Thursday, January 28, 2016

Politically Correct or Not

Political—related to polarized, competing worldviews, particularly competing movements for power over the people
Correct—in alignment with prescribed answers, views, statements, opinions
So, politically correct means aligned with a particular polarity that wants to control others and maintain power. It has nothing to do with being tolerant and polite.

A few weeks ago I read a piece that detailed the definition, and outlined its use as propaganda: “PC Is about Control, Not Etiquette,” by Jeff Diest, in an issue of The Austrian, for The Mises Institute. I’d be satisfied just to concur with him. But for this post I’ll quote liberally from that piece, and then do some application related to current events.

If PC truly was about kindness and respect, it wouldn’t need to be imposed on us. After all, we already have a mechanism for the social cohesion PC is said to represent: it’s called manners. And we already have specific individuals charged with insuring that good manners are instilled and upheld: they’re called parents.
Diest offers a definition of political correctness, similar to mine, and asserts that it is best understood as propaganda:

Political correctness is the conscious, designed manipulation of language intended to change the way people speak, write, think, feel, and act, in furtherance of an agenda.
PC is best understood as propaganda, which is how I suggest we approach it. But unlike propaganda, which historically has been used by governments to win favor for a particular campaign or effort, PC is all-encompassing. It seeks nothing less than to mold us into modern versions of Marx’s un-alienated society man, freed of all his bourgeois pretensions and humdrum social conventions.
While we’re quoting, Diest quotes Hans-Hermann Hoppe:

[T]he masters … stipulate that aggression, invasion, murder and war are actually self-defense, whereas self-defense is aggression, invasion, murder and war. Freedom is coercion, and coercion is freedom. … Taxes are voluntary payments, and voluntarily paid prices are exploitative taxes. In a PC world, metaphysics is diverted and rerouted. Truth becomes malleable, to serve a bigger purpose determined by our superiors.
This ought to bring to mind the scripture, Isaiah 5:20:

20 ¶Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Political correctness is a lie imposed on people. It is the antithesis of free speech—and simultaneously the antithesis of social caring. It isn’t about being tolerant and kind; it is about bulling to force submission.

The bully of political correctness is always what the world terms liberal. Let’s reframe that using Spherical Model terms, which are more accurate, since “liberal” in this context has nothing to do with freedom or open-mindedness. Political correctness is the propaganda that enforces southern hemisphere tyranny. People who love freedom, prosperity, and civilization are the target of PC propaganda.

I don’t want to use a lot of space delineating the examples. So, just a few of the truths that are labeled politically incorrect:

·         Marriage is between one man and one woman.
·         Judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.
·         All lives matter.
·         Abortion kills an innocent human being.
·         Men and women are different
·         A person’s gender is biological and unchangeable.
·         A person’s sexual orientation may be determined by many factors, but can change, and doesn’t determine behavior.
·         Religious people live their religion every day, not just at church on Sunday.
·         People have the right to defend themselves, their families, and their property.
·         People should feel secure in their person and papers, even when they have nothing to hide.
·         People who commit crimes should be held accountable—even if they had a bad childhood or other social disadvantages.
·         The person who earns money should be the one to decide how to spend it—even if that person makes more than someone else.
·         Disagreeing with someone doesn’t mean we hate them or consider them our enemies.
·         “Climate change” science isn’t settled.
·         Immigrants should enter our country legally and intend to become Americans, respecting our culture and our Constitution.
·         Enforcing our borders does not mean hating immigrants.

People who believe these basic obvious truths—who happen to be conservatives, almost exclusively—have been shut out of the debate, bullied, silenced with “political correctness” for so long, there’s a growing frustration and anger. They (we) are being bullied.

It is into that steaming, silent, seemingly powerless fuming that Donald Trump steps. It appears that someone is standing up to the bully. And people cheer for that. Sometimes to the point that they fail to realize that he isn’t their champion.

He is his own propaganda machine. He is a new bully. He sets a different list of what can and cannot be said—and he enforces it with his considerable power, influence, and money, and in a way that goads the media into magnifying for him.
Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly
photo: John Minchillo--AP

As I write, I’m watching the Trump-free GOP debate, which Trump is boycotting because he’s been having a feud with Megyn Kelly, since her “politically incorrect—to him” questioning in the first Fox debate in August.

To review, this is the exchange, from the transcript:

KELLY: Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don’t use a politician’s filter. However, that is not without its downsides, in particular, when it comes to women. You’ve called women you don’t like “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” Your Twitter account…
TRUMP: Only Rosie O’Donnell.
KELLY: No, it wasn’t. Your Twitter account…
TRUMP: Thank you.
KELLY: For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O’Donnell.
TRUMP: Yes, I’m sure it was.
KELLY: Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?
TRUMP: I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either. This country is in big trouble. We don’t win anymore. We lose to China. We lose to Mexico both in trade and at the border. We lose to everybody.
And frankly, what I say, and oftentimes it’s fun, it’s kidding. We have a good time. What I say is what I say. And honestly Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that.
But you know what, we — we need strength, we need energy, we need quickness and we need brain in this country to turn it around. That, I can tell you right now.
I highlighted the actual question. The answer is, essentially, “I was just kidding.” For that “attack on him,” even though he said he wouldn’t do such a thing, after the debate he started an ongoing attack on Megyn Kelly. It may be shocking that the details she used would be brought up to a presidential candidate—since they were pretty much ignored for Bill Clinton. But the question itself was reasonable, in not very substantive, and pertinent to this candidate. But it wasn’t pro-Trump, so he insists it’s bad journalism.

In another debate he admitted to a possible weakness. Here’s what he said

TRUMP: I think maybe my greatest weakness is that I trust people too much. I’m too trusting. And when they let me down, if they let me down, I never forgive. I find it very, very hard to forgive people that deceived me. So I don’t know if you would call that a weakness, but my wife said “let up.”
I would call that a weakness. A serious one.

So, how do you get attacked by Donald Trump? You cross him. You disagree with him. You let his own flaws become clear to the public. Or you simply get in his way. (Example here.)

He attacks with lies. He bullies. He manipulates. He publicly demeans.

How is that different from “political correctness” if you’re someone who doesn’t agree with him? It isn’t.

Trump isn’t standing up against political correctness per se; he’s standing up against the current propaganda and plans to replace it with his own.

If you do not agree with him, succumb to him, worship him, you risk being squashed under his very big shoe, you inconsequential bug.

Diest isn’t including Trump in his discussion. I’m making that addition. But Diest tells us that PC is indeed dangerous:

Understand that the PC enforcers are not asking you, they’re not debating you, and they don’t care about your vote. They don’t care whether they can win at the ballot box, or whether they use extralegal means. There are millions of progressives in the US who absolutely would criminalize speech that does not comport with their sense of social justice.
One poll suggests 51 percent of Democrats and 1/3 of all Americans would do just that.
A different flavor—a more brash and vulgar voice—is no less a problem for freedom-loving Americans.

Diest offers some suggestions about standing up to PC, wherever it comes from:

This is not to say that bucking PC can’t hurt you: the possible loss of one’s job, reputation, friends, and even family is very serious. But defeatism is never called for, and it makes us unworthy of our ancestors.
Use humor to ridicule PC. PC is absurd, and most people sense it. And its practitioners suffer from a comical lack of self-awareness and irony. Use every tool at your disposal to mock, ridicule, and expose PC for what it is.
Never forget that society can change very rapidly in the wake of certain precipitating events. We certainly all hope that no great calamity strikes America, in the form of an economic collapse, a currency collapse, an inability to provide entitlements and welfare, energy shortages, food and water shortages, natural disasters, or civil unrest. But we can’t discount the possibility of these things happening.
And if they do, I suggest that PC language and PC thinking will be the first ornament of the state to go. Only rich, modern, societies can afford the luxury of a mindset that does not comport with reality, and that mindset will be swiftly swept aside as the “rich” part of America frays.
I don’t want some dire calamity to wake us up. I’m totally in favor of thinking, reading, and doing the right thing without hardship. I’m not good at ridicule, even when exposing ideas (not in favor of ridiculing people, and I don’t think Diest is either). But I appreciate a good political cartoon or satire. Good luck to those who can do those things well.

Lacking those skills, let me just remind that speaking truth, in families, is where recovery begins, so we freedom loving people have the strength to stand up to the bullies.

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