“I detest politics, to be honest with you. It's a cesspool. And I don't think I would fare well in that cesspool because I don't believe in political correctness and I certainly don't believe in dishonesty.” — Benjamin Carson
George Orwell the author of 1984 and the Animal Farm once stated: “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
P.D. James, the famous British crime writer had this to say about political correctness: “I believe that political correctness can be a form of linguistic fascism, and it sends shivers down the spine of my generation who went to war against fascism.”
Political correctness (adjectivally, politically correct; both forms commonly abbreviated to PC) is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts, and, as purported by the term, doing so to an excessive extent. In current usage, the term is primarily pejorative, while the term politically incorrect has been used as an implicitly positive self-description. Examples of the latter include the conservative The Politically Incorrect Guide published by Regnery Publishing and the television talk show Politically Incorrect. In these cases, the term politically incorrect connotes language, ideas, and behavior unconstrained by a perceived orthodoxy or by concerns about offending or expressing bias regarding various groups of people.
University of Pennsylvania professor Alan Charles Kors and lawyer Harvey A. Silverglate connect political correctness to Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse. They claim that liberal ideas of free speech are repressive, arguing that such "Marcusean logic" is the base of speech codes, which are seen by some as censorship, in U.S. universities. Kors and Silvergate later established the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which campaigns against PC speech codes.
Some conservative critics claim that political correctness is a Marxist undermining of Western values. William S. Lind and Patrick Buchanan have characterized PC as a technique originated by the Frankfurt School, through what Buchanan describes as "Cultural Marxism". In “The Death of the West”, Buchanan says: “Political Correctness is Cultural Marxism, a regime to punish dissent and to stigmatize social heresy as the Inquisition punished religious heresy. Its trademark is intolerance.” [Source: Wikipedia]
Since the development of language it has been the main means of communicating ideas and influencing people. It has been used to promote positive values for mankind such as the Gospel and the ideas of classical liberals of the age of enlightenment like John Locke, Montesquieu, Frédéric Bastiat, and our Founders. It has also been used by those wishing to enslave people under totalitarian regimes like Vladimir Lenin and Adolph Hitler. It was Lenin who stated: “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” In all cases he who defines is the master.
This is what political correctness does. It defines and those who control the definitions are becoming the masters. This is what the progressives have learned and been doing since the beginning of the 20th century. Abortion has become pro-choice, the illegal immigrant has become the undocumented worker, terrorism has become workplace violence, a war on terrorism has become an overseas contingency, wealth redistribution has been defined as fairness, and homosexuality has been defined as Gay. In Britain, in some schools, the nursery rhyme Ba, ba black sheep has been changed to ba, ba rainbow sheep. Christmas trees have become holiday trees and Easter and Christmas have become the spring and winter festivals. The possession of a Bible in most public schools is banned while the Quran is not. It’s no wonder our school children are becoming confused, if not indoctrinated by our current crop of textbooks and educators.
If an illegal immigrant (a person who has entered the country illegally violating our immigration laws) is now considered an undocumented worker then I would suppose a bank robber should be considered an undocumented account holder and a home invader an undocumented tenant. This is absurd the terms have become in order to fit the agendas of special interest groups.
The current devotion to political correctness by the progressive left and their minions in the media go back to 1923 and the founding of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung) more commonly known as the Frankfurt School. The school initially consisted of dissident Marxists who believed that some of Marx's followers had come to parrot a narrow selection of Marx's ideas, usually in defense of orthodox Communist parties. Meanwhile, many of these theorists believed that traditional Marxist theory could not adequately explain the turbulent and unexpected development of capitalist societies in the twentieth century. Critical of capitalism and Soviet socialism, their writings pointed to the possibility of an alternative path to social development. It functioned as an independent group of Marxist intellectuals who sought, under the leadership of Felix Weil, to expand Marxist thought beyond what had become a somewhat dogmatic and reductionist tradition increasingly dominated by both Stalinism and social democracy. Most famously they sought to marry up a combination of Marxist social analysis with Freudian psychoanalytical theories, searching for the roots of what made people tick in modern consumer capitalist society as well as what made people turn to fascism in the 1930s.
