How PC is a manifestation of the liberal world view

Michael N. writes from England:

I just now read your article about political correctness and the worldview that produced it. It is one of the most brilliant posts I have ever read, and it has given me new insight into the problem. I had never thought of political correctness in such terms before. Here is my favorite part:

PC isn’t some weird thing that popped into existence for no reason. PC is the manifestation of an entire world view. PC exists because people believe in the world view that gave birth to it. Therefore we can’t successfully resist political correctness unless we attack and discredit that world view.

That world view is liberalism, the belief in equality and non-discrimination as the ruling principles of society. Liberalism attacks all the larger wholes—natural, social, and spiritual—that structure man’s existence, because those larger wholes create differences and distinctions which violate the rule of equality and non-discrimination. Liberalism attacks God, truth, religion, objective morality, standards of excellence, social traditions, the family, parental authority, sex differences, nation, ethnicity, and race. It aims at a world of liberated, equal human selves, with no God above them and no country or culture around them, free to interact on a basis of total freedom and equality with all other human selves on earth. To achieve this universal freedom and equality, the ability of actual peoples to define and govern themselves must be eliminated. Democratic and constitutional self-government must be replaced by the regime of the global elite, a regime that is beyond criticism and democratic accountability because it represents and embodies the very principle of liberal goodness: the equality of all.


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Hannon writes:

Thanks for posting Michael N.’s excerpt of your post on PC and liberalism. I’m sure I read it when you published it but it bears re-reading. When I read such entries, the best of the best, I want to email it to every intellectual liberal in the country and see what happens. I always imagine it would paralyze their thinking, since most of them have probably not thought through their philosophy on this level, but who knows? Wouldn’t anyone with good reasoning skills, even a Leftist, be moved to new insights by such writing if they are at all honest with themselves?

June 13

Steve W. writes:

I agree with Michael N. that your explanation of the phenomenon of political correctness is brilliant. In my opinion, no commentator elucidates the inner logic of contemporary liberalism as clearly or as forcefully as you do.

In reflecting on the quoted passage, however, I think you use the term “freedom” too expansively. As you point out, the ruling principle of liberalism is equality. The modern liberal program in large part is about constraining or eliminating freedom in order to achieve greater equality (with the obvious exception of sexual freedom). The core “freedoms” of traditional American society—e.g., economic freedom based on private property and freedom of contract, freedom of association, and free speech—have been under assault by liberals for many decades. This is part of the Marxist strategy of attacking “bourgeois” freedoms in order to “liberate” the working class, which is the idea behind the so-called “dictatorship of the proletariat.” This is revolutionary gobbledygook for “we know how to run your life better than you do.” The upshot is that liberals really don’t believe in “freedom” as we ordinarily use that term, in its so-called “negative” sense. Freedom in this sense frightens liberals. I think this is what Orwell was emphasizing in 1984 with the phrase, “Freedom is Slavery.” For liberals, i.e., for socialists, “freedom” is more closely synonymous with security and material comfort (e.g., FDR’s “freedom from want”). For liberals, therefore, “universal freedom” really means a “guaranteed” minimum standard of living provided by the government.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 12, 2011 10:30 AM | Send

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