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The Institute for Emancipatory Constructionism and The League to Fight Neurelitism

May 4, 2009

The following message, slightly edited here, was posted to an email list.

New critical theory (NCT) is also known as postmodern critical theory. It is similar, though not identical, to critical postmodernism and to the post-Marxism of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe.

To elaborate, just as some first-generational critical theorists supplemented Karl Marx with Sigmund Freud and as Jurgen Habermas (of the second generation) mixed in pragmatism and systems theory (among others), NCTs are injected with postmodernism, poststructuralism, social constructionism, etc. Critical theories have been, and remain, decidedly ecclectic.

All critical theories (of whatever generation) emphasize a dialectic of domination (or oppression) and emancipation (or liberation from oppression). That is to say, critical theorists develop a praxis (theoretically reflective social action), centered on emancipation, on top of the theory itself. Praxis was also a central feature of Marx’s own radical theory.

In The League to Fight Neurelitism, an Autistic activist project I founded, I work with other Autists on human (including civil) rights issues concerning the Autistic community. Autists are frequently the objects of discrimination in schools (bullying), the workplace, the courts (e.g., child custody cases), etc. The League to Fight Neurelitism is an expression of the praxis I have developed in The Institute for Emancipatory Constructionism.

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