WHAT IS POLITICAL CORRECTNESS?
Merriam Webster provides us with this definition:
conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated
I would describe political correctness as a set of ideas relating to race and gender that are accepted as indisputable truth, and that therefore can “legitimately” be defended from all criticism by any means fair or not fair. It is this latter aspect of political correctness that is the most troubling and dangerous, this idea that it is not necessary to defend the set of ideas purely with reason and evidence. It is this aspect of political correctness that leads me to say political correctness was always mad, because I don’t believe any ideas should ever be protected from being questioned. These are some of the ideas that I think form part of this specially protected set of ideas (of course this is a broad generalization):
- Racism is very bad.
- Some words are inherently racist and therefore should never be used (the set of words thereby excluded seems to grow ever larger).
- Opposing immigration is racist and therefore opposing immigration is also very bad.
- Diversity is strength.
- All races are exactly equal and therefore employers must hire exact numbers of each race to match the local population or applications.
- Only white people are racist (contradicts the above idea suggesting that white people are uniquely inferior to other races). This idea was summarized by the catch-phrase “racism is the white man’s disease”. This leads to further ideas such as the idea there is nothing for white people to fear from white populations becoming racial minorities.
- “Positive” discrimination is necessary to force the racist white employers and educational establishments to hire/accept the right numbers of other races.
- Dislike of Islam (Islamophobia) (or other minority beliefs) is racist and therefore is also very bad.
- Overt displays of the host’s nationality – flags or religious symbols, may upset ethnic minorities and therefore should be suppressed.
- Different genders should be exactly equally represented in all professions.
- Women can perform just as well as men if they are not discriminated against.
- Women should be paid exactly the same as men for the same occupation.
- Women who choose to have no children as a lifestyle choice should be celebrated for their decision.
- Homophobia is very bad.
- Opposing gay marriage is homophobic and therefore is also very bad.
- Opposing the teaching in schools of things that must not be opposed (the above list) is also very bad.
WHAT ELSE IS WRONG WITH POLITICAL CORRECTNESS?
A major problem with many of these ideas is that they vastly over-simplify realities. For example, men are physically stronger than women in general and therefore better suited to certain occupations. If women have children this will necessarily impact their ability to pursue careers on an equal footing with men, therefore enforcing equal gender pay may inhibit employers’ competitiveness. Racism can be seen in many races, not just among white people. The way the Japanese treated Chinese people after they invaded parts of China in the early 20th century can be seen as just one example of evidence of this.
All races are not necessarily equal in all aspects at all, this can be seen in athletics where certain groups often do better in running events. Here is a BBC article on the subject. They point to the athletic prowess of the runners from the Nandi region of Kenya. They also point out that the African Bambuti tribe have a certain advantage in the sport of walking through low doorways, that is obviously a genetic advantage:
Of course, since this is a BBC article, they are pushing the politically correct idea that racial discrimination is bad. The objective of the article is to point out that athletic prowess is particular not to black people in general but to particular African groups, and that therefore generalizations about black people (and other larger racial groups) are illogical. The agenda here is to promote the idea of “positive” discrimination – the article then cites a study that they claim proves that employers discriminate against people purely because they have African names. They then reach the conclusion from this study that irrational discrimination is behind black performance in “economic development”, quote:
For many economists, this assumption, which gets under the radar of our conscious thought, explains why black people still lag behind white people in economic development more than four decades after the introduction of race-relations legislation.
There is a huge leap in thinking going on here, from a single study involving 5,000 fake CVs to a conclusion about black people’s economic performance in the Western world in general. There is for one thing plausibly another large factor that the BBC have overlooked entirely, beyond discrimination – that black people might actually have lower AVERAGE intelligence than white people. In fact, the only studies that have been done on the subject suggest just that – the famous (or infamous if you are politically correct) studies of Richard Lynn for example. It is perfectly possible that this may be the largest reason “why black people still lag behind white people in economic development” (although most probably there are more than one factors at work).
Something the BBC also seem to be overlooking (no doubt due to the fact that they are left-leaning employees themselves), is that people can also set up their own businesses, and become employers themselves. It is also perfectly possible that there may be other factors at play in employers’ hiring decisions, that are not well described by the simplistic phrase “racial discrimination”. The question of whether “positive” discrimination is a good idea or not is a large one (I will come back to that on another occasion), I am merely pointing out here that when arguments are made within the strait jacket of politically correct limits, then the conclusions are likely to be wildly over-simplistic.
