The Source of Political Correctness
By Donna Wasson
Where did this terminal cancer, which has weakened American society for over 10 years, come from? How did we get to the point where our 1st Amendment rights are literally being eroded out from beneath us? And why are we intelligent, average, sensible Americans allowing it to happen?
Bill Lind wrote an excellent article back in February 2000, called The Origins of Political Correctness, from which he lectured at various Accuracy in Academia conferences during that same year. I will be borrowing liberally from this work, so when you see words in italics, those are verbatim from that paper.
Even before the first shots were fired in the American Revolution, we in this country always took great pride in the fact that we could speak our minds with impunity. In fact, we’ve taken it for granted so long we’ve hardly noticed that freedom is all but a thing of the past. Like the frog placed in a pot of water who didn’t realize the heat was slowly being turned up and didn’t know he was being cooked until it was too late, political correctness will be the death of us.
There are some who have pointed out this scourge over the years, but we’ve apparently been too busy with our day to day lives and concerns to pay much attention. We’re beginning to listen now! The demand for political correctness (P.C.) is getting louder and more intrusive than ever and unless we push back and speak the truth, we will be forced to live in fear of ‘offending’ the wrong person.
This insidious nonsense is precisely why tens of millions have died around the world. We see the consequences on the news every day as hundreds are being slaughtered by their own military and government for daring to speak out against the repressive society in which they live. History is witness to those citizens who have been harassed, arrested or even executed in places like Russia, North Korea, China and even in Europe and it all started with controlling what the populace could say publically.
Basically, political correctness is cultural Marxism. Webster’s defines Marxism as “The political and economic view of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that society inevitably develops through class struggle from oppression under capitalism to eventual classlessness.” Political correctness is a totalitarian ideology.
An ideology posits that due to what a particular philosophy states, certain things must be true. An example of this would be to say the entire history of human culture reflects the history of the oppression of females. It is a gross exaggeration of a basic or partial truth.
Since reality contradicts the basic or partial truth, reality must be forbidden. Thus, to keep people from speaking out and refuting what they know reality to be, the power of the state must be put behind the demand to live a lie. That is why ideology invariably creates a totalitarian state.
Cultural Marxism or political correctness says that all history is determined by power, by which groups defined in terms of race, sex, etc., have power over other groups. Nothing else matters.
As classic Marxism philosophy teaches, certain groups are ‘good’ while others are ‘bad.’ For instance blacks, Hispanic, homosexuals and feminists are determined to be ‘victims’, and therefore are automatically good regardless of what any of them do. Similarly, white males (and white females) are determined to automatically be evil. Unfortunately, anyone who currently professes to be a true, practicing Christian is now considered the cause du jour of all the world’s ills.
Nowhere else is political correctness more prevalent than on America’s college campuses. Any student or even faculty member who dares cross any line set by any of the ‘victim’ groups quickly find themselves in hot water with the ‘intellectual elite.’ Sometimes, the offender is even subject to formal charges and/or punishments.
As in economic Marxism, the P.C. crowd utilizes the tool of expropriation for control and growth. Expropriation means taking someone’s property or depriving them of their possessions, especially for public use. When political correctness takes over a university campus, its proponents will expropriate through things like quotas for admissions. When a white student with superior qualifications is denied admittance to a college in favor of a black or Hispanic who isn’t as well qualified, the white student is expropriated. In society at large, Affirmative Action is another perfect example of this tactic.
Both types of Marxism have a method of analysis that manipulates and provides the answers they want. For P.C., it is deconstruction, or taking any text, removing all meaning from it and re-inserting any meaning desired. By doing this, they are able to once again show or ‘prove’ that all history is about which groups have power over which other groups. This is how the history books in our public school systems have been re-written to reflect the ‘victimhood’ of certain groups due to the evil white man taking advantage for his own gain.
Political correctness has a history which, surprisingly, extends much further back than the 1960’s with its hippies and anti-war movement. It goes back to the time of WWI. The people espousing economic Marxism were certain when war came to Europe, as it did in 1914, that the common people would rise up in their various countries and overthrow their governments. They figured the general public would feel they had much more in common with each other across national boundaries than with the rich and ruling class in their own country. They were wrong.
The people in each country happily backed their individual national flags and identities and marched off to fight each other. The Marxists were puzzled because they couldn’t possibly be wrong about their dazzling ideology so two Marxist theorists put their heads together to postulate what the problem could be.
Antonio Gramsci, from Italy, thought the workers would never see their true class interests, as defined by Marxism, until they were freed from Western culture and particularly from the Christian religion because these two forces blinded them to their potential.
Georg Lukacs, from Hungary, was considered the most brilliant Marxist theorist since Marx himself and stated in 1919, “Who will save us from Western Civilization?” When the Bolshevik Bela Kun government was established the same year, Lukacs became the deputy commissar for culture. The first thing he did was introduce sex education into Hungarian schools, which the people were appalled by and, as a result, they turned against the new government. This was his aim.
In Germany in 1923, Felix Weil, the wealthy, spoiled son of a millionaire trader became a Marxist and spent a considerable amount of money sponsoring something called the First Marxist Work Week. He was concerned about the division of opinions within Marxist ranks and brought together many of the key German thinkers, including Lukacs, to work out the differences. He stated, “What we need is a think-tank”, thus establishing the familiar term which resulted in translating Marxism from economic to cultural, creating Political Correctness as we know it today.
