Commentary: What are critical race theory and cultural Marxism?

The takeover of education and infiltration of our major institutions is well-organized and more advanced than most people realize.

A Karl Marx statue in Revolution Square in Moscow, Russia. (Shutterstock)

Critical race theory (CRT) is a component of cultural Marxism, also called “neo-Marxism.” For this reason, defining CRT requires that cultural Marxism be defined as well. The overall goal of cultural Marxism and CRT is the overthrow of Western culture — including what it calls the “meta-narratives”: our Constitution with its Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, free enterprise, and Ten Commandments along with all of Christianity. It is replacing these old narratives with new narratives of manmade climate change; gender as a choice, not genetics; the view that morality is disguised discrimination; comprehensive sex-ed (CSE); social emotional learning (SEL); COVID-19 with its vaccines; and CRT.

Cultural Marxism and CRT are largely the same except that cultural Marxism is much broader in scope.

To define CRT in one sentence, CRT is the demonizing of our nation’s foundational principles, values, and documents and replacing them with the building blocks of cultural Marxism.

CRT replaces the old Marxist dichotomy of the bourgeoisie (oppressor class) versus the proletariat (oppressed class) with identity categories: whites (oppressor class) versus blacks (oppressed class) and other oppressor/oppressed classes. CRT alleges that our history and culture must be understood in terms of the conflict between these new oppressor/oppressed classes. To solve this problem, they say, the United States must be transformed through religious, educational, economic, cultural and political revolution.

How significant is CRT? Prominent scholar, Christopher Rufo, says this:

“… over the past decade it [CRT] has increasingly become the default ideology in our public institutions. It has been injected into government agencies, public school systems, teacher training programs, and corporate human resources departments in the form of diversity training programs, human resources modules, public policy frameworks, and school curricula.”

Our public education system is being transformed from being knowledge-based to being ideological training for American children, not to be well-educated patriotic Americans, but to instead become militant Marxists. In view of this reality, on July 29-30, 2022, nationally recognized scholar and writer James Lindsay hosted a workshop called “The Marxification of Education Workshop,” in recognition that our schools are now training our children to be Marxists.

CRT’s parent philosophy — cultural Marxism — is relatively recent in its development. By the 1960s, the leftist intellectuals were beginning to acknowledge the many atrocities and overall failure of conventional Marxism. For that reason, they left it behind and gravitated to neo-Marxism, an ideology which had been developed and promoted by Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937).

Achieving the Marxist takeover of society and government, Gramsci said, requires indoctrination from two venues: (1) education and (2) the media. This indoctrination, said Gramsci, will be accomplished by changing (a) our common language and (b) our national narratives.

Changing of our national narratives was accurately described by The Federalist as it reported on the pervasive demonizing of our national foundational principles. The Federalist said this:

“The National Archives Records Administration placed a ‘harmful content’ warning on the Constitution, labeling it ‘harmful or difficult to view.’ The warning also applies to … the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.
The NARA noted that so-called harmful historical documents could ‘reflect racist, sexist, ableist, misogynistic/misogynoir, and xenophobic opinions and attitudes.'”

The new Minnesota proposed teacher certification rules reveal other specific ways neo-Marxists indoctrinate our children with the building blocks of their worldview. These proposed certification rules require the following:

1) Teachers must “help students develop positive social identities based upon their membership in multiple groups in society.” (This standard requires the adoption of the Marxist principle that group identities must replace individual identities.)

2) Teachers must understand “systemic trauma,” including “medical fragility,​ racism, and micro and macro aggressions.” (Meaning teachers must teach all classes from the viewpoint of CRT.)

3) Teachers must be “inclusive” to reflect “diversity of cultures.” (Teachers will be required to affirm homosexuality, transgenderism, and gender as a choice, not genetics, and to promote the absence of moral standards for sexual practices and all other activities — which sets the stage for normalizing pedophilia and other perversions.)

4) Teachers must create “opportunities for students to learn about power, privilege,​ intersectionality, and systemic oppression in the context of various communities and​ empower learners to be agents of social change to promote equity.” (All classes and activities must be viewed through the prism of CRT.)

5) Teachers must develop “learning experiences that engage students in collaborative​ and self-directed learning and that extend student interaction with ideas and people locally​ and globally.” (Students will be taught to not only be Marxists, but also to be local and global Marxist revolutionaries.)

(6) Teachers must understand “the historical foundations of education in Minnesota,​ including laws, policies, and practices, that have and continue to create inequitable​ opportunities, experiences, and outcomes for learners, especially for Indigenous students​ and students historically denied access, underserved, or underrepresented on the basis of​ race, class, gender, sexual orientation, language, socioeconomic status, or country of origin.” (That is, teachers must adopt the Marxist interpretation of history.)

(7) Teachers must understand “how ethnocentrism, eurocentrism, deficit-based​ teaching, and white supremacy undermine pedagogical equity.” (“Eurocentrism” and “ethnocentrism” form the core of America’s cultural, religious, and political heritage and are presented as being racist and oppressive. “Equity” means the Marxist goal of equal outcomes, not equal opportunity nor equal standing before the law.)

These proposed requirements for teacher certification reveal many of the strategies cultural Marxists use to deconstruct traditional history, morals, values, and institutions and replace them with the building blocks of neo-Marxism. This takeover of education and infiltration of our other major institutions is well-organized and more advanced than most people realize. This is why it is taking place in all 50 states at the same time.

Cultural Marxism is anti-Christian and anti-American.

The changing of our language is also well-advanced. Here are several examples of how changing our language is an assault on Christianity and on our entire culture:

a) Eliminating binary gender words damages the family by obscuring the truth that there are only two genders.

b) Requiring children to use false gender terms damages the family by turning children against their parents.

c) Demonizing our national narratives by calling them sexist, racist, homophobic, and the like poisons the water for Americans to be patriotic and grateful for our nation’s blessings.

d) Replacing our defining narratives such as the Constitution and its Bill of Rights with narratives of racial divisions undermines the truth that we are all equal before the law and equal before the God who created us and redeemed us with His death on the cross.

e) Making Christianity out to be a product of white supremacy eliminates the saving gospel message of Christ crucified for us and raised for our justification.

f) Teaching students that their gender is something they choose directly attacks the truth that God is our Creator who made us male or female. It encourages rebellion against the Creator and fosters gender confusion among vulnerable youth.

g) Teaching children that traditional morality is a tool for white supremacy gives license to engage in immoral activities that are harmful to themselves and others.

h) Teaching children and others to reject the fundamental values and documents of our faith and nation encourages them to reject the Christian faith and our nation’s sovereignty and accept atheistic global government instead.

In Colossians 2:8 the Apostle Paul said, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” Cultural Marxism is one such “hollow and deceptive philosophy.” It appears to be the dominant philosophy of our time. We would do well to understand it and the danger it poses to both the Christian Church and the American system of government.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not represent an official position of Alpha News. 


Julie Quist
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Julie Quist is the Child Protection League's board chair.

Allen Quist

Allen Quist is a former 3-term Minnesota state legislator and retired professor of Christian apologetics and political science at Bethany Lutheran College, and has authored ten books on education and Christian apologetics.