Skip to content

Apocalyptic Science: How The West Is Destroying Itself

June 28, 2020

By Paul Homewood


h/t Mr GrimNasty

From GWPF:


If you live in a Western nation like Canada in the 21st century, you have more freedom, prosperity and peace than most of the rest of the world at most other times in history. Yet these countries have never been at greater risk. The threat is not pandemics, climate change or war but something more insidious.

Modern Western civilization grew out of the Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries. The ascendancy of reason in human affairs produced the scientific method and later the Industrial Revolution. Add in the rule of law, individual liberty, private property and capitalism, and you have the basic recipe that has raised most of humanity out of poverty over two centuries.

New academic doctrines are moving the world, or at least the West, from this triumph to decline. They dismiss science — real science — in favour of political agendas, in which theory trumps facts.

Few people are familiar with Critical Theory and its related doctrines, yet these ideas today drive government policies and shape public attitudes. Capitalism is oppressive. Private property rights cause environmental destruction. Prosperity causes climate change.

The most serious threat to the West is not China or Russia but its visceral disgust with itself. A growing proportion of people — in universities, the media, politics and corporate structures — now reject the premises upon which their own thriving societies are built.

Critical Theory opposes everything that makes the West work. Unlike traditional academic inquiry, which seeks to explain and understand with logic, analysis and the scientific method, these doctrines are less theories than programs. Their purpose is to condemn cultural norms, tear down existing orders and transform society.

It all starts with Marx. Between the two world wars, scholars at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt began to investigate why Marxism was failing to catch on in the West. They broadened Marx’s tight focus on economic oppression of the working class and developed the doctrine known as Critical Theory, which is premised on the ideas that power and oppression define relationships throughout society, that knowledge is socially contingent, and that unjust Western institutions should be collapsedand reconstituted. As Marx wrote, “the philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” Critical Theory should not be confused with critical thinking. To think critically is to reason. Critical Theory’s imperatives are ideological assertions not based on scientific data or deduction.

In his seminal 1937 essay, “Traditional and Critical Theory,” Max Horkheimer, sometimes referred to as the father of critical theory, distinguished between the scientific or empirical tradition of enquiry and a critical approach that integrates numerous disciplines and incorporates historical and social influences in the enterprise of enquiry. Unlike the scientific method, which accepts observation as evidence and reproducibility as confirmation of truth, in Critical Theory, knowledge is contingent upon its origins and the social environment from which it comes. While Critical Theory shares Marx’s condemnation of capitalism and the power imbalances that define economic relationships, it rejects Marx’s essential empiricism in favour of melding science, philosophy, sociology and history into a single interdisciplinary enquiry.

Critical Theory is not a singular school of thought but a scholarly umbrella that consists of multiple approaches and variations that defy easy encapsulation. Like Critical Theory, they are activist and political. They lead with their conclusions. Embedded within them is the central tenet of postmodernism, a philosophical movement of the mid- to late 20th century. Postmodernism challenges the premises of Enlightenment reason, particularly the claim that observation and rationality can identify objective truth, whether moral or scientific.

The argument has merit: neither morality nor the scientific premise that what we perceive is real are capable of proof. Postmodernism’s Achilles heel is not its central thesis but its failure to follow it. If there is no truth, then no universal conclusions can be reached, and therefore all questions must be left to individuals.

Postmodernism embraces Critical Theory and vice versa. Progressives are apt to insist that truth is relative and subjective when they encounter facts that they do not like, but otherwise eagerly enforce “truths” that they prefer. There is no truth. […]

Indoctrination works. Hear something often enough from people in authority and you begin to believe it. In the decades following its birth at the Frankfurt School, Critical Theory and its variations made an inexorable march through universities, influencing such disparate disciplines as sociology, literary criticism and linguistics, infiltrating professional schools like teachers’ colleges and law schools, and dominating “grievance studies” such as women’s studies, gender studies and media studies.

The final conquest is now in progress inside science, technology, engineering and medical faculties. Generations of graduates, taught to believe in Critical Theory rather than how to think critically about it, now populate governments, corporate boards, human resource departments, courts, media outlets, teachers’ unions, school boards and classrooms. Critical Theory is embedded in elementary school curricula. Children carry the guilt and resentment of living in a society that they are taught is fundamentally unjust. No coup is more effective than one committed by a people against itself.

Full post


There is also another analogy which I have seen recently – the Cultural Revolution in China, which nearly destroyed the country in the 1960s.

Both concepts, which are closely interlinked, depend upon indoctrination and mindless adherence to dogma. And both rely on the rule of the mob.

  1. It doesn't add up... permalink
    June 28, 2020 9:55 pm

    See also Gove’s speech, which starts out in a way that makes you think he will point the finger in the right direction – and then goes off largely at a tangent. It’s a long read, but perhaps an important one given where he sits in government.

