Why is Critical Theory always aligned with the Left Wing? I generally agree with it but it almost always leads me to moral relativism which in turn leads me to very Right Wing beliefs. Is there an inherent bias already in academics who use Critical Theory so that they always come to Left Wing conclusions?
To describe my thought process. Like Critical theorists, I tend to see hypocrisies in all orthodox ideologies leading me down a path of moral relativism and materialism. Basically, humans are slaves to their emotions and desires, they will seek all avenues to fulfill them and when they come in contact with opponents they will abuse reason in order to rationalize their motives or demean their opponent's. This replaces right vs wrong with us vs them in which power is the only social fact. The Right only seeks to keep their power while the Left seeks to use a conflicting narrative to destroy it, in effect replacing the old power structure with their own. I see Leftists flocking to critical theory because it gives them a opportunity to demean the normative narrative, not necessarily because it's morally "right" although I'm sure many have tricked themselves into thinking so.
What happens in marxist circles stays in marxist circles, basically. Same reason current social justice has a weird comic book obsession, two discussions which take place in the same network will tend to merge into one if their contradictions aren't great enough to cause a split.
>Is there an inherent bias already in academics who use Critical Theory so that they always come to Left Wing conclusions?
No, there's an inherent bias in people who aren't critical of the Left-Right paradigm to view product of critical theory as "Left"
interesting, I'll read up on some. What exactly is Critical Theory then? Isn't it just questioning the status quo in an attempt to push progress?
I don't believe in a Left-Right paradigm either but it's a pretty common categorical term to abbreviate complex beliefs. I imagine most critical theorists would support movements typically associated with "Leftism" in the west.
>What exactly is Critical Theory then?
Radical critique towards an objective goal, which is always seemingly emcancipatory. Post-structuralist, is not based on rational objectivity of the Enlightenment.
Moral relatvism is starting to become the enemy of the left. The new progressive left beleive in the intrinsic good of equality and the intrinsic evil of being born a white male.
There is no place for relavavism. Slavery was not a result of the time and the way women acted in the past was not simply a different culture. What's morally wrong to them is morally wrong regardless of context. There is no compromise because they believe in absolutes.
The non-globalist conservatives feeds off of relativism. It can say what is right for the foreigners not right for us and a society is justified in holding onto it's own beliefs. These beliefs are uniquely there's because every society will have it's own relative culture. They are not based on aboslute moral truths but due to their unique situation.
As another annon pointed out post-modern heroes like Foucault are anti-leftist and they theories lead to the French New Left that see liberalism as an enemy.
It is now the conservatives that have the dangerous idealogy, post-modern thought is systemitcally designed to deconstruct ideology. It's a tool that allows you take ideas that are considered sacred or untouchable (equality, inalienable rights) and get to the real root of them. If you want to see a liberal rage explain how equality is only a linguistic construct, it never actually exists.
You sound like you need Jesus.
Not even joking. I think there's a line in Joyce about how every moral system is corrupt and immoral and hypocritical, so you should choose Catholicism as it's clearly the best.
>Isn't it just questioning the status quo in an attempt to push progress?
It was a relatively obscure vein of criticism between academics in the frankfurt school. Maybe you should actually read primary sources instead of just regurgitating vague shit from /pol/ you fucking mongoloid. The idea of social justice and "progress" predates Marxism by at least a century. Just because liberal democracy and marxism are both Enlightenment ideologies doesn't make them the same, 4chan just groups them together because they're both opposed to fascism.
I'm actually baptist. Raised baptist, my gf is baptist, attend a baptist church, say baptist when asked my religion. It's just that 99% of academics/philosophers ignore the concept of god or at least the protestant caricature of him when writing their work. I generally compartmentalize when reading philosophy and think in terms of their rules. Same way I can feel strong pride or anger about something that my rational brain knows doesn't make sense.
