Psychology and the Declining Public Trust
Thanks for writing this piece. As a clinical psychologist, I find myself disappointed and embarrassed by the complete abdication of our imperative to seek truth through science. It’s unbelievable to see so many unfounded concepts (implicit bias, micro aggressions, etc..) catch on so quickly in mainstream pop science. Articles like this one should serve as a call to action for those of us in the field to wake up and be honest. As for the public- it needs to be known that we are not all lost in the woke madness. You can find a non-ideologue therapist, though admittedly it is far harder than it should be.
Eddie, thank you for writing this. I am just now completing a course in Research Methods at my local community college and was appalled at the chapter on "Bias-Free Language" in the APA's Publication Manual 7th edition. Section 5.5 states that "sex refers to biological sex assignment" (I do not understand how sex can be assigned) but then it goes on to state that "disparaging terms" such as birth sex and natal sex "should be avoided" and that "...birth sex and natal sex imply that sex is an immutable characteristic without sociocultural influence." As if the facts of human reproductive roles are suddenly controversial and biological sex is a social construct! To think that guidelines such as these are the final word for researchers and clinicians writing in the field is absurd and scary.
Unfortunately I believe we have already lost trust in medical associations, research institutions, electoral systems, politicians, academics, intelligence and school boards. It has all been infected by marxists. We either have to root out the activists or rebuild.
Eddie Waldrep makes some excellent points here, and is correct in asserting that the APA has largely been captured by Critical Social Justice Theory, of which Critical Race Theory is a part. What he leaves out of his analysis is the pivotal role that postmodernism played in catalyzing the emergence of CSRT, and the fact that postmodernism and Marxism/historical materialism furnish us with incommensurable perspectives on contemporary society. Postmodernism rejects universalism. Marxism does not. (Don't believe me? Ask a Marxist).
Also, for the sake of clarity, permit me to point out that both critics and adherents of CSJT are apt to buy into a false narrative which claims that Marxism begat Critical Theory, which begat postmodernism, which begat Critical Social Justice Theory. Not so. In truth, critical theory - a term coined by Max Horkheimer in 1930 - is an interdisciplinary approach to social science characteristic of the Frankfurt School; one that was influenced by philosophers like Kant a Hegel and by Marx, Weber and Freud. Critical theorists (myself included) are extremely critical of postmodernism, and by implication, of CSJT.
For a recent discussion of these ideas and trends, see "Critical Theory, Left-Wing Authoritarianism and Anti-Semitism" and "Mapping the White Unconscious: Critical Race Theory, Whiteness Studies and Psychoanalysis" in Critical Theory and Psycholanalysis: From the Frankfurt School to Contemporary Critique, edited by Jon Mills and Daniel Burston (London: Routledge, 2023
thank you for this important article. You present a complicated subject with depth and clarity. that the destruction of quality of life and liberty is not a byproduct of an ideology but its purpose is chilling.
This is exactly about the destruction of individualism replaced by collectivism or communism. The Social Justice and Equity can be traced to the United Nations, who states:
"Capitalist systems"deify production and consumption at the experience of balanced long-term growth twords Social Justice.
"Social Justice requires strong and coherent redistributive policies."
Societies and political regimes have not achieved and maintained balance between individual freedom and Social Justice.
The broad UN definition of equality related to the tradition of the social contract aspect of Social Justice, as understood within socialist and socialist democratic conversations.
I don’t see a reference to “structuring of opportunity” in the definition of racism linked to in the article. The entire text of the entry:
“Racism is a form of prejudice that assumes that the members of racial categories have distinctive characteristics and that these differences result in some racial groups being inferior to others. Racism generally includes negative emotional reactions to members of the group, acceptance of negative stereotypes, and racial discrimination against individuals; in some cases it leads to violence.
Discrimination refers to the differential treatment of the members of different ethnic, religious, national, or other groups. Discrimination is usually the behavioral manifestation of prejudice and therefore involves negative, hostile, and injurious treatment of members of rejected groups.”
Psychology isn't the only field that has been hijacked by Critical Theory.
The School of Social Work at Portland State University, where I am a post-baccalaureate student, recently advertised an upcoming "Bachelor of Social Work Info Session" in the following terms:
"Ready to serve your community and work toward social change? Take the first step and learn more at our next BSW program information session!" https://twitter.com/pdxssw/status/1655981470362501122
At Portland State, it's a given that anyone entering the field of social work does so in order to effect social change. This mirrors the International Federation of Social Worker's activist mission statement:
"Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities, and indigenous knowledge, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance well-being." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_work
—International Federation of Social Workers
Launder the Critical Theory from the International Federation's text and you get the British Association of Social Workers' pro-human approach:
"Social workers work with individuals and families to help improve outcomes in their lives. This may be helping to protect vulnerable people from harm or abuse or supporting people to live independently. Social workers support people, act as advocates and direct people to the services they may require. Social workers often work in multi-disciplinary teams alongside health and education professionals." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_work
One wonders how long it will be before Critical-Theory activists capture the British Association of Social Workers and redirect them toward "[dismantling] western norms and practices centering individual human rights and liberties." https://fairforall.substack.com/p/the-anti-american-psychological-association
Absolutely correct. CRT and all the Critical Social Justice stuff is just Marxism re-branded and its designed literally from the ground up to stoke resentment. Its a dangerous and ultimately murderous set of ideas, as bad as Nazi-ism. The APA should be both ashamed of itself, and also, be kicked to the curb. I have always been a supporter of Psychology, and have done therapy before, but today I would recommend that any troubled person seeking help avoid most supposed 'therapists'.
How do we build a counter movement that will not be subverted by the MAGA insanity? Pinker and McWhorter are on target, but we need lager numbers in colleges and universities. My only optimism is that my gen Z kids seem to be moving rightward in larger numbers than the Millennials. But we have to nourish them to be more than just reactionaries simply opposed to the excesses and downright anti-liberal creepiness of the Millenials. If Gen Z goes MAGA it is game over and the war will be between fascists on the right v fascists on the left. Pray.
This new way being pushed is exactly what keeps me from seeing a professional when I should. Some of the most needful groups of people will continue to commit suicide and resist help because of these views. It's dangerous, it's a warped way of seeing the world, and its goal is selfish and reprehensible. There's nothing about this thought process that isn't about the self. It's just choosing to denigrate all but a few selves.
The United Nations may have saved thousands of lives. I can't speak on that topic. But I do know that they promote the socialist contract and condemn capitalism. They have complete control over all US education through UNESCO and the National Education Association and created the comprehensive sex education guidelines our children are subjected to. For this reason, I do not support the United Nations, nor it's Agenda 2030.
They were always my trusted resource; now, they are the last place I would check for objective and well-researched truths. The APA regurgitates their source citations through a washing machine of like-minded wokes.
I am a clinical psychologist grateful that you wrote this. It was long past due. I found the APA egregious when it came out with it’s statement on toxic masculinity a few years ago. Seems they have only gotten worse. Donning whatever new idea is capturing the collective imagination of progressives and some others. It is true, I thin, that psychology has been a force opening us up to accept other people’s differences but APA has veered too far.
I am really interested in this article. I think it has some really important information. Unfortunately the complex language and difficult writing got the better of me. Can it be rewritten for the layman please.
It would be great to hear your perspective on: 1. choosing a licensed psychologist if the majority of them are captured by this, and reality is will not EVER have access to your information, 2. the alarming increase in companies like BetterHelp that are full of licensed errrr... DEI indoctrinated "therapists" and social workers, that are encroaching on eroding the in person, professional office of a therapist. Thank you for your efforts.