banking (that causes unjust levels of concentration of wealth) and promotes limited wealth re-distribution measures (like perpetual wealth taxes, not one time income taxes), not based upon egalitarianism, but limited to an amount so that wealth will be given to those who need it to meet their needs (which include health care and education). Here are a few Islamic texts to illustrate these Islamic principles:

The Quran says: “Whatever gains God has turned over to His Messenger from the inhabitants of the villages belong to God, the Messenger, kinsfolk, orphans, the needy, the traveller in need- this is so that they do not just circulate among those of you who are rich––so accept whatever the Messenger gives you, and abstain from whatever he forbids you. Be mindful of God: God is severe in punishment” (59:7)

Uthman ibn Affan reported: The Prophet () said, There is no right for the son of Adam other than these things: a house in which he lives, a garment to cover his nakedness, a piece of bread, and water.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2341)

“Any community, whosoever they are, if a person among them became hungry, they will be removed from the protection of Allah the Blessed, the Supreme.” (Musnad Ahmed)

[For more information on an Islamic economic system, and how it differs and compares to liberalism (“Capitalism”) and Marxism, see my video lecture here].

Many African-Americans in the USA today do not have their basic needs met, do not have decent access to healthcare or education. African-Americans routinely experience prejudice and inconsistent treatment, from the state or elsewhere, for employment, housing, education, prosecution, sentencing and treatment by the police.

The discriminatory treatment of African-Americans (who are 12.8% of the USA population) in a secular democratic nation-state system comprised mainly (65%) of citizens from the majority Anglo-Saxon(ised) group (called “non-Hispanic White” in the USA Census) – can be already well explained by the well known problems inherent in nationalism, nation-states (with multiple cultural-national groups) and democracy. The prevalent discrimination that occurs, is indeed a very serious problem that needs to be exposed and campaigned against.

However, adopting the extreme worldview or bases derived from Marxism, Neo-Marxism, and Post-Modernism, which all decry the existence of economic, social and political hierarchies (anarchists hate the latter the most), will not lead to the correct understanding of the problem, nor correction solutions. For all NP critiques of liberalism, they are all still based upon the [Western] enlightenment era calculus of individualistic equality, they just go a step further than liberalism and argue that if all humans are equal, then any inequality is injustice.

The problem with invoking CRT based arguments, like other NP movements is that, once you use Egalitarian calculus to campaign for rights, you cannot stop the avalanche you started when you threw the snowball; every other type of equalisation between individuals of different attributes will also be invoked, even if some values go against Islam.

If egalitarianism is used to argue for absolute equal social, legal and economic measures for those who with innate characteristics, like skin colour, then other characteristics become just as morally valid for consideration by egalitarianism. As Derrick Bell, the key founder of CRT said: “homosexuals are an identifiable group suffering discrimination because of innate characteristics that entitle them to special protection of their basic rights.”

Derrick Bell advocates CRT’s egalitarianism, which argues that as people should have a right to practice other kinds of culture than “white culture”, it necessarily involves the equality of all other people’s life choices, tastes and preferences: as more and more lesbian and gay persons want to buy and sell property together, marry, have or adopt children, make wills, and carry out all the aspects of life controlled by legal rules, the law will have to recognize and encompass these transactions.”

Islam does not posit that there is moral equality between all lifestyle choices, actions, and choices:

“Is one who was a believer like one who was defiantly disobedient? They are not equal” (Quran 32:18)

“Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home)” (Quran 4:95)

Islamic family law, inheritance, and gender roles are all things that NP egalitarianism will bulldoze out of the way, leading to what we see today: many Muslims joining left-wing movements to defend Muslim identity in the name of NP egalitarianism, also advocating actions and “lifestyle choices” that flagrantly go against Islamic teaching.

For this reason, some Muslims leave Islam when their commitment to equalisation as a measure of justice inevitably causes them to view Islam as unjust. This has also led some to experience doubts when they see that some people appear to suffer more than others, and some are born with congenital problems. They argue that God is unjust for not giving to all equal privilege of health, wealth, and life, and therefore does not exist!