Of course it is intelligence that is the biggest factor in economic success in today’s world, not running ability or the ability to walk under low doorways. Conformity to political correctness is preventing the BBC from even mentioning the question of IQ and race here, which is obviously crucial to the question of racial discrimination in the modern technology-driven workplace. The believers in political correctness should put their efforts into trying to prove professor Lynn’s data is wrong rather than simply slandering him/calling him names, if they are serious about challenging his theories. Are the employers who discriminate really doing so just because they are “racist”, or because they are facing an economic reality that will negatively affect their business if they ignore it?
There are too many problems with these individual ideas in the politically “correct” set to discuss them all in a single post, I will come back to them in detail in future posts. Even considering just these few objections it quickly becomes clear that our Western societies have NOT in fact arrived at a perfect set of ideas about equality. It also becomes clear that many of these current ideas negatively impact competitiveness. If Western societies implement government-enforced recruitment policies based on these ideas, while other societies do not, then Western societies may well begin to lag behind those other societies. Also, the strait jacket of political correctness creates inertia in thinking, and thinking needs to be dynamic to meet the challenges of an ever changing world.
DEROGATORY WORDS AND PHRASES WITHOUT CLEAR DEFINITIONS
A particular problem with some of the ideas is that the terms used have never been well defined by those using them. What, exactly, is a racist? Is the BBC author in the above mentioned article a racist for suggesting that some African groups may tend to statistically perform better in certain athletic events? Richard Lynn was widely accused of racism (and fiercely vilified) merely for conducting a study into IQ and race, yet his conclusion was not that his own race (white Europeans) were the most intelligent – in fact he concluded that some Far Eastern groups had the highest IQ! If his statistical data turns out to reflect reality, will he still be considered a racist for publishing it, or does the charge of racism only apply if he is wrong, or if he can be shown to be deliberately lying?
My own idea of what constitutes a racist would include someone who thought that ALL non-white people were inferior to ALL white people in every way, which is an idea that is clearly false – some black people are clearly very intelligent and some white people are clearly very stupid. A racist would typically be someone who would like to see all non-white people deported from their country, or worse. A racist would be someone who felt no shame in shouting out racial epithets at people of other races.
Clearly my definition here is a very long way away from this writer’s at the National Union of Journalists who seems to include at least a third of the UK population (including 12 million UKIP supporters) in his definition:
And it’s true; UKIP aren’t necessarily openly racist. But neither are Pegida. Instead they seek to capitalise on a fear of ‘an other’ who they claim is becoming more powerful even though the reality is that minority communities overall remain just that.
Of course these words and phrases suppress the nuances of a person’s opinions and throw lots of people with widely different views into the same category. Is an “Islamophobe” someone who puts a pig’s head in a mosque doorway AND also someone who is critical of the Islamic religion in an intellectual way, such as Richard Dawkins or the Reverend Canon Gavin Ashenden (a chaplain to the Queen)? Is it really even sane to lump all these opinions in the same category?
Its a very sad reflection on the last and current UK Prime Ministers, that they bandy words around without ever it seems even thinking about what they mean by them, let alone telling us what they mean by them. “We must stamp out extremism in ALL its forms” said these dimwits. David Cameron also for example used the phrase “sickening Islamophobe” without giving us the slightest hint what he meant by the word.
DEROGATORY WORDS AND PHRASES WITH EXPANDING MEANINGS
Sometimes words that previously had been reasonably clearly defined began to expand greatly in their meaning, at least in their usage among the PC brigade. As many others have pointed out, these words have been so over-used and misused by now that they are becoming practically meaningless. If a racist now includes everyone who wants to limit immigration because they are worried about the impact on wages for their peers, then blimey that’s quite a broad definition of the word racist, so broad in fact the meaning is practically actually now a different meaning.
Those people who are still concerned about ACTUAL racism should be worried about these trends towards greater vagueness in language, because people are beginning to rebel and consider the tags “racist” and “far-right” as badges of honour, a sign that they are willing to speak out against the strait jacket of political correctness.
