If there is one thing we can point to as the cause of the precipitous decline of Western Civilization it is the rise to supremacy of Political Correctness. PC is so much more than just the speech police. It first hit my radar decades ago as simple speech correction by self assigned entities of virtue who would call out those who didn't tow the line. One can remember Howard Cossell crying out "look at that monkey run!" when calling a Monday Night Football game as a black, err, I mean African American, no, no, I mean black player made a mad dash to the goal line. (Ironically, as a person who loathes political correctness I just felt compelled to stop myself from using a rational and descriptive word in favor of the politically acceptable term, interesting to say the least...) Anyway, by the time this incident occurred and Howard Cossell had been publically chastised the foundation for political correctness was already firmly entrenched.
Today no one can or does deny that Political Correctness exists and that it holds tremendous power in its exercise. Yet, everyone claims to hate it. Liberals and conservatives, the young and the old, the rich and the poor all claim to hate what PCism has done to rational discourse in our society. What or who gives it such power?
PC has found it's home inside the bureaucracies of Western Civilization. Political Correctness is the natural child of communism and socialism, all seeking to downgrade the individual in favor of the collective. It shouldn't come as a surprise since communism and socialism are themselves the children of Western Civilization. In a communist utopia the the elites and the common man would be subsumed into the collective, eventually becoming indistinguishable. This we know instinctively to be impossible. It is thought that Political Correctness was conjured up as a tool of the elites to strip the masses of their individualism while maintaining their hold on the upper reaches of society. According to the scholar Bruce Charlton, PC's ultimate goal is the destruction of what it means to be human...
Bruce Charlton's Miscellany "Political correctness cannot be explained by selfishness among the elite" (hat tip to Al Fin)
...the culture of atheistic, leftism - which is now PC - stripped away the basic toolkit of assumptions with which humans were born into the world. So the culture of radicalism rapidly made humans helpless in the face of reality; took pre-designed people - created for this world - and made them into (psychologically) formless blobs.
The hope behind this was that formless blobs would be amenable to re-programming - and indeed they are (many of them). But, in an unreal world, what to reprogram them with?
The formless blob humans created by PC deprogramming are being filled with the highest thing known to PC; which is impersonal abstract altruism; they are being filled with the idea that the highest goal a human can aim-at is to impose upon human behaviours an abstractly virtuous system which does not depend on individual humans, does not require moral humans, does not need human choice - human agency.
At a deep level, PC has become a program to destroy humanity (destroy not the physical form of humans, but destroy their agency, freedom, choice etc) - and this is not seen as a bad thing to do, since humans are intrinsically selfish animals, and therefore the highest imaginable thing in the PC world is an abstract system which shares-out 'goods' despite what humans might feel about it. Of course PC cannot justify that imposing a system of altruism is objectively a valid endeavor. Because no endeavors are valid. There is no valid positive goal for PC - it is negative and reactive against our spontaneous perception of selfishness/ injustice/ corruptibility.
PC is therefore always working-towards - and if it ever actually arrives and achieves its goal, then it will collapse from its internal contradictions. That collapse might still leave humans enslaved to abstract systems of altruism, but the humans so enslaved would no longer be politically correct.
If we take Mr. Charlton's definition and break it down the true hideousness of PC comes into focus.
impersonal adj \(ˌ)im-ˈpərs-nəl, -ˈpər-sə-nəl\
2. b : not engaging the human personality or emotions
ab·stract adj \ab-ˈstrakt, ˈab-ˌ\
1. a : disassociated from any specific instance
al·tru·ism noun \ˈal-trü-ˌi-zəm\
1 : unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others 2 : behavior by an animal that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself but that benefits others of its species
Reading these definitions one thing is perfectly clear, there is no place for individuals, or individual freedom in the world of political correctness. Is it any wonder Political Correctness is so destructive to a nation like the United States where individual liberty is actually a right.
If Charlton is right Political Correctness will (eventually) collapse of it's own weight, but not before it takes out entire societies and civilizations. Currently many liberal causes and passions use political correctness as a bludgeon. It's used as a poison in the court of public opinion against its enemies, rendering entire rational arguments invalid by virtue of a slip of the tongue. Their day will come, hypocrisy eventually reaches critical mass and the unequal application of the "poison" on only right of center transgressors will no longer stand.
How do we fight political correctness? This is an enemy without a focal point, there is no army, no king, no central command. It exists primarily in the bureaucracies, halls of academia and the popular media all of which have the power to influence and cast aspersions. We can work outside these institutions as much as possible. We can teach our children to think for themselves. We can start to develop alternate institutions such as home schooling or the Tea Party-like movements. We can fight the media by disabusing ourselves from its perceived power. We can play the game without losing ourselves and use political correctness as a rope to hang the left every time they slip up. The time has come to fight fire with fire.