Rebirth of Reason

War for Men's Minds

Political Correctness Threatens Free Society
by Edward W. Younkins

Political correctness involves the translation of Marxism from economic terms into cultural terms. The premise underlying political correctness is that if the elite can change the language then they can change the way individuals act and thus change society. Political correctness has corrupted the news media, universities, business, Congress, politics, etc. Declaring that some thoughts and words are “correct” while others are not permits those who are among the correct thinkers to escape free competition of ideas by using threats, intimidation, and force against non-correct thinkers.

According to multiculturalism and political correctness, all history is dictated by the power that certain groups defined by race, ethnicity, or gender have over other groups. Some groups are designated as “sainted victims” and are viewed as naturally good regardless of what any of them do as individuals. For example, radical feminists teach that in the past men had all the power, that they oppressed women, and that men living now have to atone for the transgressions of men of the past. In the world of political correctness, white males are determined automatically and universally to be malicious and immoral.

Multiculturalism leads to politically correct language. Such language must be consistent with multiculturalist principles. This means that language should:  (1) not favor one group over another; (2) not infringe on any group’s right to sovereignty; (3) not interfere with the peaceful relationship of any minority group with those from other groups; (4) not hinder society (i.e., the state) in its attempts to protect cultural groups (i.e., social, economic, and ethnic minorities) whose views are declared to be equally valid and who have the “right” to equal opportunity, integrity, and point of view; and (5) not promote stereotypes of any kind.

The obsession of the morally superior, sensitive, and conspicuously compassionate elite with the subjective feelings of people is part of today’s prevailing therapeutic vision of man. This infatuation with sensitivity has spread throughout the media and academia, leading to the creation of feel-good euphemisms which part with accuracy and unambiguity in the interest of feeling and sympathy. Unfortunately, these “linguistic smile buttons” simply camouflage reality rather than change it.

Advocates of political correctness attempt to homogenize our language and thought not only to enhance the self-esteem of minorities, women, and beneficiaries of the welfare state but also to preserve the moral image of the welfare state itself. One approach to reaching this goal is to eliminate disparaging, discriminatory, or offensive words and phrases and the substitutions of harmless vocabulary at the expense of economy, clarity, and logic. Another approach is to deconstruct a word or phrase into its component parts, treat the component parts as wholes, and focus on secondary meanings of the component parts. For example, the term mankind is said to be exclusive, misleading, and biased when it is employed to refer to both men and women.

The politically correct fail to understand that language is the result of an evolved social process that results in a systemic order achieved without the use of a deliberate overall plan. Language simply arises out of accidents, experiences, and historical borrowings and corruptions of other languages. No one intended to exclude women when generic terms like he or mankind were used. With respect to human beings, the male gender was used to denote the species. On the other hand, both countries and ships are referred to as she. Using he or she or him or her simply clutters the language and conveys no further information. However, such use does imply that those who use the masculine terms hold hostile or exclusionary thoughts toward women! This leads people to believe that every use of generic male terms is evidence of male antagonism toward women when, in fact, such usage merely avoids awkward phrases and cluttered language.

Political correctness supplies a language through which it is easy to be a victim and always someone or something that can be blamed. Think of terms like culturally deprived, developmentally challenged, etc. Political correctness involves a lot of people attempting to explain the reasons for their lack of great success. These victim-type explanations or excuses generally include the idea that a person is having a rough time because of his particular race or gender. Essentially, political correctness is a way to rationalize who you are and why you are not better than what or who you are.

Victims are taught that their failures and suffering are invariably the result of some unfair and rectifiable condition that social engineers could remedy if the insensitive would simply let them. This reinforces the erroneous views that human life is perfectible and that all suffering is a deviation that can be corrected. People are led to believe that the world should be a place where they never suffer disappointment or failure. Of course, the tragic truth is that people can fail and that individuals are unequal in talents and achievements.

On some campuses seeking higher standards of human accomplishments is no longer valued as highly as politically correct thinking. Academic freedom through free speech is accompanied by high social costs on campuses, where truth is viewed as nothing more than different perspectives being offered by different groups in order to promote their own interests. Education-imposed biases restrict students’ thinking when curricula are developed to be nonsexist, peace centered, antibiased, and politically correct. 

On America’s college campuses, students are taught that value systems are subjective and constructed according to race, ethnicity, gender, and social class. The result is warped curricula, women’s studies departments, black studies departments, thought police, campus speech codes, etc. Students are not taught that men and women really are different or that races and ethnic groups actually do have specific characteristics.

Political correctness (and multiculturalism) threatens free speech in both the academic sphere and the nonacademic workplace and ultimately the very foundation of American society. The government has, in essence, eliminated most free speech protection in the workplace. Free speech, which is an economic good to academics through which they make their living, has fared slightly better in the educational world.

Broadly conceived, political correctness includes a number of initiatives such as: altering vocabularies in order not to offend particular groups, affirmative action in admissions and hiring, multicultural education, and broadening the scope of classical texts to include those written by minority authors and women. Then there are the workshops in which people are taught by “experts” how to be attuned to others’ feelings and how to avoid being found guilty of “sexual harassment,” “racial insensitivity,” and so on.

Political correctness is used to eliminate debate and discredit opponents of various social reforms by labeling them as racists, misogynists, and bigots. Political correctness is a multicultural tool to limit thought in education, science, and culture by intimidation and coercion. While victims have the right to articulate their views, the same right does not belong to people who oppose their views.

Political correctness insists on “truths” contrary to reality, human nature, and experience. It follows that state power must be employed in order to impose politically correct thought, language, and behavior that are not in accord with perceived reality. The state has become the protector of designated victims, the promoter of diversity and tolerance, the sensitizer of citizens’ consciousness, and the promoter of victims’ self-esteem. To accomplish the above, the state intervenes into human and commercial activities through affirmative action, hate speech laws, hate crimes legislation, the approval of quotes for admission to universities, and so on.

The state rewards those who personify the favored victims and expropriates political rights and cultural recognition from individuals who do not. Politically correct politicians generally heed the agenda of any minority that claims that they or their forbears have been treated unfairly. The victims find a “victimizer” and demand compensation in the form of money or positive discrimination with respect to obtaining jobs or admission to universities. In addition, victims oftentimes seek affirmation by insisting that history be rewritten.

Political correctness is a perversion of morality and a contradiction of reality that requires constant state interventions for its successful implementation. We do not want America to become a country with a non-reality-based ideology enforced by state power. Political correctness threatens free society by encouraging “group-think” and by attaining conformity through intimidation and force. We must fight political correctness by striving for truth through the use of reality-based rational and logical arguments. Because political correctness is crippling Western society, it is imperative that we recapture language, reestablish the private ownership of the means of expression, challenge PC concepts, and stand up in defense of reality.

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