PostHeaderIcon PC is Propaganda

There is a very good article on the Misis Institute site, by Jeff Deist entitled, “PC is About Control, Not Etiquette,” which ties in with some of the thoughts expressed here lately, and is well worth reading:

To begin, we need to understand that political correctness is not about being nice. It’s not simply a social issue, or a subset of the culture wars.

It’s not about politeness, or inclusiveness, or good manners. It’s not about being respectful toward your fellow humans, and it’s not about being sensitive or caring or avoiding hurt feelings and unpleasant slurs.

But you’ve heard this argument, I’m sure. PC is about simple respect and inclusiveness, they tell us. As though we need progressives, the cultural enforcers, to help us understand that we shouldn’t call someone retarded, or use the “N” word, make hurtful comments about someone’s appearance, or tolerate bullies.

If PC truly was about kindness and respect, it wouldn’t need to be imposed on us. After all, we already have a mechanism for the social cohesion PC is said to represent: it’s called manners. And we already have specific individuals charged with insuring that good manners are instilled and upheld: they’re called parents.

Political Correctness Defined

But what exactly is PC? Let me take a stab at defining it: Political correctness is the conscious, designed manipulation of language intended to change the way people speak, write, think, feel, and act, in furtherance of an agenda. [emphasis mine]

PC is best understood as propaganda, which is how I suggest we approach it. But unlike propaganda, which historically has been used by governments to win favor for a particular campaign or effort, PC is all-encompassing. It seeks nothing less than to mold us into modern versions of Marx’s un-alienated society man, freed of all his bourgeois pretensions and humdrum social conventions.

Like all propaganda, PC fundamentally is a lie. It is about refusing to deal with the underlying nature of reality, in fact attempting to alter that reality by legislative and social fiat. A is no longer A.

The subject of propaganda naturally entailed a discussion of Edward Bernays, arguably the foremost master of the black art. Then a passage on Herd Psychology resonated with something I said about the desire to fit in with one’s neighbors in my own essay, “Liberty or the State” just a couple of days ago:

The Role of “Herd Psychology”

Bernays was quite open and even proud of engaging in the “manufacturing of consent,” a term used by British surgeon and psychologist Wilfred Trotter in his seminal Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War published in 1919.

Bernays took the concept of herd psychology to heart. The herd instinct entails the deep seated psychological need to win approval of one’s social group. The herd overwhelms any other influence; as social humans, our need to fit in is paramount.

But however ingrained, in Bernays’s view the herd instinct cannot be trusted. The herd is irrational and dangerous, and must be steered by wiser men in a thousand imperceptible ways — and this is key. They must not know they are being steered.

The techniques Bernays employed are still very much being used to shape political correctness today.

First, he understood how all-powerful the herd mind and herd instinct really is. We are not the special snowflakes we imagine, according to Bernays. Instead we are timorous and malleable creatures who desperately want to fit in and win acceptance of the group.

Second, he understood the critical importance of using third party authorities to promote causes or products. Celebrities, athletes, models, politicians, and wealthy elites are the people from whom the herd takes its cues, whether they’re endorsing transgender awareness or selling luxury cars. So when George Clooney or Kim Kardashian endorses Hillary Clinton, it resonates with the herd.

Third, he understood the role that emotions play in our tastes and preferences. It’s not a particular candidate or cigarette or a watch or a handbag we really want, it’s the emotional component of the ad that affects us, however subconsciously.

If I am having any success in talking you out of playing the silly Incumbrepublocrats‘ election games, perhaps you are in need of a new cause that transcends Party politics. Deist has a suggestion or two:

So the question we might ask ourselves is this: how do we fight back against PC? What can we do, as individuals with finite amounts of time and resources, with serious obligations to our families, loved ones, and careers, to reverse the growing tide of darkness?

First, we must understand that we’re in a fight. PC represents a war for our very hearts, minds, and souls. The other side understands this, and so should you. The fight is taking place on multiple fronts: the state-linguistic complex operates not only within government, but also academia, media, the business world, churches and synagogues, nonprofits, and NGOs. So understand the forces aligned against you.

Understand that the PC enforcers are not asking you, they’re not debating you, and they don’t care about your vote. They don’t care whether they can win at the ballot box, or whether they use extralegal means. There are millions of progressives in the US who absolutely would criminalize speech that does not comport with their sense of social justice.

One poll suggests 51 percent of Democrats and 1/3 of all Americans would do just that.

The other side is fighting deliberately and tactically. So realize you’re in a fight, and fight back. Culturally, this really is a matter of life and death.

Then, my suggestion that our old government might not be worth saving or trying to repair, but that we should start over without it, really hit home when I read this:

I’m afraid it might not be popular to say so, but we have to be prepared for a long and hard campaign. Let’s leave the empty promises of quick fixes to the politicians. Progressives play the long game masterfully. They’ve taken 100 years to ransack our institutions inch by inch. I’m not suggesting incrementalism to reclaim those foregone institutions, which are by all account too far gone — but to create our own.

PC enforcers seek to divide and atomize us, by class, race, sex, and sexuality. So let’s take them up on it. Let’s bypass the institutions controlled by them in favor of our own. Who says we can’t create our own schools, our own churches, our own media, our own literature, and our own civic and social organizations? Starting from scratch certainly is less daunting than fighting PC on its own turf.

Amen! We not only do not need to fix anything, we don’t even need it. We could easily start over without them. Now we are treading on our past discussions of secession, but with an improvement. Instead of a competing government, we should carve out an ungoverned and ungovernable no man’s land, such as exists in quite a few places on the planet. The most notable of late being the Pushtu tribal lands between Pakistan and Afghanistan. That, by the way, is another good example of a state of anarchy, which might seem somewhat like the Wild West to strangers passing through; but is by no means in a perpetual state of chaos among its residents.

We could name it Galt’s Gulch, form a well-regulated militia to guard its borders from statists, and dare anybody to try to form a government, control its residents, or enforce PC. Where do I sign up?  🙂 ◄Dave►

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