Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What is Political Correctness and Where Did It Come From?

Here is a basic introduction to the essence of political correctness. My comments below.
America today is dominated by a system of beliefs, attitudes and values that we have come to know as “Political Correctness.” For many it is an annoyance and a self parodying joke. But Political Correctness is deadly serious in its aims, seeking to impose a uniformity of thought and behavior on all Americans. It is therefore totalitarian in nature. Its roots lie in a version of Marxism which sees culture, rather than the economy, as the site of class struggle.

Under Marxist economic theory, the oppressed workers were supposed to be the beneficiaries of a social revolution that would place them on top of the power structure. When these revolutionary opportunities presented themselves, however, the workers did not respond. The Marxist revolutionaries did not blame their theory for these failures; instead they blamed the “ruling class,” which had bought off the workers by giving them “rights,” and had blinded them with a “false consciousness” that led them to support national governments and liberal democracy.

One group of Marxist intellectuals resolved this apparent contradiction of Marxist theory by an analysis that focused on society’s cultural “superstructure” rather than on the economic “base” as Marx did. The Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci and Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukacs contributed the most to this new cultural Marxism.

Among Marxists, Gramsci is noted for his theory that cultural hegemony is the means to class dominance. In his view, a new “Communist man” had to be created through a changed culture before any political revolution was possible. This led to a focus on the efforts of intellectuals in the fields of education and media.

Georg Lukacs believed that for a new Marxist culture to emerge, the existing culture must be destroyed. He said, “I saw the revolutionary destruction of society as the one and only solution to the cultural contradictions of the epoch.... Such a worldwide overturning of values cannot take place without the annihilation of the old values and the creation of new ones by the revolutionaries.”
Read more here.

So the basic issue is how to make the Revolution happen. Marxist theorists have been stymied by the refusal of the working classes to rise up in their own interests against their capitalist oppressors. World War I showed that the workers chose national interests over international working class solidarity.

After that, it became clear that there were only two possible paths to the Revolution: (1) the coup by the Party acting in the best interest of the workers (who were incapable of perceiving their own best interests for themselves), which was the fast, violent way and (2) the long slow march through the institutions to undermine the culture of the West so as to eliminate the "false consciousness" of the working class, which the slow, non-violent way.

Many people participate in left-leaning politics, practice political correctness and endorse the radical critique of Western culture in the name of race, class and gender without understanding that they are aiding and abetting Marxist revolutionaries whose goal is to turn the whole world into a Soviet Union. They think of themselves as standing for "human rights" and "peace and justice" even though they are supporting the destruction of the worldview that produced our liberal, democracies, undermining true justice and fermenting revolutionary violence.

The hard-core Leftists who seek to manipulate the sentimental progressives and left-leaning liberals are unrepentant and incorrigible Marxists. They use and work through well-meaning but fuzzy-headed dupes and whenever someone points to a particular issue or position and labels it "Marxist" they say "Don't be ridiculous, that is the view of Person X, who clearly is just a liberal or progressive and not a Marxist." Of course it is, but that does not mean it is not an example of cultural Marxism. It just means the person does not fully comprehend the implications of his position - a common enough phenomenon.

Western culture is going through a civil war for its soul between Christianity, which is declining in influence, and Marxism, which is gaining. The battle is less than two centuries old and Christianity took four centuries to overcome the paganism of the Roman Empire and become culturally dominant in the West. So we should not assume that Marxism is dead yet. While it may in decline economically since 1989, it still has not yet crested in terms of intellectual and cultural influence. Our universities, for example, are almost totally dominated by cultural Marxism, as is the mass media. The liberal Protestant churches have been infiltrated and captured and the battle for the Roman Catholic Church has been hot and intense since the 1960s.

I understand this blog to be a forum in which cultural Marxism and political correctness can be exposed, refuted and occasionally mocked and berated. The enemy is not people, but ideas and the principalities and powers which make use of ideas to ensnare, corrupt and damn the souls of the weak and ignorant.


Peter said...

Thank you for this post. It reassures me that PC language is, in fact, far more offensive than even the horrors I've already observed.

It supposedly fights for human rights, but not before it misinterprets then patronizingly denigrates your human identity. A well-intentioned friend of mine tried to convince me of my colonial guilt because European settlers of North America committed genocide against Native Americans. I informed her that, although my skin is white, I'm actually Armenian, and when the first Native was slain by a European my people were already in their 2nd century of Ottoman oppression, quickly building towards the explicit genocide of Armenians in 1915. My grandparents and their friends - people I've known and touched with my own hands - were survivors. I'm the descendant of victims.

But my skin colour is white and I speak English and I'm a male and I'm now a middle-class Canadian. For some reason, she couldn't equate that image of me with the image of a genocide victim - that person can only be a genocide perpetrator and complicit benefactor.

I bring this up because the PC language mentioned in your post is the driving force behind that illogical attitude. Racial equality just means "shut up, feel guilty." Economic equality just means, "so your grandparents were all orphaned in their youth - they're rich now, so they should feel bad." Gender equality just means, "so what if they raped you because you're a female and shot at you because you're a male - the gender divide is a construction, so you shouldn't take it personally." What an offensive ideology. And Armenians are not the only ones who put up with these types of insults.

Most normal people won't allow themselves to be reduced to an insignificant item an ideological struggle - they're still too human for that. Cultural Marxism will succeed if people allow their identities to be distorted, misplaced, or over-emphasized. I ask the same question as you do: Will the Church allow its identity to drift away from Christ? Or will it recognize the attack and respond with boldness?

Unknown said...

Hi Dr. Carter,

I think that the PC language is the important thing that needs to revive a deep concern for language and culture in our societies and churches. The early church understood the power of rhetoric since they lived in an age where rhetoricians abounded. We are massively ignorant to the power of rhetoric and language and its ability to shape ideas and culture. The Marxists and progressives understand this and recognize the importance of conquering words and redefining them to fit their agendas. Love, freedom, justice, tolerance, God, equality, are all examples of this. One thing I will say about Prosperity/Word of Faith movements. They are very serious about making people word concious. Whether one excepts their other conclusions or not, they are very strict in making people aware of the language they use and the power of words and its shaping of the mind. I think the church needs a new lesson on rhetoric and its Marxist manipulations.