Friday, 1 April 2011

Political Correctness

Or Ideological Correctness

"Political correctness (PC) is the dominant ideology of the Western intellectual world – PC is what the West has instead of a religion.

Political correctness obviously dominates its core territory of politics, public administration (the civil service), law, education and (especially!) the mass media. But PC also substantially shapes everything else: foreign policy, the military, policing, the economy, health services, and personal life: the mating game, friendships and even family life.

Therefore political correctness is objectively totalitarian. Just as with the cruder totalitarianism of the mid-twentieth century, PC has created a population that lives in fear: fear of being denounced and losing everything – committing a thought crime or uttering a hate fact for which there is no defence, and the sanctions against which range from social ostracism, through loss of job, financial penalties, impoverishment, mob violence and imprisonment (for ‘hate crimes’).

Consequently the mass of people, especially those of status - with power and influence – have learned and internalized the constraints of political correctness, so that it is now something inside us, as well as pressing upon us. The lies, shabbiness and wickedness of PC now permeate our very thought processes.

So, political correctness is the ruling ideology of the West, and it is everywhere, so it cannot be attacked or overthrown without attacking and overthrowing pretty much everything. Political correctness is therefore de facto unrefutable, immovable, expansile... and yet, of course, as we all recognize, PC is self-destroying.

Am I saying that Western civilization is doomed? Yes, very probably it is doomed.

Can anything be done to prevent this, anything political perhaps? No – I don’t think so."


  1. I think PC is just a symptom, not the disease. Attacking it will get you nowhere. The western intellectual world will try two tactics to defend it
    1. A claim that PC is just politeness.
    2. A willingness to admit that "sometimes" PC goes too far. eg. "PC gone mad", which implies that some PC is not mad.

    PC is a by-product of Identity Politics. The latter makes it seem sensible but it's not the same thing. You might say that racism is discriminating on the basis of irrelevant factors like skin colour. You might argue that colour blindness is a virtue. However, identity politics wouldn't support you. Racism is Power plus discrimination; so they argue that only white males can practice discrimination. Colour blindness prevents you from positively discriminating in favour of minorities. Crucially it means that a minority complaint of perceived racism must be taken seriously, which is the root factor in PC arguments. We are offended ergo there was racism.

  2. I disagree.

    Charlton is using the word PC to mean Leftism; he calls it PC to emphasis its use of taboo to achieve hegemony, and to emphasis how complete that hegemony is. (The book will be called "Though Prison".)

    So I don't believe that PC is a by-product of identity politics. PC is Leftism. For example, denying the efficacy of both prison and the death penalty is PC but is not a symptom of identity politics.