Wednesday 3 November 2010

How does the system of political correctness work?


To summarize...

Political correctness is a delusional system, based on thought disorder; that is to say it is false, dominating and un-tested against reality, because the cognitive process underlying PC is fragmented, non-consecutive.


PC depends upon at least two conditions: an intellectual ruling elite and a mass media.

The intellectual ruling elite are necessary, because only they have the disposition for abstraction, the preference to regard ideas as real, and to privilege ideas even when they are in conflict with (apparent) reality.

The mass media are necessary because the media are the cognitive process, the mode of thinking, of modern societies.


Political correctness is a mixture of bureaucratic Old Left and subjective New Left, the interspersion of a system of communist/ Fabian central planning with irruptions of counter-cultural hedonism.


The difference between the late Soviet Union in the Brezhnev era and political correctness in the West, is the presence of a mass media.

In the Soviet Union the media were instruments of state propaganda, they were dull and the amount of media was kept low.

In the West, the mass media are primarily attention-grabbing, vast and still growing, the content is vivid and varied.


Perhaps the New Left 1960s counter-culture would have happened even without a mass media to report and record it?

Perhaps the children of the intellectual elite would still have rebelled against the dullness, boredom and alienation of modernity - even if they were not being shown on TV and in newspapers?

But without the mass media, student revolutionaries would have had no lasting influence on national life.

Inchoate, hedonic rebellion is of itself fragmented, directionless and unsustainable.

It fizzles out.


But as it happened, the mass media was there, and the New Left did not fizzle out, but became integral to the mass media, which is to say that it became part of the West's cognitive process.


Of course, the New Left cannot be integrated with the Old Left, visceral hedonism cannot be fused with bureaucracy.

But they can be alternated.

The Old Left bureaucracy is the basis and mechanism of governance, that which holds together society, that which provides that which is provided.

But Old Left bureaucracy on its own is intolerable, a mere machine for growing itself.

The New Left injected into this (periodically) qualities such as excitement (e.g. sexual), purpose - or at least direction (greater pleasure - less suffering), and variety (e.g. multi-culturalism, the 'other').

The New Left made the Old Left interesting and inspiring and idealistic - but at a cost.

The cost of incoherence, of delusion, of psychosis.


What was necessary to sustain the New Left countercultural spirit was that it became connected-with Old Left bureaucracy.

Away from the mass media, the connection is intermittent - in the mass media the connection is apparent.

Some mistook the modern mass media for mere propaganda - it is indeed propaganda, but not merely.

Some mistook the modern mass media for mere entertainment - it is indeed entertainment, but not merely, 

The Eastern Bloc media were indeed merely propaganda - dull recitations of 'the party line'. Pure content.

Parts of the Western media have indeed been mere entertainment - 'chewing gum for the eyes'. Pure form.

But the characteristic, overall tendency of the Western mass media relates to both content and form, and is focused on a core of mainstream media which dominate intellectual elite discourse.


The Western mass media consists of competing institutions, which force it to be attention-grabbing, and drive its continual expansion.

The modern mass media is itself politically correct (staffed by the leftist intellectual elite) and also the virtual arena for the perpetual warfare of of political correctness.

The battle ground of PC with its enemies (the Old Left, conservatives, libertarians) is the mass media; and this battle is itself a major - perhaps the major - content of the mass media.


The battle of good PC versus wicked reaction is of course depicted in the news and documentary 'factual' mass media content - but also in the fictional, narrative content.

And of course these categories overlap - much of the purported factual content being actually fictional; much of the fictional stories and speculations actually being factual (by being treated as implicitly fictional and speculative, they become grist to the media mill rather than triggering real world responses).


The modern mass media therefore both coerces and trains elite intellectual discourse - and it does this by content to an important extent, but more importantly by form.

It is from the media that the modern intellectual elite has learned how to think; has learned how to alternate between Old and New Left, between a baseline of rational bureaucracy and frequent irruptions of unbounded utopian idealism. 

The mass media disciplines intellectuals and organizations who endanger political correctness: disciplines by exclusion, by demonization, and like an inquisition by targeting the anti-PC for action by 'the secular arm'.


And the fragmentary structure of the modern mass media itself shapes discourse.

The underlying leftism of both personnel and the bureaucratic system (both are necessary) provides the default politically correct assumptions against which anti-PC intellectuals are requires to prove their contentions.

But the fragmentary and alternative cognitive process of the mass media makes such proof systematically impossible.


Once political correctness is established then the psychotic cognitive process of the media ensures that it is insulated from challenge, insulated from reality. 

The modern intellectual elite are trained in this Old/ New Left PC cognitive style by the media, they are evaluated on their competence and commitment to this mode of PC discourse (and excluded from power if they are deficient in either respect), and they deploy it as a default wherever they dominate.

So - the necessary source of the PC delusion is the modern mass media, but this is not sufficient - PC also requires an intellectual ruling elite (and not a military or practical or priestly ruling elite).


If either the mass media or the intellectual elite were removed, then PC would collapse.

If the mass media were removed, then PC would collapse into Brezhnev-style centrally-planned communism (which would eventually collapse from demotivation).

If the intellectual elite were removed from power, then PC would be reality-tested and would rapidly collapse into reactionary politics: probably theocracy (or mystical nationalism) if the society is to remain at a large scale - or if theocracy is not effective, then small-scale tribalism.