Critical Theory


Jacques Derrida (image by Pablo Secca)

Critical Theory is a transdisciplinary field of science that is not only concerned with describing realities but also crucially critiquing how realities are described in therefore becoming complicit in the very formation of the socially constructed reality itself.

Critical Theory is particularly interested in how subconscious cognitive structures regulate society but also in providing space for perspectives of structurally oppressed categories of persons. The predominant contemporary genre of writing in Critical Theory is founded in a long tradition of writing known as the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing which in modern times was rejuvenated by major innovative thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Leo Strauss and Jacques Derrida.

In ancient times, political thinking had to be done in subterfuge by writing in such a way that trained minds could understand yet so that the author could successfully elude persecution by the tyrants of the time. Even today are career scientists fearful of stepping beyond the reigning paradigm of the day for fear of negative repercussions in terms of their respective individual academic careers. Therefore, even today can critical theorists resort to language deliberately intended to disguise a message deemed too controversial within academia. This type of writing is often performed subconsciously, meaning that the writing contains a consciously intended yet often still subconsciously created structure in the text.

Another purpose with this type of writing is to train minds of some readers into themselves becoming innovative thinkers in the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing. This profound tradition of critical writing crucially enables writing that otherwise would be socially difficult to express in normative public contexts. Also, this tradition wants readers to focus their minds and make a substantial effort towards profound comprehension. This often involves reading a text more than once as indeed each reading of a text provides a unique experience of impression. This helps willing readers develop their sense of empathy by diving into the intellectual world of the writer of the text.

“Time and again we have become bewildered by the fact that the man who is more responsible than any other man for the break with the Great Tradition should in the very act of breaking prove to be the heir, the by no means unworthy heir, to that supreme form of writing which that tradition manifested at its peaks. The highest art has its roots, as he well knew, in the highest necessity. The perfect book or speech obeys in every respect the pure and merciless laws of what has been called logographic necessity. The perfect speech contains no slipshod; in it there are no loose threads, it contains no word that has been picked up at random; it is not marred by errors due to faulty memory or to any other form of carelessness; strong passions and a powerful and fertile imagination are guided by a reason which knows how to use the unexpected gift, which knows how to persuade and which knows how to forbid; it allows no adornment which is not imposed by the gravity and the aloofness of the subject matter; the perfect writer rejects with disdain and some impatience the demand of vulgar rhetoric that expressions must be varied since change is pleasant.”

Thoughts on Machiavelli by Leo Strauss, 1958, pp. 120-121

This said, the texts on this website are not particularly secretive or even perfect but still seek to challenge readers into learning to think innovatively by focusing single-mindedly on a text at hand even by challenging the notion of Critical Theory itself in terms of not only what Critical Theory is but importantly also what it perhaps ought to be. The task here is not only to transform the future but also to train other minds to transform the future as well.

Books by Daniella Bartfeld

Alevi-Bektashi Judaism (29 chapters)

Epistemology of Love (82 chapters)

Feminist Eugenics (30 chapters)

Matter of Physionomism – Science of Prejudice (35 chapters)

Pan-Jewish History (10 chapters)

Politics of Animal Emancipation (40 chapters)