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arts / rec.arts.books / The foolishness of political correctness

o The foolishness of political correctnessIlya Shambat

The foolishness of political correctness


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Subject: The foolishness of political correctness
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 by: Ilya Shambat - Sat, 2 Dec 2023 03:19 UTC

The proponents of political correctness like to portray anyone who takes objection to political correctness as a bigot or a neanderthal. Any expression containing even a hint of anger brings on that response. I am responding now to political correctness in a manner that is fully reasoned and that cannot be portrayed credibly as any such thing.

Political correctness not only fails to achieve its stated goals of tolerance and respect; it prevents them from being made possible at all. In order to actually respect or tolerate the next person I need to understand their perspective. For me to do so the next person will have to be able to tell me their honest opinions however offensive these may be. And if the next person cannot tell me their honest opinions because someone may find them offensive, then I will never understand the next person's perspective, and I would not know whether or not to extend to that person actual tolerance or actual respect.

What is achieved this way is nothing close to tolerance or respect. What is achieved this way is suffocating insincerity. And insincerity is a horrible thing to inflict upon a population. It makes Americans look to everyone else like scammers. Even I, who have fought this state of affairs ever since I knew what it was, could not escape this stereotype when I went to Australia.

Now there have been many arguments by conservatives that 1960s and 1970s liberalism degraded national character. Political correctness does that much more. People having sex and doing drugs does not necessarily make people worse human beings. Being taught to be insincere, however, very much does make people worse human beings. And that degrades national character for real.

Before political correctness in America, there were similar attitudes in Japan. According to their beliefs you get what you send out; so you cannot say or even think anything negative. But there are many situations in which you do have to say things that are negative. When a nuclear reactor explodes you have to tell people what actually has taken place. Doing anything else is not enlightenment, it is lying.

Similar themes have been tried in a fair country formerly known as Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was widely regarded as a civilized country, indeed the best country in the Communist bloc. The government preached something similar to political correctness, and it made sure that people conformed to it. Because people were not allowed to express their feelings, they could not move beyond their suppressed ethnic hatreds, which is what they had been feeling all along. The fair country called Yugoslavia was replaced with mass graves and rapes of every female aged 4 to 70. This was not accidental; it was a logical outcome of the politically correct policies that the Tito government had put into place.

I am from Russia, and Russians are generally regarded as the rudest people in the world. I have encountered in any number of places – especially the American South – the attitude that politeness is the same thing as respect; but a credible case can be made that rudeness is actually more respectable than politeness. When you are rude I know where you are standing, whereas when you are polite I am left guessing. If you think that Russians, or Jews, or myself personally, are evil, then I would rather hear that than to see you pretending to be nice to me while waiting to stab me in the back. That way I know what I am dealing with, and I can find workable ways to deal with it.

Now I do not necessarily advocate unchecked rudeness, as that can be off-putting to people and often deter useful input. But that outcome is far more reliably accomplished by the attitude that no opinion that anyone can consider offensive should be expressed. The outcome of the preceding, once again, is nothing close to tolerance or respect. The outcome of the preceding is suffocating insincerity. And that, once again, is very bad for the country.. It makes everyone dishonest, and as such it degrades national character.

Besides, once again, making all but impossible its stated goals of achieving tolerance and respect.

Of course the participants in political correctness do not begin to follow their own stated claims of respect or tolerance. I have been viciously misrepresented by these people as everything that I am not. A sociopath, a racist, a misogynist, you name it. I have even been slandered ridiculously as a pedophile. Yet very few of these people have done anything to help women at the receiving end of real abuses such as severe brutality, death threats or corrupt courts taking away their children. Very few of these people have maintained close, lasting, serious friendships with people who were black, or people who were poor, or people who are socially ostracized. Very few of these people have done anything to confront real misogyny such as that of Eminem or Michael Murphy. I have done all of the above.

The same people who call themselves feminists have been abetting the most viciously misogynistic ideology on the planet – Jihadist Islam. The same people who call themselves feminists have been excusing inner city thugs in their crimes against women. Of course they do not see the outcome of their policies; however the people who fund them and vote for them do.

At this point the participants in this abominable movement will want to portray me as a dangerous person. I certainly hope to be dangerous to them; I hope that more people be dangerous to them, both on the Left and the Right. These people have inflicted a very real form of fascism upon countries that are intended to be free; and if America's founders were alive today they would see them for how gravely they have violated the constitutional intent..

As well as, once again, degrading the national character.

As well as, once again, making all but impossible their own stated goals of tolerance and respect.

I have close friendships with a number of classical liberals, including some with major personal achievements, and none of them have any use for political correctness. One statement I've heard from a young Jewish lady is that political correctness is an embarrassment to liberalism; and that it is indeed. Liberalism was never meant to be the same thing as fascism, and liberalism was never meant to be the same thing as forced insincerity.

A person who actually seeks to achieve things such as respect and tolerance will not be telling people to not say anything that somebody may consider offensive. He will allow people to say exactly what they are feeling and thinking, however offensive these things may be. Then people will understand one another's actual perspectives; and then they will know whether or not to tolerate or respect one another.

Political correctness makes this outcome impossible. And that means that it is the biggest thing that stands in the way of the commendable goal of achieving tolerance and respect.

Ilya Shambat

arts / rec.arts.books / The foolishness of political correctness


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