This is a false perception because humans are born with morally equal, blank slates of their deeds, but their life experiences were never designed to be identical. Without difference, there can be no tests. Our lives face different tests to facilitate our free will to fulfil our purpose to God, and then our moral inequality becomes manifest by those tests. We are ranked based on how we chose to react to those tests, and we are equally capable of attaining any rank, regardless of material hierarchies.

CRT is different from an actual tool or method for social, political, or economic research

Unlike the claims of some CRT advocates, CRT is not a tool that studies society, culture or politics, nor does it even claim to be. Repeatedly, key CRT writers have described CRT as a movement[23], and the activity of CRT as a “form of writing”[24] to explain society in line with Derrick Bell’s particular theories and aims, rather than a technique or process for objectively analysing data to discover new knowledge.

Anthropology, social or culture studies (or Sociology), political analysis and historical study are the only research-based activities to study human society, politics and culture. They contain all the well-known tools which become starkly obvious when mentioned.

Any budding sociologist attempts to study a society by reviewing or compiling testimonials, collecting and collating statistics, reviewing video evidence, news reports and print media. He/She may generate new knowledge by  conducting new research using questionnaires, survey sampling, requesting unpublished statistics, conducting investigations into records to produce new statistics, reviewing videos and photos, conducting interviews with individuals or witnesses to record their experiences, the list is endless.

As for historians, the process is similar, except that they rely on historical records, books, journals, old footage and print media from the past (they cannot conduct any surveys or interviews to get information on periods beyond living memory).

CRT is more a movement than an actual set of theories, but whatever it is, it simply is not a tool of research or study, and does not contain observations (knowledge), but rather attempts to explain observations obtained independently of itself. These explanations are notably derived from a C19th thinker, and are not based on objective observation done in the here and now.

As one of the key writers of CRT, Richard Delgado (a latino-American), explained, one of the activities of CRT scholars and writers is ”borrowing of insights from social science on race and racism”[25]. It should therefore be clear that CRT offers nothing original in terms of knowledge on social “science” on race or racism.

An individual may perfectly research the easily observed “race-based” discrimination, “racial” hatred, unfair economic distribution based upon pre-abolition property ownership and how it creates wealth disparities that will continue to correlate with “race” and the descendants of former-enslaved peoples, systemic “racism” (cultural/ethnic stereotypes pervasive throughout society, creating biased institutions) producing clearly evidenced “race-based” discrepancies in prosecutions, court sentencing, police harassment etc – all without having to read a single book of Derrick Bell or any of the coterie of CRT writers.

In fact, a research project or study may more likely be seen as objective without it, and certainly would be better received by the public were it to be seen that the researcher attempted to approach the data free from ideological bias.

To the argument, that someone would not know that racism exists in the USA without reading CRT books, it suffices to point out that most of the readers reading this would not be surprised to hear about that discrimination in the USA seeing as most of them have already heard about many of its symptoms from the readily available news reports, online videos, documentaries, films, or books they have already encountered. This is also in the same way most people know about the oppression against the Palestinians, Kashmiris, Rohingyas, Uighurs, and Indian Muslims, without having to read neo-Marxist/Post-Modernist Critical Theory books on the subject.

Many non-CRT scholars, like the majority of sociologists and economists, already know and study race-based discrimination in the USA through the plethora of available literature that compiles surveyed testimonials of USA’s African-Americans surveys, video evidence, news reports, court case records and prior social studies, as well as statistics on wealth distribution, education attainment, school admissions, and justice system data.

Even MH, wrote an article defending CRT, citing social and economic studies (see below) from non-CRT sources recently in a response to another critic of CRT.

Screen Shot 2019-06-30 at 23.37.46

MH wanted to use to studies to highlight the prevalent racism in the USA, that he believes CRT can be employed to identify, without realising he’d just demonstrated how CRT was not a study tool itself, but relied on actual studies. MH cited five socio-economic studies by sociologists and economists that highlight disparities correlating to “race” in employment, wealth and job applications. Even MH seems to implicitly demonstrate that CRT cannot, of itself, bring any evidence or observations to the table.

