Quote of the day—Angelo M. Codevilla

The notion of political correctness came into use among Communists in the 1930s as a semi-humorous reminder that the Party’s interest is to be treated as a reality that ranks above reality itself. Because all progressives, Communists included, claim to be about creating new human realities, they are perpetually at war against nature’s laws and limits. But since reality does not yield, progressives end up pretending that they themselves embody those new realities. Hence, any progressive movement’s nominal goal eventually ends up being subordinated to the urgent, all-important question of the movement’s own power. Because that power is insecure as long as others are able to question the truth of what the progressives say about themselves and the world, progressive movements end up struggling not so much to create the promised new realities as to force people to speak and act as if these were real: as if what is correct politically—i.e., what thoughts serve the party’s interest—were correct factually.

the point of P.C. is not and has never been merely about any of the items that it imposes, but about the imposition itself. Much less is it about creating a definable common culture or achieving some definable good. On the retail level, it is about the American’s ruling class’s felt need to squeeze the last drops of voter participation out of the Democratic Party’s habitual constituencies. On the wholesale level, it is a war on civilization waged to indulge identity politics.

The imposition of P.C. has no logical end because feeling better about one’s self by confessing other people’s sins, humiliating and hurting them, is an addictive pleasure the appetite for which grows with each satisfaction. The more fault I find in thee, the holier (or, at least, the trendier) I am than thou. The worse you are, the better I am and the more power I should have over you.

America’s progressive rulers, like France’s, act less as politicians gathering support than as conquerors who enjoy punishing captives without worry that the tables may turn.

Angelo M. Codevilla
November 8, 2016
The Rise of Political Correctness
[Also, as an example:

Comrade, your statement is factually incorrect.”
“Yes, it is. But it is politically correct.”

Fascinating and very enlightening.—Joe]


5 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Angelo M. Codevilla

  1. “the point of P.C. is not and has never been merely about any of the items that it imposes, but about the imposition itself.”

    That sums up the whole of authoritarianism right there, from taxation, to subsidy to redistribution to the imposition of “regulations”, to the complete take-over of entire disciplines such as education and medicine. The stated reasons for each imposition along the way are better understood as the excuses, or rationalizations, for criminal behavior.

    The better the liar, the more successful the politician. The best liar of all is the one who comes to believe his own lies, and thus there is a tendency for society to elevate the criminally insane to positions of power. I’m sure you can think of several current examples, and history is but a long, unbroken chain of them.

  2. The opposite of political correctness, a way to recognize the reality of a situation, despite its nonalignment with Party doctrine, became necessary even in the Soviet Union. For example, a Tom Clancy novel describes how, when a military effort was being planned during the Cold War, objective reality was recognized by the Soviet planners as an “external influence” that had to be taken into account, or failure would result from accepting and following the “truth” held by the Party.

    So there are politically correct ways of avoiding political correctness, when there is a specific result desired. You just have to get everyone to lie to each other about the reasons for doing what you have to do.

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