Political correctness

Political correctness is said to be common courtesy: don’t be offensive when talking about people; but it is a way of changing the world for the better, so that everyone will be happier.

Of course it is common courtesy. It is wrong to use offensive names for racial groups. It is even useful to give groups of whom I disapprove- say, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints- the name they choose for themselves. (I disapprove of that church because of its scriptures, in one memorable section summarising I Corinthians ch 13, and taking all the poetry out of it.) Their own name is as good as any other title for them. Any name outsiders make up is a mockery, and I dislike mockery unless fear is unavoidable without it. Mockery condemns by arousing feelings rather than by rational thought. I want to be more careful with my condemnation than that, to condemn no more than is clearly justifiable, to see all the good in any person or situation.

Political correctness is more than just common courtesy. It is a way of building acceptance of people as we are, in love, rather than condemning aspects which are unfamiliar or unusual, out of fear. It is a way of achieving acceptance of others and therefore acceptance of ourselves. It is a way towards liberation for everyone.

Some might think political correctness a fertile source of the rules de Tocqueville was thinking of, 

a network of small complicated rules which cover the surface of life and strangle freedom.

But rejecting PC means claiming the freedom to refuse to wake up. The rules there are far more onerous. Embracing PC means claiming the freedom to be yourself.

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