Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Changing Face Of Political Correctness

Political Correctness, Conventional Wisdom, My way or the Highway, Because I Said So,
are all forms of a coded message that says: "Shut up, I don't want to hear your opinion or logic..."

As in when a child says; "Daddy, why can't I stay up" and the father's response is: "Because I said so". The father didn't answer the question, he dismissed it.
Now this is an oversimplification, but you see that the father passed up the opportunity to give a useful lesson by giving a logical explanation. Of course this may be the 10th time that night the child ask the question in spite of previously receiving that logical answer, and when giving a logical answer the father is exposed to a never ending response to every explanation of "Why?". The curse of every good parent... but then, that's what parenting is all about. Nonetheless "Because I Said So' is not meant to be an answer, its meant to be a period at the end of a discussion.

Another example;

When someone says we can or can't (should or shouldn't) do something because it is politically correct or is contrary to conventional wisdom. What they are doing, consciously or subconsciously, is taking a shortcut to the end of discussion. "We shouldn't do something because it is not politically correct." is not explaining why we shouldn't do something, it is just categorizing the issue by affixing the label politically correct to it, without any certainty that all are in agreement on what is 'correct' about it. The same is true of the old fashion version of political correctness, the term conventional wisdom.

The coded message is the same. By labeling something or someone as taking a politically correct or conventional stance we are circumventing logical discussion and debate, by diminishing their opinion with the categorizing of their position as pre-defined and not deserving of further debate.

The interesting thing is that both conventional wisdom and political correctness sprung from an attempt to make discussion and debate more civil. The problem with both, and the transformation of both, is that they eventually become the status quo and at that point, while maybe offering some guidance and stability, become an opposing force to open and civil debate.

The problem today is that Political Correctness has been so misused that it is seldom applied to issues that are neither political or correct. In its time conventional wisdom served a useful purpose also, but by the 60s it too had become oppressive and widespread to the point where it was neither conventional or wisdom. The political correct movement came out of the social and political upheaval of the 60s and 70s in opposition to the outdated and oppressive conventional wisdom. Political correctness has come full circle. What comes next is a mystery.

Where Are We Now?

Over the last 20 years I don't believe that I've heard a democrat, liberal, or progressive advocate doing something because it was politically correct. The reasons they give may contain a subtext of political correctness, but they have been learning the toxicity of the phrase when it comes from them. For the most part the phrase has been the mantra of the media (avoiding a useful discussion of real facts and logic to maintain the 5 second sound-bite), conservatives, and republicans.

The toxicity of the phrase is due to the never ending demonetization of the phrase by the right-wing in attacks on any thing coming from left or the center. Every ideal, bad ideas that can be attacked on there own merits, and good ideas which can be more easily attacked with the label of political correctness. A PC attack is always easier and more effective than logic, rational, or civil discourse.

The tables have obviously turned since the 70s. Republicans now own the phrase, not just as a tool against the democrats, but also as their tool against free speech, their original point of condemnation of political correctness long before it actual became such.

The Knew Custodians Of Political Correctness, The Republicans.

po·lit·i·cal cor·rect·ness
noun: political correctness; noun: political correctitude
the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

One of the mantras republicans and conservatives in their attacks on political correctness was that it suppressed free speech and promoted 'self-victimization', but as anyone can see victimization has become a primary practice of the republicans and conservatives.

Their constant message of the last 30 years has been the victimization of whites (the largest and most dominate political demographic in the country), Christians (the largest and most dominate religion in the country), men (particularly white men who are the most employed, best paid and politically connected gender in the country).

Convincing the majority that they are victims of the minority is an impressive feat in a democracy. That’s a special kind of paranoia.

They don't use the phrase political correctness to promote a concept they support, they use it as a pejorative, a label for demonizing a concept they oppose. They do however, practice the enforcement of their ideas through the suppression of free speech. A current case in point is the attempts to suppress the free speech of the football player who is refusing to stand for the anthem in protest. The same people who cry about political correctness being so harmful are the ones who attack him for not being politically correct. Little is said of the message of his protest, most of the right-wing rhetoric is directed at his method.
nmnmnjhHis patriotism, character, rumors of his religion are all taking presidence over the message of his protest. While they may not successfully 'shut him up', they have effectively drowned out his message with their version political correctness. The priority is to inflict on him the norms that others feel the right to inflict. Their limited explanation of patriotism is the politically correct position.

What's Next?

Conventional wisdom went full circle until it became suppressive. In overthrowing the mantra of conventional wisdom, the political correctness of the democrats went full circle until it became as suppressive as conventional wisdom, now the republican form of political correctness has reached its own suppressiveness. What form of decorum will replace it? Hope and change? Who knows.liberalvsconservative
It might come from the regrowth of the progressive movement which appears to be on the horizon. Its unlikely to come from republicans due to the dominate position of conservatives. A group that has historically opposed consideration on any enlightened position in America as far back as the progressiveness of the republican parties of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. The cry of "Make America Great Again" is a step towards a return of the old conventional wisdom and practices of an oppressive and discriminating American society.

by GlennDL

see also: What is Political Correctness?

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