    Click to access Ditchley_lecture.pdf

    Reading Gove had me scurrying to the Schiller Institute, which has another long read on the history of the emergence of the Frankfurt School and the thinkers surrounding it

    The article was written in 1992, and yet presciently it concludes:

    The principles through which Western Judeo-Christian civilization was built, are now no longer dominant in our society; they exist only as a kind of underground resistance movement. If that resistance is ultimately submerged, then the civilization will not survive—and, in our era of incurable pandemic disease and nuclear weapons, the collapse of Western civilization will very likely take the rest of the world with it to Hell.

    The way out is to create a Renaissance. If that sounds grandiose, it is nonetheless what is needed. A renaissance means, to start again; to discard the evil, and inhuman, and just plain stupid, and to go back, hundreds or thousands of years, to the ideas which allow humanity to grow in freedom and goodness. Once we have identified those core beliefs, we can start to rebuild civilization.

    Ultimately, a new Renaissance will rely on scientists, artists, and composers, but in the first moment, it depends on seemingly ordinary people who will defend the divine spark of reason in themselves, and tolerate no less in others. Given the successes of the Frankfurt School and its New Dark Age sponsors, these ordinary individuals, with their belief in reason and the difference between right and wrong, will be “unpopular.” But, no really good idea was ever popular, in the beginning.

    • In the Real World permalink
      June 29, 2020 9:27 pm

      Here is another long read.
      Worth going through .
      It tells about the UN agenda 21 , & how Global Warming was invented to frighten the masses so that the UN could bring about a New World Socialist Government .

      • Ariane permalink
        June 30, 2020 6:58 am

        In the Real World, Agenda 21 is all about the wealthy and miiddle classes controlling the economic development of ‘the masses’, about ending future hopes of prosperity for the masses and about the wealthy, via well-funded globalist institutions, keeping all the resources and money for the wealthy and middle classes. Agenda 21 may be done in the name of ‘socialism’ but it is the very opposite of socialist. The AGW/climate catastrophe agenda is promoted by the very wealthy. It is undemocratic, the insitutions promoting it are unaccountable and the ideologues are malicious in their intent.

    • tom0mason permalink
      June 30, 2020 7:15 pm

      Missing document?

      Join the two lines above to make the complete web address.

      (WordPress appears not to like showing pdf file content)

  2. Harry Davidson permalink
    June 28, 2020 10:06 pm

    The essential problem is that the Millenials (most of them) think it is easy. No matter what they do with the economy, the state, immigration – it will all be alright. They know this because it always has been alright throughout their lives, and for yonks beforehand. They really don;t understand that it is possible for a country to decline into totalitarian poverty, it happens quite easily if you stop working to stop it happening.

    There are a reasonable number of young men who see the danger, but young women almost never do.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      June 29, 2020 7:45 am

      Exactly. They have no comprehension of how the economy works or why. Like the Greens, they think they can do away with what they don’t like but keep all the things they want. Many have been praised all their lives for the simplest things and many have never been told no, so they think they know everything about everything (is there anything more arrogant or insulting than “woke” as if we have noticed the problems in the world?)

      They honestly believe they can have all the stuff they want, live the lives they want, be free and healthy and have fulfilling careers, without having to work at something difficult or accept free markets and whilst telling everyone else how to live their lives. We have a significant proportion of two generations who are seriously deluded.

  3. June 28, 2020 11:27 pm

    I remember when I first read about Critical Theory and the Frankfurt School that suddenly it all made sense, from the madness in the educational system in the US, now over here and all of the activism on every pitiful subject imaginable ALL focussed only on the claimed sins of the West and in particular white males. From Climate Change through Feminism, Sexual politics and the accursed race issue the focus is all on the West and in our case on the cornerstones of our society. Tear it down is all that they want because marxism can only get a foothold in chaos. It is like a virus infecting a cell. Blair as prime minister did untold damage to our countrys democratic systems by politicising all of the non elected agencies of government. We now have an absurd situation where we have a large majority Conservative government hobbled at every turn by left wing dominated quangos, in effect Fifth Columnists in the midst of government….the Deep Far left (marxist) State. From Chiefs of Police to HR managers and Teachers Union Leaders, the system is riddled with a mono culture of Far Left indoctrinated Ideologs. Boris has a job to do ant that is to DRAIN THE SWAMP before the country descends into it, never to reappear.

  4. June 28, 2020 11:46 pm

    The West rose to such power in terms of civilization, economics and standard of living that it created the illusion of that they were nature’s keepers. This bizarre illusion is their undoing.