The Frankfurt school went back to Marx's early theoretical works from the 1840s and tapped into his more humanist impulses found in the German-French Annals and in his correspondence with Arnold Ruge. It is in these early writings that we find many of Marx's most important writings on the role of religion in history and society. His ideas about the way materialism worked in the world were still being formulated and he had not yet become the economic theoretician he was later known as. It is not that Marx left ideas of religion behind after these early years, but he felt he had dealt with them properly and could move on to more tangible affairs. In a letter to Arnold Ruge in 1842 he wrote:
"Our motto must be: reform of consciousness not through dogmas, but by analyzing the mystical consciousness that is unintelligible to itself, whether it manifests itself in a religious or a political form. It will then become evident that the world has long dreamed of possessing something of which it has only to be conscious in order to possess it in reality. It will become evident that it is not a question of drawing a great mental dividing line between past and future, but of realizing the thoughts of the past. Lastly, it will become evident that mankind is not beginning a new work, but is consciously carrying into effect its old work."
But the idea that what was required was a reform of consciousness which had become unintelligible to it is the central working principle of the Frankfurt school. Religious thought, which Marx saw as a part of false consciousness, was to be combated not by a full frontal attack in some sort of crusade, but by removing the social conditions that created it. But the Frankfurt school did not believe that this reform of consciousness could come about simply by changing the socio-economic base of capitalist society. Religion was, for them, not only the opium of the people, but also a repository of hope that had become unintelligible to itself.
Freud comes into the equation here because these critical theorists thought that his categories of id, superego and ego, which were constantly interacting as the basis of the human psyche, fitted well with the Marxist dialectic of historical struggle and resolution. If societies moved forward historically as the result of class struggle, then individuals were constantly dealing with a struggle between the reality of the world around them and what they thought about that world. Paradoxically, the Frankfurt school saw this as necessary because of the relative success of capitalism rather than its imminent collapse, as the more dogmatic Marxists proclaimed (and indeed continue to proclaim). How was it, they argued, that the great mass of people could be sucked into complicity with their own exploitation? With the emergence of fascism in the 1920s and 30s the question became even more urgent. What led educated people to throw their lot in with the barbarism of fascism? This, for them, was the ultimate in false consciousness. One of the most influential works of the Frankfurt school to deal with this phenomenon was The Authoritarian Personality, a work that purported to be a study of prejudice and that documented the ways in which people, as individuals, were motivated to think and act as they do in a social context, to form in-groups and to exclude others to the point of genocidal extermination.
So what has all of this to do with our current wave of political correctness? Sometime in the mid-1960s, during the era of sex, drugs and rock and roll, we began to see the influence of radical student groups opposed to the Vietnam War, the draft, and university policies. Hey believed free speech meant they could occupy and trash a chancellor’s office as happened at the University of California, Berkley. This came to a culmination in 1968 when a group of eight radicals led riots in Grant Park outside of the Democratic National Convention. This group latter became known as the Chicago Seven as one of the leaders, Bobby Seale of the Black Panther Party, was separated from the others.
Over the course of five days and nights, the police made arrests, in addition to using tear gas, Mace, and batons on the marchers. Hundreds of police officers and protesters were injured. Dozens of journalists covering the actions were also clubbed by police or had cameras smashed and film confiscated. In the aftermath of what was later characterized as a "police riot" by the U.S. National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, a federal grand jury indicted eight demonstrators and eight police officers.
Ultimately a federal grand jury indicted eight demonstrators and eight police officers. The leaders were convicted of conspiracy to cross a state line to cause a riot, but the convictions were overturned by a Federal Appellate Court on the basis that the judge in the district court trial was biased. During the original trial the defense attorney for the seven (Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, and Lee Weiner) put the war in Vietnam on trial — asking Judy Collins to sing "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" from the witness stand, placing a Viet Cong flag on the defense table, and wearing a black armband to commemorate the war dead.
The actions of these radicals were so distasteful to most Americans that Richard Nixon defeated the Democrat Hubert Humphrey in the Electoral College 301-191 with George Wallace running as an independent captured 13.5% of the popular vote and 46 electoral votes, mainly in the south.
It did not take long for the left to begin to turn the Chicago Seven into icons and glorify them in books and films. One of the Seven, Tom Hayden, married the uber liberal actress Jane Fonda and was elected to the California Assembly, and later the California Senate from his district in Santa Monica. The Left was learning a new tactic for advancing their radical left-wing agenda. They had captured the attention of the country and sympathies of the media and now turned to capturing academia where they believed — rightly so that here is where the real power lies. So instead of fulminating riots and protest marches they got Ph.Ds. and took seats at the table of he academic community where they could indoctrinate young, impressionable college students to their radical left-wing agenda and these students could go on to obtain a Ph.D. and do the same — thus the state of academia today. A list of their names is longer that the Great Wall of China and they are the ones, through their writings and classroom lectures are the ones driving the language of today’s left — a language that is defining the national debate.