Also, learn the difference between moral relativism and moral nihilism OP. These ethical theories don't really correlate with left-wing and right-wing politics to the degree you assume, either. You cannot just vaguely intuit that someone is a relativist based on them supporting respect for other cultures.
iv actualy had a bunch of conversations like that, often about things like equality and gender and rights and such
critical theory is literaly like a weaponised piece of machinery, you just take something you want destroyed and pull the lever, and voila your sacred universality is now a dead set of notions and semantic structures decomposing before your conceptual eyes
the thing is its all true tho, i mean the result you get, its uncompromisingly obvious and logical
A lot social justice activist, self described socialist, or feminist I talked to during college or through friends have brought up Žižek or Adorno. It is not obscure at all, you can't even talk to a leftist about race without them bringing up talking points of critical race theory.
>learn the difference between moral relativism and moral nihilism OP.
But how does the former not lead to the latter. If you don't judge other cultures for having differing values then how can you judge anyone?
Yes, but it's clear by your thinking that you're conflating 1930s critical theory within the Frankfurt School with modern critical theory, alongside the conspiracy theory about cultural Marxism. The "left" is not united in this respect. A Marxist would consider liberal SJWs use of critical theory to be "revisionist" for example, as many distinctly Marxist concepts within it were entirely discarded. Zizek is well known but I wouldn't exactly call him well-regarded.
You're correct about one thing, though, there were links between early critical theory and what later developed into modern right wing neoconservatism. Many early neocons were ex-Marxists and carried culturally imperialistic ideas with themselves between ideologies.
>If the basis for something is relative it can't have meaning
How the fuck do you conclude that. Think about national anthems there is nothing instrinsic about them that makes them signficant however if you have an identiy with that country than it does acquire some sort of meaning. This meaning is relative. A frenchman will not feel the same thing as an American who has veterns in his family. This doesn't mean that there is no basis it just means the basis is a product of culture and circumstance.
The idea of things have intrinsic properties independent of their circumstance is a hold over from Aristotelian thinking. He had the idea that properties existed indepdendly of that which they contain (essence without existence). More spefically he told us that essense was older than existence through some sort of God. This way of thinking was the domiante philosophy and accepted unquestioned until the near the very end of the Enlightenment with people like Hegel and Nietzche coming about. This ultimatly ended with the development of the concept of existentialism (existence preceeds essense) and the aboundenment of abstract metaphysics (talk of essence is nonsense).
BTW this type of genealogy approach where you destroy the sacred-cow mentality of philosophy is exactly what post-modern ideas are about. You find ideas that sheepishly accept as being self-evident truths and show that they were invented awhile ago and were not always thought to be true. Nietzsche did it with morality, Foucault with sexuality.
>But how does the former not lead to the latter.
You've hardly established how it does. Just because you can contrive some slippery-slope type of reasoning doesn't prove that all people follow this moral narrative from relativist to nihilist whatsoever.
>If you don't judge other cultures for having differing values then how can you judge anyone?
Well, there are a few different kinds of moral relativism, and normative relativism is only one kind. Most relativists are descriptive, and believe one cannot accurately make trans-cultural ethical judgements because there is no independent moral standard that could evaluate one cultural system as superior to another. This doesn't mean they oppose individuals being judged within a culture by the local standards, something you're trying to conflate with "no culture has ethical supremacy over another". So straight off the bad, being a relativist means you consider culture and tradition to be important concepts in judging morality, which a nihilist does not. A nihilist is essentially a negative universalist - actually closer to the ethical absolutist/universalist than the relativist - because he is making a non-culturally dependent claim about morality: that morality is universally and objectively NOT a feature of reality.
You can do your own googling from there. If you're already ideologically bent, both Rationalwiki and Metapedia discuss the origins of Neoconservatism in the left.
I had heard that at some point the two american parties sort of changed sides, it's nice to know where to read about it. It's not as evident as it might seem to americans.
According to the article neoconservators are pretty much a response to the new-left, this is a well known fact or does the left present it the other way around?
People have a tendency to loath people that's almost like you but not completely, that's 'competing' with you. Marx loathed everyone who tried to change his theory to some other form of Marxis. Example on the right is Nozick.
you put words in my mouth, I never said relative things have no meaning to individuals or groups.
