For years, leftists scoffed at those of us who warned that postmodernist “Critical Theory” and “Literary Deconstruction” were political tools to propagandize students and gain power at the expense of individual liberty. Even as most “educators” denied having a collectivist agenda, they dismissed the idea that it was unfair to students and authors for professors or high school teachers to dictate without explicit author acknowledgment that a work of fiction had a hidden meaning.
Even when we could point to the socialist origins of the pseudointellectual “Critical Theory” pedagogy, and explain that it was created and promulgated for political ends, many of the lower-order teachers either didn’t believe, didn’t care, or possibly harbored inclinations in favor of the tax-subsidized practice to propagandize young people. Hey, lying, abusing dead authors, anything was okay to “remake the world” the way the Fabian Socialists of the late 19th and early 20th Century wanted it remade. Just deny the reasons, and claim it was all for “intellectual growth”.
Well, a new story shows us that the postmodernist “social justice” education agenda is real, it’s expanding, and it’s so popular among the intelligentsia that they’re no longer hiding their true intent in the upper echelons.
Instead, they’re openly avowing the expansion of “Critical Theory” into…
Indeed, for decades, parents have complained about students being given math questions in which the actual substance of the work was wrapped in some kind of politically correct message. But this takes it a step further.
As Toni Airaksinen writes for Campus reform, University of Illinois-Chicago Math Professor Eric Gutstein is calling for the explicit practice of “Critical Mathematics” with the goal of achieving radical political change. His mighty Marxist rallying cry, entitled, “The Struggle Is Pedagogical”, is a chapter in the thrilling new book, “The Philosophy of Mathematics Education Today”, edited by Paul Ernest, of the University of Exeter, in the UK.
Airaksinen explains his grant position:
Traditional mathematics education, he complains, ‘is not sufficient and does not address many issues’ necessary to ‘critical mathematics.’
Of course! Because it’s not just math now, it’s “Critical Math”, ie, infuse it with “meaning”, meaning of a collectivist political nature.
And he continues:
In my work, I argue that K-12 students need to be prepared through their mathematics education to investigate and critique injustice (such as racism and language discrimination), and to challenge, in words and actions, oppressive structures and acts.
So he regurgitates the fallacies that there are such things as “oppressive structures” and “language discrimination” – which, of course, will be continually promoted and redefined however the collectivists want in order to gain rhetorical and, thus, political, power. And he tells readers that math isn’t just math, it’s a weapon of social justice war.
Don’t believe it? Here’s more from Professor Gutstein:
For example, how does one shift contexts from ostensibly apolitical ones to those that are explicitly political…?
Notice he writes “from ostensibly apolitical” contexts for math.
But the funny, wacky, crazy thing about math is that it is its own thing. By definition, it’s not just “ostensibly” apolitical – it is apolitical. Mathematical principles exist independent of context, especially political context. They exist a-priori, are derived through observation, and exist without regard to why or how humans want to use them. That’s the whole point about math, Professor Gutstein.
Physics, vectors, weight-bearing, friction, optics, gravitation, electricity, arithmetical calculation, they’re all value and context free! What an amazing thing!
The rightness or wrongness of a calculation for a weight-bearing beam is not dependent on race, gender, or any other social Marxist context in which one would like to slip it. One either correctly performs the math, or the house falls down.
Two plus two equals four, regardless of whether it’s four white people, four blue people, four gay people, four straight people, or any combination of four people. Even Heisenberg's "Uncertainty Principle" requires value-free calculation to discover.
And if, decade after decade after decade, certain genders seem to contain populations that are more or less attracted to math, perhaps that’s not a “white, patriarchal” conspiracy. Perhaps there really are differences in the sexes. Perhaps one does a disservice to people when trying to claim that “apolitical” math perpetuates “injustice and inequality”.
Perhaps math is, for the love of God, APOLITICAL.
Frustration aside, this kind of public pronouncement serves a great purpose. As I mentioned at the outset, it adds even more evidence to the argument that “Critical Theory” is, and always has been, a collectivist tool to achieve political ends. Now, the “Critical Math” agenda is rising to follow its wicked postmodernist brothers in the fetid field of literary and art theory, and we can see even more clearly the wider picture.
We can see that this agenda is not just targeted at professors on the college level. Gutstein instructs people intent on teaching kids in public schools. He works at a “Teachers College”, following in the footsteps of many others who have used those houses of ill repute to mentally brand their students prior to setting them in front of children in public schools all over the nation.
It is a practice that goes back to a transplanted Scottish collectivist named Robert Owen, who traveled to the US in the early 19th Century to start a “school” in Indiana, a school that would later be replicated by the likes of Progressive Horace Mann and pushed by John Dewey as government got more involved in what had formerly been privately provided education… A school created to orient teachers towards collectivism. As Dr. Samuel Blumenfeld wrote in “Is Public Education Necessary?”, his trenchant history of this movement:
Thus, by 1826, before the word socialism was even coined, the promotion of public education was, to the Owenites, synonymous with the promotion of socialism.
It’s been happening for almost two centuries in the US. From the Owenites, to the Fabian Socialists, to the Progressives, to todays entrenched Professoriate, teaching teachers who will, in turn, teach your kids.
It’s about collectivism. It’s always been about collectivism. The subject being taught is irrelevant, as long as the individual and respect for that individual, is destroyed.
But we will not forget. Context be damned. Two plus two is four.