Friday 3 December 2010

Can political correctness be stopped? If not, then what's the point?


So, can political correctness be stopped? 

The answer is no: not likely, not by any ordinary means.

Not by power, organization, democracy, coup, revolution or anything like that.


The reason is that all mainstream politics is semi-PC.

So modern politics-as-usual is a war between extreme PC on the left and semi-PC on the right.

Politics is nothing more than a squabble among the PC elite.


All of the secular right is semi-PC; and it is only among the religious right that a PC-free zone can ever be found, and even the merest possibility of effective opposition to PC.

Democracy cannot lead to an effective non-PC movement.

Among the non-PC religious right, the non-PC Christian right is a relatively small, weak, mostly-declining minority.


Therefore any plausible, likely, mass, 'democratic', powerful, influential 'opposition' to PC will itself be PC. 

But you can't fight an inferno with a candle: you can't fight full-on PC with half-hearted PC.


If political correctness probably cannot be stopped by human agency, then what is the point of all this stuff?

All this analysis?

What is the point? - when I am saying that I believe it is very unlikely that PC can be beaten by any group that I would want to beat it, and that democratic opposition to PC is doomed to fail?


My reason is religious: political correctness is evil and therefore must be opposed whatever the chances: whatever the odds and probabilities of success.

PC must be opposed despite the near impossibility that virtuous human effort alone can win: this simply means that success could only come from virtuous human effort with outside help, with the aid of divine providence. 

It really is as simple as that.



Thursday said...

All of the secular right is semi-PC

Not so sure about this. Are the secular conservatives who write for something like Alternative Right really semi-PC.

As for whether PC can be defeated, it is likely. But by playing some of the contradictions of liberalism against itself, one can carve out smaller spheres of non-PC where one is relatively free to not live by lies.

"There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space."

Bruce Charlton said...

"Are the secular conservatives who write for something like Alternative Right really semi-PC."

Yes - that's exactly what I am saying. My own views were libertarian secular right (just like mainstream Alt Right) just a few years ago. e.g.

Looking back I was indeed semi-PC without recognizing the fact: I did not realize that I had conceded key positions.

To stand outside PC nowadays is, for an intellectual, an isolated and extremist position.

The kind of stance suggested by your quote is not viable: complex politics is not viable.

Politics always is and must be simple where is is not merely chaotic/ disorganized.

My point is that complex/ organized politics is impossible; and if a strategy or policy depends upon being complex and organized then it will fail.

SonofMoses said...

Dear Bruce,
I have recently discovered your fascinating blog, and immediately felt less lonely and hunted. In particular, your recent outpourings re: political correctness have warmed one part of my heart (while, of course, chilling another).
No doubt you will put it all together once the stream stops flowing.
What I have missed so far is a coherent explanation of exactly what it is you are calling PC, since you spread the term further than is generally the case. You carefully distinguish it from mere leftism, Marxism etc. Is it somewhere at the heart of liberalism? How does it relate to the so-called Enlightenment? A long article full of up to the moment examples would help and could probably be taken from no more than a week’s supply of newspapers.
Son of Moses

Bruce Charlton said...

SonofMoses - Thanks. The outpourings have more or less stopped and I am starting to pull things together now.

Karl Popper commented (in his autobiography Unended Quest) that definitions are of limited value; and can indeed serve to close off enquiry.

I agree. Definitions come after enquiry, and serve merely as a convenient summary.

My understanding of the nature of PC has developed as my ideas have clarified. I would now consider PC to be an evolutionary development of socialism/ communism - it is what the New Left of the sixties became.

In particular, PC is post-communist in its anti-utopianism - and its principled anti-humanism.

In its early ideal form communism was intended to liberate human individuals - after humans had been remade/ or had their false programming removed, then the state apparatus was supposed to wither away.

Of course, when this showed no signs of happening then communism became hypocritical, careerist and corrupt - but PC has arrived at the corruption, careerism and cynicism of late communism.

Yet there is much more to PC than this: PC is underpinned with an extraordinary anti-human kind of idealism, a state-ism, in which humans are regarded as the root of all evil and the abstract state embodies virtue (through its abstract processes, its procedures, laws, regulations, bureaucracies etc.)

So ultimately the idealistic PC intellectual is something like the idealistic communist commissar who was working to make his own job unnecessary; the idealistic PC bureaucrat is acting to make human judgment and power not merely unnecessary but impossible: all important human decisions are to be done by abstract system - by the state.

Thus PC is, in its aspiration, the only wholly and permanently totalitarian ideology to have gained any traction.

PC aspires to an eternal and all powerful bureaucracy which assimilates all opposition: as I mentioned before, the Star Trek Next Generation 'Borg' is a fascinating metaphor for PC - and The Borg is, indeed, a much more morally-admirable entity for modern 'liberals' and leftists than is the collection of selfish and corruptible humans of the Starship Enterprise.