Friday, May 05, 2017

A Paradox Of PC / "Social Justice": Why Is Their Hectoring So Effective?

   So here's a thought:
   Why is PC / "social justice" hectoring so damn effective? There's some outright bullying / physical intimidation / violence... (Not that I'm suggesting that it's ok to capitulate to that either.) But it seems fairly clear that the vast majority of it the stuff takes the form of badgering and slandering (the preferred PC term is "shaming").
   Now, it's a central tenet of the view in question that we live in a culture that is resolutely bigoted--racist, sexist, homophobic, and all the rest. However, if this were so, why would accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. be so effective at suppressing opposition to PC? If the culture were as racist as they allege it to be, then we'd predict that such accusations would be fairly ineffective. But they're not. And this counts significantly against the hypothesis of pervasive bigotry. And an analogous point holds on a smaller scale: if the individuals they tend to target were as bigoted as they allege them to be, we'd expect that they wouldn't be much bothered by accusations of bigotry. But they are. So they probably aren't.
   PC hectoring is extremely effective because the culture is not remotely as bigoted as they assert, and neither are the individuals they tend to target. Most of us tend to bend over backwards to avoid even the tiniest bit of bigotry, and the mere thought of being accused of it is alarming in the extreme--terrifying, in fact, to many. 
   Furthermore, this is one of the most evil aspects of political correctness: it leverages people's goodness against them. Accusations of bigotry are, ceteris parabus, more effective against people who are less bigoted.


Blogger Lorenzo said...

That's a great point.

7:20 PM  

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