Something else also happened along the way. The federal government began giving grant money to cities for something called “Community Organizing.” It was the misguided attempt by the federal government to provide block grants to cities for such things as after school programs, free clinics, and basketball courts all in the name of helping the urban poor. Once again the masterminds in government, academia, and the media promoted and supported this use of taxpayer funds with a passion.
This gave rise to a Marxist named Saul Alinsky to write a strategic manual called Rules for Radicals (1971) that could be used by these community organizers for the purpose of not only defining the terms but to be used as a manual by special interest groups, such as homosexuals, pro-abortionists, and statist to advance their agendas.
In his Rules for Radicals Alinsky laid down 13 rules for radical organizers to use for organizing and changing the culture of a community:
- Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.
- Never go outside the expertise of your people.
- Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.
- Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
- Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
- A good tactic is one your people enjoy.
- A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
- Keep the pressure on. Never let up.
- The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
- The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
- If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.
- The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
- Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Born to Russian-Jewish parents in Chicago in 1909, Saul Alinsky was a Communist/Marxist fellow-traveler who helped establish the tactics of infiltration — coupled with a measure of confrontation — that have been central to revolutionary political movements in the United States in recent decades. He never joined the Communist Party but instead, as David Horowitz puts it, became an avatar of the post-modern left.
Though Alinsky is rightfully understood to have been a leftist, his legacy is more methodological than ideological. He identified a set of very specific rules that ordinary citizens could follow, and tactics that ordinary citizens could employ, as a means of gaining public power. His motto was, “The most effective means are whatever will achieve the desired results.” In essence the ends justify the means.
Alinsky studied criminology as a graduate student at the University of Chicago, during which time he became friendly with Al Capone and his mobsters. Ryan Lizza, senior editor of The New Republic, offers a glimpse into Alinsky’s personality: “Charming and self-absorbed, Alinsky would entertain friends with stories — some true, many embellished — from his mob days for decades afterward. He was profane, outspoken, and narcissistic, always the center of attention despite his tweedy, academic look and thick, horn-rimmed glasses.”
After completing his graduate work in criminology, Alinsky went on to develop what are known today as the Alinsky concepts of mass organization for power. In the late 1930s he earned a reputation as a master organizer of the poor when he organized the “Back of the Yards” area in Chicago, an industrial and residential ethnic neighborhood on the Southwest Side of the city, so named because it is near the site of the former Union Stockyards; this area had been made famous in Upton Sinclair's 1906 novel “The Jungle.” In 1940 Alinsky established the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), through which he and his staff helped “organize” communities not only in Chicago but throughout the United States. IAF remains an active entity to this day. Its national headquarters are located in Chicago, and it has affiliates in the District of Columbia, twenty-one separate states, and three foreign countries (Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom).
By the late 1960s, the Black Power movement would drive Alinsky and his organizing crusades out of the projects in African-American neighborhoods, leaving him no choice but to shift his focus to white communities. For this purpose, he established the Citizens Action Program (CAP), in 1970. Stanley Kurtz writes in his 2010 book “Radical in Chief”: "Alinsky was convinced that large-scale socialist transformation would require an alliance between the struggling middle class and the poor. The key to radical social change, Alinsky thought, was to turn the wrath of America’s middle class against large corporations."
In the Alinsky model, “organizing” is a euphemism for “revolution” — a wholesale revolution whose ultimate objective is the systematic acquisition of power by a purportedly oppressed segment of the population, and the radical transformation of America’s social and economic structure. The goal is to foment enough public discontent, moral confusion, and outright chaos to spark the social upheaval that Marx, Engels, and Lenin predicted — a revolution whose foot soldiers view the status quo as fatally flawed and wholly unworthy of salvation. (See Cloward and Piven Strategy). Thus, the theory goes, the people will settle for nothing less than that status quo’s complete collapse — to be followed by the erection of an entirely new system upon its ruins. Toward that end, they will be apt to follow the lead of charismatic radical organizers who project an aura of confidence and vision, and who profess to clearly understand what types of societal “changes” are needed.
As Alinsky put it: “A reformation means that the masses of our people have reached the point of disillusionment with past ways and values. They don’t know what will work but they do know that the prevailing system is self-defeating, frustrating, and hopeless. They won’t act for change but won’t strongly oppose those who do. The time is then ripe for revolution.
