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Will Political Correctness Backfire?

by Christopher Chantrill
February 04, 2015 at 12:00 am


IT HAS BEEN tremendous fun watching white upper-middle-class-liberal Jonathan Chait telling us that SJW mau-mauing just ain’t fair when he’s on the receiving end. A platoon of eager beavers showed up immediately to remind him how he’s loved political correctness when he’s doing it to conservatives.

And just to help out, upper-middle-class Reihan Salam has chimed in on Slate to remind its upper-middle-class readers that upper-middle-class liberals are the root of all evil.

All this is fine, but does it mean anything? Does it suggest, as the Brits say, that political correctness is reaching its sell-by date?

The truth is, we don’t know. I’m encouraged by lefty Fredrik deBoer, whose rant seems to have gone viral:

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 19 year old white woman smart, well-meaning, passionate literally run crying from a classroom because she was so ruthlessly brow-beaten for using the word “disabled.”...

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 20 year old black man, a track athlete... be told not to return to those meetings because he said he thought there were such a thing as innate gender differences...

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 33 year old Hispanic man, an Iraq war veteran... be lectured about patriarchy by an affluent 22 year old white liberal arts college student, because he had said that other vets have to “man up” and speak out about the war...

Here are willing recruits to the lefty cause being turned away by snot-nosed upper-middle-class white SJWs for flubbing the responses in the liberal Mass. I wonder how long the victims will remember the humiliations. I remember a professor telling me fifty years ago that, as a privileged middle-class kid, I was taking a university place away from a deserving working-class kid.

Like I said. There’s only one kind of privilege in today’s America: liberal privilege.

Every ruling class does this. It likes to control what people say and think. In the old days the ruling class controlled people by putting them in the Tower for treasonous speech. It put them in the Bastille for lèse-majesté — the insult to the dignity of the king. It burned them at the stake for heresy.

Today, the ruling class imagines itself the most evolved thing since sliced bread, and so is keenly interested in controlling every un-evolved thing that is thought and said.

Today, the instruments of torture are different. But the thuggery in the heart is the same.

But why do they do it? It’s because, despite the ruling class propaganda that its rule is ordained by God (or justice or history), the fact is that every ruling class got there by insurgency or war. The Brits? A nice little Whig conspiracy encouraged a friendly invasion by the Dutch in 1688. The US? A bunch of young hot-heads decided they couldn’t take it any more and decided to kick the Brits out of the colonies. Germany? We Yanks kicked the Nazis out in WWII and installed our own regime.

Liberals, on the other hand, got their power by bribing voters with loot stolen from “capitalists.”

When your regime is founded upon force, you feel the need to spin a likely story. My guy Jürgen Habermas proposes to found his new, improved regime on a combination of “popular sovereignty” and “human rights” which “presuppose each other.” They do? How would that work in Venezuela, where President Maduro just proposed the following (H/T Richard Fernandez):

[Maduro] promised to provide more “free” services for everyone. Free school stipends, free housing. No cutbacks to social welfare. How would the bankrupt state pay for it? He said , that while “oil will never cost $100 again but God will provide. Venezuela will never do without.”

Now, is this policy based on human rights, popular sovereignty, or the stone-cold fear that the moment that Bolivarian socialism stops delivering free stuff to the “people” it is outa here?

And what is the difference between Venezuela and the US, where the white upper-middle-class liberal ruling class maintains itself in power by offering free stuff to the government employees and entitlement dependents in the lower orders? Or the UK, where the national religion is said to be the National Health Service, providing health care “free at the point of delivery?”

Now I get it. Popular sovereignty is when the people take to the streets to demand more little golden sovereigns when the checks stop coming.

Every ruling class worries that its right to rule is “Too indirect for long continuance,” and so every unlicensed thought and word of its subjects seems to signal a head of rebellion.

So it teaches its regime thugs to go out to bully and intimidate, like these special snowflakes. Does that make things better for the regime or make them worse?

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm

Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust

Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity

Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh

Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

presented by Christopher Chantrill

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