  5. Thomas Carr permalink
    June 29, 2020 12:27 am

    So, chaamjamal, if not nature’s keepers what are we supposed to make of the quangos and the browbeating charities and their spokesmen that preach impending perditon for our abuse of nature …………… and would we now subscribe to their special needs — for funds , that is.
    It’s a bit facile but it could be said that without the tax revenue from capitalism socialism would have little traction and less funds.

    • Ariane permalink
      June 29, 2020 10:46 am

      Thomas Carr, exactly. It’s only the very wealthy and comfortable who can turn round and criticise the processes which and people who have enabled that wealth to develop. The rest of us are just – in our ignorance – just trying to earn a crust and keep a roof over our heads.

  6. June 29, 2020 2:24 am

    People love a good apocalypse story. One of my naughty secrets is I love to read the Daily Express website each day. It’s fun.

    Lately they’ve changed from having a daily asteroid (there’s always an asteroid that’s going to kill us all) to having several daily apocalypse stories. Here’s a few:

    “Apocalypse prediction: End of the world ongoing and ‘you have opportunity to witness it'” (26 Jun)
    “End of the world: Coronavirus and famine a sign of the APOCALYPSE – claim” (26 Jun)
    “Blood Moon prophecy: End of the world preacher reveals ‘harbinger’ sign in lunar eclipse” (26 Jun)

    And so on and so on. The climateers, though, discovered that apocalypses bring in lots of money long before the Daily Express did.

  7. Simon Kelly permalink
    June 29, 2020 9:02 am

    The DefundtheBBC campaign is getting traction and has started a GoFundme. I suspect folk on here may be interested in supporting it –

  8. June 29, 2020 9:24 am

    Good article. This sentence: “While Critical Theory shares Marx’s condemnation of capitalism and the power imbalances that define economic relationships, it rejects Marx’s essential empiricism..” saves it from being the usual anti-left rant. Marx is part of the enlightenment tradition which is our common intellectual inheritance, however wrong he might have been. (Empiricists are allowed to get things wrong.)

    I’m not sure it gets to the bottom of things though. The problem with Millennials is not that they’ve been reading too much Horkheimer, but they don’t read anything. This may help to explain the similarity with the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

    As the article goes on to say: “The most serious threat to the West is not China or Russia but its visceral disgust with itself.”

  9. June 29, 2020 9:25 am

    Here is a comment just now in Lockdown Sceptics (29 June). There is a lengthy discussion on the connections between ‘Green’ , covid and Woke:
    “I think there is a huge green agenda tied in to this. Our local council have just stated they want to cancel all festivals that are not 100% carbon neutral and want to ban fireworks night. They state this is in line with the agenda to be 100% sustainable by 2030.”

    • Ariane permalink
      June 29, 2020 10:54 am

      Rosie, yes. As was said long ago: Left Wing Communism (is) an Infantile Disorder.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      June 29, 2020 3:00 pm

      That is the problem when the councils hold the licensing strings that are required for most events. Some bright spark might say vote them out but when your choice is Red Labour, Blue Labour, or LimpDumbs and all saying the same thing how does that work. At local level you might get more chance of local representatives pushing out the national party clones.

  10. Harry Passfield permalink
    June 29, 2020 9:58 am

    “It all starts with Marx. Between the two world wars, scholars at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt began to investigate why Marxism was failing to catch on in the West.”

    The problem as I see it is that as soon as Marxism succeeds it sows the seeds of it’s own failure. This is its paradox: it relies on a subservient, ‘oppressed’ working class in order to flourish and define its raison d’etre. If it worked, and lifted people out of their oppressed state there would be no need for it. That is what brought about such doctrines as Critical Theory which allowed ‘leaders’ to encourage the tearing down of the state. Pol Pot’s year Zero was the ultimate consolidation of these theories. Oppression doesn’t come much worse than that.

    Movements like BLM and XR are a danger to society as we know it, more-so than the grossly mislabelled and catch-all term, ‘the far right’ (yes, there are some very nasty right-wingers in society but I don’t believe they present as much a danger to us as the Left).

    In passing, talking about paradoxes, I noted how the act of ‘taking a knee’ in support of BLM actually started with an American Football player, Colin Kaepernick making a stand by refusing to stand for the National Anthem in protest that the state did not respect black people. Yet now they ‘take the knee’, at least, our footballers do, more in fear of not following the herd than in protest. And yet they know not whereof their protest. (Any bets on what might happen to the first player who refuses to ‘take the knee’ before a match?)

  11. Ariane permalink
    June 29, 2020 10:58 am

    A Marxist State, however, is an oxymoron. Marx said that, under socialism/communism, the workers would be in control of the means of production and the State would wither away. So wherever there is a superstrong State, there can be no Marxism in practice. The opposite, in fact.

