June 10, 2010


me:  Political Correctness

(Links are to my site only
mostly to my Philosophical Dictionary)

Indeed, I am still not well, but perhaps a little better, for the moment, and I continue from earlier today.

What moves me for the moment, anyway, even to a second Nederlog of today, is the subject of the title, Political Correctness - into which I have been running often, in very many guises (lately on Phoenix Rising; decades of it in the University of Amsterdam, where it is still cultivated) and in fact all my life. I've written a fair bit about it also, and here is my take of it in my Philosophical Dictionary:

Political Correctness: Belief or pretence that it is morally good and desirable to speak and act in certain ways.

In general terms, political correctness characterizes nearly all ideologies and religions and is one of the normal totalitarian features these tend to have. It then is a kind of cant of these ideologies or religions.

More particularly, it refers to one of the habits of thinking, speaking and writing introduced by postmodernism: The notion that postmodernistically approved neologisms and euphemisms and other supposed "rectifications" of "ideologically loaded" language will improve the world, and the lie that the postmodernist herself (M/F) is a person out to improve the world rather than make a career by getting academic tenure with what is in fact sycophantic totalitarian drivel without the least scientific or literary value.

Thus, postmodernistically politically correct sycophants write "she" wherever English grammar (of the past four centuries) would have "he", because this is supposed to emancipate women; write "Afro-American" or "black" for what once said to be a negro, because this is supposed to emancipate this group of people (*); write "chair" or "chairperson" for "chairmen", because the last term is supposed to be discriminating for women, and so on.

This is normally combined with a very strong Politically Correct - PC - tendency never to refer to individuals except if these are PC Leaders, and to replace all talk of individuals by talk about some kind of group - "community", "cultural identity" -  these individuals are part of and to pretend or believe that these abstractions have feelings, ideas, plans and values. This is a category mistake, but Politically Correct persons pretend to take great moral and intellectual pride in such mistakes, and pretend or believe that those who do not make them are "repressive", "persecutionary", "fascist" and generally evil and inferior, much as in Orwell's "Animal Farm". ("Four feet good, two feet bad!" "All are equal, but some are more equal than others".)

PC writers almost invariably repress all or almost all quantifying terms - "some", "all", "most", "around fifty procent of" - in their prose: Much rather than name a woman and say what she thinks, or indicating what proportions they have in mind,  PC writers utter forth - like ad-writers and con-men - on the pattern "Women feel PC is emancipatory"; "Afro-Americans are discriminated"; "Men are machos"; "The hegemonic identity of the gay community is emancipatory" etc. These habits once again make it possible to pretend to be "emancipatory" by writing a kind of artificial prose that is low in rational content but high in Political Correctness, and that reduces all human individuality to group-membership in some vague abstraction, much like real racists and real ethnicists look upon the world and human beings.

Finally, PC prose is characterized by the occurence and prevalence in it of many abstract terms that the writer at best partially understands; by bad grammar and bad style; by very great pretence about its supposed importance; and by the highly frequent use of certain cant-terms, that signal that the writer of the prose is and wants to be PC, such as (around the year 2000) "hegemonic".

In short, PC is the cant for and of (would be) leftist loonies of the latest quarter of the 20th C, and writing PC is a strong indication that the writer tries to make her career towards chair in Gender Studies by studious totalitarian abuse of language, firmly founded on her own nearly total lack of wit, knowledge and intellect, and her own totalititarian proclivities and lack of intellectual ability and moral or humane or stylistic sensitivity.

PC thrives and is heavily practised in totalitarian dictatorships and religions, and since the 1970ies thrives and is heavily practised in Western universities in the Humanities and Philosophy, which university departments to a great extent have been taken over by Postmodernists, since Postmodernism and Political Correctness enabled the intellectually dim to make an academic career by pretending to be emancipatory, rather like superstitious and totalitarian witchhunters once could get status and payment for their perversions through pretending to be good Christians.

Correctly speaking, PC and Postmodernism are totalitarian species of inverted or direct racism or ethnicism: The postmodernistically PC person pretends to fight racism or discrimination of women or homosexuals or racial or ethnical groups by revising and rectifying the current language into a dialect of sick vaguely grandiose prose of great pretence but little or no content, and by a kind of racism or ethnicism that counters discrimination: PC Feminists seek to emancipate women at the cost of others in the name of equality; PC homosexuals seek to emancipate homosexuals at the cost of others in the name of equality a.s.o., all much like Stalin and Mao pretended to emancipate humanity - namely not at all, yet all in aid of personal "hegenomy", dominance, power, career, money and status.

Whoever uses PC - without irony or sarcasm - is either a careerist liar or too dimwitted and brainwashed by leftist totalitarian propaganda to be taken intellectually serious, and anyway a damned bad writer.

Well...here is Bill Maher about the subject, preceeded by a talkshow host introducing the subject and his guest Maher, it seems in 2002:

I link it because I like it, and more generally because I have not been overly blessed in my life with seeing and hearing intelligent people talk sense well.

And as I remarked earlier I only know of Maher's existence since yesterday, and I don't know his background or general stance (and "rationalism" and "libertarianism" mean not quite the same in the US and in Europe, for example), but here is the first part of an interesting 3-part series introducing Maher

and what you see, for the most part, are indeed - to pick up on a term I used earlier today - two histrionic gentlemen talking well, for a good part for the sake of being seen to be talking well.

As long as they say sensible things in a humorous way, I'll tolerate it, probably...

O, and since you don't ask: What is the problem with PC? It is dishonest if not dumb, it is totalitarian, it is manipulative (self-)deception, based on wishful thinking or fear mongering, it is misleading, it is censorship, it is hypocrisy, it is ideology disguised as linguistic proper postmodern usage, it is - whatever its egalitarian or populist pretenses - condescending and manipulative, and if believed in very stupid for it seeks to fix the problems of reality by censoring and altering the linguistic means of representation - without honestly saying so, or for false moral sounding reasons, while forbidding or disabling its rational discussion.

It is a totalitarian form of deception very common in very bad religion and politicking, and indeed conversely, wherever you find it, whatever its purported sanction - and you find Political Correctness of some form these days into virtually everything you receive from bureaucracies and institutions: all try to give their own spin and plug their own branding, and believe that manner of idiocy is good and proper and moral - is a sign something very rotten is going on.

P.S. Jeez... a halfway decent Nederlog. I didn't know I had it in me today - or is it that the good old power of intelligent saeve indignatio, so much hated by conformists?

So... if you're halfway intelligent and adult: Don't let any one prescribe you how to use language, for it probably is a totalitarian congame anyway, besides obviously condescending, and if you can't use language properly by the time you arrived at adulthood, you won't learn to do so anyway. (And yes, there are exceptions, but these are mostly fairly commonsensically acceptable and of the form "Don't scream "Fire!" in a full theatre when there is no fire" and "You don't need to use the most offensive term you can think of for the occasion without provocation, normally" and "Rational argument, wherever possible, is preferable" - albeit the condition qualifies a lot .

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
     insufficient evidence
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.

"Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 

    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources

P.P.S. ME - Resources needs is a Work In Progress that hasn't progressed today.

(*) Which is OK in the US because of sensitivities about "the n-word" that make sense in the US, but far less so in Holland, where there also have been only few black slaves, at least locally.

Maarten Maartensz

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