“[W]e are concerned,” Alinsky elaborated, “with how to create mass organizations to seize power and give it to the people; to realize the democratic dream of equality, justice, peace, cooperation, equal and full opportunities for education, full and useful employment, health, and the creation of those circumstances in which men have the chance to live by the values that give meaning to life. We are talking about a mass power organization which will change the world. This means revolution.”
But Alinsky’s brand of revolution was not characterized by dramatic, sweeping, overnight transformations of social institutions. Alinsky viewed revolution as a slow, patient process in the manner of Great Britain’s Fabian Socialists. The trick was to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions (especially teachers unions), school boards, the media, and political parties. He advised organizers and their disciples to quietly, subtly gain influence within the decision-making ranks of these institutions, and to introduce changes from that platform. This was precisely the tactic of “infiltration” advocated by Lenin and Stalin. As Communist International General Secretary Georgi Dimitroff told the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern in 1935:
"Comrades, you remember the ancient tale of the capture of Troy. Troy was inaccessible to the armies attacking her, thanks to her impregnable walls. And the attacking army, after suffering many sacrifices, was unable to achieve victory until, with the aid of the famous Trojan horse, it managed to penetrate to the very heart of the enemy’s camp."
During the 1960s Alinsky was an enormously influential force in American life. When President Johnson launched his War on Poverty in 1964, Alinsky’s allies infiltrated the program, steering federal money into Alinsky projects. In 1966, Senator Robert Kennedy allied himself with union leader Cesar Chavez, an Alinsky disciple. Chavez had worked ten years for Alinsky, beginning in 1952. Kennedy soon drifted into Alinsky's circle. After race riots shook Rochester, New York, Alinsky descended on the city and began pressuring Eastman-Kodak to hire more blacks. Kennedy supported Alinsky's shakedown.”
Alinsky died in 1972, but his legacy lives on as a staple of leftist method, a veritable blueprint for revolution (which he and his disciples euphemistically refer to as “change”). Two of his most notable modern-day disciples are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
In 1969 Hillary Clinton wrote her 92-page senior thesis on Alinsky's theories. A great admirer of Alinsky's blend of ruthless and stealth activist tactics, Hillary personally interviewed the famed author for her project. She concluded her thesis by stating:
"Alinsky is regarded by many as the proponent of a dangerous socio/political philosophy. As such, he has been feared -- just as Eugene Debs [the five-time Socialist Party candidate for U.S. President] or Walt Whitman or Martin Luther King has been feared, because each embraced the most radical of political faiths -- democracy."
Hillary would maintain her allegiance to Alinsky's teachings throughout her adult life. According to a March 2007 Washington Post report:
"As first lady, Clinton occasionally lent her name to projects endorsed by the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the Alinsky group that had offered her a job in 1968. She raised money and attended two events organized by the Washington Interfaith Network, an IAF affiliate."
Ultimately, Hillary's investigation of Alinsky's methods and ideals led her to conclude that the Lyndon Johnson-era federal antipoverty programs did not go far enough in redistributing wealth among the American people, and did not give sufficient power to the poor.
When Hillary graduated from Wellesley in 1969, she was offered a job with Alinsky's new training institute in Chicago. She opted instead to enroll at Yale Law School.
Unlike Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama never personally met Saul Alinsky. By the time Alinsky died in 1972, Obama was only 11 years old. But as a young man, he became a master practitioner of Alinsky's methods. In 1985 a small group of 20-odd churches in Chicago offered Obama a job helping residents of poor, predominantly black, Far South Side neighborhoods. Accepting that opportunity, Obama became Director of the Developing Communities Project, where he worked for the next three years on initiatives that ranged from job training to school reform to hazardous waste cleanup. David Freddoso, author of the 2008 book “The Case Against Barack Obama”, summarizes Obama's community-organizing efforts as follows:
"He pursued manifestly worthy goals; protecting people from asbestos in government housing projects is obviously a good thing and a responsibility of the government that built them. But [in every case except one] the proposed solution to every problem on the South Side was a distribution of government funds.”
Three of Obama's mentors in Chicago were trained at the Alinsky-founded Industrial Areas Foundation. (The Developing Communities Project itself was an affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation, whose modus operandi for the creation of “a more just and democratic society” is rooted firmly in the Alinsky method.