  12. Harry Passfield permalink
    June 29, 2020 11:05 am

    This is a very good Op-Ed in the DT by Ike Ijeh about BLM:

    Why does Black Lives Matter only care about black lives when white people are threatening them?
    The movement presents an inaccurate and infantilising view of society, which strips black people of all agency

    • I don't believe it! permalink
      June 29, 2020 5:51 pm

      Read it yesterday. Don’t think the rest of the msm will cover it because it exposes their hypocrisy.

  13. MrGrimNasty permalink
    June 29, 2020 11:15 am

    As Caroline Lucas is plugging this survey ‘on behalf of’ a Parliamentary Group on the Green New Deal, I was interested…….

    “Thank you for taking the time to answer our [personal info] questions.
    Unfortunately you are not eligible to participate in this survey; based upon your answers so far most of the questions in this study would not be relevant for you to complete.
    All the best, The Opinium Team”

    May have been a blip but anyway, I am now a young Asian women from Hackney.

    It seems to be about paying ‘key’ staff more, guaranteed jobs/income, everything anti-car – including development of solar trains! (FFS), green spaces, the cleansed air myth, social housing, universal income/free housing………

    I got bored and didn’t finish, but the survey is obviously going to conclude that the Green Deal nonsense is brilliant for everyone and exactly what we all want. Even the name ‘reset’ gives the game away.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      June 29, 2020 11:54 am

      The perfect voodoo survey…

    • June 29, 2020 12:11 pm

      Thanks for this info, Mr Grim – I had wondered how these surveys always produce the required answer, and now I know “based upon your answers so far most of the questions in this study would not be relevant for you to complete.”
      Good luck as a young Asian women from Hackney.
      Too bad there aren’t enough of us to skew these surveys!

    • Geoff B permalink
      June 29, 2020 3:18 pm

      I got in as a 31 year old white asian neither male or female. living in tonbridge wells. I am 72 male grumpy, climate change denier in Newcastle. It must check geo location as it asked 3 detailed questions on which major town (out of a list) was closest, my post code first two letters and name of my constituency from a list, luckily I have a friend in tonbridge who I phoned. It seems future questions are based on previous answers. I endured to the end, but it obviously had a mission it wished to accomplish.

      I tried to paste a screenshot here but does not want to work.
      Question…I think coronavirus is a warning of the damage that we have done to our relationship with nature.
      tick, strongly agree…somewhat agree..neither agree or disagree…somewhat disagree..strongly disagree..dont know

  14. June 29, 2020 12:04 pm

    Here’s the bigger picture on all this as I see it:
    There have been two Agendas at large in the world for the last 30 years. One is ‘Woke’ which has been focused on USA and Canada.
    The other agenda is zero carbon, which has been focused here and in Australia. These two agendas both refuse objective truth. See here explaining the Woke opposition to objective truth.
    What we see now is the two Agendas being forced together, with covid-19 being used to achieve this.
    This seems to be a growing consensus (to use the word properly) in the places where I look (mainly Daily Telegraph and Lockdown Sceptics).
    At Lockdown Sceptics today they are discussing the similarity to a Maoist revolution, and China’s role can’t be a coincidence, surely.
    So: Zero Carbon and Wokeland are opposite sides of the same coin. I think our only chance of escape is to expose this and work in a vaguely coordinated fashion – but I’ve tried to talk to US sites and the problem there is that the ‘Green’ agenda is a party political one. Nobody wants to say that the Green stuff is wrong because that would make it look as if they are supporting President Trump (who, it seems, got spooked by a Anthony Fauci who seems to be an equivalent of Neil Ferguson).
    I’d be very interested to hear to what extent Paul and others agree or disagree with this analysis.

    • June 30, 2020 12:01 pm

      I’m not really sure just what “woke” means, but I think the present obsession with carbon dioxide comes about because climate change has risen to the top of the agenda in a civilisation that has solved, in large part, all the real problems.

      If a people were parachuted into an island wilderness, the list of problems to be solved would not begin with carbon dioxide.

  15. Lisa Xavier permalink
    June 30, 2020 8:31 am

    UK people:

    It’s a waste of money, anyway.

  16. June 30, 2020 11:53 am

    The most serious threat to the West is not China or Russia but its visceral disgust with itself. A growing proportion of people — in universities, the media, politics and corporate structures — now reject the premises upon which their own thriving societies are built.

    England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. — George Orwell, 80 years ago

  17. July 1, 2020 9:56 am

    From the original article, “The final conquest is now in progress inside science, technology, engineering and medical faculties.” … this isn’t quite right, though, is it? The destruction of the physical sciences has been going on (intensely) for the last 30 years, via ‘global warming/climate change’. It’s just that nobody in society at large took much notice of what was going on.
    So they are opposite sides of the same coin – Critical Theory has been focused on destroying the arts for 30 years while climate change has been destroying science.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: