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Political correctness feeds on the fear of speaking views that diverge from PC “truth.” Although the primary forces behind political correctness are those who develop and convey ideas—college professors and administrators, Hollywood producers and directors, celebrities, mainstream news anchors, and so on—we all perpetuate political correctness when we succumb to the fear of contradicting PC “truth.”
So where does this fear come from? And what is the source of the prevailing opinions that we fear to contradict? Public opinion is often molded through a calculated process of psychological manipulation that takes two main forms: saturation and suppression.
Saturation is the practice of repeating a deception relentlessly and injecting it into every corner of public life so that it becomes accepted as truth. Saturation usually requires the control of most communications outlets.
Suppression is the flip side of the PC coin. We know it as the practice of quashing ideas that compete with the PC message, usually through speech codes, shout-downs, or smears. The process of suppression creates the conditions essential to the survival of the PC message. If we think of PC as bacteria, suppression is like the dark room and the culture required for the bacteria’s growth and replication.
No matter how implausible an idea may seem, it can gain acceptance in the minds of the citizens as the forces of PC relentlessly hype the idea in the public square. Simultaneously, the voices that might challenge and analyze the idea must be suppressed—accusations of bigotry and hatred often do the trick—so that the PC idea has a chance to incubate and then affect public opinion. The twin processes of saturation and suppression, if diligently applied, can produce the illusion of a huge public opinion shift, or a “cascade.”
When a free society falls under the sway of these manufactured cascades, many people stop behaving as free thinkers. People become less focused on truth and more focused on their social survival.
Human beings tend to comply very quickly when threatened with labels of vilification—i.e., “bigot” or “hater”—that serve to get one socially labeled as a non-person. That’s because we know and fear social ostracism as a death trap.
Spiral of silence theory stipulates that individuals have a fear of isolation, which results from the idea that a social group or the society in general might isolate, neglect, or exclude members due to the members' opinions. This fear of isolation consequently leads to remaining silent instead of voicing opinions. Media is an important factor that relates to both the dominant idea and people's perception of the dominant idea. The assessment of one's social environment may not always correlate with reality.
Simply put, authoritarians merely want obedience, while totalitarians, whose rule is rooted in an ideology, want obedience and conversion.
Totalitarians are a different breed. These are the people who have a plan, who think they see the future more clearly than you or who are convinced they grasp reality in a way that you do not. They don’t serve themselves—or, they don’t serve themselves exclusively—they serve History, or The People, or The Idea, or some other ideological totem that justifies their actions.
They want obedience, of course. But even more, they want their rule, and their belief system, to be accepted and self-sustaining. And the only way to achieve that is to create a new society of people who share those beliefs, even if it means bludgeoning every last citizen into enlightenment.
That’s what makes totalitarians different and more dangerous: they are “totalistic” in the sense that they demand a complete reorientation of the individual to the State and its ideological ends. Every person who harbors a secret objection, or even so much as a doubt, is a danger to the future of the whole project, and so the regime compels its subjects not only to obey but to believe.
That’s terrifying, because it means that for a fair number of people in what’s supposed to be a democracy, “winning” in any normal political sense simply isn’t enough. They are not really trying to capture something as pedestrian as political equality, nor are they satisfied if they get it. They are not really seeking a win in the courts, or a legal solution, or a negotiated settlement. Those are all just merit badges to be collected along the way to a more important goal: what they really want, and what they in fact demand, is that you agree with them. They want you to believe.
It is not enough for these Americans to say: “I have had my day in court and prevailed.” In effect, they now add: “You do not have the right to hold a different opinion, even if you lose in the public arena. You may not hold on to your belief as a minority view, or even as a private thought. And if you persist and still disagree, I will attack you without quarter and set others on you to deprive you of your status in your profession, of your standing in your community, and even of your livelihood.”
They’re sending a clear warning that there’s plenty of room in the bonfire. It is a vow that you will be held to account for your personal thoughts, even if you’ve already been defeated in a democratic or judicial contest.
No, even after losing, you will be forced to admit the error of your ways. You must accept that you’ve sinned. You must discard your own values and accept the ideas of your betters. You must denounce yourself for undermining the construction of a better world.
You, too, must love Big Brother.
Forget freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, or freedom of privacy, political correctness demands that we don’t even have freedom of thought or opinion.
originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: Gryphon66
It does get tiring pointing out how Political correctness isn't a 1st amendment issue...
originally posted by: hadriana
a reply to: TonyS
I think a lot of us in the South have experienced it this week.
I saw a good guy who happens to have a confederate sticker on his truck- who has had that sticker on his truck for probably years now, who has been a good dependable worker that has got along well with everyone, in a job working out in the Georgia heat doing manual labor, for just a bit below $10/hr get told that if he did NOT take that sticker off his truck, he'd be fired.
The risks are not only social.
I've thought of this more in terms of the hive mind- fall in line with the hive or be cast out.
What's scary to me is how fast it developed over this flag issue, and I do not think it was a natural development.
When Amazon decided to quit selling the flag, it was 39,000 items that they refused to list. There's no telling how many vendors were hurt by that decision - they made that decision for all the people that sell there TOO. Same with eBay.
And I get that is their right- but did anyone think about what these people were maybe going to do for income or with an inventory they could no longer freely sell in the big marketplace? (Sure they can go to the small marketplaces, but the big ones effectively shut them out.) Did anyone care about them?
originally posted by: hadriana
a reply to: Krazysh0t
I would argue that rules that have such dire consequence should not be arbitrary, so that one day what is ok, the next day is not.
I would argue that it is a socio-economic effect, one that goes beyond what most people would consider MERELY social, because it pits one's livelihood and survival at stake.
And the "Why should anyone care about them?" comment is EXACTLY the reason I doubt I will ever vote liberal AGAIN.