I find myself understanding the need for a certain amount of political correctness in Canadian society today but on the other hand I find myself being somewhat uncomfortable with its premise.Who determines what is politically correct and what is not? Who says we have to be politically correct and who, if anyone, polices political correctness?
Political correctness is loosely defined as "avoidance of expressions or actions that can be perceived to exclude or marginalize or insult people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against."
|...Believe it or not!|
I even came across the phrase "politically incorrect", when researching this post...Now there's an oxymoron for you!
Political correctness is a hugely successful campaign that has effectively altered traditional standards of behavior in order to advance the political agenda of mostly left-leaning groups (the radical, reforming, or socialist section of a political party or system). From gay rights, to feminism to open borders, rules dictate that you conform with the prevailing group-think at the risk of social ostracism. Christian traditions on which this country were founded (prayers at public assemblies, references to God in pledges of allegiance, the celebration of Christmas and Easter), are the latest targets of the political correctness movement. This is where I have a problem.Interestingly, a group of some 600 Canadian academics has stated that they do not deny that there is room to discuss and debate how contemporary democracies should respond to religious, cultural and linguistic pluralism. Indeed, Canadian legal and political theory is at the forefront of exploring such matters. But a common point of departure for these debates and discussions is a commitment to civility, decency and toleration. Toleration does not require that one like or endorse the cultural or religious practices of others, but it does require that we refrain from insulting the dignity of those with whom we disagree.
I tend to side with African-American author and economist Thomas Sowell who when faced with politically correct statements made by self-righteous busy bodies, asks himself four questions that will determine the validity of any statement:
- At what cost?
- Compared to what?
- According to whom?
- What hard evidence do you have?
As a society we are always making judgments about what language and ideas (not to mention people) are acceptable and which ones are deemed unacceptable. I agree that once we acknowledge this, it becomes clear that “political correctness” is an inherently biased meme.
How did all of this come about? Over the last 40 years, North America has been conquered by the same force that earlier took over Russia, China, Germany and Italy. That force is ideology. Here, as elsewhere, ideology has inflicted enormous damage on the traditional culture it came to dominate, fracturing it everywhere and sweeping much of it away.So runs the controversial thesis of a collaborative book recently published by the Free Congress Foundation—a U.S. conservative think-tank—on its website, entitled “Political Correctness:” A Short History of an Ideology.
The authors of “Political Correctness” attempt to trace the movement back to its origins—Marxism and the Frankfurt school of thought. By so doing they claim to uncover the true and sinister purpose of political correctness—the complete eradication of traditional Western Culture. They also attempt to demonstrate how deeply political correctness has penetrated into every aspect of Western Culture, and how damning its presence is.
Russia will take a generation or more to recover from Communism, if it ever can. The ideology that has taken over our country goes most commonly by the name of “Political Correctness.” Some people see it as a joke. It is not. It is deadly serious. It seeks to alter virtually all the rules, formal and informal, that govern relations among people and institutions. It wants to change behavior, thought, even the words we use. To a significant extent, it already has.Whoever or whatever controls language also controls thought. Who dares to speak of “ladies” now? Just what is “political correctness?” A predominant theory is that “political correctness” is in fact cultural Marxism – Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. The effort to translate Marxism from economics into culture did not begin with the student rebellion of the 1960s. It goes back at least to the 1920s and the writings of the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci.
In 1923, in Germany, a group of Marxists founded an institute devoted to making the translation, the Institute of Social Research (later known as the Frankfurt School). One of its founders, George Lukacs, stated its purpose as answering the question, “Who shall save us from Western Civilization?” The Frankfurt School gained profound influence in American universities after many of its leading lights fled to the United States in the 1930s to escape National Socialism in Germany. The Frankfurt School blended Marx with Freud, and later influences (some Fascist as well as Marxist) added linguistics to create “Critical Theory” and “deconstruction.” These in turn greatly influenced education theory, and through institutions of higher education gave birth to what we now call “political correctness.”The lineage is clear, and it is traceable. The parallels between cultural Marxism and classical, economic Marxism are evident. Cultural Marxism, or political correctness, shares with classical Marxism the vision of a “classless society” i.e., a society not merely of equal opportunity, but equal condition. Since that vision contradicts human nature – because people are different, they end up unequal, regardless of the starting point – society will not accord with it unless forced. So, under both variants of Marxism, it is forced.
Classical Marxism argues that all of history was determined by ownership of the means of production. Cultural Marxism says that history is wholly explained by which groups – defined by sex, race and sexual normality or abnormality – have power over other groups. Classical Marxism defines workers and peasants as virtuous and the bourgeoisie (the middle class) and other owners of capital as evil. Political correctness defines Blacks, Hispanics, Feminist women, homosexuals and some additional minority groups as virtuous and the white race as basically evil.These types of parallels are neither remarkable nor coincidental. They exist because political correctness is directly derived from classical Marxism, and is in fact merely a variant of Marxism. Through most of the history of Marxism, cultural Marxists were “read out” of the movement by classical, economic Marxists. Today, with economic Marxism dead, cultural Marxism has filled its shoes. The medium has changed, but the message is the same: a society of radical egalitarianism enforced by the power of the state.
Political correctness now looms over or society like a colossus. It has taken over political parties and is enforced by many laws and government regulations. It almost totally controls the most powerful element in our culture, the entertainment industry. It dominates both public and higher education. It has even influenced the clergy in many Christian churches. Anyone in the Establishment who departs from its dictates swiftly ceases to be a member of the Establishment. Correctness then, is in fact Marxism in a different set of clothes.That, to me, is extremely troublesome. When we allude to political correctness with an air of self-satisfied nobleness, we should remind ourselves of from whence it came.
Personally, I and most people I know were raised to embrace and practice Christian principles of respect, decency and toleration. I resent being pressured to be “correct” by someone else’s self-serving, flavor-of-the-day cause, politically legislated or otherwise. Likewise, I resent being placed in the position of having to prove that I am not sexist, racist or homophobic and having to suppress the fact that my beliefs are Christian in nature.After Remembrance Day on the 11th of November, without apology, I will resume the custom of wishing a "Merry Christmas" to the people I meet in the course of my day!
God willing, I will also continue to express myself freely without fear of reprisal.