Saturday, September 20, 2008

The new religious dogma that controls what we say

KNEEL AND be contrite! Beg forgiveness from your new Lord! Beg, for you have blasphemed against the most sacred of commandments – those of the politically correct.
For, while we have so triumphantly shed our collective Catholic guilt, we have replaced it with an equally untouchable doctrine, practised with a similarly religious fervour. And this pervading Leftist ideology now controls the public discourse, shaping and censoring what we think and dare to say.

Of course the greatest irony of the politically correct mindset is that operates under the guise of tolerance; it is truly a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Therein lies its genius, and ultimately, its appeal.

I mean who in their right mind could be against tolerance? Who, but a bigot or fascist, could be against equality? Who would say that Blacks, Asians and gays aren’t equal? But of course the problem is that self-evident truths like the equality of all people are used to duck difficult questions which need to be asked.

Questions like: are large numbers of non-English speaking immigrant children having an adverse effect on the education system? Do children need a mother and a father, and if so, should gays be allowed to adopt? What is a sensible level of immigration control?

In a free society, questions such as these should be welcomed and subject to dispassionate and reasoned debate. Instead, however, too often the holy-than-thou P.C. police are happy to allow despicable mud-slinging matches to take the place of rational argument. These character defamations are often not just lazy, but sinister in nature.

How else could TD Leo Varadkar’s recent comments on voluntary repatriation be described as “outrageous” and “racist” but in a culture where dissent from the P.C. consensus is not tolerated? Ah the ‘t-word’ once again, and notice what a one way street it really is; tolerance is only afforded to designated groups, chiefly minorities, and tolerance towards freedom of speech is seemingly unimportant.

How too, could columnist Kevin Myer’s piece on the difficulties facing Africa and the West’s blind faith in charity invoke the wrath of liberals – liberal, on all matters aside from freedom of expression of course – to such a degree that the Immigrant Council of Ireland actually reported him to the gardai, but in an infantile society afraid of causing offence? Does this pathetic, unelected quango actually believe that a man deserves possible imprisonment for speaking his mind?

And notice too, the hypocrisy that accompanies such sanctimonious outrage. I, for one, deem it far more offensive to attempt to deprive a man of his freedom than to engage with a controversial topic in a newspaper column. I also find it more offensive to bandy about insidious terms like ‘racist’ than dare to propose giving immigrants an incentive to return home. To label as racist – a truly horrible perversion of human nature - is to ostracise and alienate in the most severe of ways. So who really is being intolerant here?


And where exactly did this blanket ideology come from? When one examines the origins of political correctness, its marked hostility towards freedom of speech comes as no surprise. Essentially, it is a dogma that emerged, not out of the 1960s America, but out of the Institute for Social Research in 1920’s Frankfurt. This was in all but name a Marxist think-tank.

In 1930 the institute acquired a new director, Max Horkheimer, who sought to apply Marxism to the cultural, not just economic, realm through a synthesis of Marxist thought and Freudian theory. And so Critical theory was born and is ubiquitous in its influence in our universities to this day. Essentially, the Frankfurt School – as it came to be called – believed the working classes hadn’t risen up and overthrown the bourgeoisie because they had been brainwashed and stupefied by Western culture. This meant that all traditional Western culture became the enemy of this hoped-for workers revolution and had be dismantled.

The great literary canon of our forefathers then became sexist, compliant in the oppression of women, homophobic or racist.

The Frankfurt School of thinkers also gave us Erich Fromm, who developed the scientifically- ropey premise that gender is a construct and is not in fact a reflection of any innate qualities. Every preposterous declaration from the feminist movement that men and women have the very same aptitudes is laced with Fromm’s influence.

Meanwhile, Herbert Marcuse – another Frankfurt thinker – and his book Eros and Civilization, which called for the liberation of the libido and “polymorphous perversity”, gave pseudo-intellectual credibility to 1960s hippy movement and sexual revolution.

In fact, as director of the U.S. based Center for Cultural Conservatism William S. Lind points out, there are numerous striking parallels between political correctness and Marxism. Both are totalitarian; both show contempt for certain groups of people i.e. the bourgeoisie and white middle-class males; both take from certain groups to give to those deemed more worthy – Marxism through the collectivisation of property and political correctness though affirmative action.

What those who preach the P.C. doctrine from the pulpit fail to realise is that a society which cannot discus, question and debate openly is a stagnant one. Without the means to challenge assumptions and test the boundaries of discussion ideas begin to appear self-evident – they become untouchable and progression becomes impossible.

A sign of a truly barbaric state is one which tries to silence its citizens; one ruled by political correctness is an immature and unconfident one.