>This doesn't mean they oppose individuals being judged within a culture by the local standards
Why? what if a couple is stoned to death for having sex outside marriage and the surrounding culture agrees. Does that mean we must judge the couple by their culture's standards and admit they were being immoral?
>So straight off the bad, being a relativist means you consider culture and tradition to be important concepts in judging morality, which a nihilist does not.
why would a nihilist disagree wish this, he would just say that this proves morality isn't intrinsic?
>two american parties sort of changed sides
not really, the parties operate by forming coalitions between special interest groups. These groups may switch affiliation but to say the parties 'switched" is a huge leap in logic. The neocons were just a group of thinkers that advocated strong foreign intervention on the side of Democracy, they weren't the backbone of either party.
what? that's idiotic. The original definition is that the left defended change and progress while the right defended the monarchic ideas. In a present setting the left defends socialist policies with a stronger state controlling more while the right defend free market with a reduced state.
If you're a fat American idiot who takes campaign slogans as absolute truth, yes, this is the case. In reality, the modern right is not small government. Foreign intervention and high military spending are not small government. Increased police power, the death penalty and the war on drugs are not small government. Restricting immigration is not small government. The PATRIOT act and other paranoid privacy invading measures are not small government. Bolstering "intellectual property" is not small government. Corporate welfare is not small government. Ignoring separation of church and state is not small government. Protectionism is not small government. The moralistic hysteria of conservative soccer moms everywhere is not small government.
Because that's not what relativism is. I'm not going to argue their case you dumb faggot, I'm not a relativist.
>what if a couple is stoned to death for having sex outside marriage and the surrounding culture agrees. Does that mean we must judge the couple by their culture's standards and admit they were being immoral?
The basic principle of relativism is that it should be understood in that context, yes.
>why would a nihilist disagree wish this, he would just say that this proves morality isn't intrinsic?
You say "why" so much. It's like talking to a fucking three year old.
The nihilist would disagree because he considers morality to be a fabrication regardless of context. The relativist considers morality legitimate and determined by context. The nihilist might argue it proves morality isn't intrinsic - and he would be correct, anybody who has raised a child knows they have to be taught right from wrong. However, arguments are not the same as conclusions. Whereas a relativist would look at the diversity of cultural ethics and claim moral universalism is wrong, he would still put stock into the concept of morality itself. The nihilist would not. The only reason you're unable to comprehend this very simple-to-understand difference is because you're a universalist yourself who seems to lack self awareness and can't comprehend that not all groups who disagree with you are lumped together.
Let me put it another way. If morals could be compared to Gods, nihilists would be atheists, believing in no God. The relativist would be a polytheist, believing in many different Gods, all legitimate and capable of being worshiped. The universalist would be a monotheist who insists on one absolute god. These concepts aren't necessarily tied together - there are universalist ethical systems without God as a concept - but do you understand the distinction a little better now? It's like the difference between zero, one and many.
> Foucault and Deleuze loathe the left
I don't agree with you. There are plenty of texts and interviews in which Deleuze claims to be left-wing, talks about what it means to be left-wing, etc... I believe the abcdaire even has a section on "la gauche". In one of his final interviews he also says that he has always been a marxist (that's more of a stretch). What he criticized was not the left (la gauche) but "leftism" (le gauchisme) which is a watered down left, the kind that emerged with the nouveaux philosophes (many of whom went on to work for right wing governments. French invasion in Libya is the work of BHL, founder of the nouvelle philosophie).
Foucault is more complicated. The institutional climate in France until the 80's was such that you always more or less had to look "Marxist". Foucault started on the far-left and stayed there, at least in surface and despite the very different ideology surfacing in his writings, until he moved towards the "New Left" in the 80's. What Foucault wrote is clearly different from what was accepted among traditional Marxist thinkers, bordering at times on tje verge of anarchism. But he remained all his life stauumchly opposed to any form of conservatism. His political fights "on the ground" (for prisoners' rights, for migrant workers, against racism and colonialism) clearly put him on the left. His libertarianism and critique of power was a source of inspiration for the liberal Nouveaux Philosophes who ended up right wing, but Foucault himself was never on the right nor opposed to the left.
