Critical Theory exerts a significant intellectual hold on the formation of policy and the conduct of discourse in the Australian public sphere. In its essential form, Critical Theory holds that there are many biases and imbalances of power in society which are hidden from view by dominant cultural structures, such as use of language and the ways in which knowledge is imparted. These structures are deemed ‘problematic’ and need to be identified, exposed, and overturned in the name of Social Justice.
The influence of Critical Theory upon the language, culture and institutions of Australia threatens to erode our liberal traditions of tolerance and liberty. This danger is expressed in a sustained and aggressive activism that has spilled out of university campuses and into our schools, businesses, defence forces, the not-for-profit sector, the churches, the medical profession, and much of the media. From there, it is directed against all the perceived injustices that, together, are deemed to comprise the toxic legacy of imperialist Western civilisations.
This report examines the impact of Critical Theory and argues that it is a revolutionary movement intent upon nothing less than the overthrow of secular, liberal democracy.
What is Critical Theory?
In its essential form, Critical Theory holds that there are many biases and imbalances of power in society which are actually hidden from view by dominant cultural structures, such as use of language and the ways in which knowledge is imparted. These structures are deemed ‘problematic’ by Critical Theory and need to be identified, exposed, and overturned in the name of Social Justice.
This is a narrow and doctrinaire interpretation of what most people commonly understand ‘social justice’ to mean. The aim of Social Justice is to correct bias and prejudice, and to redress imbalances in power. It pursues its objectives by silencing — or ‘cancelling’ — dissenting opinion and deleting unwelcome ideas. These practices are bundled together under the term, ‘woke’*, because Social Justice activists believe they, alone, are ‘awakened’ to the realities of oppression and prejudice. Historian, Giles Udy, has explained Critical Theory like this:
Critical Theory views humanity through cynical, reductive eyes. It analyses society and human relationships through the lens of power, classifying society into oppressors and oppressed. Unlike Marxism, it does so not by class alone but also by race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and so on.
Also by Peter Kurti: Cancelled! How ideological cleansing threatens Australia, (Centre for Independent Studies: Sydney, 2020)
Paul Karp, “Australia urged to adopt plan to fight ‘resurgence of racism”’, The Guardian, (17 March 2021), Australia urged to adopt plan to fight ‘resurgence of racism’ | Australia news | The Guardian
Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, “The Chauvin Verdict: Guilty”, Wall Street Journal (20 April 2021) https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-chauvin-verdict-guilty-11618963866?mod=opinion_lead_pos1