Political Correctness (PC) is the communal tyranny that erupted in the 1980s. It was a spontaneous declaration that particular ideas, expressions and behaviour, which were then legal, should be forbidden by law, and people who transgressed should be punished. (see Newspeak) It started with a few voices but grew in popularity until it became unwritten and written law within the community. With those who were publicly declared as being not politically correct becoming the object of persecution by the mob, if not prosecution by the state.
To attempt to point out the odious nature of Political Correctness is to restate the crucial importance of plain speaking, freedom of choice and freedom of speech; these are the communityʼs safe-guards against the imposition of tyranny, indeed their absence is tyranny (see “On Liberty”, Chapter II, by J.S. Mill). Which is why any such restrictions on expression such as those invoked by the laws of libel, slander and public decency, are grave matters to be decided by common law methodology; not by the dictates of the mob.
The declared rationale of this tyranny is to prevent people being offended; to compel everyone to avoid using words or behaviour that may upset homosexuals, women, non-whites, the crippled, the stupid, the fat or the ugly. This reveals not only its absurdity but its inspiration. The set of values that are detested are those held by the previous generation (those who fought the Second World War), which is why the terms niggers, coons, dagos, wogs, poofs, spastics and sheilas, have become heresy, for, in an act of infantile rebellion, their subject have become revered by the new generation. Political Correctness is merely the resentment of spoilt children directed against their parentʼs values.
A community declines when the majority of its citizens become selfish, and under this influence it slowly dismantles all the restraints upon self-indulgence established by manners, customs, beliefs and law: tradition. (See the law of reverse civilisation) as each subsequent generation of selfish citizens inherits control of the community, it takes its opportunity to abandon more of the irksome restraints that wisdom had installed. The proponents of this social demolition achieve their irrational purpose by publicly embracing absurdity through slogans while vilifying any who do not support their stance. The purpose of the slogan is to enshrine irrational fears, or fancies, as truth through the use of presumptuous words, so public pronouncement:
For example the slogan Australia is Multicultural is a claim that:
All of which is an attack upon truth, clear thinking and plain speaking.
Naturally, as the restraints shrink, the rebellion grows ever more extreme in nature. When the author of Animal Farm wrote an article in 1946 about the pleasures of a rose garden, he was criticised for being bourgeois. George Orwell mentions this in his essay A Good Word for The Vicar of Bray, published in the Tribune, 1946. The term bourgeois was then a popular slogan, meaning having humdrum middle-class ideas (The Oxford English Dictionary 3rd Edition, 1938), which is just a blatant attack upon tradition—the sanity of the community.
Now, in the late 1990s, the results of being bourgeois (retaining traditional notions), is being labelled racist, sexist etc. and one risks losing oneʼs job, reputation, being jostled in the street, being subject to judicial penalty and death threats. And it is this very extremity of reaction that has won media attention and the name Political Correctness, though the reaction will become even more unpleasant with the next generation.
The inevitable scapegoat for people impatient of restraint must always be parents, because these are societyʼs agents for teaching private restraint. So the cherished notions of the parents are always subject to attack by their maturing offspring. This resentment of tradition was observed in his own civilisation by the Greek historian Polybius (c. 200–118 BC), who said:
“For every democracy which has enjoyed prosperity for a considerable period first develops through its nature an attitude of discontent towards the existing order…”—The Rise of The Roman Empire, Book 8, paragraph 24
Once a community embraces tyranny, the penalties can only grow in severity. This gradual increase is easily seen by the example of Toastmasters. As the members of the club became more concerned about the delights of socializing and less concerned about the disciplines of public speaking, they became more intolerant of citizens who were earnest about learning the art of rhetoric. Once those members who did their duty by truthfully pointing out the shortcomings in another memberʼs performance were just labeled as negative or discouraging; later this became a risk of being socially ostracized. Now (since 1998) unpopularity can result in being permanently ejected from the club by a majority vote.