Granted, his Nietzscheism is in total opposition to the moralizing tendencies of left-wing american academics and SJW though.
As for OP's question, I think it's the just the general bias of american academia that tends to turn everything into its own agenda.
Many academics in Europe dislike Adorno and most of the Frankfurt school because (especially aft. WW2) a lot of their thought is, quite frankly, purely reactionary. That /pol/ constantly raves against "muh frankfurt jews cultural marxists" is proof that they've never opened adorno because his ideas on art and civilization are really /pol/tard level. Benjamin is much more highly regarded there (and he was always the outsider of the frankfurt school).
My problem with relativists is that their boundaries of what constitutes a separate culture is arbitrary. Doesn't every individual have a different standard of morality? Isn't this based on their biology, upbringing, and experiences. So even if two people live within the same "culture" they can have wildly different outlooks on the world, how can a relativist condone judging them but not judging someone on the other side of the world for the same beliefs? It seems that relativists will use their model to rationalize the actions of some but not the actions of all, especially those they themselves disagree with on a personal level.
Also I don't think moral nihilists would deny the concept of morality. It's obvious that people have psychological reactions to things they find immoral, so it would be stupid to say that morality doesn't have real world affects. Only that it is all constructed and can easily be repudiated for personal gain.
Your religion comparison is problematic because it assumes a polytheist can believe in two gods whose existence would require the denial of the other. This honestly doesn't make sense, sure you can respect the beliefs of others but how do you truly believe in two contradictory gods?
There is no such thing as "Critical Theory." It's a bastard term coined by the English departments who do not understand intellectual history and always follow after the latest fads until they lose interest.
It's because the right wing these days are anti-intellectual and anti-academia.
Academia = left wing.
TUNE INTO ALEX JONES ON INFOWARS FOR THE TTTTTRRRRUUUTTTHHH ALSO MAKE SURE TO WATCH SARGON OF AKKAD! = Right wing.
I honestly don't even bother having philosophical, political or social debates with right wingers anymore because every time I have to constantly re-explain the most basic of basic political science and sociology and then they will always throw out "DUUUR ACADEMIA CONSPIRACY BLAH BLAH" and post a fucking Sargon of Akkad or Christina Hoff Sommers video at me.
I would love if the intellectual conservatism pre-Reagan still existed, but it doesn't, conservatism today isn't even so much conservatism and more falls into a line of just mindless reactionism.
Let's be honest. A fair amount of academia is inherently dishonest and biased. You talk down about right-wing people being anti-intellectual, but a major key to that is the fact that people with right-leaning tendencies are discriminated against and blacklisted in academic circles. Even just being a student and offering opinions that aren't leftist in nature is often highly discouraged and prone to turning you into a pariah. If you can't see the blatant hypocrisy that's so rife in today's academia, it's because you're willfully blind to it. I'll also add that a lot of left-wing political theories are convoluted garbage.
>Reality doesn't agree with outdated conservative ideas so its an academia conspiracy.
This is why the "Reality is left wing" meme comes from, because science and evidence is always ignored by the right as some sort of lefty academia love in.
If the right had evidence or theories backing up anything they say, they would be taken seriously in academia, but they don't, because the right is built largely upon shitting all over academia and viewing the world in black and white where subtlety isn't allowed to exist.
Ha. Is this the type of logic that passes in leftist academic circles? No wonder you have a hard time in debates with people of different viewpoints. Imagine for a second if I said that because a black man is president and there's a black man on the supreme court, that there are no issues with racism in America. You'd probably think I was a god damn idiot, right?
>because science and evidence is always ignored by the right as some sort of lefty academia love in.
Both left and right are guilty of ignoring science because it contradicts their political opinions.
Leftists, for instance, willfully ignore differences in average cognitive abilities between the races. They also seem to be unaware that X and Y chromosomes determine your biological gender, not your feelings.
>but a major key to that is the fact that people with right-leaning tendencies are discriminated against and blacklisted in academic circles.
You do realize that even at UC Berkley, one of the largest organizations is their local student Republican body, right? This whole "right wingers are demonized in academia" is bullshit pushed by pundits.