One of Obama's early mentors in the Alinsky method, Mike Kruglik, would later say the following about Obama:
"He was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation, who could engage a room full of recruiting targets in a rapid-fire Socratic dialogue, nudging them to admit that they were not living up to their own standards. As with the panhandler, he could be aggressive and confrontational. With probing, sometimes personal questions, he would pinpoint the source of pain in their lives, tearing down their egos just enough before dangling a carrot of hope that they could make things better."
For several years, Obama himself taught workshops on the Alinsky method. Also, beginning in the mid-1980s, Obama worked with ACORN, the Alinskyite grassroots political organization that grew out of George Wiley's National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO).
In 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down it’s flawed landmark case of Roe. v. Wade legalizing abortion on the basis of a “right to privacy” under the 14th Amendment political correctness took a giant step forward. We now got a new set of terms to deal with. Pro-choice, women’s rights, the right of privacy, and the war on women became a mantra that the Left and their mouthpieces in the media use to beat up on politicians who dissent from their baby killing agenda. This is the main reason the mainstream media is not covering the Gosnell baby murder trial. Some say that the details of “Dr. Gosnell” and his staff murdering live-born babies are too graphic for the sensibilities of the public. Yes they are! When a witness testifies that she assisted at an abortion where the baby was born alive and was tossed into the toilet bowl where it attempted to swim to save itself and then have its spine snipped while the good doctor jokingly proclaimed the “baby was big enough to walk home.” This is pure left-wing rubbish! We were inundated 24/7 with the details of the bombing at the Boston Marathon while lefties in the mainstream media tried to tie the bombing to a conservative white guy or the Tea Party because it took place of Tax Day. The media did not hesitate to show the photos of people covered in blood with missing limbs and expressions of shock on their faces while they ticked off the numbers of dead and injured. This is political correctness run amuck. The Left’s allegiance to their pro-abortion agenda and the political correctness that it is wrapped in will not allow them to do so— Alinsky rule No. 9. Never concede the issue no matter what the facts are.
Roe v. Wade was a decision by the very liberal Burger Court that has been the most divisive and controversial decisions of the 20th century. I would compare its divisiveness to the Dred Scott decision. I have always stated that this one single issue of abortion would open the flood gates and allow the progressive left to capture the dialog as we went down the slippery slope of political correctness.
Justice Byron White, one of the two dissenters wrote:
“I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court's judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant women and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the woman, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.”
The other dissenter, William Rehnquist who would later become Chief Justice, stated in his dissent:
“To reach its result, the Court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment. As early as 1821, the first state law dealing directly with abortion was enacted by the Connecticut Legislature. By the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, there were at least 36 laws enacted by state or territorial legislatures limiting abortion. While many States have amended or updated their laws, 21 of the laws on the books in 1868 remain in effect today.
"There apparently was no question concerning the validity of this provision or of any of the other state statutes when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted. The drafters did not intend to have the Fourteenth Amendment withdraw from the States the power to legislate with respect to this matter."
In other words the Court used a power not included in the 14th Amendment to grant a new constitutional right of privacy and trample on the 9th and 10th Amendments.
According to the National Right to Life Organization in the 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision 55 million abortions have been carried out — most by taxpayer funded abortion mills like Planned Parenthood. Abortion-on-demand, which has claimed the lives of more than 55 million unborn children, has remained the law of the land for 40 years. Roe is a sad commentary on our society’s attitudes toward women and their unborn children. Instead of helping and empowering mothers, our society funnels them to the nearest abortion clinic — yet it stands as one of the cornerstone of today’s political correctness and woe be to the politician or academic who stands against it.
In a recent speech delivered to Planned Parenthood, in a message likely intended for both supporters and detractors alike, Obama made it clear that Planned Parenthood isn’t going to disappear anytime soon — at least not on his watch. The president pledged to fight alongside the organization:
“So every day, in every state, in ever center that Planned Parenthood operates, there are stories like those — lives you’ve saved, women you’ve empowered, families that you’ve strengthened. That’s why, no matter how great the challenge, no matter how fierce the opposition, if there’s one thing the past few years have shown, it’s that Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere. It’s not going anywhere today. It’s not going anywhere tomorrow.”
Language is a powerful tool and those who define the terms become the masters of the debate. The facts be dammed. As John Adams stated in his defense of the British soldiers accused of the first Boston Massacre in 1770: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” Today we are replacing facts with political correctness as we delude ourselves into a nation ruled by the masterminds and their media minions that yearn for power.