In my country, the tyranny erupted with the persecution of public figures such as Arthur Tunstall for uttering truths that had become unpopular, either directly in a speech, or indirectly by telling jokes. The maiden speech of the Federal Member of Parliament for Ipswich contained so many disliked truths that the rabble escalated the ferocity of their attack and extended them to her supporters, introducing terror into Australian politics. Anyone who watched the TV coverage (1997/8) of Pauline Hansonʼs political campaign will have seen the nature of her opponents; a throng who looked and behaved more like barbarians than citizens of a civilised community. And any mob that chants “Burn the witch” (when she spoke outside an Ipswich hall after she had been refused entry) leaves no doubt as to their intent or character.
Revealing the extent of the mobʼs support, their sentiments (suitably refined) were enthusiastically echoed by the media and the administration. And in an unprecedented act of cooperation, all the political parties conspired to eject Ms Hanson from the federal parliament in the election of October 3rd 1998. This was revealed by the how-to-vote cards of the parties contesting the seat of Blaire, which all placed Ms Hanson last. This was a public admission by both the major parties that they would rather risk losing the election than allow this forthright woman to keep her seat in parliament.
And it is not just in Australia but in every western democratic country popular demands have been made for restrictions on expression. Bowing to the clamour of the electorate, politicians in these countries have enacted absurd laws. The Australian community wide declaration of irrational hatred displayed by the persecution of Pauline Hanson, paralleled the Canadian experience of Paul Fromm, director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression Inc., and the examples of the national soccer coach of England and a prominent public servant in Washington, USA confirm that the hysteria is everywhere.
By using the excuse of not upsetting anyone, the politically correct are demanding that people behave like the fool who would please everyone; that everyone must become such a fool! All must accept the notions of the Politically Correct as truth, or else! This is the same mentality that inspired the Inquisition and forced Galileo to recant; the same mentality that inspired the Nazis and obtained the Holocaust. Once expression gets placed in a straitjacket of official truth, then the madness that occurs in all totalitarian states is obtained. Life, in private and public, becomes a meaningless charade where delusion thrives and terror rules.
Evidence of this effect is amply demonstrated by the Soviets, who embraced Political Correctness with the Communist Revolution. The lumbering, pompous, impoverished, humourless monster this Nation became is now History. And it should be remembered that in 1914 Tsarist Russia was considered by Edmund Cars, a French economist who then published a book about the subject, to be an economic giant set to overshadow Europe. The SBS television program “What Ever Happened to Russia”, which was broadcast at 8.30 pm on 25th August 1994, detailed the terrible effect the Bolshevikʼs oppression had on their empire. And SBS further detailed the terrible crimes inflicted upon the Russians by their leader Stalin, in the series “Blood on The Snow” broadcast in March 1999. (Also see “Stalinʼs Secret War” by Nikolai Tolstoy)
Helen, a member of Parramatta writers club in 1992, was a citizen of Kiev during the Red Terror, and described living with official truth and the constant threat of arrest. Knowing the content of the latest party newspaper was critical to avoiding internment, as public contradiction, either directly or indirectly, meant denouncement to the KGB. If you complained about being hungry when food shortages were not officially recognized, then you became an enemy of the state. If you failed to praise a Soviet hero, or praised an ex-hero, then again your fate was sealed. The need to be politically correct dominated all conversation and behaviour, as failure meant drastic penalty. Uncertainty and fear pervaded everything, nobody could be sure that an official request to visit Party headquarters meant imprisonment, torture, death, public reward or nothing important.
Living with such a terrible handicap naturally destroyed all spontaneity of thought or action, rendering the whole community mad. The awful effect this had upon Helenʼs sanity was made clear when she escaped to Australia. Here she encountered the free press, which had an unpleasant impact upon her. One day she read The Australian newspaper which happened to carry two separate articles about Patrick White, one praising, the other denigrating, this well known writer. Poor Helen found herself turning from one to the other, which was she to repeat as correct? She nearly had a nervous breakdown.
Unless plain speaking is allowed, clear thinking is denied. There can be no good reason for denying freedom of expression, there is no case to rebut, only the empty slogans of people inspired by selfishness and unrestrained by morality. The proponents of this nonsense neither understand the implications of what they say, nor why they are saying it: they are insane; which must mean that any community that embraces Political Correctness has discarded sanity.
Political Correctness is part of the social decline that, generation by generation, makes public behaviour less restrained and less rational.