Sunday 21 November 2010

Political correctness is not fundamentally egalitarian


The relationship of political correctness to the egalitarian impulse, the desire for equality, is interesting. So much of PC rhetoric concerns equality that it superficially seems as if equality of distribution of goods is the goal of political correctness.

Yet this cannot be correct, since in practice PC is indifferent to group preferences and to reverse inequality.

So that in many high status educational institutions and professions (such as medicine), the majority of personnel used to be men, but are now women; and yet formal and aspirational preferences for women remain in place.

In other words, even when what were stated to be the primary goals of policy have been achieved and indeed overshot, the egalitarian rhetoric continues - and any continuing inequalities of outcome of a secondary nature (proportions of women in specific high status sub-specialities - such as surgery) are used as rationalizations for further or continued group preferences.

And in terms of ethnic minority 'representation' in the media, this has reached a level way beyond 'proportionality' and even beyond equality - approaching monopoly - without causing any apparent distress or discomfort among supposed egalitarians. Quite the opposite, indeed.


It seems that even a situation of monopoly representation, or monopoly allocation of 'goods' of any kind, by favoured groups (sexual, ethnic or whatever they might be) is perfectly compatible with a system of PC.

All the doctors might be women, all the leading politicians might be (or identify with) ethnic minorities, yet this is still perfectly compatible with a system of continued PC allocations.

Equality is not, therefore, the deepest impulse. What is deepest in political correctness is moral opposition to - and the desire therefore to subvert and invert - the existing state of affairs brought about by individual agency: by human desires, choices, beliefs.

Whatever state of affairs existed in the past or currently exists in the absence of an abstract system of allocation is intrinsically unjust, intrinsically wrong - on principle, and without need for evidence of wrongness (although it is easy to generate such evidence). 


My impression is that actual, real world equality of outcome is a matter of near indifference to political correctness.

Inequalities of one kind operate to stoke-up indignation and as rhetorical devices to persuade acceptance of policies which are favoured anyway; but inequalities of an opposite kind are uninteresting - or perhaps used as a test of PC-sincerity among the elite.

What, then, is the principle behind this?


I believe that PC uses egalitarianism instrumentally as a way of generating policies.

But egalitarianism is not really necessary - because policies are primarily oppositional, or inversional, rather than egalitarian.

In other words, PC looks at the human social world as it is and has been, that is to say a world of multiple causal processes, and regards it as intrinsically - necessarily - unjust.

The natural world is unjust because of intrinsic human selfishness.

Egalitarianism is just one device used to demonstrate the injustice. And inequality has the advantage of being amenable to definitions, measurement, monitoring - and being made the basis of bureaucratic procedure.

But indeed any argument is suitable for PC to attack any existing state of affairs which relies on individual choice, individual freedom.

The dissatisfaction (actual, inferred or imputed) of just a single symbolic person is enough to trigger wholesale change - so long as this dissatisfaction can be linked to the introduction of a system of abstract altruistic allocation.


PC is - at root, at its deepest impulse - based on a conviction of the intrinsic sinfulness of humans.

Political correctness therefore embodies the impulse to replace individual choice with abstract principle - but with what goal?

Often the stated goal of PC is utilitarian: happiness - the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Or the alleviation of misery and suffering. But, again, this cannot be taken at face value, because PC displays a near-total indifference as to whether its interventions actually do have the effect of increasing happiness or reducing misery.

Indeed, there are many situations when it seems that PC policies reduce happiness and increase misery - but PC is indifferent to whether of not this is so. There is a clear tendency to implement certain kinds of policies regardless of the consequences to human happiness.


For political correctness, happiness is not an achieved real world consequence of PC policies. Rather happiness is the moral duty of individuals living under PC; happiness is the state of humans when PC allocative policies are operating.

At an individual level, in particular, the goal is not just to try to be happy about a PC situation, but actually to be happy.

The pure elite PC intellectual ruler really is happy under PC. Whatever happens to him.

This is what I mean by the idea that PC requires submission of the individual to the abstract principles of allocation.


In sum, many of the contradictions of PC derive from the attempt to impose abstract systems of altruistic allocation on existing states of affairs which involve human agency.

Political correctness is, in ideal form, therefore completely opposed to human agency in all its forms.

The tendency of PC is therefore to identify and overcome all possible human freedoms and choices in relation to the allocation of 'goods'. 

That is, to replace the intrinsically selfish choices of individual autonomous humans with abstract systems of altruism.

