Saturday, December 09, 2017

On 'Political Correctness' and 'Social Justice': You Can't Make Something Bad Good By Calling It 'Good'

That's basically the whole thought. The term 'political correctness' is said to have started out as an in-joke among Marxists about Marxist True Believers who were willing to say or even bring themselves to believe even the most obviously false bits of Marxist dogma. But the paleo-PCs adopted the term as their own--I mean...correctness is good, after all...
   But of course political correctness was insane, and it went back to its original meaning (roughly: fucking crazy) among everyone but crazy leftists (and the liberals who, temporarily, supported them) almost immediately. And now the neo-PCs...who are just turbo-charged PCs...won't touch it. In fact, it's dogma even on the comparatively-more-centrist progressive left that there's no such thing as PC. It's a total myth, you see! Totally made up by conservatives! I've held forth about such PC denialism in past posts, but am too lazy to look 'em up... But anyway: political correctness was and is wrong and bad...and calling it 'correctness' can't change that.
   To use one of their more specific neologisms as an example: it's like trying to replace 'crippled' with 'handicapped' with 'differently-abled' (an actual term of the old PC of their favorites). But being handicapped is bad. Ask anyone who's handicapped... No sane person thinks that the choice between having normal use of all your limbs and being a quadriplegic is a coin-toss decision. No matter what word you use for being handicapped, that word is eventually going to take on a negative valence. Words for bad things take on bad valences. There's no way for them to refer to something bad without doing so.
   Anyway, the new term for PC is, of course, "social justice." But political correctness is bad, and calling it "social justice" won't make it any better. Eventually that term, too, will come to mean, more or less: fucking crazy.
   The terminological valence point is a fairly obvious one, I think. I've read Steven Pinker making it, too, somewhere. But I saw it on my own--as have lots of people. In one form or another, it was part of public discussions during the paleo-PC era.
   Anyway, there's that for what it's worth.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home