That same year, 1923, he endowed the Institute for Marxism, which was associated with Frankfurt University. However, after realizing it was not to their advantage to openly proclaim themselves Marxist, they changed the name to the Institute for Social Research so as to not seem threatening to the general public.
Weil stated in 1971 that, “I wanted the Institute to become known, perhaps famous, due to its contributions to Marxism.” The first director of the Frankfurt School, as the Institute was informally named, was Carl Grunberg, an Austrian economist. In his opening address, he concluded by clearly stating his personal allegiance to Marxism as a scientific methodology and that it would be the ruling principle at the Institute. This never changed.
In 1930, the facility got a new director, Max Horkheimer, whose Marxist views were thought to be too radical by the mainstream members. The theorists at the Institute were expelled from the official Marxist party. Horkheimer’s sin was to combine cultural Marxism with Freudism. Freud thought everyone lived repressed lives, and Horkheimer and the Institute combined the two to create a new theory called, Critical Theory.
Critical Theory is quite simple. It states that the best way to bring down Western culture and the capitalist order, which represses its citizens, is to sharply criticize the established order but explicitly refuse to lay down an alternative. It calls for the most destructive criticism possible, in every possible way, designed to bring the current order down. Critical Theory is now known as Political Correctness.
Two key members joined the Institute in the 1930’s, Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse, who introduce the need for sexual liberation which is a strong theme in today’s P.C. thinking.
Horkheimer came up with the idea of environmentalism, also a popular element in modern thinking today. “Materialism had led to a manipulative dominating attitude toward nature” and the theme of man’s domination of nature was a central concern of the Frankfurt School in subsequent years. He also expressed another criticism of materialism and common labor with the demand for human, sensual happiness and personal gratification to which he felt the leaders of government and society were hostile.
This is about the time these inane ideas were introduced into America and its universities. In 1933, the Nazis came to power in Germany and shut down the Institute for Social Research. Its members fled to New York City and reestablished the Institute there with help from Columbia University. Through the 1930’s the members shifted their focus from German society to directing Critical Theory toward American society.
Some of the members also went to work for the government, including Herbert Marcuse, who became a key figure in the OSS (the predecessor to the CIA). Others, including Horkheimer moved to…wait for it….Hollywood, California.
Today’s political correctness matured in the student rebellion of the 1960’s which was largely due to resistance to the military draft and the Vietnam War in general. The students needed to justify their rage with some theory that had a somewhat believable rationale to support it. Herbert Marcuse had remained in America after the Frankfurt School relocated back to Germany after the war and was available to come to their rescue.
Marcuse saw the rebellion as a great opportunity to make the work of the Institute and its theories into the New Left in America. One of his books virtually became the student rebel’s bible. The book, Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud, had its Marxist ideology downplayed, as the theories were disguised in softer language. Because the youth in the rebellion were not the sharpest tools in the shed, Marcuse’s book was much easier to understand than classic economic Marxism and the students lived by its tenets.
See if the following sounds familiar: Under a capitalistic order, repression is the essence of that order and that results in the person Freud describes—a person with all the hang-ups, the neuroses, because his sexual instincts are repressed. We can envision a future, if we can only destroy the existing oppressive order, in which we liberate Eros, we liberate libido, in which we have a world of “polymorphous perversity,” in which you can ‘do your own thing.’ In that world there will no longer be work, only play. Sounds eerily like the Occupy Movement, doesn’t it??
This message for the radicals of the mid-1960’s sounded like nirvana. They were students and baby boomers who grew up never having to worry about anything except eventually having to get a job. And here is a guy writing in a way they can easily understand. He doesn’t require them to read a lot of heavy Marxism and he tells them everything they want to hear, which is essentially, “Do your own thing,” “If it feels good, do it,” and “You never have to go to work.” Marcuse is also the genius who coined the brilliant phrase, “Make love, not war.” Groovy.
He defined ‘liberating tolerance’ as tolerance for anything coming from the Left and complete Intolerance for anything coming from the Right, which is the attitude we are contending with today. Add the morality of the Bible and true Christian living as a target of Critical Theory and the average, upstanding, hard-working American with good common sense simply doesn’t stand a chance.
In the last 10 to 15 years, America has undergone the greatest and direst transformation in its history. We have literally become a country with an official ideology which is enforced by the power of the state. For instance, we now have ‘hate crimes.’ Don’t ALL crimes stem from hate? Must we really have special laws covering this? When will speaking out become a crime?
Political correctness is here to stay and it will only get stronger as it seeks to destroy the freedoms our forefathers died to provide as well as the culture and way of life we have worked so hard for. We had better wake up and start pushing back for the sake of our children and grandchildren.
The Bible clearly warns us that these attitudes will be part of the last days. I guarantee a time will come in this country when anyone who makes their disagreement with the establishment known publically will be imprisoned or will simply disappear in the night, as those in Russia, Germany, China, North Korea and other totalitarian societies have done over the decades.
Those of you who claim the name of Christ had better get your house in order while there is still time. I, for one, do not plan on hanging around to see these things come to pass. Maranatha!