Oh, I'll readily admit that most conservatives constantly employ logical fallacies and questionable statistics in their arguments. Both sides do. To say that reality disagrees with any form of conservative principle tells me that I can't actually have a worthwhile conversation with you.
> Imagine for a second if I said that because a black man is president and there's a black man on the supreme court, that there are no issues with racism in America.
But right wing people actually do that.
>This whole "right wingers are demonized in academia" is bullshit pushed by pundits.
You cannot be serious.
What's your opinion about the brouhaha which surrounded Jason Richwine's thesis?
>Founded on bad science
Define "bad science".
Science which goes against leftist ideology?
What is "good science"? Care to give an example? A thesis on "pansexual genderqueer women in the rural Congo"?
The truth is, he got btfo because he dared to go against the leftist egalitarian dogma which permeates - sorry, which INFECTS academia.
Only a dishonest leftist or a complete idiot would fail to see that. Which are you?
>Define "bad science".
Science stemming from an obvious ideological bias to push a political ideal.
>Science which goes against leftist ideology?
>What is "good science"? Care to give an example? A thesis on "pansexual genderqueer women in the rural Congo"?
Science which stems from falsifiable positions, without an ideological bias.
>The truth is, he got btfo because he dared to go against the leftist egalitarian dogma which permeates - sorry, which INFECTS academia.
Baseless assertion. Right wingers are quite present in academia. See my point about UC Berkley.
>Only a dishonest leftist or a complete idiot would fail to see that. Which are you?
Wow, thank you so much. This is the first an only time I've ever had the opportunity to use an ad hominem argument, since you're attacking my character as an argument, rather than simply name calling.
Not him, but there being a student-union for the purpose of promoting conservative ideas at UC Berkeley doesn't prove that there's not a leftist bias present in much of academia. That's fallacious reasoning.
>Science stemming from an obvious ideological bias to push a political ideal.
But that's a shitty definition. You could argue that Galileo suffered from an ideological bias (a rejection of clerical dogma) when he proposed the theory of heliocentrism.
Don't you agree that the science itself is more important than the ideological bias from which it stems (as long as the science itself is devoid of ideological bias)? Probably not, because you're a rabid ideologue.
Anyways, do you also decry egalitarian social studies? Because they also suffer from an ideological bias. I guess not, because they suffer from the =>correct<= ideological bias, amirite?
>Science which stems from falsifiable positions, without an ideological bias.
Everything in Richwine's thesis was falsifiable. Your "ideological bias" criteria is a literal meme (see above)
>Baseless assertion. Right wingers are quite present in academia. See my point about UC Berkley.
A single republican student association is not "proof" of the absence of leftwing domination of academia, you fucking moron, especially since we're not talking about the students but about the faculty.
>Wow, thank you so much. This is the first an only time I've ever had the opportunity to use an ad hominem argument, since you're attacking my character as an argument, rather than simply name calling.
It was actually more of an insult than an ad hominem.
Anyways, kill yourself.
Having a large right wing/republican student body or giving degrees to conservative students is one thing having a large conservative professoral body is an entirely different things.
Outside of traditionally more conservative fields (law, economics, International relations) it's pretty well accepted, even by academics themselves, that there is a strong predominance of liberal viewpoints.
This in turns, weighs in on what constitutes acceptable or valuable discourse, mostly in the humanities but also in the hard science (a biology hypothesis can be just as political as a history paper).
>My problem with relativists is that their boundaries of what constitutes a separate culture is arbitrary.
Cool. Take it up with them. I'm not a fucking relativist, as I've said before.
>So even if two people live within the same "culture" they can have wildly different outlooks on the world, how can a relativist condone judging them but not judging someone on the other side of the world for the same beliefs?
Again, you are conflating all relativism with normative relativism. There are relativists who believe morality *is* determined by culture, either as a description of behavioral regularity or an actual insistence of moral realism, but don't necessarily condemn people judging other cultures. That's normative relativism only.