The phrase “far-right” was always misleading because it was used to describe people with strongly racist and nationalistic viewpoints whose politics were not particularly right-wing at all, and often were in fact left of centre. The phrase “National SOCIALIST” is a bit of a giveaway here. By sheer persistence of use the phrase eventually stuck, a phrase that casually slanders the right wing by suggesting there is something right-wing about racism. The true economically “far-right”, the libertarians, are in fact often open borders advocates who are not troubled by questions of race at all.
A new phrase the “alt-right” has arisen to describe people with a particular view-point that is generally fairly closely associated with the libertarian view-point rather than racist-nationalist groups. Lately however there seems to be an unconnected but simultaneous effort from those on the left and those of racist-nationalist tendencies to conflate the two terms, for example consider this quote from the Guardian:
It may be that Gab becomes an online sanctuary for the far right. It’s not clear whether anyone else will join the party. The question then will be: will isolation in such a bubble simply intensify and normalize alt-right views?
In this single paragraph in an article about the twitter alternative gab, the Guardian writer simultaneously slanders the gab site as “far-right” (i.e. they are hinting that its users are racist/nationalist), and also conflates the far-right and alt-right as indistinguishable from each other. By slandering gab in this way they are (not subtly) hinting that their readers should not go there, lest they be deemed racists.
“POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD”
Political correctness has not stood still, it is a movement that has grown and gathered momentum as it went. The phrase “political correctness gone mad” emerged as the first challenge to the prevailing and it seemed ever expanding reach of political correctness. An example of this trend was Oxford city council’s proposal to rename Christmas to the ‘Winter Light Festival’ on the grounds that it would be more “inclusive”
A number of attempts to ban the cross of St George contrasted with failure to ban the ISIS flag:
Words previously in widespread usage such as “coloured” were being outlawed as someone had now ridiculously decided they were inherently racist – the actor Benedict Cumberbatch was vilified for using the word in a well-meaning way. So eventually the PC monster had begun to eat its own silly parents and children.
Much more troubling still was the fact that the rules of political correctness were beginning to be enshrined in law. Politicians had begun clamouring for laws to stamp out homophobia and Islamophobia before they had even properly defined what they meant by these words. Vague laws were being passed that could be (and have been) used against anyone who challenged the ideas of political correctness. The thought policing we were warned about by George Orwell was becoming a reality. This could be seen for example in the conviction of one Mr. Stephen Bennett, prosecuted for making some “grossly offensive” general remarks about Muslims and women on a Facebook page.
Harriet Harman, UK politician, proposed a so-called “Equality Bill” which was in fact discriminatory against white males.
Under the proposals, employers would be legally allowed to discriminate in favour of a job candidate on the basis of their race or gender where the candidates were otherwise equally qualified.
Michael Millar, writing in The Spectator, was of the opinion that, “The Equality Bill before parliament today gives employers the right to choose an ethnic minority candidate or female candidate over a white male, specifically because they are an ethnic minority or female.”
ENFORCEMENT OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
Political correctness has been enforced in society by its supporters who have for some time formed the majority in all the elite institutions that have influence over our beliefs – government, the judiciary, the police, the media, academia, teaching, the unions. They have also long formed a majority in the arts – film, theatre, music.
In a brilliant essay on the subject, Stella Morabito identifies 2 main features of the psychological manipulation practiced by the propagators of “politically correct” ideas – saturation and suppression:
Public opinion is often molded through a calculated process of psychological manipulation that takes two main forms: saturation and suppression.
I strongly advise readers to read her article in full:
Saturation involves persistently repeating politically correct points of view, and suppression involves preventing other points of view from being heard, and suppressing facts. Suppression of opinions is achieved often by ostracism and slander when it is otherwise difficult to silence them completely. A form of slander I discussed above that is used in suppression is the deliberate confusion/blurring of the meaning of different phrases such as far-right, alt-right, racist, anti-immigration.
The mainstream media throughout the West has long suppressed non-PC viewpoints simply by not broadcasting these viewpoints, or at least by only rarely broadcasting them. Sometimes other views are occasionally presented but usually with cues such as “look out, what this person is about to say is racist/sexist”! TV and radio presenters in the UK will often adopt a particular tone of voice when speaking to those they deem racist/sexist, and sometimes be quite rude to their guests. For example, in a recent interview on the BBC TV with Nigel Farage the presenter persistently rustled papers near her microphone whenever Mr. Farage was speaking. In another example the BBC TV were interviewing a Donald Trump supporter and they cut the supporter off mid sentence at the end of the interview. Of course either of these incidents on their own could have been a trivial simple mistake, but after you watch BBC TV politics programmes for long enough you start to see there is a definite pattern.