This may sound an extreme formulation, but it is literally true.

Political correctness instrumentally uses human impulses (such as aspirations for justice, or equality, or happiness) to attack any and every social situation which currently lacks a system of abstract altruistic allocation.


The big problem for PC - in a system where human agency is intrinsically wicked - is what distribution counts as altruistic? 

Clearly this question has no ultimate answer, since PC denies the possibility of divine revelation; instead there are a series of pragmatic answers to what counts as altruistic - but all of these answers bear the mark of human choice so none of these answers are truly eternal abstractions.

The principle of subversion and inversion of whatever is individual, spontaneous and natural therefore serves as a rule-of-thumb to identify problems and to generate aims for the solutions. However these aims are inexplicit.


If men naturally tend to become leaders, then in a system of allocating goods according to sexual identity women should replace men; if humans are naturally heterosexual, then anything except heterosexuality should be favoured by altruistic principles.

The positive policies of political correctness are therefore somewhat arbitrary, changeable over time.

The evaluation of PC policies in terms of human happiness, suffering, income or any other principle is again variable - and often PC policies will seem to make things worse from any practical and measurable perspective.

But the politically correct solution is always intrinsically superior at an abstract level in so far as it removes the scope or possibility of individual selfishness.

Always PC aims at the removal of individual freedom and choice, since individual selfishness is intrinsic and will shape all free choices - selfishness is the ultimate evil.


Selfish human individuals must be subjected to impersonal principles of altruism - they must submit to these rules, and the virtuous humans are those which submit willingly, happily and regardless of the consequences

But the actual specific nature of these altruistic principles to which humans must submit is much less certain than that they should submit, since to be purely virtuous the rules ought not to come from human individuals.

Much of modern bureaucracy - voting, committees, the use of social statistics - can be seen as steps in the direction of developing algorithmic, machine-like mechanisms for generating altruistic principles without the participation of (corrupt) human agency.

(Because whatever individuals do will be, or tend to become, selfish and cruel).


The perfect, ultra-pure and idealistic politically correct intellectual aspires (as his highest goal in life) to create a perfect and autonomous mechanism for devising altruistic principles and 'implementing' them on humans.

Having created this mechanism for the imposition of abstract altruism, his own fate is a matter of indifference - he might step-back and watch, be rewarded, or be destroyed - but the machine, once built, will just keep running: just keep-on compelling wicked individual humans to do that which is abstractly just.


This nightmare of living-death - in which human wickedness is impossible because every single human decision related to the allocation of the goods of life has been subordinated to a system of abstract altruism - is the covert Utopian dream of the politically correct.



a Finn said...

In all objective measures, the performance and state of blacks relative to whites in Usa has gone seriously downhill since the separate, but equal was changed to the PC arrangement. School performance, marriage break ups/ single parent families, criminality /percentage of incarcerated blacks, living area degradation, community erosion/ atomization, lack of morality and trust, social security dependence, drug and alcohol use, etc.

But even these are beside the point. Whites can't and should not be cosmic social security to the whole world. In addition the world and it's multitudes do not reciprocate in any way.

Objectively only the affirmative action elite of blacks has gained artificially. This is a necessity to the PC elite. Black elite must be bribed, separated from their communities and incorporated to the PC elite. This prevents black elites from becoming leaders of independent black power centers, likely threatening and eroding PC power. Everything within the system and nothing outside it, in one way or another is the motto of monopoly PC. Follow the power and you shall find the answers, so to speak.

Masses of people have potential power, but they lack the intellectual focus, coherence and direction given to them by intellectuals. Intellectuals have the necessary organizing, motivating and clarifying ability, but they lack the power of masses. Thus the first task of power is to separate potential outside leaders from the masses, who are either outside the power elites or inside the power elites, but might jump away from it (there is always this tendency). Historically many kinds of methods have been used.

Intellectuals' customs, ways of thinking and talking, clothing, living areas, socializing, cultural hobbies etc. have been differentiated so radically from the masses that proper communication is harder between masses and potential outside leaders. All the power communication is done through the established elite channels.

Potential outside leaders are bribed, executed, imprisoned, incorporated, their free speech prevented, persuaded, misdirected, their resources and jobs taken away from them, etc.

Masses are feed such information, manipulated and directed in such way, that they are not receptive to outside leaders, they are mistrustful and suspicious of them, they don't understand or accept them, etc. Masses are atomized to prevent coherence, thus if there is outside leader, he can only get hold of small number of people, at least in the beginning. Masses are made directly dependent on their livelihood and other important things to power elites.