So in conclusion, anyone who argues that CRT is a “useful tool” for studying racism has forgotten what real social studies and political analysis look like, and misrepresent (whether ignorantly or not) what CRT actually is – namely, a theory that USA politics is a deliberate race-struggle derived from neo-Marxist politics about class struggle, and nothing more.

Another CRT advocate, Professor S.M, wrote in response to my last article:

“there are no Marxian or postmodern elements in Critical Race Theory that are so overbearing that the theory is consumed them and cannot work without them”

However, as has been demonstrated above, without the borrowed Neo-Marxist and Post-Modernist concepts, there would simply be nothing left of Critical Race Theory that makes it distinct.

Conclusion

CRT is a method and movement for social change based upon neo-Marxist and Post-modernist thought, and not a tool of enquiry.

CRT does not give us knowledge about society, and is simply a method of political and social change by getting its advocates to employ:

  • A set of unverifiable and unfalsifiable assumptions about how a Western society and politics works, pre-derived from a specific materialist worldview created by a “white” atheist in the 19th century, about how all human societies work.
  • NP egalitarianism in its judgements and definitions of good and bad to measure injustice to set its end goals.

The fact that CRT possesses a criterion for right and wrong based upon its own ideological notions i.e. NP egalitarianism, means it holds nothing but potential for misleading and misdirecting Muslims who may otherwise be well-intentioned, but who are *meant* to be using an Islamic worldview to judge what is justice.

We have already sent Our messengers with clear evidences and sent down with them the books and the balance (lit. “scales”) that the people may establish [their affairs] in justice’ (Quran 57:25)

In the next part (Insha’Allah), we’ll examine another claim by CRT advocates. Namely, that without CRT, anti-racism activists could only be able to fight against discriminatory laws in the USA, and not be able to identify de-facto prejudicial racial discrimination that occurs in institutions and wider society.

We’ll see that simply is not true in the USA and Western European history. At the end of the C19th and early C20th, (classical) liberalism evolved from a system calling to “equality under law” to “equal opportunities”, and led to mass-activism and movements against Conservatives and ethno-nationalists that led to the outlawing of racial discrimination in housing, access to education, job applications and employment (while in Europe, it led to widely adopted anti-hate restrictions against “free speech”).

While it is true that Marxism/Communism, (social) Liberalism and Islam, all do not condone prejudicial treatment against someone based upon their skin colour or ethnicity, they all differ as to why it is wrong, and they all differ as to what the solutions for just treatment looks like. Muslims should be aware of falling into the serious mistake of adopting the creed, morals and solutions of Marxism/Communism or Liberalism, just because they all hate the same problem that Islam does.

Coming next…

Future articles will show that CRT never was necessary for identifying racism or campaigning against it in the USA, and many CRT arguments not only contradict Islam, but are self-defeating, counter-productive and they miss real critiques that the Islamic perspective yields.

 


 

[1]See Jürgen Habermas, ‘Knowledge and Human Interests’, and Althusser, ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses’

[2] Bell writes: “the deeply shared need in this nation to maintain blacks in a subordinate status serves to maintain stability and solidarity among whites whose own social and economic status varies widely.”

Bell also writes: Slave holders appealed to working class whites by urging that their shared whiteness compelled the two groups to unite against the threat of slave revolts or escapes. The strategy worked. Poor whites vented their frustrations by hating the slaves rather than their masters, who held both black slave and free white in economic bondage. While slavery ended, the economic disjuncture, camouflaged by racial division, continued unabated…the huge influx of European immigrants, who themselves were brutally exploited by the mine and factory owners for whom they toiled long hours under wretched conditions for subsistence wages…Immigrants focused on maintaining racial oppression, rather than uniting across racial lines to resist the exploitation and deprivation which respects no color line, then or now.