Another much more significant thing is the way the mainstream media has also adopted subtle techniques to suppress facts. For example, mainstream media has been routinely suppressing the fact that most of the migrants coming across the Mediterranean from Africa in the ongoing migrant crisis are fit young men. This was accomplished by repetitively publishing pictures of very young children and women in articles on the subject, rather than outright misinformation.
This example demonstrates just how dangerous political correctness can become. The motives of the migrants were obscured and Europeans were encouraged to think that they were welcoming in desperate refugees whereas they were in fact welcoming in large numbers of opportunistic economic migrants and criminal elements, many of whom have gone on to commit crimes including rapes and murders and even terrorist attacks.
If large numbers of young men travel long distances without females accompanying them, then it can be easily predicted that some of those young men will be sexually frustrated and some will commit sexual crimes as a result. Political correctness discouraged the mainstream media from informing the general public of these realities, for fear of being called racists for portraying this wave of immigration in a negative light.
In the UK, all the broadcast TV channels are quite obviously subscribers to politically correct ideology, and the BBC especially has a uniquely powerful position having several terrestial TV channels and 4 FM radio channels. The Islamic religion has almost never been challenged to any significant extent on any mainstream TV channels in the UK. Only very rarely have opposing voices been heard. On one episode of Newsnight the critic of Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali was interviewed by a presenter who behaved as if she were disgusted by Ms. Ali and rather spoke to her in the same manner that a BBC presenter would speak to a member of the BNP.
The only newspapers that fall outside the politically correct sphere in the UK such as the Daily Mail and the Daily Express are routinely vilified/derided by the rest of the mainstream media with phrases such as “the gutter press”. During the migrant crisis the Daily Express became my newspaper of choice because it routinely publishes important stories revealing the character of this wave of migration that were almost never seen in the politically “correct” mainstream media, for example:
In the Daily Mail some inconvenient claims were made about the father of a child migrant in Calais, who pop-singer Lily Allen had shed tears over and apologized to:
This is the same Daily Mail that the BBC routinely derides on political and comedy shows such as “Have I Got News For You”. The story has neither been published nor disputed by the rest of the mainstream media.
Of course the emergence of the Breitbart news website has helped to stir things up quite significantly. This website has been rapidly gaining readership, much to the consternation of the mainstream media, who have been routinely slandering it as “far-right”, “ethno-nationalist” etc..
It won’t be long before Breitbart IS the mainstream media, and papers like the Guardian begin to lose ground to them, because the suppression technique of slander is NOT WORKING against Breitbart.
NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS (NUJ)
I mentioned an article published on the NUJ’s website above, also in this article it says.
We provide support to those actively fighting racists and fascists on our streets.
We must call on our politicians to explain why they allow racists on our streets and challenge them to not allow that in the future.
When we hear that demonstrations are taking place to “rid these islands of Islam”, we should all be very concerned.
Now why is a union of journalists getting involved in politics like this? Ever heard of the impartiality of the press? Surely journalists should be filming and writing about fighting on the streets, not SUPPORTING it? As I mentioned above the article seems to also tar the UKIP party as a racist organization. Is this NATIONAL union of journalists really sure they ought to be openly opposing (and slandering) a party that represents 12% of the UK electorate (at the last election).
There was a time when the NUJ had quite a lot of influence over journalism in the UK:
The good news is that this union is rapidly losing support among the younger generation of journalists, at least if this is anything to go by:
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
I already mentioned the creation of laws to enforce political correctness in the UK above. The laws include laws which have been used to prosecute non-politically correct speech, and so-called “equality” legislation that is in fact discriminatory against white males.
