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Critical Theory


Critical Theory was created by a group of Marxists at the Frankfurt School in Germany during the 1930s. It is an analytical framework they used specifically to explain why oppressed workers do not rise up in every country against their capitalist oppressor. Their analysis identified three cultural factors that accounted for worker resistance to do so, namely traditional family, culture, and religion. They were forced out of Germany during the Nazis era and established a new home at Columbia University in New York.

From there, appreciation for Critical Theory spread throughout the U. S. education system and gave rise to the Woke movement, which substitutes alleged forms of oppression in U. S. culture, including racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny, for the Marxist oppression of the worker class by the capitalist class. In other words, Marxists used their Critical Theory specifically to analyze worker oppression by capitalists—Critical Class Theory—and people in the Woke movement use it more broadly to analyze all forms of alleged cultural oppression. Examples include oppression due to racial and transgender differences—Critical Race Theory and Critical Transgender Theory respectfully.

In order to achieve its goals, people in the Woke movement attack all three of the alleged causes of resistance. With support from educators throughout the education system, liberal and progressive politicians, and the news and social media, the attacks take the form of voicing opposition to non-inclusive concepts of family, cultural values, and religious beliefs; shaming alleged oppressors; and inciting those who are identified as oppressed to engage in all manner of civil unrest. The forms of unrest include protests, confrontation, destruction of property, arson, looting, and violence against law enforcement and anyone else who opposes them.

People who are Woke perceive themselves as anti-fascist and the opposition as fascist. They believe they are cleansing the culture while the opposition believes they are cancelling or destroying it.


Woke has been effective in intimidating the opposition by branding it racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and misogynist. And to date, Wokeism seems to be gaining in strength over the opposition, primarily because of support from the news and social media, including CNN, MSNBC, Google, and Facebook. Ironically, if that continues, it suggests in Woke terminology that the movement is well on the way to establishing itself as an oppressor and the opposition as the oppressed—Critical Woke Theory.

Copyright © 2021 Frank Zahn.

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