The ideology of whiteness continues to oppress whites as well as blacks. Whites employ whiteness to make whites settle for despair in politics and anguish in the daily grind of life”

[3] Derrick Bell who said: “racial subordination maintains and perpetuates the American social order”

Bell also writes: the white leader we need will have to ask the nation’s whites two questions. First, if blackness does not mean subordination then what does it really mean to be white, not as a matter of appropriate respect and pride in cultural heritage, but as a social and economic fact of life in these United States? Second, do whites in this country have enough love and respect for one another to remain a stable society without using blacks as a societal glue?”

“For without black people in America, what would it mean to be white? Of what value whiteness, the privilege of preference, the presumption of normality, the reassurance of majority status? Were the advantages of color to disappear, how would whites replace their carefully constructed but ever-fragile self-esteem based on whiteness? Blacks doubted that many whites would ever ask themselves these questions, but the questions were not less real because unacknowledged”, Afrolantica legacies

[4] Derrick Bell: “Racism lies at the center, not the periphery; in the permanent, not in the fleeting; in the real lives of black and white people”

[5] “The Chronicle of the DeVine Gift”, (1985), Derrick Bell

[6] Bell proposes a race-specific measure for wealth redistribution: “an “equality fund” used to underwrite black businesses, offer no-interest mortgage loans for black home buyers, and provide scholarships for black students seeking college and vocational education.”

Bell also writes: “Token or cosmetic gains are extended under the formal Constitution, while, under the operational code, of the unwritten basic law, no real redistribution of wealth, prestige, or social power takes place”

[7] In Feminism, the ruling class members are essentially anyone male.  Feminism does not conceive “maleness as property” but rather that the property of males is their believed ownership of women’s bodies.

[8] Bell writes: “whites have observed that a majority of America’s population is white and that most power is held by whites and interpreted these facts as meaning that, as whites, they are privileged and entitled to preference over people of color. Over time, these views have solidified into a kind of property—a property right in whiteness. The law recognizes and protects this property right just as it safeguards other forms of property”

Bell writes elsewhere “The subordination of blacks seems to reassure whites of an unspoken but no less certain property right in their “whiteness.” This right receives judicial recognition like all property rights under a government created and sustained primarily for that purpose. ”

[9] Derrick Bell writes: “white law teachers are not bigots in the red-neck, sheet-wearing sense. Certainly, no law teacher I know consciously shares Ben Franklin’s dream of an ideal white society or accepts the slave owner’s propaganda that blacks are an inferior species who, to use Chief Justice Taney’s characterization, ‘might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.’ Neither perception flourishes today, but the long history of belief in both under-girds a cultural sense of what Professor Manning Marable identifies as the ‘ideological hegemony’ of white racism. Marable asserts that all of our institutions of education and information—political and civic, religious and creative—either knowingly or unknowingly ‘provide the public rationale to justify, explain, legitimize or tolerate racism.”, ’The Chronicle of the DeVine Gift’ (1985)

[10] CRT advocate, Bell Hooks said: “When liberal whites fail to understand how they can and/or do embody white supremacist values and beliefs even though they may not embrace racism, they cannot recognize the ways their actions support and affirm the very structure of racist domination and oppression that they wish to see eradicated”

[11] “critical race scholars identify and embrace a radical tradition of race-conscious mobilization as an empowerment strategy for African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, and other persons of color”, ‘American Legal Theory’, Harvard University (Bridge Program)

[12] Derrick Bell writes: “The interest of blacks in achieving racial equality will be accommodated only when it converges with the interests of whites.”

[13] Derrick Bell writes: “[racial] integration often serves, like slavery and [racial] segregation, as one more device by which the majority can maintain control over blacks.”, “Brown v. Board of Education and the Black History Month Syndrome”, 1984

[14] Derrick Bell writes: “We need to recognize that a yearning for racial equality is fantasy. Short of the extreme of a too-bloody revolution”, “Racism Is Here to Stay, Now What?” (1991)

[15] Derrick Bell writes: “the “clearest unifying theme” of the [CRT] writing is “a call for a change of perspective, specifically, a demand that racial problems be viewed from the perspective of minority groups, rather than a white perspective.” We use a number of different voices…The narrative voice, the teller, is important to critical race theory in a way not understandable by those whose voices are tacitly deemed legitimate and authoritative. The voice exposes, tells and retells, signals resistance and caring, and reiterates the most fearsome power— the power of commitment to change.”