If I were to play devil's advocate, I would say that "biology, upbringing and experiences" are all related to culture, and that a broader community itself has much more power to shape an individual than the other way around. Cultural boundaries - I agree - are arbitrary, but so are a lot of things when you really break it down. We can all recognize to some fuzzy extent how typical British customs differ from Japan or Saudi Arabia.
The universalist is not free from cultural influence either, IMO. More so than the nihilist, since univeralists and absolutists tend to be divine command theorists and believe in a God that claims to be monotheistic king of everything but betrays itself as being quite... local in some aspects. The fact that Jesus didn't appear to the Australian aborigines is one example.
>Also I don't think moral nihilists would deny the concept of morality. It's obvious that people have psychological reactions to things they find immoral, so it would be stupid to say that morality doesn't have real world affects
Nihilists don't deny this. Whether this makes morality a universal property independent of human thought is another matter.
>Your religion comparison is problematic because it assumes a polytheist can believe in two gods whose existence would require the denial of the other. This honestly doesn't make sense, sure you can respect the beliefs of others but how do you truly believe in two contradictory gods?
I think you lack perspective. The way that modern Chinese/Japanese see religion or the way that pre-Christian Europeans saw their pantheons was very different today and the concept that scripture and oral stories were absolute, exclusive and infallible was not really a common thing until the Abrahamic faiths took off. Just like protestants have excluded the deuterocanon and gnostic heresies from their "official" 66 books of the Bible, and differ themselves in individual interpretation of scripture, each polytheist would reconcile different pantheons in different ways. Since religion and stories are still generally considered imperfect retellings of divine events whether you're a monotheist or a polytheist, and those who claim scriptural infallibility are quickly made a laughing stock. Even what I'm writing right now is kinda biased because oral tradition has also been prominent yet ignored due to the dominance of the Bible in modern society, and you can see how something like oral transmission mutates much faster and has many more varying "versions" than something written down. ALL religions require mental gymnastics and I hardly see how polytheism differs in this case from monotheism. Look at how Christians try to explain seemingly contradictory problems like the Trinity or the Problem of Evil. The apologetics often come off as contrived even to a believer.
To be honest, your repeated assertion that "their beliefs don't make sense!" is kinda pissing me off. Partially because your inability to agree with someone else's viewpoint and reasoning for it doesn't justify conflating two different worldviews like relativism and nihilism, just because you disagree with both.
>But that's a shitty definition. You could argue that Galileo suffered from an ideological bias (a rejection of clerical dogma) when he proposed the theory of heliocentrism.
Galileo did, however. Part of the reason he got in shit is because what he was teaching at the time didn't make sense from a then current understanding of science.
>Don't you agree that the science itself is more important than the ideological bias from which it stems (as long as the science itself is devoid of ideological bias)? Probably not, because you're a rabid ideologue.
The only rabid ideologue here is the one currently bitching at me. Also, the science is fundamentally flawed if it stems from an ideological bias. It may have useful data, but that data is irrelevant until the extent of its bias is understand and accounted for sufficiently.
>Anyways, do you also decry egalitarian social studies? Because they also suffer from an ideological bias. I guess not, because they suffer from the =>correct<= ideological bias, amirite?
Yes, actually. Social sciences have serious problems in their methodology that stem largely from the fact their primary test subjects tend to be university students.
>Everything in Richwine's thesis was falsifiable.
That was incorrectly stated on my part. Stemming from a position of attempting falsification, would be the correct way of putting it. I think he started with his premise and built his data to suit it, rather than attempting to falsify that premise.
>Your "ideological bias" criteria is a literal meme (see above).
>A single republican student association is not "proof" of the absence of leftwing domination of academia, you fucking moron, especially since we're not talking about the students but about the faculty.
You claimed flat out that the right wing is demonized in academia, and included students in the mix. Here >>534388
Also it was exactly an ad hominem.
>The french deconstructivist school leads to New Right.
It cannot be historically the case since deconstruction dates from the 1970s and the New Right has roots in the immediate postwar.
Unless by deconstruction you mean something else.
ITT people who did not read Joseph de Maistre
(or they did but it doesn't show)