Friday, 26 November 2010

What is primary for PC: altruism or hedonism?

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It is my contention that, although political correctness routinely makes evaluations in terms of satisfying individual preferences (within a range of approved choices) - in fact abstract altruism trumps preferences whenever the two come into conflict.

Essentially, I see the secular, libertarian right (and therefore partial-PC and not-full-blown PC) as the party of pure preference-satisfaction: the party of primary hedonism.

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For political correctness, arguments based on optimizing the satisfaction of preferences are used when convenient, but they are ignored when they conflict with the imperative to replace human agency with abstract allocative systems.

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So, for example, in health services or in education, there are various powerful empirical arguments from the secular libertarian right which suggest that 'market mechanisms' will improve functionality: will enhance effectiveness, efficiency and preference satisfaction.

Yet political correctness completely ignores these arguments, and immediately moves the debate to a higher level of moral evaluation.

Those who favour any form of competition in the provision of health or education (personal payments or voucher systems perhaps) are not refuted; instead they are ignored for as long as possible, then they are demonized.

For PC competition between autonomous agents is an evil, it is simply unacceptable; unacceptable even as an effective means to a valued end.

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The moral level is that which is used to justify abstract systems of allocating 'goods': e.g. bureaucratic allocation of health service goods, or various types of allocation of educational 'goods' such as 'affirmative action'.

These PC allocations of goods are not justified on the basis that abstract allocation enhances health or educational functionality, nor that these methods are more effective or efficient, nor that most people want them.

(Or, at least, any such functionally-oriented justifications are swiftly dropped when confronted with the secular right perspective.)

Rather, PC systems of evaluation are justified on the basis that they are more fair, more moral, than others.

People who oppose abstract allocative systems are therefore believed to be evil (or ignorant) - and when opposition to bureaucratic healths service provision, or to group preferences is justified on grounds of effectiveness and efficiency, then this argument is interpreted as being materialistic, heartless and inhumane.

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Of course, in reality PC is itself materialistic, heartless and inhumane - but at a higher level than the secular right.

PC is heartless and inhumane, however not in pursuit of functionality - of effectiveness and efficiency, but instead in pursuit of abstract moral goals.

Individual human happiness, and freedom, are willingly (indeed joyfully) sacrificed on a mass scale by PC in pursuit of abstract moral goals.

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Such is the idealistic aspect of PC, why PC feels objectively morally superior to the secular right, at a gut level - because its evaluations are higher, being moral rather than functional.
 
Indeed PC evaluations are the highest of which PC can conceive.

And PC evaluations are quite possibly the highest so far attainable by any form of secular materialism.

Therein lies their strength and appeal.

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(The only known higher evaluation than PC are religious; but PC does not believe in the reality of any religion, nor does the secular right. So, in terms of mainstream secular morality, political correctness is the highest, the most visionary and utopian of the 'realistic' ideologies on the market.)

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