Monday 1 November 2010

The venom of political correctness


When I first came across political correctness - which was the summer of 1981, inflicted on me by a social worker - I thought it was a joke.

Even in 1992, when I was in a Texas university humanities department for a month, and I saw the thing in full flight, it still seemed too silly to take seriously.

Now, of course, the joke is on me: PC defines reality, and we all live and work at the whim of the advocates of PC, who could destroy the lives of any one of us at any moment, for any reason or no reason whatsoever.

And they would feel good about doing it.


But whence comes the sheer venom of PC?

How is it that people who believe in nothing (or, if they do believe in anything, it is supposedly in tolerance, pacifism, stuff like that) - how come these people are so vicious?

I think it is because they fear that their pleasurable distractions will be taken away by their opponents, and for the PC, pleasurable distraction is life itself.


I say this without a shred of exaggeration.

If you believe in nothing, if life can have no real objective meaning, then pleasure is necessary as an analgesic, and distraction is necessary as the key philosophical argument.

The politically correct are nihilists, reality deniers, and when there is no reality then the only positive is pleasure.


But all pleasures are up against habituation - on repetition, pleasures lose their effect.

Habituation is the driving force of modernity - the drive behind neophilia, the drive behind fashion, the drive behind the leading edge of political correctness.

Habituation rules because without effective stimuli, modernity is lost - without pleasurable distraction modernity will be confronted by the void, and for the nihilist the void is no joke, but is indeed the only reality.


For the nihilist the real is an illusion, and to live is to be deluded. Political correctness is deliberate self delusion - to the point of self-forgetting. 


This the need for change (neophilia), thus the need constantly to break boundaries, to transgress in search of powerful stimuli to connect us with the insubstantial world.

Under modernity, humans are (nearly) all jaded by pleasures repeated.

We are all decadent, all Caligulas now.


Any who challenge the escalation of stimuli, the freedom to transgress, the primacy of lifestyle, the mix of populations, possibility of the exotic, .

Any who assert the eternal, the unchanging, who seek to limit the potential of the future (even by word - especially by word) - any such strike at roots of vitality. And vitality is all and only.

Even as such a person speaks, or is read or watched - the politically correct can feel their life draining away, can sense the world receding, can perceive their world crumbling.

Hence the venom, the viciousness, the panicked attack with anything: ad hominem inventions (immediately believed as facts), fantasied motivations, lies of any and every kind.  

For the PC becomes vital to stop the hostile communication, immediately, without any delay - it must be shouted down, laughed at, shut-up - the politically correct must switch-off, turn-away from the horrible sounds and sights; gabble and gossip among themselves - until they gradually stop the dissolution, and being again to rebuild the world with their own words, in their own image.


The venom of the politically correct is the venom of a person faced by the extinction of their pleasurable distractions upon which they rely utterly to keep themselves going: the ever expanding choice of favourite food; the anticipated holidays anywhere; the pleasures of seduction without restrictions; the unbounded novelties of sex, picking and mixing among an unedendingly growing, whirling and recombining of cultures and ideas; the experimentation with drinks and (maybe) drugs; fantastic hopes for these to be facilitated by world peace, harmony, abolition of poverty, blending; in sum, the infinite possibilities of the future and the hope of pleasures so overwhelming and utterly absorbing as to extinguish all concerns concerning meaninglessness or lack of purpose, strong enough to delete self-consciousness.


The more extreme, the less realistic, the greater the delusional psychoticism of the dream - the greater the loathing of anyone who threatens to shatter it.

Against such anything is permitted - restrained only by the danger of evoking such an extreme of self-disgust, of demoralization, as to shatter the dream oneself.

This is the danger faced by the intellectual elite - that one day they will behave such that they will destroy their own delusions of themselves. Then there will be nowhere for them to turn.

Nowhere at all.