Critical Race Theory Is a Direct Attack on Market Freedom
Critical race theory (CRT) has become the cultural wedge issue of 2021. An important question is what will be CRT’s effect on the future of freedom.
Because CRT assumes a finite economic pie and posits all economic interactions as zero-sum, the continuing adoption of CRT in American society will necessarily lead the US away from free markets and further down the road to serfdom.
Critical race theory is a subset of critical theory. Critical theory is the world view which holds that oppression along race, class, and gender lines is the distinguishing attribute of Western civilization, both currently and historically.
As a variant of critical theory, critical race theory emphasizes racism in the “intersectionality” of race, class, and gender exploitation.
CRT’s view of historical change stands diametrically opposed to that of libertarianism and historical liberalism (i.e., “classical liberalism.”) Libertarianism attributes recent centuries’ monumental advances in wealth and the standard of living to the protection of individual natural rights to life, liberty, and property. Moreover, libertarians believe that economic freedom creates positive-sum exchanges among individuals and between racial groups and greatly expands a civilization’s overall economic pie.
Critical race theorists (CRTs) hold a fundamentally different perspective. CRTs believe that the world economic pie has mostly shifted, not grown, from the Third World to the First World since the advent of capitalism. CRTs maintain that racial oppression in the form of slavery, segregation, imperialism, colonialism, and expropriation of indigenous lands explains, for example, why the US today, with 4.25 percent of the world’s population, possesses 29.9 percent of the world’s wealth. Internationally, CRTs note that Western imperialism and colonialism extracted valuable resources such as slaves and oil from the Third World. To CRTs, imperialism and colonialism explain today’s Western economic prosperity. And within the US, CRTs hold that wealth and economic power have been appropriated by whites from blacks and Hispanics through slavery and segregation, and from Native Americans through the confiscation of aboriginal lands.
The primary metric used by CRTs in differentiating oppressor racial groups from oppressed racial groups is each group’s overall wealth and income. Because whites possess a disproportionately large share of wealth, power, and privilege in the US today, CRTs view whites as the oppressor racial group. Because blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans possess a disproportionately small share of America’s wealth, power, and privilege, CRTs view them as the oppressed racial groups. (Note that Asian Americans are highly inconvenient to the CRT orthodoxy, since they significantly outearn whites.)
For example, because blacks comprise 12.4 percent of the US population, yet are less than 12.4 percent of America’s doctors, lawyers, and engineers, CRTs claim the US is “systemically racist” against blacks. Since Hispanics and Native Americans are also underrepresented in America’
Article from Mises Wire