“The internal contradictions inside intersectionality-as-praxis are a thing to behold. For students who’ve drunk themselves silly on Critical Theory, it’s astonishing how they cannot follow a line of argument to logical conclusion. There actually is no theory undergirding this praxis — it’s opportunism all the way down.”

Hammer to nail. Thank you for this nugget of gold. I’ve been out of the Marxist conversation for years and have proven so here with my comical fumblings in the past but IIRC Critical Theory is founded on the idea of “constant criticism” from somewhere in the vast forest of the Beards writings. But I strongly suspect his concept was viewed through the lens of a materialist basis, something “concrete.” There were, if not absolute beginnings and ends, then stages, transitions, thresholds that could be used to map out the landscape, if you will. A sense of direction, of historical development.

What I have failed to avoid of this Critical Theory’s literature and pretty much all of the related discussions I have had seem to be kind of free floating, neither a sound epistemic nor a material basis to be found. It’s all airy-fairy, concept chasing concept chasing whimsy, never planting it’s feet anywhere. Coming from me, that’s saying something.

Which makes it an agile if ultimately impotent weapon. It can be fitted with whatever hatreds, Woke moments, prejudices, T-shirt slogans, misconceptions, View opinions, Tweets, fortune cookie adages, confabulations, fabrications, Oprah-ism’s, or whatever you want and fired endlessly at an opponent. You never run out of ammo because what you are saying isn’t based on anything; you can’t empty what was never loaded in the first place. They make “pew! pew!” noises at you to death. It’s like arguing with an 8 year old who responds to every claim you make with “You’re wrong and I hate you!”

A woman I dated years ago, a Woman’s Studies graduate student, and I used to argue about Critical Theory. I said that without a material basis, a foundation in real, historical, and immediate socioeconomic conditions, CT ultimately just consumes itself. It falls on it’s own sword. As you pointed to above, she couldn’t follow my arguments (whether correct or not), instead descending into a self referential loop and finally indirect ad hominen attacks like “(straight)Men just don’t get it…”

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