The majority of the conservatives and truly liberal in our nation are focused on the ideological threat posed by Critical Race Theory (CRT) in education, faith, and in our corporate sector. While understanding and providing solid answers to the claims of CRT is a necessary endeavor, it is important to help understand how these cancerous ideologies have spread throughout our education system. Just as Critical Race Theory approaches the topic of race from the perspective of Critical Theory (neo-Marxism), there is a Critical Theory of Education as well. Because the formal term for a theory of education is “pedagogy,” the application of Critical Theory both to and within education is known as Critical Pedagogy.
Depending on how one wants to count it, Critical Pedagogy has a broad history reaching back at least a century to the emergence of Western or Cultural Marxism in Europe in the late 1910s. The Albanian-Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci wrote strongly about the need for a Marxist infiltration and reorganization of education so that Western cultures could be prepared generationally for Marxist Revolution. His associate, the Hungarian Marxist Theorist György Lukács, thought similarly and, in his role as Deputy Commissar of Education in the short-lived Socialist Hungarian state in 1919, implemented a Marxist education program that, among other things, prominently featured a very explicit sexual education with the deliberate intention of demoralizing society and getting Hungarian children to feel alienated against both their parents and the Christian religion.
Critical Pedagogy draws from these earlier attempts in Marxist education along with Marxist thought throughout the entirety of the 20th century but is specifically a product of the 1980s following its development by the American-Canadian Marxist education Theorist Henry Giroux. Giroux, already a proponent of “radical education” and Critical Theory created and began to implement what is now known as Critical Pedagogy (or, Critical Education Theory) after stumbling upon the magnum opus of the Brazilian Marxist education guru Paulo Freire, namely his 1970 book The Pedagogy of the Oppressed. There, Giroux found not only the framework but also the student-centered approach that he was looking for so his radical education could break down the alleged teacher/student power dynamic in the classroom and break away from the reproduction of cultural hegemony through education. That is, Freire, also a student of Gramsci, allowed Giroux to understand how to actualize Gramscian-Marxist ideas in North American colleges of education and, subsequently, classrooms.
Through the late 1970s and into the 1980s, Giroux adapted Freire’s ideas to the North American educational context while weaving in “the European theorists,” including Gramsci in addition to neo-Marxists like Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse alongside postmodernists like Jackie “Jaques” Derrida. The result is a theory of education firmly rooted in both Marxian and Critical Marxian critique and Theory that rapidly colonized colleges of education, largely due to Giroux’s tireless work to get as many Critical Pedagogists tenured in American and Canadian colleges of education as quickly as possible. The result was, by at least the early 1990s, a complete takeover of the education of educators throughout American colleges of education. What they learned for themselves and learned to apply is Critical Pedagogy.
Since 1990, Critical Pedagogy has evolved significantly. First, poststructuralist (and postmodern) approaches to feminism radically reoriented it toward standpoint theory, Gender and Queer Theory, and the underlying feminist notion that “the personal is political.” Second, as poststructuralist feminist became intersectional, Critical Race Theory began to become dominant within education. These three successive turns toward Critical Theories have resulted in the severely broken educational system we have today, infused as they are with Critical Race Theory and intentionally destabilizing Lukácsian sexual perversion.
Join Michael O’Fallon of Sovereign Nations and James Lindsay of New Discourses as they walk through the foundations of Critical Pedagogy, revealing a key component of how the Great Gaslight has been arranged and is accomplished.
Previous episodes of The Great Gaslight may be viewed here.