Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What is "Political Correctness"?

Talk about a term bandied about! Political Correctness (PC) trips glibly off the lips and fingertips when people speak or type or text their minds about sundry matters sociopolitical.

But what exactly do we mean by it?

Probably a lot of different things, as with most terms current in pop culture.

In my experience, many people seem to have a basic misconception about the meaning and purport of the term.  They seem to think the "correct" part is straightforward and literal; rather than sarcastic and ironic.  They also seem to think that "correct" means what certain groups think should be the case; rather than what in fact has become the case through the massive effects of peer pressure consequent upon a sea change in cultural worldview.

Aside from those basic misunderstandings, some think mistakenly that PC is strictly limited to the "political" sphere; but in fact, it connotes a much broader sphere -- related to the political, to be sure, but not limited by it -- which could be termed sociological, or cultural, or both:  sociocultural.  The term sociopolitical is another way of widening the subject matter under discussion.

The most curious misunderstanding I have run across -- and it's a rather common misunderstanding -- is that PC is not Leftish-oriented.  In fact, PC represents a kind of pyrrhic victory for the Left throughout the West:  it has snuck in through the back door, so to speak, and has managed to win over the hearts and minds of the vast majority of Westerners on all points on the sociopolitical spectrum: but it has only been able to accomplish this through significantly diluting and decaffeinating its essence.  PC represents, in effect, a "Leftism Lite" -- bland and sweet enough to be swallowed, and regurgitated by innumerable people who otherwise wouldn't touch Leftism (or "liberalism") with a ten-foot pole; along with innumerable others less hostile to Leftism-cum-liberalism, perhaps, but still wary of it and still concerned to affect an allegiance to "conservative" bonafides.

The final point of my rather cursory -- and incomplete -- discussion of PC is that it is the larger, more amorphous phenomenon under which is fit the subcategory PC MC (Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism).  I.e., PC embraces a whole constellation of sociopolitical issues (which I will not get into here), while PC MC is more delimited by issues related to our Western interaction with "other cultures" and their wonderful rainbow of peoples.  It's safe to say that while most people who are more or less PC are also PC MC, not everyone who is PC MC will also be PC about everything.  

Thus, the phenomenon of the majority of conservatives throughout the West who, while otherwise maintaining their "conservative" legitimacy about certain other sociopolitcal issues, have swallowed the bullshit about multiculturalism.  I.e., that we have to "respect the Other" and hate ourselves through our "white guilt" about the "shameful chapters" in our history (colonialism, etc.) -- and therefore we have to swallow the latest and most powerful permutation of multiculturalism: the irrational respect for Islam and the almost willful myopia to the mountains of data indicating that Islam is unjust, evil and dangerous, and the almost willful myopia to what this reasonably means about the hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world (and increasingly aggrandizing in our own Western world) who enable Islam.

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