Political Correctness: A Critique
Pub Date: March 01, 1995
Product Format: Essay
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Political correctness advocates see themselves as a new moral elite, secular saints destined to transform a sinful America. Political correctness questions all traditional values in the United States. The politically correct regard the United States as a racist, sexist, classist, and bigoted country, engaged in exploiting minorities, women, the poor, and Third World nations. This exploitation is often cleverly concealed but always harmful to its victims. PCers are profeminist, progay and -lesbian rights, mistrustful of Western civilization, and scornful of "dead white European males." To be PC means to distrust the enduring intellectual and moral values of American life, to divide Americans to push for group rights, not individual rights. For its admirers PC stands for diversity (read multiculturalism, ethnic studies and cultural relativism, grouping rights, sympathy for gays, lesbians, and the disadvantaged but not for white males). For its critics PC simply represents claptrap from the academic left.
The essay traces the intellectual roots of political correctness. It points to "five fallacies" embodied in this creed. It argues that political correctness poses dangers both to academic integrity and, because of its divisiveness, to democracy in general. But resistance to political correctness is growing apace. Political correctness will be overcome. For no matter what its critics say, the United States is the world's most open, egalitarian democracy and the most successful of all multiracial and multiethnic societies.