[16] Derrick Bell writes: “this description suggests, critical race theory scholarship exhibits a good deal of tension between its commitment to radical critique of the law (which is normatively deconstructionist) and its commitment to radical emancipation by the law (which is normatively reconstructionist). Angela Harris views this tension—between “modernist” and “postmodernist” narrative—as a source of strength”

[17] Derrick Bell writes: “Critical race theory scholarship is characterized by frequent use of the first person, storytelling, narrative, allegory, interdisciplinary treatment of law, and the unapologetic use of creativity. ”

See also Derrick Bell’s “The Power of Narrative”

[18] The concept of rejection of binaries has been adopted by CRT scholar, Richard Delgado: “Not only does binary thinking conceal the checkerboard of racial progress and retrenchment, it can hide the way dominant society casts minority groups against one another, to the detriment of both…As scholars…have pointed out, traditional civil rights thinking deems a single group paradigmatic, with the experiences and concerns of other groups receiving attention only insofar as they may be analogized to those of this group. Binary thinking often accompanies what is called “exceptionalism,” the belief that one’s group is, in fact, so unusual as to justify special treatment”, “Derrick Bell’s Toolkit—Fit to Dismantle That Famous House?” (2000), Richard Delgado

[19] NP Feminisms claim that the ruling ideology is “Male supremacy”, and the structure is called “patriarchy”. NP Feminism argues that all males have a “class interest” in maintaining their privilege, even if they’re unaware of it (i.e. their privilege is “invisible” to them).

NP Feminist movements parallel Marx’s call for raising “class consciousness”, but also later Feminist movements consciously copying neo-marxism:

Our chief task at present is to develop female class consciousness through sharing experience and publicly exposing the sexist foundation of all our institutions.”, ‘The Redstockings Manifesto’, (1969, New York)

Prominent feminist campaigner, Anne Forer is quoted to have said in the late 60s: In the Old Left [Marxists], they used to say that the workers don’t know they’re oppressed, so we have to raise their consciousness. One night at a meeting I said, ‘Would everybody please give me an example from their own life on how they experienced oppression as a woman? I need to hear it to raise my own consciousness.’ Kathie was sitting behind me and the words rang in her mind. From then on she sort of made it an institution and called it consciousness-raising”, ‘Susan Brownmiller. In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution’ (1999)

Instead of “class blindness” or “race blindness”, NP Feminism’s own version is “sex blindness” or “gender blindness”.

Like how Marx argued that legal equality preserved inequality and Bourgeoisie property interests, and how CRT argues that legal equality preserves “White Supremacy”, NP Feminisms claim legal equality between men and women has not ended de facto inequality between men and women, and the Patriarchy is still preserved.
Like how CRT argues for race quotas in employment quotas, NP Feminism argues for gender quotas.

[20] Who’s afraid of Critical Race Theory, 1995

[21] Sahih al-Bukhari 6787, Chapter: To inflict the legal punishment on the noble and the weak

[22] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 2361

[23] Examples include CRT book titles: “Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed The Movement”, Kimberly Crenshaw

[24] Derrick Bell, one of the key founders of CRT said: “I am not sure who coined the phrase “critical race theory” to describe this form of writing, and I have received more credit than I deserve for the movement’s origins. I rather think that this writing is the response to a need for expressing views that cannot be communicated effectively through existing techniques. In my case, I prefer using stories as a means of communicating views to those who hold very different views on the emotionally charged subject of race. People enjoy stories and will often suspend their beliefs, listen to the story, and then compare their views, not with mine, but with those expressed in the story”

[25] “Richard Delgado, When a Story Is Just a Story: Does Voice Really Matter, 76 Va. L. Rev. 95, 95 n.4 (1990).”



Categories: Marxism - Neo-Marxism, WESTERN POLITICAL THOUGHT

1 reply

  1. I am no Sociologist or political scientist but masha’allaah,this article was insightful as always.Jazakallahu khayr bro Abdullah.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: