Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Political Correctness - A Preclude to Thoughtcrime

Political correctness is something that is both strongly encouraged and strongly opposed, depending on which parties you are looking at. Some people feel that using politically correct language is a necessary way to treat others with respect and dignifiy them as human beings. Others feel that the entire political correctness movement unjustly strips people of liberties that they should have. My stance falls squarely in that of the latter group of people. Yesterday, I had a fascinating discussion with a politically conservative friend, and our conversation veered towards the new immigration laws in Arizona and the ridiculous racial meme that many try to conflate with this new legislation.

Political correctness can be defined as: "a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, disability, and age-related contexts." Taken to an extreme, political correctness would result in the following three things. Individuals would not treat anyone differently, regardless of nearly any meaningful difference. Individuals would not use language that denote others as different. Individuals would not even hold ideas or think thoughts that perceive others as different. Everyone who is working towards achieving a politically-correct utopia is working towards the enforcement of those three things. Already, we have a plethora of anti-discrimination laws that affect employment and housing. Already, we have hate speech laws, severely restricting free speech.

The next logical progression of the political correctness movement is to take an even more authoritarian stance by cracking down further on both behavior and speech. Following that, the only remaining goal left to achieve is that of creating legislation banning thoughtcrime. Thoughtcrime, of course, is any idea or opinion that is deemed unacceptable by the ruling elite. The prohibition of thoughtcrime would mark the complete end to all liberty. If those in power say that 2+2=5, then it must be true. If those in power say that men and women are no different, then it's a crime to think otherwise. If the ruling elite say that that there is no distinction between the elderly and the young, then such must be the established facts. Any thinking contrary to this is criminal behavior, worthy of whatever punishments are deemed appropriate.

Politically correct thinking, even though it has not reached its natural end, already involves massive amounts of doublethink. Ideologically, political correctness denies that there is any functional correlation between social diversity and individual ability. It denies that the very real diversity that exists has any practical effect on life. A woman can do a job as well as a man. A hispanic immigrant will be as well-suited for a computer programming job as a college-educated white man. An elderly man is as capable of working hard and being profitable as a young fellow. The simple fact is, even though there may be rare exceptions, generally those differences are substantial. It is irrational and insane to suggest otherwise. Those who turn everything into a debate about racism or sexism invariably deny that race or sex has any effect on one's ability to perform certain tasks, be good tenants, or even be decent people. They insist that all individuals engage in doublethink by simultaneously recognizing the very real diversity that exists, while simultaneously denying both the existence of diversity and the inescapable implications of that diversity.

For the same reason that I oppose all unjust restrictions on peoples' liberty, I also oppose political correctness in both its aims and its practical application. Whatever actions are just ought to be allowed, regardless of whether they are "fair" or not, as defined by the modern liberal. Whatever words are accurate (and even a good many that are not) ought to be permitted, regardless of whether they are offensive. Whatever thoughts and opinions a person has, they should be allowed to hold them. Only those actions which are unjust should be restricted by law. Political correctness tramples all over justice and freedom by restricting not merely unreasonable thoughts, words and actions, but also a great many reasonable ones. Political correctness, in its present incarnation, is a formal prelude to the concept of thoughtcrime.


  1. Hey great post, I completely agree. An interesting thing to notice is that the same ppl who advocate this also are commonly ppl who are quasi-socialist. Could this be one of the ways they get ppl to come to socialist thinking, by making them think they're replaceable cogs in a social system and not individuals who are responsible for themselves and must think for themselves? For the way I see it usually its the case that socialism wont work with individuals, only it's enemy, capitalism, will.

  2. We're already seeing laws in Canada that ban any speech thought to be negative toward Muslims or gays. This is a dangerous move on their part. However, there is need of caution is saying that certain races of people are not suited to certain things. Sure, some people are generally taller or stronger by race, but discrimination is a real problem, too.

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