Tuesday 14 December 2010

Why must political correctness inevitably fail?


Political correctness has absolutely no chance of success, it must inevitably fail.


There are many reasons for this - some contingent but highly probable: such that the means will corrupt the end - so the endemic lying, dependence-creation and bribery of practical populist leftist politics will surely corrupt the ideals of PC.

And the fact of the failure of PC is blazingly obvious. As England has become more politically correct it has become more pervasively corrupt.

British political discourse is now barefaced lying, science is not even trying to be honest, law is not even trying to be just, art is ugly and disdains beauty, morals are inverted.

Even the crudest cheating, bribery and embezzlement are massively increased, tolerated, soon forgotten - and even if punished, punished only mildly.


The equation for modernizing societies is simple: increasing official bureaucracy/ objectivity/ impersonality = increasing actual corruption/ favoritism/ inefficiency.

The actuality is exactly the opposite of what is supposed to happen in theory; yet this actuality does not stop it happening.

The rationale for ever-more bureaucracy is unaffected by the actuality of bureaucracy.

This means bureaucracy is operating at a level of pure ideals.

But there is a fundamental and very obvious reason why PC must fail; which is as follows:

If humanity is fundamentally corrupt and selfish such that human agency must be subordinated to impartial abstract system; then selfish and corrupt human agency can neither design nor implement impartial abstract systems.

So the actual systems of PC (being designed and imposed by selfish corrupt humans) will never be abstract and impartial but will on the contrary always bear exactly those marks of selfishness and corruption which they are supposed to suppress.

If you cannot trust humans to make their own choices, you cannot trust humans to make choices for other people.


This point is neither complex nor difficult to grasp - yet in order for PC to gain traction and currency it must blind itself to precisely this simple and obviously fatal flaw.


Political correctness merely substitutes one vast centralized selfish-corruption for the multitude of individual selfishnesses and corruptions of past societies.

Apparently it is easier for intellectuals to believe one big lie than many small ones - at any rate, the intrinsic flaws of bureaucracy are invisible to PC intellectuals.


It is not that PC intellectuals believe that abstract bureaucracies are perfect, rather that they will not believe in their intrinsic and gross imperfection. It is this blind spot which constitutes the big lie of PC.

And it is this blind spot which prevents PC from evaluating and comparing their proposed panacea of large totalitarian bureaucracies with the alternative of individual human agency.


All this is very obvious - but really, how do PC intellectuals fail to see it?

The answers are many: among them are micro-specialization, dishonesty and a short attention span.


Micro-specialization means that questions are framed so narrowly that they can only yield a narrow range of pre-defined answers (and never decisive and destructive refutations); dishonesty means that questions do not need to be answered at all but can be dismissed by ignoring, by crushing, or with ad hominem attacks; and a short attention span means that two step logic is beyond the capability of modern systems - PC can see one step ahead, to perceive that abstract bureaucratic system would prevent individual corruption; but cannot concentrate long enough to project two steps ahead, and to perceive that bureaucracies are not abstract but that their systems are merely a variant of individual corruption.


So the link between the increase in scope and strength of political correctness, and the increase in scope and strength of corruption is intrinsic and inevitable.

We need not therefore fear (because we will not get) an inhumanly efficient bureaucracy run by passionless impartial idealists; but we should fear and are getting a Brezhnev bureaucracy of seedy covert bribery and embezzlement among the intellectual elite - shielded by escalating propaganda of soaring Utopian idealism.


(The reality is that humans are indeed selfish and corrupt, and this is inescapable within the human condition on earth; but that our standards of behaviour are not human but divine and our reference should be heavenly not earthly. Read Pascal's Pensees for further elucidation...)



Anonymous said...

Even if it's true that political correctness must "inevitably fail", it might not happen for a very long time. Political correctness is one of the instruments by which institutionalized liberalism (or the current intellectual consensus) guides Western societies along a progressive track. Many PC attitudes are so deeply internalized, they're part of the "collective unconscious".

In the long term only a cultural revolution will overturn the liberal mindset of the educated elite and eradicate political correctness. In the short or medium term, perhaps a social catastrophe may be hoped for that will have deeply reactionary consequences.

Bruce Charlton said...

I would be careful about wishing for a catastrophe! PC will end soon enough, within a generation.

The problem is that the longer PC lasts, the more damage will be inflicted and the worse the catastrophe.

Eventually, PC will inflict so much damage on the West, that almost anyone who wants-to will be able to walk-in and take-over (locally, piecemeal - not whole nation states, which will break-up into either small chief-doms or larger theocracies).

PC has been so destructive of civil society that I see no plausible alternative rulership in the short term.

Or rather, PC is itself a product of de-Christianization; and without a prior resurgence of Christianity I don't see any prospect of good change.

A non-PC secular backlash could be stronger than PC in defense of nations; but would be equally nasty, or even nastier.

Anonymous said...

I can imagine how the moral damage inflicted by political correctness could be repaired by a Christian Renaissance, but I cannot see any evidence that a recovery of religious vitality is about to transform the Western world.

The resistance of individual and small enclaves of Christians will not be enough to stop the rot. There has to be some sort of mass movement led by thinkers who have rejected the so-called liberal world view. This would involve a wilful metamorphosis in every opinion forming institution - the church, the law, politics, the universities, and the mass media.

There's a huge number of people who don't have any examined assumptions at all. In religious terms, they can't be described as pagans because even the pagans of antiquity had their gods and goddesses. These people have no opinions of their own and depend, as Ortega y Gasset suggested, on having their opinions poured into them like lubricating oil is poured into machines. That's why political correctness is ubiquitous.

Bruce Charlton said...

"I cannot see any evidence that a recovery of religious vitality is about to transform the Western world. The resistance of individual and small enclaves of Christians will not be enough to stop the rot."

I agree. I see no evidence of resurgent religious vitality in the West (although that is what would be needed); and small enclaves will not be enough - although larger enclaves, like the Mormons in Utah and surrounding areas, probably would.

I am skeptical that a secular reactionary movement would be able to take over anything as big as a nation state - nationalism in big places is now so weak (and in small places like Scotland, Wales, Catalonia - the nationalism is left wing, statist, PC, pacifist and parasitic).

So I am pessimistic - tho' still hopeful!

Bruce Charlton said...

When I say 'the West' I am excluding Russia. Russia is on a different trajectory.

Russia is the only country in the developed world where Christianity is booming among the ruling elites; and although Russia has *plenty* of problems, Political Correctness is not one of them...