Skip to main content

Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

To Fight or To Engage…that is the question

September 2, 2021
Body paragraph

This is a six-minute excerpt from a video discussion between Glenn Loury and Nikita Petrov, titled “The ‘Fight’ against CRT.” It is an excellent and brief showcase of how giving and receiving critical feedback can work. It begins with Petrov asking Loury to reflect on the way he addresses the problems he has with Critical Race Theory (CRT) and its advocates. He focuses on how Loury thinks of it as a “fight,” and carries it out that way.

Then we are with Loury as he openly processes the feedback and begins to rethink how he might shift from fighting to other approaches. Eventually he lands on thinking of “engaging with” rather than “fighting” CRT advocates being a way in which he can both speak strongly from his truth yet be open to listening to what they have to say.  

Loury does two things here that I believe are essential to making democracy work well. First, he was intent on hearing and understanding Petrov. Second, he shared his spontaneous processing of the feedback he got. There’s a third thing both he and Petrov did that is very special: they did the whole number in public. They were present in their vulnerability to each other and whoever watches, rather than protecting themselves from being vulnerable.

A collective action group that can sustain and continually develop this kind of practice will reduce fear and negativity within their ranks and steadily grow their power.


Roy Smith

I read and listened to the excerpt and found it to be the opposite of any kind of ethical or normative dialogue. It is an example, rather, of condescension. Petrov and Loury describe proponents of critical race theory as immature "teenagers" enslaved to "some strange, weird religious doctrine." The goal they agree on is not a conversation with proponents of critical race theory about their disagreements--Loury describes such a conversation as a descent into "childishness" and "idiocy"--but to get the proponents of critical race theory to "grow up" and to "develop" and realize the "truth" that he assumes he possesses and they don't. Petrov and Loury here articulate precisely and explicitly the assumption that critical race theorists, feminists, and intersectional thinkers identify as justifying systemic or structural injustice; they assume that they are higher, mature, developed beings who must bring the truth to immature, undeveloped, childish idiots. Whites are the higher, civilized beings who must bring the truth to savage, uncivilized people of color. Men are the higher reasonable beings who must bring the truth to emotional women. These ideologies justify institutionalized racist, sexist, and classist injustice. They destroy the possibility of real dialogue about and collaborative work to build a more compassionate and just society.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
CAPTCHA This question is to verify that you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam.

What does the G in GEO stand for?