Wait, what?! Postmodernism in its original form would be against Critical Social Justice?! You heard that right. It, like Marxism, would have been, and to the extent that it still gets forwarded, it is.
To explore this seemingly bizarre fact, James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose join old-school postmodernist and libertarian thinker Thaddeus Russell on the Unregistered podcast. In this episode of the Unregistered podcast, these three thinkers take a very deep dive into the roots of Critical Social Justice and its Theory. This means diving deep into each of Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, critical theories more broadly, postmodern Theory, and the more modern fusion of these, for the agenda of Social Justice through identity politics: Critical Social Justice.
In this podcast, the three tease apart the contributions of the original Critical Theorists (1920s-1970s), original postmodernists (1960s-1980s), and today’s Critical Social Justice ideologues (“1989”-ish to present) and discuss how these various threads have contributed to today’s runaway moral panic and culture war. Though they each have disagreements with one another in the details, they generally concur that Critical Social Justice is a continuation of the radical New Left (thus Critical Theory) that has taken up elements of postmodern Theory to push its allegedly Socially Just metanarrative: “The Right Side of History.”
Thaddeus Russell has taught at six elite American universities, including teaching modules on postmodern thought, and has since founded his own educational platform, Renegade University, in addition to hosting the Unregistered podcast. He is also the author of A Renegade History of the United States.
Helen Pluckrose is an independent scholar of culture and postmodernism who led the collaboration with James Lindsay on the forthcoming book Cynical Theories (due out “after the pandemic”), which explores the postmodern influences upon Critical Social Justice.