August 7, 2023 Reading Time: < 1 minute

In this episode of Liberty Curious, Kate Wand invited Phil Magness to discuss the origins of critical theory, which is a neo-Marxist school of thought born in the Frankfurt School in 1923.

Phil is the F.A Hayek Chair in Economics and Economic History at AIER, and a prolific researcher on these kinds of ideas. They discuss the history of critical theory, and how it has proliferated through academia and into our culture, manifesting itself as what we commonly refer to as Woke ideology.

Use these shortcuts to navigate the topics presented in the video:

0:00 – intro
– what is Critical Theory?
– Offshoot of Marxism
– Frankfurt School
– Marxism Splits
– from Economics to Sociology
– Incoherence
– Coming to America
– Critical Theory vs. Traditional Theory
– The Ambitions of Critical Theorists
– Last thoughts
– Bonus question: Utopia

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Phillip W. Magness

Phil Magness

Phillip W. Magness works at the Independent Institute. He was formerly the Senior Research Faculty and F.A. Hayek Chair in Economics and Economic History at the American Institute for Economic Research. He holds a PhD and MPP from George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, and a BA from the University of St. Thomas (Houston). Prior to joining AIER, Dr. Magness spent over a decade teaching public policy, economics, and international trade at institutions including American University, George Mason University, and Berry College. Magness’s work encompasses the economic history of the United States and Atlantic world, with specializations in the economic dimensions of slavery and racial discrimination, the history of taxation, and measurements of economic inequality over time. He also maintains an active research interest in higher education policy and the history of economic thought. His work has appeared in scholarly outlets including the Journal of Political Economy, the Economic Journal, Economic Inquiry, and the Journal of Business Ethics. In addition to his scholarship, Magness’s popular writings have appeared in numerous venues including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Newsweek, Politico, Reason, National Review, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Kate Wand

Kate Wand is a content creator. Her focus is social commentary and filmmaking. She is the host of AIER’s Liberty Curious podcast.

You can follow her on Twitter @katewand.

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