January 17th, 2007

Conform Or Else......

As I have matured in this society I have noticed an extremely ugly impulse among people. It is the desire to destroy other people's self worth and pleasure in order to protect or bolster one's own.

Consider the fact that social conservatives are more concerned and knowledgeable about anal sex than most gay people. They are in fact more obsessed with sex than the people who actually have it. They want to know who does what with who and when they do it, and they want all of that regulated by custom and law.

I believe this desire for control over others' sexual and romantic lives lies within a normative framework which connects a universalist notion of norms to self worth and pleasure. In other words, there's only one way to fuck and love and if people fuck and love differently than what's prescribed by that system they are threatening it. People within a universalist ethical system have two choices in dealing with these non-conformists: they can junk the system thereby giving up their self-esteem and pleasure and attempt to construct a new system, or they can attempt to punish the offenders into compliance with the system's rules.

You can imagine what most people choose.

Still this thinking has always perplexed me becauseCollapse )
pirate, butt pirate

Because some in this community seem to be unaware of the power dynamics inherent in the term "PC"

Originally posted in debunkingwhite. It's long, so I'm LJ-cutting so only my personal favorite parts show up on your FL. But I highly recommend that you read the entire thing. It's a great piece. Thanks to yeloson/SNR.

The Greatest Cliché: The Unexamined Propaganda of "Political Correctness"
by Kai Chang, from Zuky

Read more...Collapse )the conceit that "political correctness" constitutes a violation of free speech is particularly zany; as though society's marginalized groups wield oppressive power over the dominant mainstream. Actually, as far as I'm concerned you're free to call me "chink" and I'm free to call you "moronic racist loser" (and more if necessary, but I'll leave that aside for now in the interest of false civility). Free speech is the straw man of choice for intellectual bums of all stripes too fragile and vacuous for critical engagement. Calling someone who says or does bigoted things "a bigot" isn't censorious, it's descriptively accurate, like calling a bad movie "a bad movie", even if the bigot didn't intend to come off as bigoted and the movie didn't intend to come off as bad.

As for the original literal meaning of "PC", the phrase is believed to have emerged from China (seriously, I'm not making this up) during the reign of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist thought. Revolutionary leaders unironically applauded words and actions as "politically correct" when these were seen to advance the revolutionary cause (ya think something was lost in translation?). Personally, I suspect that the Chinese phrase predates Maoism and hearkens back to imperial China when complying with the demands of the throne and advancing the interests of the empire, at any level of society, would be "politically correct"; as opposed to, say, writing dissident literature, which would be "politically incorrect" to the point of getting you exiled or executed. In both the Maoist and imperial contexts, the key point to observe is that "PC" denotes alignment with state power. On a semantic and philosophical level, this makes a good deal more sense than the vague pejorative sarcasm of today's "PC"-snivelers.

Interestingly enough, according to this non-sarcastic, relatively unconsidered, more meaningfully precise definition of the term, the USA is a politically correct nation indeed; but not in the way that most Americans are led to believe. Some examples: Magnetic yellow ribbons are PC. Denouncing Islamism in the name of 9/11 is PC. Reciting the pledge of allegiance is PC. Not talking about radical politics at work or in polite company is PC. Gay-bashing is PC. Standing and placing your hand on your heart during the national anthem is PC. Smiling and applauding when the president enters the room is PC. On the other side of the equation: Marching for civil rights is not PC. Protesting a US war is not PC. Questioning US-Israeli neo-colonial policy in the Middle East is not PC. Calling the US government a white male supremacist corporatist kleptocracy is not PC. Agitating for structural change in our society's distribution of wealth and power is not PC. Refusing to shake a corrupt president's hand is not PC.Read more...Collapse )perhaps we might reconsider exactly whose free speech is being violated by whom. As far as I know, "the PC police" haven't thrown any insensitive white men into Gitmo or launched CointelPro operations against white bloggers who publish blackface. For some reason, people of color who oppose US imperialism haven't had that same good fortune.

Simply put, the great "PC" cliché, as commonly deployed in mainstream discourse, is cultural propaganda designed to befuddle and misdirect while defending the current power structure. All politics deal with power relations, and in the debate over America's alleged climate of "political correctness", there's a stark asymmetry of power between the defiant megaphone-wielders who complain of being constrained by humorless hypersensitivity from below, and the under-represented people of color, women, LGBT, handicapped, poor, and otherwise marginalized or dispossessed people who have no choice but to absorb the linguistic, cultural, and physical barbs of the ruling class. The former feel psycho-emotionally oppressed by their inability to crack puerile ethnic jokes without criticism; the latter simply are oppressed.