Thursday, August 20, 2015

Julia Serano: "Objections to Political Correctness Just Want to Preserve The Status Quo"

   Anyone who thinks that's true shouldn't be writing about it, because they don't understand the disagreement.
   Objecting to an illiberal, irrationalist, radical, dogmatic movement that seeks to limit the freedom of thought and expression and undermine intellectual autonomy via sophistical arguments, bad philospohy and unbridled mass shaming/ not equivalent to wanting to preserve the status quo. That's just silly.
   There are, for example, many things I'm inclined to change about the status quo. About that general point, centrist liberals and lefty/left-liberal PCs can agree. We tend, however, to disagree about how much needs to change, which parts need to change, and how the change should be effected. PCs are more inclined to want radical change that favors limiting the freedom of thought and expression in order to eliminate expression and beliefs that offend certain groups. Liberals tend to think that my freedom to swing my fist ends where your nose begins; PCs believe something rather more like: my freedom to swing my fist ends where your feelings begin. The PCs tend to be anti-capitalism, whereas liberals tend to be far more pro-capitalism. The PCs tend to subordinate science to politics, accepting e.g. the view that race, "gender" and even biological sex are "socially constructed"--and accepting such views because they are politically correct, not because they are true, supported by the best reasons, or even cogent. And that's not even to mention the close ties between PC and the incoherent mishmash of bad philosophy that invariably comes along with it...
   So, anyway: no. It's absurd to suggest that opposing PC is simply a way to preserve the status quo. Not every way of changing the status quo is rational. Not every way is better--in fact, most ways are worse. One can think that there are good incremental changes that ought to be made while opposing the view that we should scrap crucial commitments to intellectual autonomy and freedom of expression in order to effect radical, poorly-thought-out social changes. 
   In short: the author's thesis is simply and obviously false. Opposition to political correctness is not equivalent to a desire to preserve the status quo.


Anonymous rotgut said...

I probably would've been one of the liberals to just ignore this stuff, largely because I just didn't notice it. I'm not quite sure if I should be grateful or pissed off that you've now made me aware of it and that I see this stuff everywhere. For example, this passage from a Vox "explainer" I saw yesterday:

A person's race isn't derived by biology; it is instead set by society and a person's own identity. As Jenée Desmond-Harris previously explained for Vox, Americans embraced the concept of race to justify treating some people better than others. And since race is arbitrary, different people can genuinely disagree over who counts as white, black, brown, or any other racial identity.

I especially like how there is nothing approaching an argument there and the claim is put forward as an explanation that is entirely uncontroversial. Anyway, thanks (damn you) for making me aware of all of this crap.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I regret nothing; misery loves company.

(And: Jebus...that quote... @$#@*&%! Yeah, you've got to admire the blatant expression of bullshit as if it were the most obvious thing in the world...not to mention the causal ad hominem to the obviously effect that only a racist could possibly disagree...)

9:03 AM  

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