Political Correctness is against Free Speech, it’s a form of bullying. It’s Intolerance, dressed up as Fairness or Tolerance (which makes it a white lie). It fossilizes thinking, to the extent that speech influences Thought (we cannot process what we cannot articulate). So a strait-jacketing of thought, under the garb of Political Correctness, will lead to the worst among crowds……….only the unadulterated mind of the child will notice that the King is wearing no clothes!
Declaimer: This article was originally in December 2019, and some of the data points may be outdated
Explain the political Correctness
Political Correctness is the cement that binds the Collective Ego and holds together crowds. It starts with a Bleeding Heart, a sanctimonious effort to ‘do right’, as defined by yourself, of course. Then it binds people together on the common belief in virtue, almost like how a religion starts with a common belief in a peculiar definition of ‘goodness’. But like all religions, it then compounds and divides the world into ‘believers’ and ‘non-believers’, Us vs Them. After that starts the compounding.
How far it can go, depends on the nature of the emotion. From Feminism degenerating into the false belief that every woman is superior to every man (at least in terms of testimony, as reflected in our Rape laws). The shift in focus in the debate on Gender Equality from Equality of Opportunity to Equality of Outcome……….. creates the privilege of the oppressed (seen in Gender/ Caste/Community Affirmative Action). In free markets, it creates a privileged class that is both unfair and impossible. Those who are struggling will simply not obey, those (big companies) who are not struggling, will pretend to pay lip service, but will subvert the same goals in private.
Feminism is a great example of Political Correctness. Less than 7% of the women support Radical Feminism, which believes in the Equality of Outcome rather than the Equality of Opportunity/ Choice. It ignores Biology, the fact that women, when left free, tend to gravitate to professions that are low on Risk and uncertainty, hence they are not close to the fountains of entrepreneurial profit. Plus they tend to be more Agreeable, build Comfort Zones around the status quo, and hence, lose their negotiating power……..all this is Biology, not Conspiracy of the Patriarchy.
The Bleeding Hearts
It’s seen to reflect itself in a Sense of Entitlement, in common with other dispossessed classes who find their voices through the Bleeding Hearts. This is a subconscious emotion, a kind of guilt reaction to the fact of their privilege. You will often see rich, bored housewives, born into wealth and privilege, at the forefront of such noisy campaigns. It’s no coincidence that the TV cameras focus on the exact spot you’re standing.
What role does Political Correctness play in the development of the big-bindi Left-Liberal? First, you must find yourself (either by birth or by marriage, or whatever) in a position of privilege. It could be a soft, cushy job, unearned money that is oblivious to the Risk of loss, or the possibility of scarcity……so it is fat, comfortable money that does not know what it is like when it (the money) runs out. So, in terms of Maslow’s hierarchy, it is not insecure…
Now that the subconscious (visceral fears) have been laid to rest, we start to degenerate into the unnatural. So you have this Bleeding Heart looking for a cause, not unlike Don Quixote looking for a windmill. Since the search is driven by Ego, it quickly degenerates into Self-righteousness, the sub-conscious driver being a common belief in ‘the goodness of man’. But that is not how Nature ordained it. Nature is about Survival of the Fittest, the tiger eating the lamb. Political Correctness wishes for vegetarian tigers, and perversely, bite-back lambs…..if you see the crowd reaction to the recent extra-judicial killings (in the Hyderabad Rape Case) of 4 people in cold blood, you will realize that Political Correctness is not kind, or fair. It’s just Us vs Them. The rape and murder of a good-looking, middle-class girl (Us) is the extinction of the lamb, but the brutal, mindless of (perhaps) 4 innocent passersby who were poor, dispossessed, and trying to eke out a living in a truck…….oh, it happens! It’s part of the Risk if you live on the highway.
the crowd momentum
I will restrict myself to the crowd momentum, the feeding of Media frenzy and not debate on the possibility that the boys were genuinely guilty….the point is, that nobody waited to find out!!! Lynch Mobs are not thinking entities, they’re not capable of understanding nuances. The Confidence in the crowd has long degenerated into Fanaticism, this is just an extreme case of Bullying.
Like all bad things, it started well. The idea that somebody should speak up for those who cannot fight back, is based on the best ideas of altruism and care. But then, the boot shifts to the other foot and the Oppressor becomes the Oppressed. For a while, this is justified in the name of Tit For Tat……sub-consciously, humans are prey animals, so it’s natural to have a Victim Mentality. Our instinct is to back the underdog, even as Nature ordains that we seek to go with the survivor. When a good idea is taken too far, it gets pernicious and over-reaches.
Humor, the root of all creativity and inquiry of heresy, is by definition an exploration of the ludicrous. It is the first casualty, which is why totalitarian societies are distinguished by their lack of humor. All humor is an attack on a person or an idea. The resulting perceived sense of injury can become a weapon in the hands of a Don Quixote (read Left-Liberal) looking for a cause. The ability to laugh at yourself is taken as the first sign of a return to Mental Health, for patients of Depression.
Conversely, the onset of such an inability in society should signal degeneration. Yet, it is defended by flag-waving Liberals in the name of Righteousness. In a debate, you can always locate the Thinking Mind from the appearance of a sense of humor, a little ray of sunshine between you and your ego…
The Core of Political Correctness
Preachiness is the core of Political Correctness, which is why the universities and the academics are so good at it. The reason why most hallowed institutions of repute (from our homegrown JNU to the more exalted Oxford) turn to the Left, comes from the natural turn into Liberalism, the obvious progression of human nature. From Liberalism comes the generalization of Identity, and the separation into the Oppressor and the Oppressed. From there, the politics of Identity is but a short step. And who should be waiting for you there, but that defender of the Faith, Marxism?! It’s in the human condition, therefore, to be a Marxist/ Socialist at 18, but you have not grown up if you’re not a converted Capitalist by 30….look at Kolkata, the hotbed of Indian Intellectualism over the years!
The final argument is that Political Correctness doesn’t work. It falls prey to the common human failing that humans prefer to be right than to be effective. Political Correctness is the effort to be right, but it creates its overreach and hence, sows the seeds of its destruction in its momentum. If you relish transgression and distrust conformity (the symptoms of a Thinking Mind), you will be driven to aversion by the oily, unctuous fawning of the Politically Correct. Progress is not achieved by preachers and guardians of morality but by madmen, rebels, heretics, and skeptics.
To the Politically Correct, it’s to be said: just because you’re offended, doesn’t mean you’re right. Your rights are my responsibility, so be careful to define them within the bounds of reason.
So what has all this got to do with Markets? To start with, Markets are crowds trying to decide on something very nuanced and complex. They mostly don’t do a good job of it, especially when they are prey to flawed Thinking Models, which is the theme of most of my columns, including this one. To understand these flaws at their roots is always a good idea. The current debate on “Quality At Any Price” has this element of Political Correctness, if you choose to look for it….when you see the elements of Political Correctness come in, you know that the crowd is overreaching and the preachers have taken over. What you do with it, is up to you, but you do know that the crowd, especially when it works itself up into a frenzy, is always wrong.