Perhaps the high-water mark of the era of political correctness in the UK has been the rise of Theresa May to be the (unelected) UK Prime Minister. The coverage of the leadership contest in the mainstream media was brazenly biased against the non-politically correct candidate, Andrea Leadsom. Leadsom was vilified in a series of phoney scandals which included “babygate” and “gaymarriagegate”. Leadsom had dared to mention the fact that she was a mother (contrasting with the childless Theresa May), this was the “scandal” called “babygate”. Leadsom had also dared to suggest that she might have doubts about gay marriage, this was the “scandal” called “gaymarriagegate”. Of course the mainstream media was also opposed to Leadsom’s candidacy because she had campaigned for the UK to leave the politically correct monster called the “European Union”.
In the most ominous sign of a drift towards a thought-police state, Theresa May had recently advanced a “Counter-Extremism” bill that included a measure called “Extremist Banning and Disruption Orders“. These orders were clearly designed to enforce political correctness through the law courts, particularly to suppress politically incorrect “Islamophobia”, but also to suppress other politically incorrect opinions – one conservative MP even suggested that the orders should be used against school teachers who dared to express doubts about gay marriage.
THE UK POLICE
Peter Hitchens wrote an article about political correctness in today’s police force in the UK:
Some other views:
IMPACT OF THE INTERNET
These techniques of suppression and saturation however could only be applied as long as media was restricted to a relatively small number of organizations and (delivery platforms – printed papers/tv/radio) – and the PC brigade largely controlled the mainstream media. Now, thanks to the internet, anyone can publish ideas that the whole world can read. Also very importantly, smart phones are now widely available that enable people to easily record video footage of events on the spot that contradict the mainstream media narrative and expose their suppression tactics:
More and more people are beginning to openly question the mainstream media via blogs and social media platforms. The anonymity that is possible on the internet makes it easy to evade the suppression techniques of vilification and ostracism. A true revolution in human thought is beginning to take place. It should be welcomed and allowed to flourish, because it will become the greatest enabler of human progress of all time, in all spheres, if it is freely allowed to develop. Most people are not evil, believe it you “elites”, they do not need to have the truth hidden from them like this, they will not suddenly turn into ogres.
Sensing that they are losing their grip, some of the leaders are now trying to control the social media platforms and harvest data about individuals using mass surveillance (ostensibly under the guise of the combatting of terrorism and paedophilia). This is only likely to result in
- More suspicion of the leaders, more erosion of trust in politics.
- New social media platforms arising (such as the Twitter alternative gab.ai mentioned above) whose main motivation is simply to avoid censorship.
- Use of encryption techniques that bypass national governments’ control such as Tor. Ironically the Internet and Tor were first created by the US govt.
We must not underestimate what lengths the leaders will go to suppress dissent:
Outside Germany at least we should now see the rise of alternatives.
In the longer run, the only way that national governments will be able to stop this explosion of individuals publishing their ideas and (e.g. video) evidence will be to physically separate their countries from the rest of the internet and then heavily censor internet publication.
For smaller countries the impact on ecommerce will be too great and I do not expect that most countries will in the end even attempt such separation, although they will probably contemplate it when it becomes clear to them just how hopeless attempts at censorship will be otherwise. Another route they may attempt is to outlaw encryption that they cannot break, in fact e.g. the UK govt. has already mooted this.
TURNING THE TABLES
As Ovid once said, it is right to learn, even from the enemy. One of the tools of political correctness enforcement – saturation – can and should be used to turn the tables. Every time someone shouts “racist Islamophobe”, shout back “Islam is not a race”! Repeat this every time, never be afraid of repeating yourself. Also, keep repeating the truth about Islam – that it incites violence and condones child abuse.
Our goal should be to use the truth to fight back – suppression of the truth should be met by exposing the truth. The truth will always be more powerful than lies. We have the greatest tool mankind has ever had to combat falsehood – the internet. Use the freedom it brings or lose it, and oppose all attempts at censorship, even of opinions you don’t agree with. As Noam Chomsky put it:
If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.
(I’m not a huge fan, but he is spot on about that).
The tyranny of political “correctness” has been exposed for what it is but there is now a danger that the ruling elites will try to silence dissent with greater censorship and further restrictions on freedom of speech. Join the fight using reason and evidence to undermine the mainstream media’s PC narrative. If you haven’t already, start blogging, join conversations on social media, anonymously or in person, say what you think, spread information and ideas, write to your MPs. The very idea of political correctness needs to be utterly discredited and freedom of speech needs to be allowed to flourish once more.