- Karl Marx is considered foundational in some theories of public administration, where academics define government in communist terms.
- The same ideology Marx used to talk about class struggle was expanded to talk about race, where whiteness is oppression and some minorities are its victims.
- This racist ideology is popular in NZ social sciences and left-wing politics.
When equity means communism
This topic may seem far-fetched, but its influence is real and very visible in NZ, even though its followers often will not know the details. It essentially gives a bureaucrat a green light to import woke principles into their government job.
In part one we asked why Marxist ideas are still so popular in academia despite their awful track record in practice.
Karl Marx, along with the later Max Weber and Émile Durkheim, provided the theoretical background for public administration. When the Frankfurt School created Critical Theory to expand Marxism beyond class, this paved the way for bureaucracies to aim not just for economic equality, but equality in every way (see part one).
This was laid out by a more recent “founding father of public administration”, George Fredrickson, who defined equity as “an administered political economy in which shares are adjusted so that citizens are made equal”. This is a fair definition of communism.
His work eventually resulted in The Social Equity Manifesto of 2018, a radical redefinition of government that teaches bureaucrats “equity is a foundational anchor, not just a pillar, of public administration”. It is stretched to the point where “violations of equity are seen as contrary to democracy.”
Fredrickson was a scholar of the history of racism and white supremacy. “Equity” took off in the West through race-based policies, following Critical Race Theory (CRT).
Whiteness as property
In 1993, civil rights and CRT professor Cheryl Harris wrote a famous article called Whiteness as Property. She explained that whiteness or white privilege constitutes a kind of cultural private property. People without that are people of colour, and they are oppressed by systemic racism. Whiteness must be abolished in order to have racial justice.
Marx said the wealthy were automatically guilty of oppressing the lower class by participating in the capitalist system. So long as poverty exists, the wealthy are oppressors. According to CRT, anyone who is white or “acts white” is automatically guilty of oppressing minority races by participating in a racist system.
In this framework white supremacy isn’t the belief that white people are superior. Rather, white supremacy is the systematic racism that we know exists because we define differences between groups as oppressive. And anyone who fails to embrace the revolutionary thinking that is CRT, regardless of skin colour, has adopted the ideology of white supremacy in their mind.
Under CRT, not only is it acceptable to consider whiteness evil, one must believe this in order to not be considered racist. White people should kneel and beg forgiveness for their systematic racism. While this attitude started in the US, it is increasingly evident in NZ in the rhetoric of academics, activists, bureaucrats and politicians.
Critical Race Theory is class consciousness for race
Repurposing Marx’s words about class: the goal of CRT is to awaken a racial consciousness in people so they will band together and seize the means of cultural production, so that “white” cultural production is no longer the dominant mode.
Clearly this has been successful in many bureaucracies, where CRT ideology is now dominant. An egregious example is NZ’s Race Relations Commission, where former Commissioner Meng Foon spoke disparagingly of white people and refused to condemn anti-white racism.
Next we will look at:
- how Critical Theory also encompasses nationality, gender, and sexuality
- why those who endorse this ideology resist the obvious comparison to Marxism, and
- why the left-wing elite abandoned the working class.