Continued ...

a Finn said...

Part 2.

The state.

It is always problematic because of it's universal coercive power and potential to monopolize production, incentives and communication. Problems range from (excess) grabbing of resources, soft or hard totalitarianism to unnecessary wars. The point at which the border is crossed to harmful is fuzzy, not the least because the state is always a combination of the present arrangement, tendencies and potentialities. But the accusation of robbing resources from people hangs always above the state like a dark and sinister cloud, with serious practical consequences to the state. Thus we can look for indirect admissions (the state bureaucrats know and/or sense that they are moving ...) of the state, that they are moving towards legalized robbery. Monopolizing tendencies, anything from education to economy; suppression of free speech, increasing distractrions (e.g. legal neutrality towards liberalizing all forms of sexuality); certain punishment tendencies; increasing state service dependencies and inabilities of the people; multi-party collusion around one ideology; etc.

And yes, ideological obfuscation, hence the PC philosophy.

PC philosophy is a fraudulent imitation of expensive signal of altruism. Altruistic people show that they can acquire and protect/uphold lots of excess resources; that they are high status people; that they are good cooperating partners; that it is worthwhile to give back to them, to reciprocate; that it is good to listen to them and heed their advice; etc.

With it's monopoly power the state can create the greatest, but utterly fake, altruism signal in society.

Fake altruism of the state lowers the treshold to paying taxes; it hides from the view, and in fact seemingly turns to it's opposite the selfishness of bureaucrats and the legalized robbery of excess taxes; it makes the state more sought after partner and employer; it gives it's intellectuals, even if they are fifth rate scoundrels (and the fifth column) the aura of intellectual and moral superiority; it makes the state's voice to displace other voices; it paves the way towards international universal power; etc.


Private corporations could create, if they had the same kind of army of intellectuals at their disposal as the state, a comparable ideological obfuscation as PC philosophy, say Benevolent Altruism -philosophy (BA). E.g. a student, on his own, is ready to spend the time and effort to study a profession. Student buys 30 books which are necessary for it. Together, with economies of scale deductions, the books cost 1000 €. Later, with the help of this knowledge, the student earns 30 million €. According to BA, the private corporation, the publisher of the mentioned books, For Your Thoughts Only Publishing Ltd. has thus altruistically given the student 29 999 000 €. Overlapping with this, For Your Thoughts Only has given the student a job, a house, a car, a wife, children, happiness (the liberal "objective" and measured type), etc., and in general a meaning of life, and yes, a Life. For Your Thoughts Only in particular and corporations in general are huge altruists, tirelessly working for the benefit of others and receiving just enough compensation to get bread, occasional cold cut meats, clothes and something above the head to protect from high humidity clouds. Our saints and heroes. The meager and illusory state altruim pales in comparison, says BA.


Our societies are on all time high (sarcasm):

a Finn said...


To say one point more clearly: Without PC and consequently affirmative action, there would be many loose and potentially dangerous (to the liberal elite) minority intellectuals in society. They would be high IQ relative to their ethnic group (thus capable leadership), and because of lower status relatively to other ethnic groups and certain psychological traits, more prone to radical politics. On the other hand liberal elite thinks it can sacrifice white intellectuals in the altar of affirmative action, because their higher group status, more peaceful communities and psychological propensities makes them relatively less inclined to change, radicalism and collectivism. Also white masses are relatively less disposed to participate in collectivist change and radical movements. The highest IQ whites are still gathered to the liberal elites. Combined with services, dependencies, distractions, necessities, punishments, incentives etc., the rejected white intellectuals can be kept sufficiently docile. The logic and/or hope of liberal elite in this particular matter.

Politics, the art of the practical possible.

Not the only reason to affirmative action, of course.

Chuck said...

"Equality is not, therefore, the deepest impulse. What is deepest in political correctness is moral opposition to - and the desire therefore to subvert and invert - the existing state of affairs brought about by individual agency: by human desires, choices, beliefs."

I disagree. PC is not about subverting human desires, etc. It's about subverting the (perceived) traditional Western system. PC/Multicult is grounded in an anti-traditional western moral-theology and escatology. That forms the spiritual dimension of it. So, yes PC is not interested in objective equality, but it is interested in making things right as seen in terms of the moral-theological narrative of oppression and the original White man's sin. Making things right, of course, requires the total dispossession of what was the traditional West and those who represent it.