Why are Senate Democrats filibustering against Miguel Estrada?
Sure, they want courts that will back abortion and gay marriage. But there's
more: Estrada, like Clarence Thomas, infuriates liberal interest groups
because he challenges the neo-Marxist ideology that now dominates the
campuses that Democrats revere.
Here's a very brief lecture: Marxism, y'all will recall,
emphasized class identity. Bourgeoisie (the middle class) and proletariat
(the working class) could never see eye to eye. Their consciousness was
fundamentally different, Marxists declared. Everyone was stuck in his
socioeconomic class identity. (Marxist leaders had a loophole: They often
had middle-class backgrounds but somehow claimed an ability to transcend
those sordid pasts.)
This notion of class consciousness -- "It's a proletarian thing,
you wouldn't understand" -- has now been discredited all over the world, not
only by the failure of socialistic practice but by observation of individual
beliefs. Attitudes vary widely among workers, as they do among people of any
particular race. Marxists tried to account for such variance by saying that
some workers identified with their bourgeois oppressors ("false
consciousness"), but that game grew old.
So, are we now permitted to see people as individuals? Are we
allowed to understand that ideas, not physical characteristics, are the key
differences among people? Alas, no: enter neo-Marxism. Just as Marxism
emphasized class identity, neo-Marxism emphasizes x, y and z: race, sex and
sexual preference. The theory is twisted predestinarian: People think as
they do because of their x, y or z and are unable to change, since a
specific consciousness goes with membership in a particular group.
Liberals see Hispanics in particular as one of the oppressed
peoples of America, so they should automatically link to the left -- but
Estrada does not. He's a 42-year-old with a resume ideal for a top judge.
Top schools, top grades, top recommendations from those he worked for and
from colleagues of many political persuasions. He's prosecuted crooks in New
York and argued 15 cases before the Supreme Court. He knows constitutional
law. But he doesn't think like Hispanics are supposed to think, according to
neo-Marxist ideologues. He's not a liberal. He may even be -- the horror! --
a man of the right.
Estrada, like Clarence Thomas, sabotages leftist pleasures. The
social advantages of neo-Marxism are great. Neo-Marxists can maintain
traditional left-wing values by thundering as their Marxist fathers did
about oppressed groups of people. Marxist diatribes can be recycled: Just
substitute "people of color" for the working class, "angry white males" for
the bourgeoisie and "homophobes" for any other old-time villains. Marxist
music also gains new life: Songs about "the wretched of the earth" are
relevant as long as they demand, "Arise, ye people of color."
Ludicrous, yes; as Karl Marx wrote in one essay comparing the
mid-19th century Napoleon III with the original Bonaparte, what emerges the
first time as tragedy may come back years later as farce. But farces can be
For example, "critical race theory" -- the view that there are
competing and irreconcilable racial views of reality -- played a role in
O.J. Simpson's criminal trial, where lawyers successfully swayed a jury to
ignore evidence and acquit a man who suddenly became not a murderer but the
victim of a racist police force.
"Ethnomathematics" is a new neo-Marxist offensive. The New York
Times recently gave star treatment to Marcia Ascher's book
"Ethnomathematics: A Multicultural View of Mathematical Ideas." Ascher asks,
"Is a square something that has external reality or is it something only in
She complains that "much of mathematics education depends upon
assumptions of Western culture," and notes that no other culture "need share
the categories triangle, right triangle, hypotenuse." And away we go.
Miguel Estrada deserves better than to be caught in an
ideological jigsaw. So do the rest of us. Neo-Marxists still bluster and
Senate Democrats filibuster, but it's time for both to go to bed.